Out of the Woods Cabinetry installs about 1200 kitchens a year. We love seeing our customers’ visions realized as the countertops are placed, the paint is applied, and the fridge is moved into place. Cabinet installation is a particularly important part of our installations because in many ways the cabinets are the heart of the kitchen. With that being said, it is important to make sure everything is prepared before cabinets are installed.
Once you have your dream design—layout, appliance specs, cabinet color and finish, hardware, and other accessories—serious plans for cabinet installation can begin. Having a clear grasp of these details before the installation process begins can save hours of frustration and the need to recut countertops or rebuild doors and drawers. For this reason, measurements should be as precise as possible and should be taken after sheetrock is installed.
As a note, with an Out of the Woods installation, we require that all job site repairs (including electrical, plumbing, subfloors, walls, and paint) be completed before the date of installation. If you have carpet in the way, it is the owner’s responsibility to have it cut back and reinstalled around the cabinets. Here are a few other things to consider before cabinet installation can begin:
Remove Old Cabinets
When you install with Out of the Woods, removing the old cabinets is the homeowner’s responsibility except by special pre-arrangement. You save several options for your old cabinets depending on their condition. If they are still in good shape, you can choose to resell, donate, or upcycle your old cabinets.
Prepare All Utilities
Before installation begins, all HVAC, electric, and plumbing must be already set up and ready. All ductwork should already be in place; all outlets, lighting, and appliance feeds should be taken care of; and all plumbing supply, ventilation, and waste should be in order. These considerations generally come into play more when you are shifting the layout of your space, but they are applicable with any cabinet installation.
Before an Out of the Woods installation, all appliances must be safely unhooked and removed from the work area by the property owner. Due to licensing restrictions, our technicians are not legally allowed to handle any plumbing or electrical work, including removing dishwashers, refrigerators, ranges or range hoods.
Shore-Up and Touch-Up the Drywall
Before installing cabinets, you’ll need to make sure that walls and bulkheads are ready for them. Any damage should be patched or repaired, and drywall, primer, and paint should all be applied and thoroughly dry before the cabinets go up.
Painting a blank wall is much easier than navigating cabinets with a roller and brush. We recommend putting your final color on your walls before the cabinets are installed to save yourself a great deal of hassle. Without cabinets in the way, you can do larger and more even strokes. Be aware that paint touch-ups will still likely be required due to the nature of the cabinet installation process.
Prep the Floor
For best results, cabinets should be installed on the subflooring, not just the flooring. Make sure the area is clean and ready for new cabinets by sweeping or vacuuming it. This will minimize the risk of wood shavings or other debris altering the balance of your cabinets.
Give Plenty of Space for the Cabinet Installation
It is important to have a clear area for your cabinet contractors to work. This includes a path from wherever they park so they can bring in the cabinet materials safely. Custom cabinets need to be cut to size, so adequate space will need to be available for contractors to do the work. During the process, prioritize keeping everyone safe: make sure that pets and children are kept out of the installation area.
If you need to enter the work area, wear protective clothing and gear, especially dust masks and goggles. It is also a good idea to optimize how the space is prepared for installation. Storing cabinets near the kitchen makes the installation process more streamlined and protects the wood from temperature fluctuations common to other storage spaces like garages or covered porches.
Prepare for Dust
There’s no way around it: cabinet installation is a messy process. Dust and noise are inevitable. At Out of the Woods, we do what we can to keep the mess to a minimum, but we still work with loud power tools and the custom wood you’ve chosen for your cabinets. You can cut down on the mess by tarp over vents, floors, and furniture, even if you think they are far enough removed from the work area.