Installing Kitchen Cabinets Solo | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Next time you’re hanging around a bunch of carpenters  and the conversation starts to lag, ask whether it’s more efficient to hang kitchen wall cabinets with one or two people. I’ve done it both ways, and have found that I can do the job more efficiently alone. This may sound surprising. Without a helper, positioning overhead cabinets can be a real balancing  act, with the installer struggling to brace a cabinet with one    hand while reaching for a clamp with the other. Dropping the cabinet may mean ordering a costly replacement, and putting the  job on hold while you wait.  But it doesn’t have to be that way. Solo installation can be easy; all you need are a few simple brackets and clamps,    the right kind of fasteners, and a good organization system. If after reading this article you’re still not ready to go it alone, these tools and techniques will still make the job go    smoother for two people.

Uppers First

Many cabinet    installers put the base cabinets in first, then use them to    support the uppers. This sounds good, but I find it’s    inefficient. Not only must you reach over the base cabinets to    hang the uppers — a position my back loudly complains    about — but there’s a real danger that you’ll    damage the base cabinets as you work over them. Installing the    uppers first also leaves plenty of room to get under them to    make adjustments, and lets you stand next to the cabinet when    working — a position that my back seldom complains about.    The only problem is that you might forget about the uppers when    installing the lowers. You would be surprised how easy it is to    unthinkingly stand up and whack your head.     To temporarily support the upper cabinets, I use a set of    easy-to-build wall-support brackets. No high-tech gimmickry    here, just some plain old 1×4 pine that can be screwed or    nailed together in a few minutes (see Figure 1).

I make my brackets 52 inches long (a few inches shorter than    the common 54-inch upper height) and fasten them to the wall    with two screws each. I then place the cabinet on the brackets,    shim it to the proper height, and clamp it to the adjacent    cabinet. That leaves both hands free to screw the face frames    together and to fasten the cabinet boxes to the wall.

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