When remodelling your house, specifically your kitchen, correct cabinet
installation is important. In Singapore, the “local maker” or “Do-It-Yourself”
culture has grown over the years as many home owners choose to use their own
expertise or local handymen to install kitchen cabinets. They also believe that
a household project such as kitchen cabinet installation may not be as difficult
until they are faced with numerous issues during and after the installation.
Using the right techniques and personnel can mitigate a large number of risks of
potential failures of cabinet installation.
Since many of the home owners undertaking renovations seek to cut costs, it is
important to adequately plan for kitchen cabinet installation. This is an area
in the house designed for activities that require practicality. These
considerations include, the space of the kitchen, the purposes of the kitchen
(wet or dry kitchen) and layout depending on the house design. Houses in
Singapore are averagely spaced and contain ample space, however, this is not
always true for apartments with limited space in Singapore.
Below are 8 of the most common mistakes that occur in kitchen cabinet
installations. These usually led to delays and unsatisfactory renovations in the
1. Inaccurate cabinet measurements: This is the first and the most common
mistake. Both renovation companies and Do-It-Yourselfs have the same issue.
Measurements such as the ceiling height, distance from wall to wall, window
frames, spacers and fillers should be accounted for when setting the cabinet. If
these are not clearly taken and put into consideration, the kitchen cabinet will
have a shabby look and loose fit.
2. Informal designs and layouts: Visual appeal is important. Failure to have
a good kitchen cabinet design to match the space and kitchen area leads to
haphazard installation, leaving the layout to be nothing but an eye sore! In the
case of Singapore, homeowners usually select and plan their own designs and with
the lack of professional opinions and guidance, the kitchen cabinet (lower and
upper) installation turns out to be disproportional in size and style.
3. Failure to inspect the kitchen cabinets after delivery: After ordering
for kitchen cabinets from the local furniture maker or DIY furniture
distributors, many people focus on the work to be done and often, forget to
check the delivered cabinets for any defects, sizes or whether the style is as
ordered. It is very important especially when there are certain terms and
conditions that come with the return and exchange. Other times the defective
kitchen cabinets are installed and later become an issue to their day-to-day
4. Using the wrong hardware: Fixing the right handles, number of hinges,
pulls and knobs should be observed. This is for effective and efficient
functionality of the installed kitchen cabinets. Home safety is also a result of
the correct hardware. Wrong hardware my not be able to support the weights of
the upper cabinets and the cabinet doors which could lead to personal injury and
5. Improper plumbing and lighting installation: The plumbing includes the
sinks, faucets, accommodation of kitchen appliances such as water dispensers,
dishwashers and refrigerators. The kitchen layout and design needs to be
determined before the plumbing work begins and certainly before the kitchen
cabinet installation takes place. To this, it would be easier to also have
future plumbing work done without affecting the kitchen cabinets. As with
plumbing, the lighting needs to be planned such as the cabinet lighting or if
any tracks are to be installed. It is usually best to have the lighting and the
plumbing installed prior to the kitchen cabinet installation. The measurements
of the cabinet height and their placement are important in placing the lighting
6. Lack of planning for the appliances: Appliances especially kitchen
appliances are usually changed over time, before fitting the kitchen cabinets,
it is important to measure where appliances are to be placed and to give
adequate space for replacements. If the appliances are to be preinstalled, the
measurements and design should be determined before installing the kitchen
7. Installing the kitchen cabinets by yourself: Kitchen cabinets are heavy,
require expertise to install and usually are complex to install. They are also
expensive to replace once they are damaged during the installation phase.
Perhaps one could be experienced at DIY fixtures, however, given the nature of
the kitchen cabinet installation process, it is not advisable to pursue this on
your own. Hire a professional!
8. Fashion over function: Knowing the right purpose of the kitchen cabinets
before installation is more important than fashionable aspects. This is
especially when selecting the products to be used in respect to the
functionality. It is all in the small details. The type of door knobs matter,
the cabinet material has to suit the nature of the kitchen, for instance having
materials that are easily affected by water and wet products in a wet kitchen.
Some materials may be more difficult to clean and maintain.
Good cabinets are meant to last long, the cost of purchasing and installation
should be well accounted for in terms of the duration of use or else it will
turn out to be an unnecessary burden to refit a kitchen. A stylish and modern
kitchen is very appealing to the eye. This style should not be in conflict with
the functionality for instance, good cabinet doors should not obstruct the use
of appliances such as the refrigerator when open. The doors should open in the
right direction too.
Renovation may be a tedious process and finding the right design, materials and
hardware is vital to its success. The same applies to installation of kitchen
cabinets. It is much easier to hire a professional renovator or kitchen cabinet
installation company that will consider the design, layout and functionality
desired. If, however you chose to be cost effective, it is important to put into
consideration the above common mistakes that home owners make when installing
kitchen cabinets. It saves a lot of future costs to follow systematic
considerations than it is to take a risk and wing it. Success loves
preparation…all the best!