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How to cut down kitchen cabinets

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are upgrading your kitchen appliances and/or remodelling your kitchen, you may find the existing cabinets will not accommodate a new appliance installation. In some instances, cabinets are not large enough to hold a dishwasher or other kitchen appliance and you must cut them down or cut them partially out to make room for the appliance. While you will lose some storage space, you will also gain the necessary installation room for the new appliance.

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  1. Measure the height and width of the new appliance, as well as the depth with a tape measure. Write down the appliance's dimensions on a notepad.

  2. Measure the kitchen cabinets you wish to cut to accommodate the new appliance. The most important measurements are the height and depth. If the appliance cannot fit under the counter top or protrudes to far out from the cabinet recess, it is not going to fit inside the existing kitchen cabinets.

  3. Remove the cabinet doors with a screw gun and then mark the location of the cuts you need to make on the cabinet frame, under the counter top and/or between cabinets.

  4. Lay a dust sheet on the floor over the counter top, whichever is applicable. Put on goggles and a dust mask.

  5. Make the necessary cuts in the kitchen cabinets, cutting out the wood to be able to fit the appliance using a jigsaw or reciprocating saw.

  6. Fit the new appliance into the cut-out in the kitchen cabinets to ensure it properly fits. Pull out the new appliance and sand the wood around the surface and edges where it was cut using medium-grit sandpaper to make smooth and even.

  7. Re-fit the appliance once completely sanded and hook up the appliance following the manufacturer's installation instructions.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Notepad
  • Pencil
  • Dust sheet
  • Screw gun
  • Goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Jig or reciprocating saw
  • Medium-grit sandpaper

About the Author

Owen Richason grew up working in his family's small contracting business. He later became an outplacement consultant, then a retail business consultant. Richason is a former personal finance and business writer for "Tampa Bay Business and Financier." He now writes for various publications, websites and blogs.

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