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Making Office Base Cupboards into Upper Wall Cabinetry

August 3rd, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

For  the past ten years I have specialized in doing all types of cabinetry alterations. Recently, I was asked to cut down base cupboards and rebuild them to work as upper wall cabinetry. Making these changes required very few materials because we were able to use some parts from other cabinets that we were removing from the doctor’s office reception area that we did not really need anymore.

Office Remodeling Plan

The office space that I was hired to make changes to was an L-shaped base cabinet storage area. The counters were at thirty six inches high and the plan was to remove all of the base cabinets and drop the countertop down to thirty two inches in height. Then, I was to cut down a couple of the boxes to support the counter on either end and use one of the doors, from the cupboards we would not need, as a support panel. The new design would actually have ninety percent of knee space under the counter. I did have to create wall cleats to support the countertop by screwing them into the metal studs.

The Discontinued Plastic Laminate Was Not a Problem
The remaining base cabinets that were not used for the L-shaped top were to be cut down in-depth, re-laminated with white plastic laminate and installed on a different wall as upper cabinetry. Although the exterior color was a discontinued cabinet laminate color,  the only areas we had to recover were the bottoms of the upper cabinets. We decided to use a commodity standard white color in VT thickness.

Using Leftover Doors
The doors we had from the cabinets that we were not making alterations to were used for support panels under the counter top and for one upper cabinet finished end panel.

Cutting and Using Junk Cabinet Parts
Because we had a few extra cabinets, I was able to cut shelves into upper cabinet tops. This was necessary because of the way the original base cupboards were manufactured; they did not have solid tops, only rails. The tops were inserted on the inside of the cabinets and the void areas between the rails, on the outside of the tops, were filled in with the remaining cabinet parts as well.

Making cabinet alterations of this nature are not hard to do, but they just require a certain level of skill and creativity. When the bill was finalized, I’d say that making the existing base cupboards into usable upper cabinets was a wise decision. If the office manager had decided to purchase new wall cupboards, base cabinets and countertops for this area, the cost would have been a couple of thousand dollars more than what I charged.

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