Tips for Your Custom Cabinet Installation

Tips for Your Custom Cabinet Installation

Cabinets and Countertops
By Mateos Glen Hayes August 26, 2022

Any home remodeling project means stress for the homeowner, and a kitchen remodel is especially difficult for any family. But like so many other projects, once it's done and cleaned up, that beautiful new kitchen makes it all worthwhile. Many today are choosing custom cabinets over home depot ones to be built and installed by a cabinet contractor as a way to upgrade their kitchen and give it a needed facelift as well. Of course, any kitchen remodeling job is a major undertaking, but there are ways of making this job go much more smoothly.

Custom Cabinet Installation Tips 

Follow a few best practices to ensure custom cabinet installation success.

Follow a few best practices to ensure custom cabinet installation success.

Consider a few tips about custom cabinet installation and how to make it easier for everyone. All you need is a good idea of what you want your cabinets to look like and a contractor that is ready and willing to make your vision a reality. 

If you want to repaint your kitchen it’s best to do this before installing custom cabinets. This will save you time, and reduce the cost to install custom cabinets. Ultimately taking smart steps will make the entire project a lot easier for everyone. 

Get Everyone On The Same Page 

Before the project starts, take time to talk with the contractor and go over every detail of the project, including their estimated timeframe for it to be completed. It is crucial to establish a dialogue with your contractor so that they understand exactly what you want. This also allows you to ensure that you have a contractor who is ready and willing to fulfill your needs.

Your New Cabinets 

Make sure you've looked over all your options so that you have some room on pricing and prevent delays in materials being delivered. Once your new custom cabinets have been delivered it’s time for an inspection. You want to make sure that everything you have ordered has been delivered and that everything from drawers to corner cabinets is in the correct spec. 

Be sure to check your delivered cabinets before installation.

Be sure to check your delivered cabinets before installation.

Nobody wants to go through the trouble of installing a fixture only to find out that it is not what they ordered. Cabinets are sometimes delivered partly assembled. If this is the case for you it is best to install the cabinets first before attaching doors or installing drawers and fronts. This will make things easier since the cabinets will be lighter and easier to handle. 


It's your responsibility to remove everything from the existing cabinets; get everything else out of the kitchen if you can. This means small appliances, area rugs, and so on. It is also important to ensure with your contractor that you both agree on the measurements of your cabinet placement. 

This means working together to determine the layout, height, and other details of custom cabinet installation. The floors of your home may not be perfectly flat, and your kitchen is no exception. A good contractor will take this into account when taking measurements for kitchen cabinet installation as it will be necessary to compensate for the uneven floor. 

Keeping a progress journal is another good policy for keeping track of any ideas, changes, product order numbers, and delivery dates. A good contractor will of course be documenting these things as well, but it doesn’t hurt to have your own records as well. Typically, you don't need to remove the old cabinets but it pays to ask to be sure. You can also ask what happens to those cabinets once they're gone.

How to Install Custom Cabinets 

This is another important detail to take into account. Wall studs are basically the wooden pillars hiding behind your drywall. You want to drive nails into these studs while you are installing custom cabinets as this will provide the structural support that keeps the cabinets from falling down. Your contractor will use a device known as a stud finder to detect and mark these studs. 

Custom cabinet hardware should be installed with care for a perfect fit.

Custom cabinet hardware should be installed with care for a perfect fit.

If you are doing a DIY custom cabinet installation this job will fall to you. Once a stud has been found, mark the center of the stud with a pencil and then use a carpenter’s level to draw a lineup down the stud. You can also do this with painter’s tape if you don’t want to mark up your walls. Once this is done you will have to transfer the marks to the backs of your cabinets to make the kitchen cabinet installation easier. 

Useful Pointers 

For those of you that choose the easier route of letting a contractor do the custom cabinet installation for you, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind so that your project goes off without a hitch. 

Stay Away

Stay out of the kitchen as much as possible. This means you, your family, and your pets! Put a pet's food and water dishes someplace else in the house; do this a few days before the project begins so they get used to the new locations. You may even want to keep them outside or block off the kitchen completely so they won't be underfoot.

Keep Others Away

Make sure the children are out of the kitchen as well. Your kids might be curious because of all the activity but a construction zone is never a good place for them to be. Kids also like to pick stuff up so always ensure that tools are out of reach when they are not in use. 

Take thorough measurements so that your cabinets sit level.

Take thorough measurements so that your cabinets sit level.

Your paw friends might also want to walk around in the danger zone so it’s best to keep your dog or kitty well away so they don’t get hurt. Barriers are a good idea since this will keep anyone who shouldn’t be in the kitchen well away until your cabinetry install project is done.  

Protect Your Home 

Your contractor should be protecting your floor while working; you can double-check this to be sure. For painting, all surfaces you don’t want to get splattered need to be covered. While it is best to install hardwood floors before custom cabinet installation, it is still recommended that you protect your flooring. This can be done with padding to ensure the cabinets do not dent or scratch the floor while the cabinet installation is underway.  

What To Do When The Work Is Done 

Feel free to thoroughly inspect your cabinetry once the installation process is complete.

Feel free to thoroughly inspect your cabinetry once the installation process is complete.

Check the cabinets even before your contractor leaves. Try the doors and pull-out drawers and all other elements to be sure everything glides smoothly. Make sure they've cleaned up as promised if this was part of the contract. This might seem unnecessary, but it is about being proactive to ensure you are getting the custom cabinet installation you paid for. 

If you detect a defect while the contractor is still there you’ll have a better chance of getting it fixed promptly. You have the right to expect a quality cabinet installation with a stylish finish so don’t be shy to note any quality issues. You should only pay for completed work. A typical contractor agreement is to pay for the job in equal installments. If this is your situation, the best policy is to pay the final installment only when you are sure that everything has been completed to your satisfaction. 

Keep pets and children clear of the work zone so that everyone stays safe.

Keep pets and children clear of the work zone so that everyone stays safe.

That being said, friendliness and cordiality are two great qualities to have when you are working with your contractor. If your contractors enjoy working with you things will go far smoother. Compliments for good work are always appreciated as is decisiveness during the design process and after custom cabinet installation.  

Adding custom cabinets to your kitchen will not only make you enjoy this room all the more, but it will also typically even increase the resale value of your home. Don't settle for warehouse cabinets or something everyone else has; make your home really your dream home by adding customer cabinets. This is a good option especially if you plan on living in that home for many years to come!


Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes