Tips for Measuring Your Kitchen

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With our international design service, we aren't visiting a home so we provide instructions for measuring to our clients. But our designers also look closely at these measurements and existing kitchen details in photos to ensure they have all the measurements and all the data needed. If you are doing your own measuring, here are a few tips that might help ensure your cabinets will fit and install correctly the first time. Measure twice, install once.

1) Make sure you take ceiling height measurements in more than one location. Sometimes, ceiling height can vary across a room. Even an inch can make a difference if you have barely adequate clearance for, say, 39 inch high IKEA wall cabinets (the taller of the two sizes).

The height at which wall cabinets are installed varies with the fridge and fridge cabinet height. An inch or two can make a difference and you want to avoid having to remove all your wall cabinets to re-mount them once you get to a side of the kitchen that has a lower ceiling height. Thus, it's good to measure ceiling height at all four corners, before you plan or buy cabinets.

2) Don't forget to mark down molding widths. These are usually around doors and windows.

3) Note down "door swing" of any doors that open into the kitchen. Draw the curved line that shows the "swing" and then provide some measurement to the widest part of the swing.

4) Note down where the plumbing and gas lines come out of the wall or floor. Note that plumbing can usually be moved easily (you can run PVC pipe behind or through IKEA base cabinets, if needed). Consider moving a sink or stove and find out the actual cost to move utility lines. It could be too costly, or it could be relatively cheap to do, and very worthwhile insofar as optimal kitchen layout.

5) You can mark down where all electrical outlets are but don't let their placement determine your cabinet layout. It's worth the work or money to move and add outlets during a kitchen remodel.

6) Include heights and widths of all windows and doors, including how far from the floor the window bottoms are. Include "swing" width for windows that swing open.

7) On your measurement drawing, note down what is on the other side of all walls you've drawn in. This will help your designer or contractor understand your kitchen space and requirements better.

If you'd like to discuss your project with me, I can offer you a free, 30-minute phone consultation. Here's my calendar, just pick a time that works for you.