replace-kitchen-doorsAfter a few years in any home, there are few who would not like a brand new kitchen. All it takes is replacing doors and handles which are all standard sizes and you don’t have to be a professional to replace those out dated, lifeless and boring kitchen cupboard doors and handles. It is easy enough for anyone to do, and will only take a few hours of your time.  But what is a few hours of work compared to the totally new look that you will give your kitchen, not to mention the extra attention your better half will give you to say thank you.

You can effectively get a brand new kitchen without so much as making a phone call to a kitchen contractor. Providing the inside shell of your kitchen cupboards are in reasonably good shape, you are set to give your kitchen and the value of your home a boost at very little expense.

Let’s get started

The first logical step would be to plan your project ahead of time.  Make a list of how many cupboard doors need to be replaced, taking note if they are left hand or right hand opening doors and measure the size of the doors.  Next you need to decide what type of style would best suit your kitchen.  You also need to decide if you would prefer wooden, plastic or uPVC doors.  Obviously the wooden doors will be more costly, whereas the plastic or uPVC will be more cost effective if the budget is a bit low.

Clear away any mess or clutter.  You want things running smoothly and not be interrupted by having to clean things away.

Before rushing out to buy the cupboard doors first check to see if the existing hinges are still sturdy on the cupboard doors and drawers.  Replace any hinges that are not strong or secure.  It could be very frustrating if you are halfway through and the hinges give way, or a few months down the line the doors fall off.  Most cupboard doors are pre-drilled to accommodate industry standard 35mm diameter hinges, which can be purchased from most DIY shops or your local hardware.  Important to know is that hinges are inexpensive and yet they extend your cupboard life by a considerable length of time.

Next step would be to measure the cupboard doors.  The standard industry practice is to take the cabinet width as it stands (with the door open) and deduct 4mm (i.e. a 500mm cupboard would require a 496mm door).  You will also have to measure the height of the cupboard.  Please remember to keep track of what measurements belong to which cupboard (use a numerical or alphabetical system, they work the best).  By keeping track it will make things so much easier when you are ready to start the fitting.  Depending on which direction the cupboard doors open, you must make a note of left or right. Lucky for you you won’t even need to do that, in South Africa, kitchen cupboard doors are pretty much standard sizes from any manufacturer

If you will not be making a purchase of pre-drilled doors, you will have to drill new holes yourself that attach to the old hinges.

You also have to decide how far you want your cupboard doors to open.  You have a choice between a 110 degree angle for those compact spaces, or the 165 degree angle for easy access while taking groceries out or to pack groceries in.  You might need a few of each for different sections of the kitchen.  Once again it will be a good idea to make notes of which doors you want where.

Once you have purchased the required doors, you can now start to remove the old cupboard doors one by one, starting from one end of the kitchen and working your way to the other end.  You can remove the doors by using a drill or a screw driver, making sure not to damage the main wall attachment, hinges or the kitchen surfaces.

Next, once again starting from one end of the kitchen, replace the new cupboard doors one by one.  If the doors are too heavy or tricky to move ask a friend or family member to help you to hold the door steady while you fit them in place.  Attach the hinges to the doors through the pre-drilled holes, and remember to make sure you are fitting the correct door to the correct cupboard before you start.   Once you have fitted all the doors, test them by opening and closing them.  Make sure they are all sturdy, and that they open to the correct degree that you want them to.