We are going to teach you how to build beautiful, low cost and very professional looking built-in cabinetry.  You can use our unique design approach to construct a simple set of book cases or a large entertainment center.  

Our unique design will not be found anywhere else, and the finished product looks like you paid a professional cabinetmaker to perform his magic in your house.

Some important notes on the cabinets you will see here:

  • Our design allows you to start with any design cabinet you desire, which means you can match other cabinets in your house.

  • We try to use a "sink front" from a cabinet company whenever possible versus a full "base cabinet".  The reason for this is that you have more flexibility for depth, and sink fronts are lower cost. 

If your cabinetry is going to be mounted on the wall surface and not be recessed, then it will be best to use a full base cabinet.

  • We strongly recommend making your built-in cabinetry from white cabinets because real wood cabinetry does not allow caulking, and it is almost impossible to match a factory stain and finish. The need for caulking is due to the "out of square and plumb" conditions of most houses.

  • The white shelves and uprights are 3/4" pre-made shelves from Lowe's. They come in a variety of lengths and widths.


Step 1: Determine size and location of cabinetry to be built, and order cabinets accordingly.  Our project used a 42" sink front fitting in a 44 inch alcove.

 Determine finished height of your unit in order to purchase the correct "bookshelf" materials. Our project was 8' high in a 9' room.

Note: Cutting carpet back where base cabinet contacts floor is optional.  The truth is that if you ever get the carpet replaced under this cabinet, the installers will simply cut it back and install new tack strip, and not even mention it too you.


Step2:  Position sink front in place to determine height.  Mark correct height on house wall(s).  Fasten 1x2" horizontal wood strips to wall as shown at right.  This supports back and sides of cabinet top.

Fasten vertical wood strips to wall for sink front to be secured to. Note your choices in top view drawings below, depending on your house configuration.


Step 3: Install sink front with finishing nails or finishing screws.  Measure, cut and install front trim pieces if needed.  Our project has front trim pieces on both sides to cover a wide gap between the house walls and the sink front.

Step 4: Measure, cut and install 3/4" shelf panel for countertop. These panels come in 12", 16" 20" and 24" depth. Our project uses a 24" deep panel as the countertop in order to fit a TV set. If the unit is being built in an alcove such as ours, you can simply glue down the countertop with caulking. The 24" shelving does not come with edges banded as does the 12" size. Purchase a roll of matching edge banding when you buy the shelving materials.


Glue edging material on with contact cement.




Alternatives to cabinet built in deep alcove:

If your alcove is not deep enough to cover the base as shown on right,  build a side panel from the shelf material as shown. Fasten side panel as shown in "Top View" drawings above.  Caulk in place to sink front and house wall.

If your unit is being built on the surface of a wall and not in an alcove...purchase a base cabinet in place of a sink front.

Click Here to go to page that covers building the bookshelves above this base.






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