Can we replace built in kitchen cabinets?

Our house was built in 1951. It needs remodeling. My girlfriend wants new cabinets.. The problem: Our cabinets are built in. They are not bolted to the wall, it's more like they're more like part of the wall. I think we are asking for trouble

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  • 1 year ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you like the layout of the kitchen and the frames of the cabinets are still in good strong condition, you may want to consider removing all of the doors and hardware hinges. If you are left with a solid cabinet structure, then it would be wise to just refurbish the frames and get new cabinet doors and hardware for an updated look. There are companies that specialize in this type of restoration of existing kitchen cabinets. I would try that route first before considering deconstruction.

    But, to answer your question directly: YES, you can replace/rebuild anything. The bigger question is: what is your budget for such a renovation? When one begins to change structural elements of a home, then you come into the demo part that requires a lot more work, which means a lot more money. It sounds like walls and perhaps soffits and the ceiling and possibly the floor surrounding built in cabinets will all be effected and have to be put back together once demoed. This could cause a domino effect of unforeseen expenses.

    Personally, I would get quotes to refurbish with new cabinet fronts AND a complete demo job with new cabinets before removing even a knob. Oh, speaking of knobs, I found this great place that has knobs that will save you a lot of money...99centknobs.com. Check it out.

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  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    I did just that. Not the replacement part but the removal. I rebuilt the wall behind the counter making it super rodent proof with metal shielding Once done it was completely sealed against mouse or ant. Then the old cabinets went back with a new countertop. Metal cabinets, so I kept them.

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  • 1 year ago

    Even built-in ones are usually screwed to the wall. Open doors and drawers and look at the back where you see the screws. A screwdriver, crowbar and hammer will remove anything. The countertop is screwed or glued to the cabinets. Take that off first.

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  • chris
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Honestly, it depends on the structural aspects of the house. In the 50s, we were well into stick framing where most houses used a center support wall. Some builders were still using balloon framing, but it was becoming uncommon. Ways to check this is in your basement or crawl space. If there are supports running down the center of the space, that is where your structural support wall is. If your cabinets are built into that wall, care must be taken to insure support remains adequate. ( architect ) If the cabinets are in a wall perpendicular to the structural wall, there is a much better chance they can be removed without consequence.

    Unfortunately, Although I have never heard of cabinets being structural, the 50s were still a time when people could design and build their own houses with little interference from code enforcers and inspectors. So, it would be impossible for anyone to give a definite answer without looking at it.

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  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    We can. In fact I am doing it at the moment.

    People tended to have bespoke units in the 50s. Although there were a number of cabinet companies like English Rose, most jobbing joiners could knock you something up, and usually strong enough to last forever. Off the peg cabinets were expensive in the 50s and most builders avoided putting them in if they could. One thing you did get built-in at that time was a massive concrete slab usually in the larder. This was the cold shelf and was popular since fridges were still a rarity.

    You can just renew the doors and counters if the carcasses are in good condition, but you should be able to remove everything. Chances are the units won't be plastered behind, but that shouldn't matter if you are covering the walls up again.

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  • 1 year ago

    An experienced carpenter can do it, but it will be time consuming and expensive. idk your skill level.

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  • 1 year ago

    Without seeing your cabinets, how can anyone guess what you can and can't do? I've never heard of kitchen cabinets being part of the actual wall, as in part of the structure that holds your house up, but I suppose anything is possible.

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  • 1 year ago

    photo of the inside of cabinet would help us see what you're looking at. as is -- get professional advice is you can't figure out how the work was done.

    Source(s): grampa
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  • 1 year ago

    You need to get on site advice from a professional installer if you cannot figure out how they are attached to the wall.

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