How to Remove Cabinets Safely
Cabinet Removal Doesn’t Have to be Rocket Science
If you are doing some at-home renovations and remodels, then chances are, you’ve considered removing your cabinets on your own. However, if you don’t know how to remove cabinets safely, then you could be looking at potential damage, or even injury, as a result of careless work. At Junk Doctors, we take on kitchen demolition work each and every week, and as a result, we know the steps to this process like the backs of our hands. Whether you’re doing kitchen cabinet removal, bathroom cabinet removal, or something else, follow these steps to success, and you’ll be a kitchen demolition expert just like us!
Preparing for the Job
The first thing to know about how to remove cabinets safely is that you should plan ahead. After all, the wrong preparations can lead you down the wrong path, and you wouldn’t want that. So make sure those cabinets that you’re looking to remove are completely empty. You won’t have a good time if your hand slips and fine china starts spilling onto the floor. Additionally, you can make your life easier by preemptively removing the cabinet’s doors and shelves. This task can normally be finished with a screwdriver, though you might find the shelves are affixed just with pegs.
As you probably could have guessed, cabinets can be heavy. At some point in this cabinet removal process, they’re going to go from attached to the wall… to attached to nothing. Because of this, it’s helpful to have support blocks underneath the cabinets in case you don’t catch them. How can you make support blocks? Using a tape measure, find the distance between the bottom of the cabinet and the counter underneath. Then, cut some two-by-fours to match this length and prop them underneath the cabinets.
While removing cabinets, there is a chance that you’ll encounter wires. For your own safety, it will be best that you disconnect the electricity to the area you’re working with. Head over to your breaker box and ensure that the power leading to that room is off. Not sure which breaker switch is the right one? Be sure to get in touch with someone who does.
Disassembling the Cabinets
It’s true that you could just grab a sledgehammer or a pry bar and destroy the cabinets “with extreme prejudice”. However, this method will create lots of debris and dust that will scatter throughout the property, making the clean up process that much worse. Additionally, you pose a risk of damaging the walls this way. As such, we recommend carefully disassembling the cabinets. That way, there won’t be as much debris, the walls will be safe, and you can even reuse the cabinets somewhere else if you choose to.
Since you have already removed the cabinet doors and shelves, the next thing you should do is begin removing the cabinets from the walls. If the cabinet is affixed to the wall with caulk, use a utility knife to slice it away. If the cabinet is screwed into place, then use your screwdriver to remove the screws. Either way, you’ll eventually have the frame of the cabinet where it can be pried away from the wall. As you get closer to this point, you may want to ask a friend to hold the cabinet in place for you. While it’s true that there are support blocks ready to catch the cabinet, don’t rely on them in this way. They’re merely there in case of an accident.
With the cabinet finally removed from the wall (this might take a good tug in the case of caulk), slowly bring it down towards the floor. Then, set it down gently. Now you know how to remove a cabinet, meaning you have the knowledge required to remove all the rest.
Cabinet Junk Removal
With the cabinets finally removed, you’ll be left with clean up tasks. Sweep up any dust that you created as a result of your work. Gather the cabinet’s components, including the doors, shelves, and the cabinets themselves. Remove any screws or pieces of caulk that tried to take off and run. Don’t forget the support blocks, too. Anything that’s not worth keeping will need to be disposed of. So, the final hurdle is determining where to take all this debris.
For small renovation jobs, you might be able to simply use your collection bin as a place to dump your debris. However, this might not be possible with larger jobs, so if needed, don’t forget about local full-service drop-off centers that you can use as your disposal site of choice. Additionally, you might want to contract with a junk removal business to remove your debris. Junk Doctors not only cleans up junk, but we also know how to remove cabinets safely, so if you decide you don’t want to take the DIY route after all, we can help you with that, too.