Kitchen Base Cabinets 101

There's been quite a few awkward moments of me peeking inside kitchen cabinets to get to this point. And I'm not interested in what type of peanut butter my friends like, or how they store their canned goods.  I've been on a quest to find a way to build strong, high quality kitchen cabinets for less than flat pack - that mind you, you still have to "build" anyways - with simple tools and standard off the shelf materials and basic techniques.  Techniques that I can do, that most anyone

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Staining and Finishing Concrete Floors

One of my favorite projects on the Momplex interior has been this basement floor we coated:

For this floor, we used RustOleum's EpoxyShield Garage Floor Coating.  It's a paint, and you throw the speckles down to add variation.  We are extremely pleased with the durability of the floor - not a scratch in it after about six months of use!

We like floor paint/coatings for basements for a number of reasons:

- It seals your c

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Boxing in Fridge with Cabinetry - Momplex Vanilla Kitchen

There will only be one time in my life that I shell out $500 cash for not quite a whole sheet of plywood.

Well, two times.  Because I bought two pieces actually.  

This was, of course, back when I thought building your own kitchen was an impossible task for a DIYer.

When I ordered our kitchen for our house, the salesperson asked me if I wanted the fridge boxed in in cabinetry.  

I said yes, and Cha-ching!  The price went up $1500.

I reasoned t

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Stair Skirts

Well, here's a first. I'm going to show you how a carpenter makes a skirt. And yes, it's a pretty skirt.

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Dishwasher End Panel

So what the heck do you do when you build a kitchen, and there just isn't enough space to add another cabinet on the other side of the dishwasher? How do you support the countertop over the dishwasher without a cabinet on either side of the dishwasher?

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Installing Kitchen Cabinets - Momplex Vanilla Kitchen

After a couple of weeks of building kitchen cabinets and finishing them, I can't tell you how excited and eager I was for this day to come ...  Kitchen cabinet installation day!!!

Yep, this blank space is going to be a kitchen after today!

We are going to do the wall cabinets first.

First, we mark the height of the bottom of the wall cabinets.  Standard height is 54".

But we can't just mark 54" and pull a string line,

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Stainless Steel Cable and Wood Railing

Hi everyone!  Happy Friday!

Do you remember back when we built this railing for Momplex Unit B?

We absolutely LOVE how it turned out.  And we love that not only does it protect the stair opening, but it's so substantial, it's almost like a long console table that you can lean on.

So when it came time for me to design a railing for Momplex Unit B, I wanted to keep the same substantialness, but add a modern twist to match the rest of Mompl

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Easiest Pantry or Closet Shelving

Hi everyone! I'm hosting tonight a twitter chat with Ryobi at 8PM EST and I'd love for you to be there! Of course there will be fun giveaways, and I'm excited to hear about your fun summer projects! Just use hashtag #ryobichat to join the fun! Hope to see you then! And here's a little about a fun project we recently tackled -

Do you ever just need plain old basic, inexpensive, but quality shelving in closets or pantries?  Nothing fancy, just shelving?  But

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Putting on a Skirt and Heels ... er, Risers and Treads

This set of stringers is going to get put in a skirt and heels - er, risers and treads today.

But before we start putting our Sunday's best on these stairs, let's take a second to remember where these stair boards have been.

We originally spent $400 on 2x12 boards,

Yep, at one point, they were new, not gray and old looking at all.

Until we poured concrete in them.  That's where the gray staining comes from.

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Building Base Cabinets

Seven sheets of PureBond plywood and $200 in popular boards.

Yep, that's what it took to take this blank space ....

And turn it into this:

Well, at least to build all those cabinets!

I'd love to know how to make a dishwasher out of plywood, but I'm going to stick to cabinets for now.

The Ram and I spent about a week building the cabinets, and honestly, the building was the easy part.  Once we got all th

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Framing up a Mudroom Bench in a Nook


Grandma-who-likes-to-sew took a little trip a bit back, so we hijacked her side of the Momplex and got to work on a project we didn't quite get finished up before moving day.

Downstairs, where the stairs land, between the garage and the bonus room (which will hopefully someday become Grandma's craft and sewing room), is a little area that will make a perfect mudroom.

In Alaska, where coats and boots are used like shirts and shoes, a mudroom is essential

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DIY-ing a Laminate Countertop

My friend Kate made me a believer.

When it came time to install a countertop for the Momplex Vanilla kitchen, we did go have a solid surface countertop priced out.  

The cost of the solid surface countertop was MORE than the entire kitchen!!!  And it would take 8 weeks and we'd have to pay for a full travel day each time someone drove to the site to measure, fit and install the countertop (yes, we are to blame there for living in the sticks in Alaska).


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Modern Casing and Headers

Last week, we got all the doors stained and top coated for the Momplex unit we are currently working on.

And then we hung all the interior doors.

Doesn't look like we got a lot done this week, but we did!  Did you notice the new trim?

On this side of the Momplex, we are going for a modern rustic look.  Wood doors with wood trim on a wood floor would have been way too much wood, wouldn't it have?  

So we opted for

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Drawers for Closet Tower

Happy Monday!!!

A few weeks back, we built Mom a master closet system, and she's been loving it so far!

But we wanted to add a little more storage and functionality to the tower itself.  I'm not a huge fan of low shelves (maybe it's because I'm ready-to-pop-preggers and reaching into a low bottom shelf is a monumental task right now?).

Mom was going to add some baskets on the lower shelf, but those baskets cosst $20 - and we'd need two per sh

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How to Install a Subfloor on Joists

It has been torture waiting for plywood day! We put the upstairs floor joists up, and I thought the very next day I'd be getting a sun tan on a roof top deck. Not so much the case ... we built stairs, backfilled, insulated ... just to name a few projects that had to get done as I tried not to glance up at those open floor joists ... and finally it's plywood day. (I'll be blogging about all the other projects we've been up to as well in the next coming bit). Hooray for plywood day!

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DIYing a Wood Handrail

Our decking project is still on hold ... and it's still a weather thingy. But its not rain this time. It's just too dang hot to be working in the direct sun on a deck! So we took shelter inside the super inslulated Momplex, where the basement keeps everything nice and cool, and started on our first interior woodworking project! While we totally agree with you that the very first room we'll be tackling is a bathroom (thank goodness the Momplex is about a mile from our home so not havin

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Stair Railing

Our job has turned into a desk job.

Well, at least a job that you sit down at. 

I guess that's the good thing about working on stairs. You get to sit on them while you work on them.

Yep, sitting down on the job, figuring the stair skirts and installing them.

And we barely got to sit down to cut and install this baseboard down the stairs, it was so quick.  

The skirts and baseboard finish out the wa

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Framing Gable Roofs

I have to say, we are so glad we built the Momplex with ICFs. It's very comforting to know that we could put the doors in and insulate the upstairs ceiling and be able to turn heat on.  Not to mention the walls are 2 to 3 times more insulated than most stick frame walls.

But as happy as we are with our decision to use ARXX blocks for the exterior of the Momplex, I do miss stick framing.  I do miss building with wood.

So this project, framing these little roofs abo

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Cutting Corners

What is a pretty skirt without a finished hem?

We are smack dab in the middle of dressing up these stairs (the treads are still the construction set and I'll share how we finished out the risers soon), starting first by adding a skirt to the stairs.

You can read all about how we put a skirt on these stairs here.

The main reason we skirted the stairs was so we could easily transition the baseboard trim down the hall from upstairs,

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