Installing kitchen Cabinets for a living

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Old 05-23-06, 09:57 PM
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Installing kitchen Cabinets for a living

I just recently moved from Ca. to Wa. state and left a good paying job as a District Manager behind in Ca. to no job in Wa.

I recently had a offer to install kitchen cabinets for a living in Wa. , Actually it pays very well.

I'm 43 years old and have always been pretty good with tools, kitchen cabinets looks easy to me on installations and doesn't seem too hard physically, and I think with a little experience I would be good at it. Here is my question to those in the know, Is it as easy as it seems? Does it take a toll on your body? Because it sure seems fun to me after all those years of making your numbers in a management.
 
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Old 05-24-06, 05:35 AM
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Angry Neighbors,

Seems like the question should be asked of those who do it as a career.

Hanging cabinets isn't that hard if you know what you are doing but working by yourself can make it somewhat difficult.

Having the desire is have the battle, getting the work at the price you are wanting is another story.

If the offer seems inviting, try it. If you feel it is not what you want to do, try something else.

At 43, it is time to focus on what you really want to do. It's not always the amount of money one gets that makes it worthwhile but if the job makes you feel good and you enjoy it.

Good Luck!
 
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Old 05-24-06, 09:00 AM
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I'm not a pro cabinet installer, but I've redone 4 kitchens. In three of them I did all the cabinet install work alone. I'm 61 and I did my daughter's kitchen last year. I did my own two years earlier.
I really enjoy this kind of work. It is not physically difficult, challenging enough to never be boring and really rewarding to see the finished results. Makes me think that I might have missed the bus when I chose a career.
Other than humping the cabinets in off the truck, it's pretty easy work. I use cabinet jacks and face frame clamps to make things a little easier. If I do another I'll rent a quality laser to do the layout.
I think the only difficulty with doing this sort of thing professionally is maybe having to deal with demanding customers.
 
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Old 05-26-06, 08:33 PM
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I left middle management from the Atlanta airport about 10 years ago to start a company and do what I have done all my life for fun; carpentry work. Never look back. You will find yourself in better physical condition, mental shape, and you will truly enjoy working with your hands. I may sound like a tv commercial, but I'm 57 and am in better shape than I was at 47. Aches and pains, heck, that's why they make Alleve and Celebrex.
Cabinet hanging with the proper helper tools such as a cabinet jack, level, drill and bits, clamps, finish nail gun and you are on your way. Take all the advice others will give you. There are no shortcuts, just good work. The guy who has the tough job is the estimator. If they build them right, you can put them up right.
Go for it. It won't take you long to either fall in the groove, or fall out of love for it.
 
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Old 05-26-06, 09:47 PM
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Duplicate " see next post "
 
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Old 05-26-06, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler
I left middle management from the Atlanta airport about 10 years ago to start a company and do what I have done all my life for fun; carpentry work. Never look back. You will find yourself in better physical condition, mental shape, and you will truly enjoy working with your hands.
Go for it. It won't take you long to either fall in the groove, or fall out of love for it.

Well I went for it, 2 days on the job now and love it so far. The most surprising thing to me when I went from route driver to middle managment was how much more tired I was as a manager than as a route driver, I know exactly what your talking about when you say mental shape...
 
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Old 05-27-06, 10:22 AM
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Physical tired can be cured by a hot shower and a good night's sleep. Mental tired is a lot tougher to get over. Sometimes the only cure is a new direction.
 
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Old 05-27-06, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Angry Neighbors
I recently had a offer to install kitchen cabinets for a living in Wa. , Actually it pays very well.
Would this be basically new construction work? (where things are usually pretty level and square)...or any job that comes along...including 80-100 year old houses with floors that slope from side to side and front to back, and the ceiling slopes the same as the floor.

I have gotten in on several of those types of jobs. I remember contemplating the first time whether to let the base cabinets sit on the crooked floor as they lay, so that when one walks from the far left cabinet to the far right cabinet, that along your walk, the counter is always at waste level...instead of shimming the cabinets that inch. And then also mounting the upper cabinets level, ...but unfortuanately when you look at the ceiling you can see that the height from the ceiling down to the top of the upper cabinet on the left is 11 inches, and at the far right it is 12 inches! And at the same time, when having to level the cabinets from left to right, you also have to level them from front to back so that when you are through, a marble will not roll off onto the floor, simulating what spilled water on the countertop could do.

Ah yesssssss. Fun stuff like that.

And then to have a homeowner, when you are all through say, "Hey! Why did you do install them like that, so now I can see that my floor and ceiling is crooked!" If any advice here...you need to address such a scenario with the customer in advance, as there is no way of having everything come out level looking under such a situation. (without leveling the floor and ceiling first)
 
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Old 06-01-06, 06:11 AM
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i was a factory installer for merrilat ind. installing kitchens and baths in new homes. i have installed over 1500 homes and loved it. i worked by my self and because of that it was hard on my body. lifting 3642 uppers by your self is hard. you will need good tools and a good cabinet jack.
as for it being a easy job with not much skill you are dead wronge. there are easy kitchens to install and there are very complicated kitchens. i have been in some homes and it could take me 2 hours just to lay it out and figure out where to start. dont for 1 sec. think that because it was designed on a computer it should work in the house. homes have walls that arent square floors out of level plumbing in the wronge place ect. and then dont even get me started with crown. light valance, 3 step crown, ect. if you do this for a living you cannot turn around and say i cannot due this house because it maybe complicated, you need to install this house. once you get good at it the job is great, it was the best job i had and wish i never left it.
 
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Old 06-03-06, 03:14 PM
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My apologies to all you cabinet installers!!! Not as easy as it looks, the easy part is putting them up, the hard part is learning all the little things that come after that.

First week and a half has been a learning experience, I always thought I was above average when it came to carpentry, I found out that I have a lot to learn and a lot of tools to buy.

But I'm glad I chose this path, because these people are more my type people, No fake type people so far, Unlike working for a fortune 500 company as middle management where you see all type's of people, and see the worst of human beings "including myself" in a environment like that.
 

Last edited by Angry Neighbors; 06-05-06 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 06-06-06, 05:08 AM
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if you need any advice or want to learn some tricks to help just let me know. would love to help out any way i can. when i was a factory installer i was also a trainer for new employees
 
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Old 06-08-06, 10:03 PM
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Kitchen Cabinets

Angry:

Please keep us posted as you progress. I am about ready to start on my kitchen cabinets myself (this is a remodeling job). Trying to decide whether to build them from scratch or let Lowes build them and then I'll install. I'm fairly good with tools and have a radial arm saw, router, planer, etc., but I am not sure I can stand the tedium of making all those drawers and cabinet doors. I may build the basic cabinets and then let Lowes make the doors and drawers.
 
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Old 06-09-06, 11:28 PM
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Here is how my Kitchen Remodel came out, I helped the custom cabinet guy a little on the install and became friends and he got me started in this experience. Over the last 2 weeks I have learned a lot of little tricks on hiding imperfections

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/rednrick/detail?.dir=c634scd&.dnm=6549scd.jpg&.src=ph
 

Last edited by Angry Neighbors; 06-09-06 at 11:35 PM. Reason: Picture
 

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