Removing kitchen cabinets is usually an easy task that can be accomplished by one or two do-it-yourself-ers. How you go about the removal depends largely on whether you intend to refurbish your existing cabinets and rehang them in an existing or new configuration or if you are doing a full gut job and rebuilding the kitchen cabinet structure from scratch. Those options and others in between are discussed below.
The operative word here is dis-assembly not demolition. It will take a bit more time but can leave with you with your cabinets and wall intact. Use screw drivers and screw drills to loosen all fasteners, remove doors and hardware and remove hanging cabinets from their ledger boards. Unless you are already planning to re-plaster or hang new drywall, carefully score painted over edges with a box cutter or palette knife and pull gently to avoid the need for significant patching or plaster repair.
Reface or Reconfigure
If you are refacing your cabinets and re-installing all or some of them you may need to only remove the doors and hardware pulls and hinges. The cabinets themselves can be painted, altered or refinished in place. If removing the entire cabinetry for refacing, such as sending them out for spray lacquering, follow the careful dis-assembly instructions above.
When replacing your cabinets, but not going for the full kitchen demolition careful dis-assembly is key. If you are not replastering walls or replacing the floor, you need to treat cabinet removal like moving furniture so as not to disrupt or ruin the surfaces that will be staying alongside your new cabinets.
Full Kitchen Demolition
When significant architectural renovation is taking place, the most time efficient method is the quick and controlled mayhem of demolition. The key tools here are sledgehammers, crowbars, hammers and a screw drill. Just remember to turn off the water, gas and electricity into the kitchen and be mindful so that any vigorous demo activity does not disrupt or dislodge vital piping and wiring.
When to Call in the Pros
In very old kitchens, there can be asbestos ceiling and floor tiles, lead paint, mold and a bevy of other elements that you may not want to expose yourself or the rest of your household to. Calling in professionals for demolition and disposal can be a time, money and health saver. Beyond saving you a trip to the local dump, hiring a demolition contractor will have the added benefit of sealing off the workspace preventing the dust and debris from traveling into other parts of your home leaving you with a clean slate.