Plan Your Project

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How to Measure for Cabinets

Helpful tips to get started

Measuring your space is a critical step in determining your room layout. Here is a simple guide outlining the tools you’ll need, step-by-step instructions and some important tips. 

Have a frame of reference

While most designers will measure your space at some point, having rough dimensions and images available for the initial meetings are helpful in determining the overall scope of the project.

Supplies you’ll need


  • A 25’ long tape measure

  • Pad of paper, preferably grid paper

  • Pencil or pen, and another writing instrument in another color or a highlighter

  • An extra set of hands

Measuring your space step-by-step


1. First, draw an outline of the room

2. Measure and note the ceiling height

3. Measure and note all overall wall lengths 

4. Start at the corner and measure the location of each obstacle on each wall.  This includes windows doors and pipe chases.  Measure windows and doors from outside edge to outside edge of casing.  Record height, width and depth of each object.


5. Identify and note existing plumbing, electrical and lighting centerlines on all walls including:

  • Sink and refrigerator plumbing

  • Range hook-up (gas or electric?)

  • Light switches

  • Electrical outlets (including those that may move)

  • Lighting fixtures – ceiling, can lights, including areas to add lighting

  • Phone jacks if applicable and /or charging port location

  • Heating/Air Vents (floor and wall)

6. Don’t forget to record the height from the finished floor for windows, outlets and vents

7. Measure any free-standing furniture pieces or appliances  (refrigerators to the top of the hinge) that will remain in the room


Important Tips

  • Check corner “squareness” at the floor, top of base cabinet and top of wall cabinet height levels to determine if there may be issues during installation. To check corner squareness”

    • Mark a point 3 feet out from the corner of one wall

    • Mark a point 4 feet out from the corner of the adjacent wall

    • Measure the distance between the points– if the distance is 5’ the corner is square! If the walls are not square, no worries– a good installer will use shims between the cabinet and wall to work around any issues.

    For any appliance changes, have an electrician check the electrical service panel to ensure the existing service can handle the change If attic or basement walls will be affected by the renovation, make sue that any plumbing or venting changes ae verified by the proper professional