Kitchen Cabinet Plans Elevations

Who Measures For Kitchen Cabinets

(Last Updated On: January 14, 2019)

Kitchen cabinets are one of the most expensive parts of a home renovation. The responsibility of measuring for ordering kitchen cabinets should be in the hands of the manufacturer or the installer. This way they assume liability if the cabinets do not fit. Additionally the installer or kitchen manufacturer should provide shop drawings even if you have architectural plans.


Kitchen Cabinets

Who is responsible for kitchen cabinet measurements?

The contractor, cabinet maker, or cabinet installer must be responsible for cabinet measurements. The person who measures for the cabinet order is responsible and liable if any of the cabinets don’t fit. You as the homeowner do not want to be responsible for this. You want this in the hands of an experienced professional.That way you do not have to pay for a new cabinet if something does not fit.

Architectural Plans Vs Shop Drawings

If you have an architect or a kitchen designer they will come to your home and measure the existing conditions. They will also produce plans for you. You may think that you can order cabinets based of these plans. This is actually very uncommon in our industry. You almost never order cabinets from architectural or interior design plans. These plans are seen as a guideline and illustrate the design intent but contractors need to provide shop drawings. The construction is actually done from shop drawings. The fabricator or installer will be responsible for the dimensions on the shop drawings and for measuring the existing conditions.

Measuring for Kitchen Cabinets

When you are doing a home or apartment renovation you can run into surprises. Kitchen cabinets can be a very costly aspect of your renovation. It is possible to order cabinets and then they do not fit properly. The most important way to avoid this is the old cliche “measure twice and cut once”.

The installer or manufacturer should be responsible for the cabinets fitting therefor they should measure themselves. Usually they will come see your existing kitchen, take measurements, and produce shop drawings. They will then price out the job based on those shop drawings. The contractor proceeds with demolition work and then they come back. After all the demolitions are complete they return to verify any discrepancies in the dimensions. Sometimes after demo you find surprises like pipes in a different place then expected. These final dimensions are used for the final order of the cabinets.

List of people who should be responsible for kitchen measurements:

  • Kitchen Cabinet Fabricator
  • Kitchen Cabinet Installer
  • General Contractor

List of people who should not be responsible for kitchen measurements:

  • Homeowner
  • Architect
  • Interior Designer
  • Everyone else who is not a Fabricator, Contractor, or Installer.

Kitchen Layout Measurements

Real professional cabinet makers and contractors often will go to the job site and draft the cabinets on the walls with a pencil after demolition. In the photo below you will see a kitchen framed out with pencil markings on the walls. The contractor drew every cabinet and countertop on the walls to make sure they would fit before making the custom cabinets.

Kitchen Construction Photo

Kitchen Construction with cabinets drafted on walls.

The manufacturer or installer of the cabinets need to take these dimensions. That way if something does not fit they are responsible.

Kitchen Cabinet & Countertop

Kitchen Cabinet & Countertop installed

Countertop Measurements

Countertops are always measured by the manufacturer who will be cutting the countertops. They will send someone to the apartment after all the cabinets have been installed and make templates. They wont even take measurements. They will cut material on site to create a template and take it back to the shop. They will need all the appliance information and perhaps even the actual sink.

We are doing an apartment renovation where the cabinets and countertops are being custom made in Italy. They of course sent their own people from the Manhattan Showroom to measure and produce shop drawings. The initial budget was done from our architectural plans. We had to ship the sink to Italy and it will be delivered to New York already installed on the countertop.


Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Custom Kitchen Cabinets for NYC UWS Apartment Renovation.



Thank You for reading our post on measuring kitchen cabinets.

We wish you the best of luck with your upcoming kitchen renovation. Please feel free to leave questions or comments below. If you want to discuss your project with an architect you can Contact Fontan Architecture directly. We are always happy to hear about your upcoming projects.



  • Eli

    July 5, 2019 12:32 pm

    This post is about to measure for making kitchen cabinet beautiful. Really helpful. Thanks!!

Post a Comment