jimrutherford.com 1990-2016
Home Improvement:
Kitchen Electrical and Lighting The Computer Modeling Basement
By this time, we had the soffits up and the floor completely done and were ready to move onto getting the cabinets, countertop and appliances in place.  This part of the project moves really quickly and is pretty exciting
Which is good, because the living room was completely full of cabinets  The whole first floor was pretty well dedicated to the tools appliances, cabinets, and other items needed for the renovation.
Maybe this is unnecessary, but the approach I took was to pre-shim the points where I was going to screw the cabinets to the wall.  I wanted to create a plane of these shimmed screw locations as close into the wall as possible.  The shims are held in place with staples until the cabinets go up

Cabinet Installation

Finally this room starts

to look like a kitchen

This should be really easy.  But the challenge of hanging cabinets is that the room is always so far off of square.  Walls meander in and out, floors aren’t level, ceilings aren’t level and corners are overfilled with plaster.  The answer is to know the problem spots ahead of time and shim appropriately.  I made it a bit easier on myself by using cabinet levelers (legs) rather than building them on a raised base
That makes the upper cabinet placement relatively simple.  Each cabinet is pre-drilled for screw location so that they line up with the shims.  A “third hand” tool and a wife help hold it in place until it can be screwed in permanently. 
work on the upper cabinets progresses in the same way.  I know this looks like a uniform that we’re wearing but believe me - it was a coincidence.
Underneath the upper cabinets, we planned (or maybe routed is a better word) for strip LED lighting angled back toward the backsplash.  Here is a strip hooked up to the transformer as I create a little “dress rehearsal”
The transformers for the under cabinet lights and also the monorail general lighting is in the top of one of the uppers.  This way I can run the wire down the side of the cabinet run and it will be eventually covered by the side panels.
With the uppers in place, and the doors on, the LED lights can be run in the soffit for dramatic effect.
Here’s the wire running down one of the sides.  At the bottom, it falls into the routed groove and becomes the LED strip.
The LED strips are visible in this picture.  Note that we also planned for plugmold to be run underneath the main sections of kitchen.   Yea, it’s overkill, but it’s not expensive and it keeps the outlets from ruining the look of the backsplash.  If you do this, you won’t want to leave appliances out on the countertop with the electric cord dangling from the uppers
getting ready to put in lower cabinets. A few things to note here:  1 - the dramatic LED undercabinet lighting. 2 - the plugmold outlet run- it is stainless steel, but has a white protective coating in this picture 3 - Ramboard protective flooring.  I love this stuff and I think it saved the tile and grout more than once.
For the lowers, I’m drilling holes and pushing in the Blum cabinet levelers.  These are really handy to get the cabinets exactly where you want them with no shimming on the floor.  As usual, I have a helper.
Under the kitchen sink, I mounted some of the Sonos audio components and an 8” subwoofer.  the in-wall speakers are Bowers and Wilkens.  in this picture, I’m tinning the ends of the speaker wires before hookup.
And of course I had a helper.
Speaking of my helper, here she is stailizing a vacuum hose while modeling one of those side panels that I mentioned above.  The panels make a real finished look and are scribed to the wall so there’s no obvious gaps from shimming.
At this point, I had the countertops installed around the perimeter before the island was in place.  That made it easy to maneuver for the granite guys.  These cabinets are the island.  Up until this point, the entire island was assembled in the basement and serving as our temporary kitchen.
Before putting the island in, we needed to plan for the central vacuum outlet, toe-kick vacuum, and plenty of electricity for the cooktop, microwave, warming drawer, and island outlets
here’s a crowded view under the island.  All of this will ultimately be within the toe kicks and not exposed.
Here’s the island starting to look ready for action.  The butcherblock countertop made from a local tree is covered here. 
Island construction is completed by sapele panels that wrap around the back and sides.  You can see the opposite side panel with biscuits resting on the countertop.
Done!  At least until we put up backsplashes!