Is it 85″ height opening? Flush mount?  Which trim kit? The farm sink hits the doors..  Is the french door fridge door hitting the wall? Counter tops are on and the micro wave needs to be wider!! Ahhh!

Ok, now that you are a little scared… don’t be.  This is all avoidable by communication, planning and double checking.  Here are some helpful steps.
First, outline what appliances you want or must have with your designer/contractor/builder.  Talk it out and make sure there is power/gas/water that is in place to make those items function where you want it to and that it’s in your budget and plans to get them in the right spot.

Now that you have viability, it’s time to finalize your selections with the appliance folks.  Have them outline for you or your contractor the installation specifications for the particular product you are looking at.  Almost all appliances and sinks come with installation guides and spec sheets online, which are great tools when you know exactly which model you are going to use.  These selections and specifications should be completed and finalized before committing to your final cabinet plan and putting cabinets into production.  The cabinet provider should also confirm with you or your contractor whether cabinets will be installed on finished floors or rough floors.  That ½” to ¾” of flooring can make a real difference when you are trying to fit in built-in units.  Like the above example of the microwave fitting, if there is any confusion on the item to be installed and the opening is the wrong size… the fix can be cost a lot of time and money.

Farm sinks or apron front sinks have become quite popular again and can be a sneaky item for specs, but please take note, this is another item to make sure you have ordered before cabinets are ordered and that you have a model number in hand.  An additional step you or your kitchen designer will need to take, is to get with your countertop installer or contractor, and get a clear height at which your sink needs to be mounted to work with the type of top installation you will be using.  If too high or too low there can be major issues which again are easily avoidable with great communication.

By this time your appliances have been ordered, specs confirmed and passed on to your cabinet/kitchen designer, plans are signed off, and the cabinets put into production.  Next your cabinets will be installed.  After cabinet installation there will be a 1 to 2 week window before countertops are installed.  This is a great time for a double check on appliance openings.  Whether it’s your designer, contractor or the appliance installers, having someone out before countertops are installed is a great idea to make sure everything made it through the process as intended and there won’t be any surprises at the last minute when you are trying to wrap up a project.

Being aware of potential pain points and having good processes in place to avoid them is key.  Filling out forms and confirming specs may seem tedious, but it’s a small step that can save a lot of heart ache.