House building ideas.  Home construction tips and advice.

House Building Ideas - Resource of Home Construction Tips and Advice

Search for anything here:

Designers & Architects
Home Site / Property
House Builders
Central Vacuum Systems
Cooling Systems
Cost of Building a House




Cabinet Refacing

If you want to improve the appearance or style of an existing kitchen you may want to try refacing the cabinets instead of replacing them. Refacing a cabinet puts new doors on the cabinets and can greatly change the appearance of the cabinets.. It also costs a lot less then replacing the cabinets.


Having soffits above the cabinet reduces some of the decorating possibilities in your kitchen. By not having soffits you can use the extra space for displaying things such as plates, dishes, baskets or plants. You could also put lights on cabinets to create backlighting. Also, unused space above a refrigerator can be a place to display things.

Communication Center

Consider putting a communication center in the kitchen, laundry room, or mud room. A communication center might include: desk with filing drawer, bulletin board, marker board, phone, answering machine, key hanger, mail slots, and waste basket. Having a separate mail slot for each member of the family makes it simple to sort and distribute mail. You may also want to have room for a computer. If you plan to use a computer at a desk you may want to make desk surface wider and have adequate clearance space for a monitor. A tambour door can create a roll-up top that helps conceal a cluttered desktop.

Knee Indentations

For comfort, indent cabinetry a few inches in areas you stand close to the cabinets. In particular, do this in cabinets below the kitchen sink.


Make sure the shelves are as wide as the depth of your cabinets to get the maximum storage use of your cabinets. Adjustable shelves in your cabinets let you change the shelf heights according to your needs. This gives you more flexibility and lets you efficiently use cabinet space. Rollout shelves can make it easier to access items. Consider having rollout shelves in deep cabinets such as pantry closets. Shelves should be strong enough to support the weight put on them without sagging in the center.

Closet or Pantry

If you have the room, try to include a pantry or closet. This is a great place to store food, brooms, etc.

Taller Cabinets

If your kitchen has tall ceilings (9 feet or higher) consider getting taller ceiling cabinets. By adding a foot to the height of your ceiling cabinets you can add a great deal of storage space in your kitchen.

Center Island

A center island can add more counter space to a kitchen and can serve as a dining table in the kitchen. It's a good idea to have an overhang on island counter tops. The overhang provides knee space for sitting. Remember to put electric outlets on the island. You'll need the outlets for toasters, blenders, and other appliances.


Peninsulas are countertops that help separate two rooms and usually provide seating space on one side of the counter.

Appliance Garage

An appliance garage is a cabinet that stores small appliances such as toasters, mixers, and blenders. Appliance garages usually rest on top of the counter and in a corner. It's a good idea to have an electric outlet located inside the appliance garage or close by.

Automated Storage Retrieval Systems

You can get rotating shelves for cabinets. These systems have a rotating loop of shelves and you push a button to rotate the shelves and access the shelf you want. This can make it easy to comfortably access any object and can maximize space storage. These systems may also be convenient for people with disabilities.

Drawers Operation

Look for drawers that open and close easily. Drawers with full-extension slides let you pull the drawer out so that you can access the whole drawer. A full extension slide can make it easier to use the drawer. When examining drawers, push down on the drawer's bottom to see how sturdy the drawer is.

Drawer Construction

Better quality drawers use dovetails or dowels to attach the front of the drawer to its sides (dovetails have interlocking fingers forming the corners of the drawers). If dovetails aren't used you'll likely see stapled or glued corners. Drawers that use dovetails or dowels are stronger and more likely to hold up over time.

 Installation Warrantee

Having a good cabinet installer is important. Your installer should also provide a warrantee for installation. Cabinet manufacturers typically provide a warrantee on their materials, but the manufacturer's warrantee usually does not cover problems or damage caused by improper installation.

Lazy Susan

A lazy Susan is a corner cabinet that has revolving shelves. A lazy Susan can make it easier to access corner space that would normally be difficult to use.

Swing Out Cabinets

Swing-out cabinets have shelves that can rotate and swing out. These are similar to lazy Suzans and can be used to provide additional storage in a cabinet area that is hard to reach . When a cabinet door is opened, the shelves swings out and makes it easy to access things that are in the cabinet.

Medicine Cabinets

Medicine cabinets can recess into a wall and be covered by a mirror to make them less noticeable. You can also get cabinents with adjustible shelves to make it ease to configure the inside according to your storage needs

Specialty Storage

Consider any special storage needs you may want to provide for such as a spice rack or silverware drawer. You may want to put vertical dividers in some drawers to separate objects.

 Radiator Cabinets

You can install cabinets surrounding radiators. This can be a convenient way to make a radiator into a window seat or provide a surface to put items on.

Jewelry Cabinet

You can have a built-in cabinet to hold jewelry. Cabinets can be recessed into a wall or hung on a wall. The cabinet has special shelves for mounting necklaces, earrings, and rings. This is also a great way to organize pairs of earrings to make them easy to find. A mirror on the door is convenient to use when putting on earings. Locks can be put on the cabinet and the cabinet can be wired to the home security system.

Sports Locker

You may want a cabinet to store skates, helmets, gloves, jackets, fishing gear, or other sports equipment. It may be helpful to have this type of cabinet in the garage or mudroom.

Wine Cellars

If you want to have a space for storing wine it should be a place that is cool and dark. Also keep it a place that is away from vibrations (for example don't put a wine cellar under a staircase). Wine bottles should be stored on their sides to keep the cork moist. You may want to organize your wine according to when you plan to use the wine (for example wine you plan to drink soon and wine you plan to age for a few years). When buying wine many stores give discounts if you buy a case of wine (even mixed cases).

Crown Molding

Crown molding around the tops of your cabinets can be a nice detail in the kitchen. Also, by placing lights behind the crown molding can you create a back-lit glow above your cabinets. You can save money by using Christmas lights to create this effect. Put the lights on a dimmer switch so you can adjust the intensity of this lighting effect.

Decorative Window Compartments

You can get cabinet doors that have clear window compartments with spaces to put things like pasta shells or dry beans. By using different colors of non-perishable food (such as pasta) or other items you can create an interesting designs on the fronts of the drawers and doors.

Stainless Steel Hinges and Screws

Better quality cabinets use stainless steel for the hinges and screws. This material resists rusting and can help the cabinet hold up better over time.


A variety of decorative handles are available for cabinets and drawers. If you don't like the handles that come with a drawer most kitchen stores have hundreds of other handles you can choose from. You can sometimes use other materials to create handles too. For example decorative wine stoppers, buttons, rocks, shells, or jewelry can sometimes be used to make drawer pulls. You can even have porcelain handles custom made to have artwork that matches your china or wallpaper.

Glass Doors

Having a few cabinets with windows on the doors can be a nice way to display your fine china and glasses. You can also use stained glass windows on cabinet doors. Having a light inside the cabinet can make it easier to see the items or illuminate the stained glass.

Punched Metal Door Panels

Tin, copper or brass panels with holes pierced in them can be used for cabinet panels. Holes are punched into the metal to create decorative patterns.

Doorless Cabinets

Cabinets can be built without doors. This allows the dishes and plates in the cabinets to be visible to the room. This can add a unique decorative look to the room. However, extra work may be needed because plates and dishes need to be stacked neatly in the cabinets for this to look attractive.

Window Cabinets

Upper cabinets can be built without backs or doors and placed over windows. This brings more light into the room and helps illuminate the glasses and dishes stored in the cabinet.

Cabinet's Corner Construction

Better quality cabinets use mortised corners. A mortised corner has interlocking fingers and looks like a puzzle piece. Inexpensive cabinets use butt joints where the corners just have two pieces of wood glued and nailed together.

House Construction Ideas

Search for anything here: