Well, if your kitchen cabinets are full of dishes like the ones in our home you might want to take a moment and check them after reading this short post.
Just think about all of the weight that an average cabinet is hold when it is full of dinner plates, cups, saucers, mixing bowls and the like. It is simply amazing how much weight they can and should hold.
But, have you ever given much thought as to what is holding those cabinets up on the walls?
With prefabricated or factory built cabinets most are secured with screws (hardware) that is either provided by the manufacturer or it is specified in their installation manual. Most of the screws will have a torque head that requires a special driver bit that has a point that kind of looks like a star. The screw have specific places on the cabinets that they are to be inserted, they are structural points built into the cabinets to help support the weight.
The key to placing the screws is to locate a wall stud that will hold them. Keep in mind that depending on your home they might be placed at 16" to 24" intervals in the walls. It is imperative that the screws are inserted into the wall studs and not the drywall. Many times an additional piece of lumber is placed on the wall, it is secured to the studs and then the cabinets are secured to that piece of lumber.
Why do I bring this up? Well, this week while inspecting a nice home I discovered that the kitchen cabinets were literally falling off the walls! The contractor had screwed through the back of the cabinet, securing it to the wall. The problem was that the back of the cabinet was just a thin piece of panel like material that had not one thing to do with the structural strength of the cabinet. The thin back of the cabinets had detached from the wood boxes of the cabinets and the cabinets were falling forward. It was only a matter of time or an additional plate or glass before they fell!
Scott Patterson has been a professional home inspector since 1995 and works out of the Greater Nashville TN area. You can contact him at his office 615-302-1113 or on his cell at 615-870-4162 via text or voice.