replacing a kitchen unit in situ?

Hi All as per the subject - how feasible is it to replace the carcass of a floorstanding kitchen cupboard unit in situ, without removing the worktop?
(I appreciate there are likely to be many considerations here...)
Thanks J^n
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On 11/02/2018 21:38, jkn wrote:

As most carcases seem to use plastic, threaded legs to adjust height, it should be no problem.
You may find it easier to get the new carcase into place and raise it into place with a trolley jack if you have access to one. The legs can then be adjusted with no weight on them.
SteveW
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On 11/02/2018 21:42, Steve Walker wrote:

Maybe rig up a small 'buggy' and roll it into place, having removed the old one. Then adjust the legs to raise it, secure to units on either side, remove buggy etc. The problem may be tolerances. While units are, nominally, a standard width, if the existing one is on the lower limit and the new one on the high end, it may be tight.
If the floor is smooth you could just slide it, at least if it isn't a 1000mm one,
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On Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 9:42:19 PM UTC, Steve Walker wrote:

+1. Usually tiles sitting on the worktop, so not an option to move it. I'd dismantle the carcass in situ if necessary i.e. take it out in bits
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On Sunday, 11 February 2018 21:38:46 UTC, jkn wrote:

?
It depends on how the carcass is fixed to its neighbours and to the wall. M any are fixed to the wall with brackets before the worktop goes on, which a re inacessible after the worktop is fitted. However they may still be remov able if you don't mind destroying the unit in the process.
Most of mine are fitted in this way, but I deliberately fitted one with no wall brackets and fixed only to its neighbour so that a tumble dryer can go in at a later date or I can get to a plumbing joint, non-destructively.
Owain
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wrote:

Quite. ;-)
I put all our worktops on battens (along the back and at least one end) and so I can pull all my units out (and have) and leave the worktops in place.
Cheers, T i m
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On 11/02/2018 21:38, jkn wrote:

Easily doable. if the old carcase has an angle bracket fixing it to the wall you may have to break out the back and cut it through.
Mike
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We wanted to swap a fridge and single unit, which I did without problem, although it was a bit of a faff lying on my back removing screws which held the worktop to the unit, via brackets. Then the units either side were attached to the one unit I wanted to remove. Did get it done, though. Once all the screws and bolts were removed, the unit just slid out. Fridge in the gap and the unit into the gap left by the fridge.
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On 11/02/2018 21:38, jkn wrote:

You may find that the worktop is screwed to the carcass (usually at the front and screwed in from the carcass side to the underside of the worktop) You may find that the carcass is screwed into its neighbor so check both sides of the unit _AND_ in the neighboring carcasses for screws . You may find that the carcass is screwed to the wall with a right angled bracket at the very top of the carcass. This bracket will have been fitted without the worktop in place so it would have been relatively easy to tighten the screws. It will now be behind the carcass backboard which is typically 60/70mm from the wall
I've just refurbished my kitchen and removed some carcasses without removing the worktop first[1]. My method for removing the carcass was to cut it in half with a small circular saw[2] set to the depth of the chipboard. Cut through the bottom shelf and the backboard and leave the two sides alone. You may be able to smash out some of the backboard with a hammer as much of it it is very thin hardboard. Once the base is cut in half you can lever it up to break the connections to the sides and remove the feet[3]. The feet will be attached to the horizontal part of the base. Do similar with the back. This will reveal if the sides are attached to the wall at the back and/or still screwed into the neighbours. Watch when cutting as there could be gas or water pipes running behind the backboard.
I cannot comment on the feasibility of fitting a new unit which may come down to the dimensional tolerances of the replacement unit.
The old units may have been cut at the back for service pipes and/or to compensate for the non-squareness of the walls so keep the old unit sides as templates.
If it's a carcass associated with the sink you may/will have to remove the sink first. If a carcass associated with a hob you may have to modify the back to allow access to connections.
Always take photos to remind you how to reinstall or modify the new unit to match the old.
[1] I did actually replace the worktop and all carcasses but initially I needed to keep the worktop in place for a couple of days - held up with wooden props.
[2] Similar to... https://www.screwfix.com/p/titan-ttb689csw-500w-85mm-mini-circular-saw-230-240v/9591p
[3] Very old units may not have adjustable feet and the sides go down to the floor. The replacement carcass is likely to have adjustable plastic feet.
Tip: If the carcass has drawer units the drawer runners can be temporary held in place with a couple of thin wooden dowels inserted into a couple of the screw holes. This allows you to use both hands to insert the first and second screw before removing the dowels to insert the final two screws. https://www.screwfix.com/p/easyfix-wooden-dowels-6-x-30mm-100-pack/1360t
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Thanks for all the comments/suggestions, and for alan_m in particular for taking the time to write so much!
I will bear all of this in mind as I plan the next steps. FWIW this is all because we have a rat problem - in the loft mainly, but they have also been seen in the kitchen.
The only way I can think of them getting down at the moment is between the soil pipe and its boxing-in. This boxing has fallen apart to a degree in the corner of the kitchen, but I can't get at it properly without removing the carcass.
Of course the real job is to sort out the rats in the loft issue - and I am probably going to try to seal the boxing in the loft next - but I want to bear in mind replacing the kitchen carcass as a possible step forward.
Thanks again J^n
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