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Finish Your Kitchen Remodel Punch List

Ask This Old House General Contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner wrap up a few small projects towards the end of her kitchen renovation.

Projects for Your Remodel Punch List

Adding a toe kick and repairing a door are easy items to knock out on your remodel punch list. This Old House General Contractor Tom Silva walks through the steps to get these projects done.

Project #1: How to Add a Toe kick

To finish the toe kick, Tom Silva opts for PVC boards as they are waterproof, easy to clean, and easier to cut than tile to match uneven floors. He goes through the process of cutting and installing the PVC for all of the cabinets.

Steps for Installing a Toe Kick:

  1. Measure and mark the PVC to fit the toe kick underneath on both ends of the cabinets.
  2. Cut the pieces to fit the length.
  3. Hold the board up to the cabinet and see where notches will have to go to get the PVC boards to fit under the cabinets.
  4. With an electric saw or a hand saw, cut out the notches. Tommy used a pull saw for the vertical cuts and then a coping saw for the horizontal cuts.
  5. Use a block plane to shave down any areas that need it.
  6. Spray paint screws white. For your dishwasher area, you’ll want the boards to be removable for any servicing you’ll have in the future. Therefore, screws will be used. Use butt joints for the same areas.
  7. Screw-in the boards.
  8. For cabinets that will not need the base removed, use miter joints.
  9. Use PVC glue to cement the joints together.
  10. Secure the PVC to the toe kick with brad nails.
  11. Fill in the nail holes from the brad nails with spackle and a putty knife.
  12. Sand off or use a razor blade to scrape off the spackle once it’s dry.

Resources

To add trim to the toe kick underneath the kitchen cabinets, Tom used 1x4” PVC trim boards, which are manufactured by AZEK Building Products. To secure the miters together, Tom also used a PVC glue that is manufactured by AZEK.

To cut the boards to size and make the miter cuts, Tom used a Kapex KS120 sliding compound miter saw, which is manufactured by Festool.


Materials


Tools


Project #2: Door Repair

The homeowner re-tiled her floors and since then, the basement door gets stuck on the tile and doesn’t open fully. Tom Silva tackles the door by taking it off the hinges and demonstrating how to cut the bottom off to adjust to the new floor height from the tile.

Steps for Resizing an Interior Door:

  1. Measure the space from floor to bottom of the door near the hinges.
  2. Remove the door from the hinges. The hinges can be popped out from underneath using a nail or nail net and a hammer.
  3. Lay the door flat on a workbench of sawhorses.
  4. Using the measurement you took earlier, mark it on the other side of the door. Draw a straight line from that mark, across the bottom of the door, to the corner hinge side.
  5. Make the cut.
  6. Use a block plane to clean up the bottom edges. You can also use 120 grit sandpaper if desired.
  7. Return the door to the hinges. Slide the pins back into the hinges and test to ensure the door opens fully. The pins can be hammered down into place if need be.

Resources

To trim the door down to size, Tom used a TS 55 circular saw, which is also manufactured by Festool.

The other tools and materials Tom used for this project, including the spackle, finish nails and screws, can all be found at home centers.


Tools