moving built in china cabinets

bungalowdreamerJuly 19, 2011

Hi! New to the forum, and can't find a thread for my question, sooooo, here goes. I want to buy a bungalow that has built ins in the living and dining rooms. They aren't in great shape (painted, broken glass...) and the house isn't architecturally or culturally significant--it's just what I can afford. The dining room's built-ins are on the wall that goes into the backyard. There isn't another entry into the back yard, and I am considering moving the built ins (if that's even possible) so that I can put French doors so I can see and enjoy the backyard--another reason I would buy this house. I am in California and want to take advantage of the weather. I wondered if anyone has undertaken a project like this and was it a) possible? b) cost prohibitive c) destroyed the 'aesthetic' of the house.

This house isn't a true craftsman, but a bungalow from the 20s in okay condition. It doesn't have columns or anything. It's more like a cottage. What's the opinion out there? I like vintage and this time period. So, I feel hesitant about trying this. But, this house is in my price range, has a great back yard, and the nice built ins. One set would just be better on another wall. Opinions? Thanks!

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We had a 1919 built-in in one of our bungalow's bedrooms. We wanted to move it to the back end of our kitchen/family room addition and convert it to the tv cabinet.

As we removed nail after nail to "free it" from the space, we discovered that it was not a unit that was built and then moved into the cubbyhole. Instead our built-in was a bunch of pieces of wood that were built directly into the walls of the cubbyhole. It was not movable as one unit. We also could not get all the nails out without damaging the wood (maple).

We had already framed the new space so we had to build a new built-in for it. We did match the design, species of wood and finish - we have something that looks like a new built-in - we do like it.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 7:12PM
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Thanks for your response Jmc01! What happened to the pieces you took out? Were they useable in anyway? How expensive was it to have the new one built? I wondered if I could take the doors, drawers and mirror, at least, from the old one, and build it into the new area. I wonder if it's even worth it to do that. I suspect that this one is like yours--built in, not moved in. That's what it looks like anyway.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 2:10AM
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