Dead corner is missing!! Is this normal? Do you have dead space?

Madeline616October 25, 2012

As some of you know, I'm supervising the building of my snowbird parents' new little cottage.

There were a few unexpected surprises when the cabs went up.

One is that the "dead corner" space is missing on both uppers and lowers. The cab maker built 2 cabs that meet at the corner, nothing unusual, but he didn't extend either of the cabs all the way to the wall.

So, we're missing that space where you keep less-often used appliances and dishes. Instead, it'll be a big rhomboid-shaped void behind the cabinets, where the 2 cabinet backs and 2 walls meet.

This is the smallest of the "surprises", but it's a small kitchen and I was really expecting to have that space.

We never actually discussed the issue pre-build, and it's not something that's visible in the drawings, so I can't say he's wrong. I just never expected a cabinetmaker to waste that much space in a small kitchen...I just assumed (oops).

Is this common? Am I justified in asking him to make the necessary changes to extend the cabs and give me my corner back?

Thanks :)

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Are you saying that if you look at the bottom of the cabinets as they are on the wall, you can see a big empty corner, aka spider heaven?

No! That is not normal. I'd have a chat with the cabinet maker about that.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 10:55PM
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He only needs to change one of the cabinets. I'd do it now while you can rather than live with the void. You should be able to work out something reasonably on it.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 11:00PM
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I choose to have a dead corner in my kitchen. I hate corner cabinets and I didn't need the storage space. I also have a structural beam in that corner so 9 1/2 inches of the cabinet space would be eaten up by than.
It is not that unusual. Lots of people hate corner cabinets. Why pay for one if the space isn't critical. I got estimates from 4 different lines, 4 different KD's, not one was surprised when I said "no corner cabinet".

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 6:45AM
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I have a galley and when we did my Mom's kitchen she had her stack in the only corner so there was no space for a blind cabinet. Have to say I would have expected a full cabinet in a blind corner and would want to be able to access that space in a small kitchen. I'm surprised it isn't in the drawing. Given the above I would be prepared to accept it as a misunderstanding but I would want it changed. I get someone would request that but it seems like an odd default to me - any chance your parents asked for it?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 7:49AM
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It should be visible in the drawings. It's either there or it isn't. If the lines of the upper cabinets intersect in the corner, then that means there isn't a cabinet there. The square formed by the intersecting lines is the empty air space. If the line of one run of cabinets dead-ends into the line of the perpendicular run of cabinets, that would indicate a blind corner cabinet.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 7:59AM
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This is all really helpful advice, tks!!

Meeting with builder today so hopefully will get more GW input. It's so helpful to bounce these issues off others who "get it!"

Marti, yes, it's a spider haven :-)

Lascatx, I totally agree, now's the time to make the change.

Cary, I think you make a good point--accepting it as a misunderstanding (and therefore paying him) to change it is probably the right thing to do.

Local, I definitely hate the look of corner cabs, which is why I wanted these squared off (meaning just meeting like the 2 runs would natularrl meet in an L-shaped kitchen. Are you saying you omitted having uppers and lowers built on an angle, like an official "corner cabinet" or you didn't want the cabinets to meet at the corner providing that space you need to reach waaaay into to access!

Cat, Tks for your advice. The drawings are on 2 separate pieces of paper. It's an L-shape, and one paper shows the short run and one shows the long run. So, I never saw them intersecting on paper. And the drawings only provide the front view of ech run, they don't provide a view from above, so the doors in the drawings would've hidden what was going on back there.

Thanks so much, again!!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:50AM
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I have the dead corners in my 2 upper corners. But I did it on purpose. First we didn't need the space and I figured I would just lose stuff back there. And Second, we were cutting costs, and by eliminating that linear 2' of cabinetry it allowed me to get some other features we wanted.

BUT, it sounds like on your plan you are supposed to have them. I would want them to correct it, especially in a kitchen where every inch counts.

Oh, I did worry about spiders too, but I think I'm ok. I'll just stick the vac hose up there and clean it out. Or maybe my dh will have to do that.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 9:05AM
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To clarify: I don't have any uppers in my kitchen(except over fridge, and one hutch). Yes, in the corner, I deliberately 'wasted' space. I have a cabinet going straight into each wall, no lazy susan, no blind corner cabinet. It is what I wanted; I have plenty of storage space. Additionally in my kitchen that one corner is a little tight. The stove is 19 inches from the corner and as I stated previously there is also a 10" square post that is structural to my post and beam home in that corner.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 9:57AM
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If you have plenty of storage elsewhere and/or a fairly large kitchen, deadening out a corner may be OK. However, as Madeline616 specifically stated, this is a small kitchen. Small kitchens typically are short on storage, so even an "inefficient" storage area is better than no storage!

Personally, I find that corner susans are more useful than the blind corner cabinets (and you don't need a small child to retrieve fallen items!) for base cabinets and easy-reach cabs to be more useful for upper cabinets...both with a 90-degree corner (i.e., no diagonal), but to each his own. (For uppers, height may be a deciding factor...I'm 5'10" and can reach into the corner easy-reach cabs fairly well.)

In my experience a corner cab of some sort is standard (susan, blind, easy-reach) - if you want to eliminate that corner storage, you have to tell the KD or cabinetmaker you want it eliminated.

Did the cabinetmaker include extra stile width on the sides of the cabinets to accommodate the filler that's needed in cabinets installed in a corner with a dead corner? You need either that or significant filler to allow the doors/drawers to open and clear the drawer pulls/knobs on the other side of the corner. The corner cabs mentioned above provide "natural" filler...

Personally, I'd get the cabinetmaker to make a corner cabinet of some sort!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 10:59AM
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Excellent point Buehl. I was just answering the question that from the perspective of "normalcy". It is not necessarily abnormal to have dead space. If I had a small kitchen I would have wanted/needed that storage.
And, most importantly, as you stated, if the stile width is not adequate for the cabinets to operate properly it is wrong and must be remedied.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 11:54AM
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I'd have to agree that building in a void is not generally considered a "default" option. Pretty much nobody likes the dead space as one cabinet passes behind another on an interior corner, but if there were actually a default option, that would probably be it.

I suspect it's too late to do a corner susan below and an easy reach above, but at least make sure that what you've got is usable.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 12:35PM
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I have a small kitchen (10x10) with two blind corner cabs (never mind the peninsula, which technically has two, but since there are doors on opposite sides, it's not a huge problem). Everytime I root around in the back for something that's worked its way into the deep, dark recess, I think of you guys tsk-tsking and going, told you so! I laugh. I chose to keep my old boxes, so I'm living with it.

That being said, in a small kitchen, I need the deep recesses anyway. To give up an occasional annoyance would also be to give up much needed space.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 1:50PM
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Thank you all so much. This input is really helpful.

I'm realizing I used the wrong terminology, but it seems like everyone got my meaning anyway!

It's the upper and lower "blind cabinets" that are missing, and I have "dead space."

Buehl, really, really good point. I'm going to run over this weekend to make sure doors and drawers open with no problem.

We're blessed with an amazing contractor, really a person of integrity who always "makes it right" no matter what it costs or whether he technically should be on the hook for it. He built our home, which is why he's building my parents'.

Anyway, in our meeting today I asked for the cabs to be retrofitted to include the 2 blind cabs, and he said no problem/no charge.

OT, but he's also removing and rebuilding a floor-to-ceiling tower and another cabinet because it didn't look like I'd envisioned it. He's going to pay the cabinet guy to rebuild all that's removed, and buy the ones we're removing from the cabinet guy for use in a future project (so the very nice cabinet guy doesn't lose out).

Anyway, I'm grateful to all the kind GWers who helped me on this, as usual!

Madeline :)

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 6:17PM
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