Home & Leisure



Do It Yourself or Not: Replace a medicine cabinet

By Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Content Agency on

From a humble beginning as a basic metal utility cabinet to store makeup and medicine, the medicine cabinet today is finely constructed with convenient features. A favorite of ours is one with a mirror on the back wall of the cabinet and another mirror inside the door for expanded visibility. Nice features that assure quality are sturdy and easy-to-adjust 1/4-inch shelves and a rubber door bumper surround that softens the sound of closing.

Medicine cabinets come in two types: wall-mounted and recessed. The latter is built into the wall so the mirror is flush.

Use drywall screws to fasten a wall-mounted cabinet to the wall; choose a unit large enough to conceal any holes left after removing the old unit. If you're replacing a recessed cabinet, choose one that will fit in the existing wall cavity or enlarge the opening to accommodate a larger size cabinet. You'll find a large selection of medicine cabinets online, at home and design centers, and in kitchen and bathroom showrooms.

To remove an old cabinet and replace it with a good quality new unit, a carpenter will charge $490, which includes the labor and material. You can buy the unit for $275 and install it, pocketing a 44% saving. Protect the sink and faucet and surrounding area with a drop cloth so you don't damage them while you're working, and have basic carpentry tools on hand to complete the job.


Pro Cos: $490 -- DIY Cost: $275
Pro time: 5.1 -- DIY Time: 5.0
DIY Savings: 215 -- Percent Saved: 40%


To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com.



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