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Is there a industry standard to fridge height? Planning out cabinets and would like to use the space over my fridge too, but would like to make sure I am not screwing myself in the future when I replace the fridge with a new one....


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Mike no there really is not as standard anymore.  They vary in width and height and configeration.  That is one of the most annoying things in building a set of cabinets is the refrig.  What I have done in the past is to build a cabinet that I know will be wide enough.  Since it is usually the height that does not fit I  leave the bottom and the lower face frame rail  unglued and pocket screwed so that I can take both the face frames lower rail off and  raise the bottom. If you build the doors short and take up the extra width using a wide lower rail in the face frame you can then replace the lower rail with a narrow rail to match up the bottom.  Most likely you will not have to redo the doors.  If you use this approach do yourself a favor and stain out and finish  an extra lower rail and just sit it in the back of a cabinet somewhere should you need it later.  That way the finish will be the same when you use it.   It is the easiest fix there is and should work without difficulties. 

To add to this if you pocket the screw the bottom into the sides from the bottom it is easy to remove the screws and they are hidden fro view by the installed frig.  Once you get the bottom back into position simply use a hand saw and cut the unused face frame stiles off flush with the bottom of the face frame rail.  Use a hand saw and cut the extra length unused portion of the cabinet sides off and for the very rear where you can't get room to move the saw back and forth simply use a air grinder with a wood rasp type bit and or use a sharp chisel and a forsener bit to remove the remaining wood.  In using the frostner bit drill it toward the adjoining cabinet and be careful not to over drill.  Making a series of cuts with the forsner bit rim against the bottom of the cabinet, you will have very little to remove with a chisel.  Once it is removed wipe on some stain and you are done.  Sounds more complicated that it really is but is a standard method I do anymore when building cabinets over a refrig.   

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