by David Hughes on 11/28/13
Q: Will I lose space in my cabinets if I add pull out shelves?
A: The short answer is yes. The Long answer takes a little explaining. When you add pull out shelves to your existing cabinets the roll out has to come through the existing door opening. That means any space behind the frame of the cabinet will likely be lost. Also, you have to consider that the thickness of the drawer box and hardware both contribute to a slight loss in width and depth. On a pull out shelf with a fully captured drawer bottom sacrificing 3/4" to 1" in height is necessary.
Now with all that said lets really look at the reason why a person would want to add pull out shelves to their existing cabinets. Recently I had a customer in Lewisville, Texas who had his base cabinets stuffed top to bottom and front to back. I told him that he would get 50% of his items back in the cabinets after the pull outs are installed. His response was "good, we need a reason to get rid of all this stuff". Pull out shelves don't increase your space but they increase space that is usable and accessible. That client was, at most, using only the first 10-12" of cabinet space for day to day needs and the rest was storing items that he never used or did not even know were there. I can't tell you haw many times customers have told me that after they cleared out the cabinets to have the pull out shelves installed they found forgotten items and now realized they bought the same component three times because it was un-findable. A new item was purchased each time instead of digging the existing one out of the cabinets. I guess the bottom line is that pull out shelves installed in your existing cabinets will make everything accessible whether it is in the front or back of your cabinet. In the long run this will save you money and lower stress in the kitchen.