Introduction: A No-nail, No Lost Security Deposit Kitchen Counter Extension for Renters
I am a recent college graduate living in an apartment in a big, expensive city. Since I don't come from some extremely wealthy family and I didn't invent facebook or anything, it pretty much goes without sayng that my kitchen is TINY.
I cook a lot, and I live with a professional chef -- who cooks a whol lot -- so we were in desperate need of some more counter space. One solution would be to put up some shelves to hold all of the chef's many knives, scales, mixers and other gadgets, but I want my security deposit back so we had to find a solution that didn't involve nailing into the wall.
So I built this counter exension into the useless space between the counter and the fridge. The drawers under the original counter still have no problem opening and we also rolled a set of rolling plastic drawers over to the side of the fridge. All in all, it added a lot of space.
Step 1: Step 1: Measure Your Space, Thus Deciding Your Material Needs
After we decided to add an extension to the counter, reaching from the permanent counter top to the fridge, we measured the space. The counter sits three feet high, so we'd need two three feet long pieces of wood for the legs, so the extension doesn't slant. The space between the sink and the wall is just over one foot and the distance from the counter to the fridge is about three feet, though the fridge can move a little.
So this yeilds material needs of:
1 three foot by one foot piece of board or plywood
2 three foot lengths of wood suitable for making legs
1 one foot long piece of siding or other material to stabilize the legs
In the two incarnations of our extension we have used
and a 13 inch by three foot piece of cut granite (obtained for eight dollars from community forklift which is an astounding non-profit that re-sells green and salvaged building materials on the cheap)
Step 2: Assembly
Once the materials were collected, I assembled (using hammer and nails) an awkward, wobbly-looking two legged table and rested the top on the counter, wedging it into the space between the counter and the fridge.
I'm sure all viable methods of attaching the legs to one end of the top would work here. One thing to note, though, is that attaching the piece of siding (no particilar reason it's siding, that is just what I had around) to both legs, about a foot off the ground greatly increased the stability.
Then I used a c-clamp right next to the wall to secure the extension to the counter. I used it with the locking mechanism pointing up so that it didn't block the drawer from opening. This looked awkward, but as soon as it was clamped, the extension became very sturdy and secure.
Luckily, the next day we went to community forklift and found an extremely cheap (8$!) pice of granite that is almost exactly the measurements of the extension. It's also very heavy. So we took it home and tried it out on top of the extension. Suddenly, no clamp was necessary. The extension is still extremely sturdy and never wobbles, with just the weight of the granite holding it down.
Step 3: That's It!
Ok, that's it.
Now it's time to enjoy the extra space and also the security deposit that will be returned since there are no nails in the wall.