This seems like it's a fairly straight forward question, but I've seen conflicting answers. I have a U-shaped alcove that I'm going to put in four, 24" cabinets. It seems like the rough framing should be 97" wide (4x24" + 2 x 0.5" for the drywall). Does the opening need to be more than that? Seems like if it were too wide than you'd have unsightly gaps. Since the alcove is deeper than the cabinets, it seems like you'd be able to smoosh (or cut out) any drywall if the wall varied any less than 97" (well, up to 1" total of play).


People usually assume that framing will be out of plumb and/or not straight, so allow an extra inch or two in the finished opening. That gap gets filled by filler strip that's custom scribed to the opening.

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  • So let's say, hypothetically (o_O), that I actually framed it as 97 3/16". How screwed am I going to be? – 2 Left Thumbs Aug 30 '16 at 16:04
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    Well, since I can't see the spirit level from here, I'll say that you'll do fine. But in seriousness, check it with a level and remember that 1/4" drywall exists. – Aloysius Defenestrate Aug 31 '16 at 2:23
  • And, thinking more about this... is there any way you could install the cabs, and then bring the sheetrock to meet the side of the cabs? (It'd involve shims and construction adhesive, I suspect.) This would be hard to do if the cab fronts were dead flush with the drywall, but it should be okay if the cab was a little in/out from the alcove. – Aloysius Defenestrate Aug 31 '16 at 13:46

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