How to Replace a Drop-in Stove With a Regular Range

A drop-in stove is installed within the framework of a kitchen's cabinets, in an opening custom cut for the size of that particular stove. When you replace an old drop-in stove with a new model, the cabinets must be altered by a cabinetmaker if the new stove doesn't have the same dimensions as the old one. Replacing the the stove with a regular, freestanding range can be a less expensive alternative. Choose a range that's the same height as your countertops and no wider than the space between the existing cabinets.

Woman removing tray from oven
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A freestanding range is easy to remove for replacement or repair.

Step 1

Shut off the power to the stove at the circuit breaker box. If you're unsure whether the power is off, turn off the home's main electrical supply. Take out the screws holding the decorative trim under the oven door, using the screwdriver. Remove the trim.

Step 2

Remove the anti-tip screws securing the sides of the range to the cabinets by lifting the stovetop on top of the range and removing the screws underneath. The screws are located near the top of the side walls. If the top doesn't lift, remove the screws by opening the cabinets on each side and removing the screws from the side walls of the cabinet's interior.

Step 3

Remove the stove by pulling it out of the opening in the cabinet. If the oven door is removable, remove it and the oven racks before taking out the stove. This makes the appliance lighter and easier to maneuver. Disconnect the stove from the junction box behind the stove by removing the wire nuts, the small plastic caps that hold the wires together, and untwisting the wires.

Step 4

Use a T-square to draw a line from the back corners of the rectangular cutout straight back to the wall. Use the rotary tool to cut along the line until you reach the wall. If the countertop between the cuts is still attached to the wall, pull it away from the wall with a crowbar. Sand the cut edges smooth.

Step 5

If the opening for the stove doesn't go all the way to the floor, draw lines from the bottom corners of the front opening to the floor. Cut and remove the wood the same way you cut the countertop.

Step 6

Position the new stove in front of the open space between the cabinets and plug it in.

Step 7

Push the new stove as far into the open space as it will go. The higher back of a standard range should cover the cuts in the counter and any unfinished wall behind the range.

Camela Bryan

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.