Cabinet refacing: DO’s, and especially, DON”Ts

I am not a professional blogger, but if you want some simple, up front info on refacing your Lake Norman Cabinets —-here it is.

First, it is important to understand that the cabinet face frame, doors  and finishing process is THE most expensive part of building a cabinet.  I would guess that it is 90% of the cost.  So don’t expect refacing to save you much money over buying new cabinets.   By the time you factor in that each and every door and drawer head has to be custom sized and fitted to your existing cabinet box, you will be lucky to equal the cost of new cabinetry.  So in this regard, you are paying for a new cabinet, but will keep your old drawer boxes, slides, unfinished shelving and any other “interior” parts of your existing old cabinets.  Score one for just buying new cabinets.

But lets say you do not want a big mess for 4 weeks.  Let us also assume that you do NOT want to replace your counter top, do not want to change the layout, and do not want any interior “accessories” added to your kitchen.  This could be done in 3 to 4 days, and produce minimal mess if you reface.  Just be aware that you are paying a premium price for a little bit of convenience.  I can see where refacing can make  sense for a bathroom vanity, where the counter top is in good condition, and a layout change would not benefit the space.  For a kitchen however, if you are replacing counter tops anyway, you can usually buy new cabinets, have them installed, and improve the layout for the same price as reface.  Of course, you then have to add the price for new tops, possibly a new sink and faucet, and then maybe tile back splashes.

Part two

Yes, this is more than refacing, but if that is what you need to update your kitchen, so be it.  It is important to compare apples to apples.  You may spend more to “remodel” your kitchen with new cabinets, but you also received new counter tops, sink, faucet, roll-out shelves, tile back splashes, etc.   The cost of the CABINETS were the same, or less, than the REFACING, which is all that refacing addresses.

So that is it in a nutshell.  I also want to add a couple of bullets for additional consideration if you are going to do a kitchen remodel:

– ALWAYS comparison shop.  Use cabinet dealers that do both refacing, and install new cabinetry to get a fair comparison.  Or, have separate companies give you their “pitch”.

-Check out anyone who is going to work on your home.  Referrals, Angies list, etc.

-There are wide ranges in new cabinetry prices, just like automobiles, and you get what you pay for usually.  So, yes, you can spend much more for cabinetry than for reface doors on your old cabinets.  But again, it is the apples thing.  Don’t compare Chevy reface doors to  Volvo SUV cabinets.  You can get high quality, certified cabinetry for less than the price of reface—–for sure.  And I am talking about cabinetry I would put in my personal home and expect it to be there 15 years from now.   (Can’t always say that about your car, can you).

-We did not even discuss the necessity to redo your kitchen ONCE, the right way, for the best value and possibility to recoup your costs.   A partial re-do can really get expensive………..  But that is another blog.   See you then.