Cabinet refacing a fast, economical kitchen upgrade
The kitchen at Abe Abuchowski’s Califon, New Jersey home needed an upgrade, but he didn’t want to pay the cost of replacing the cabinets. So he decided on a cheaper option.
“The old cabinets were in really good shape,” he said. “They were high-quality cabinets made of solid wood. It was the doors that really had to be replaced.”
Replacing the doors and covering the remaining exposed portions of the cabinets with a matching veneer can be done for about half the cost, said Kit Selzer, senior remodeling and projects editor at Better Homes and Gardens. The process is known as refacing.
Abuchowski said there is another benefit to the redesign. “There is a minimum of interference,” he said.
“It’s an easier and faster installation,” agreed Brett Bacho, president of Kitchen Magic, the company that made Abuchowski’s kitchen. Bacho said cabinet rework can typically be completed in three to five days.
However, for a redesign to be possible, the cabinets must be in good condition.
“When we had bad cabinets, just adding the new fronts wasn’t really our goal,” said Claudia Phelps, who renovated the cabinets in her Washington, DC home about 10 years ago. She said her closets were “very well built” and worth saving.
A redesign may also not be a good choice if you want to make major changes to the layout of your kitchen.
“They’re not doing anything to improve the functionality or convenience of the kitchen,” said David Alderman, owner of Dave’s Cabinets in Chesapeake, Virginia.
However, it is possible to add cabinets to match the redesigned cabinets. Both Abuchowski and Phelps did.
Many people also choose to replace their countertops while the cabinets are being redesigned. This of course increases the costs.
Cabinet companies say it is impossible to estimate the cost of renovating cabinets without seeing the kitchen and talking to the homeowner about the job.
“We’ve remodeled kitchens for as little as $ 4,000-5,000 and up to $ 80,000,” said Bacho.
Doors can be made from a variety of woods, such as cherry, oak, or maple, or from an engineering material like laminate, including some that look like wood.
Abuchowski chose a laminate. “It’s very easy to clean and will look newer for longer,” he said.
When reworking, the cabinet doors are removed and the sides and outside of the cabinet are prepared for the veneer covering. After this cover has been measured and attached, the new doors – matching the existing cabinets – are installed. Some companies replace the full drawers, others just replace the front. However, the interior of the case is usually not altered during the post-processing process. “You could definitely paint the inside to keep up with the outside,” said Selzer.
She advises contacting a professional, unless you are a very experienced handyman.
For those who want to try it out for themselves, there are how-to videos on YouTube or step-by-step guides on the web. Otherwise, many companies are being redesigned, from large ones like Sears to smaller ones like the one Alderman owns.
Of course, there is an even cheaper way to give the cabinets a fresh look.
“Practically every cupboard can be painted,” said Selzer. “It just takes the right product to do it.”
She said there are kits out there that will provide the materials you need, from prep to stain to glaze, along with step-by-step instructions.
“Really what you want to do is be patient with it and give yourself the time,” she said. This means that each coat has enough time to dry.
When people paint cabinets, Selzer said, they’ll likely choose white. “For new furniture,” she said, “people look for the wood look.”
A good reason to paint is to enjoy a fresh-looking kitchen.
Upgrading cabinets by replacing or refitting can make your home more marketable if you are considering selling it.
“Just a few years ago,” said Selzer, “people bought houses with shabby kitchens because they knew they would replace them. Now the attitude is a little more conservative. People are looking for a kitchen and a house that has moved in . ” Qualities. “