Not long ago, the only alternative to cabinet replacement was to paint the cabinets.  Today, however, cabinet refacing is a quick and cost effective way to give your kitchen that much needed makeover.  It involves keeping the basic structure of the cabinets but replacing the doors, drawer fronts, and hardware.  Occasionally new cabinet fixtures will be installed and damaged drawer boxes may be replaced.


MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE...
Consider the condition of your current cabinets.  If you are unhappy with the look but they are in good shape and the layout works for you, then refacing may be the right choice if cost is an issue.  However, if your existing kitchen layout does not work for you or the cabinets are structurally damaged, then replacing is definitely the solution.  Refacing does not correct damage or deterioration of cabinet material.


DESIGN OPTIONS...
When refacing  your existing cabinets you are limited to three options.  
First...rigid thermofoil (RTF) doors are made of flexible vinyl foil over a medium-density fiberboard.  
Second...a wood veneer door which gives you the look and warmth of wood.  Wood veneers come in a                            variety of species and finishes.
Third...a plastic laminate that comes in a hundreds of colors and patterns.  They are durable and moisture                 resistant and are reasonably priced.  However, the rigidity of the material limits the design to a                         plain cabinet style.


COST CONSIDERATION...
A professional cabinet refacing project for a typical 10' x 12' kitchen could start at approximately $3000-$5000 (you can expect to pay more for real wood veneer).  The cost can increase to $7000-$10000 or more for a larger project.  In comparison, replacing old kitchen cabinets with new cabinets start at $4000-$5000 and higher for stock cabinets; semi-custom cabinets can cost $9000-$12000; and custom cabinets can cost anywhere from $15000-$25000.  All this depends on the size of your kitchen and the materials you choose to use.


CAN I DO IT MYSELF?...
Cabinet refacing, although it looks easy, is very difficult to do.  It requires techniques and tools that the average homeowner does not own.  Also, unless you are a professional refacer, you will not have access to the materials required for this project.  
Cabinet replacement is an easier solution for the do-it-yourselfer.  It consists of heavy lifting and precise leveling, however, as the voice of experience, your kitchen will be completed much faster and with less problems if you hire a professional installer.


WHICH DO I RECOMMEND?...
Who doesn't want new kitchen cabinets?  If your budget allows, new cabinets are definitely the way to go.  You will have the flexibility to make changes in your layout that would make your kitchen much more user friendly.  New cabinets also give your kitchen long lasting value for your own enjoyment or for resale.


In the end, it is not your designer or contractor's decision as to whether to reface or replace...it's yours!  
My motto has always been..."we are here for a few weeks making your house beautiful, then we leave...you will be here forever, and you need to love where you live".
                        YOUR KITCHEN IS THE HEART OF YOUR HOME!...

 


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