Cabinet & Countertop Inspirations

As discussed in a previous blog, remodeling a kitchen can be expensive. One alternative is refacing cabinets instead of replacing them. Refacing cabinets can be a viable option, however, there are situations in which refacing cabinets does not makes sense. Let’s look at what refacing is and the advantages/disadvantages of this option.

With cabinet refacing, the existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts are removed and replaced with new doors/drawer fronts. The exposed face frames and cabinet ends are covered with material to match the new doors/drawer fronts. New molding is installed to cover any raw edges or exposed areas. Typically, the new finish is painted or stained wood.



The key advantages of cabinet refacing are:

  • Cost – Typically, refacing cabinets will cost less than complete replacement. That said, the difference versus replacing cabinets may not be significant as it involves replacing the most expensive part of the cabinet … the door and drawer front.
  • Time – Refacing cabinets will take less time than removing and replacing cabinets. Most refacing projects take around one week, while replacing cabinets typically takes four weeks.
  • Cleaner – There will usually be less mess/dust with refacing.
  • Convenience – During the cabinet refacing, you will still be able to use your kitchen in the evening.


Disadvantages of refacing cabinets include:

  • Poor kitchen layout – Many remodeling projects are undertaken to improve the functionality or layout of your kitchen. Refacing cabinets will not solve this problem.
  • Tired cabinets – In many cases, the existing cabinets are tired … sagging shelves, falling apart. Refacing will not fix worn out cabinets.
  • Structural issues – There may be structural issues in the home, including floors that have settled, causing problems with the cabinets. Refacing cabinets will not correct these structural issues.
  • Cabinet accessories – Today, there are a growing number of wonderful cabinet accessories to improve the storage, functionality, and design of kitchens and bathrooms. In a refacing project, you will likely be limited in the ability to incorporate these accessories into the existing layout/design.

Refacing cabinets is a good option for some kitchens, however, if any of the above issues exist, examine all the options before making your final decision.

You are getting the itch to renovate your kitchen. When you go to the internet, Houzz, Pinterest, and other home décor sites are your first stops. While dreaming, a couple of questions continue to nag you … “How much will a kitchen renovation cost and can I afford it?”.

While a variety of factors impact a project’s cost, you can use a rule of thumb to get a general idea of the required budget. Remodeling experts estimate a kitchen renovation costs around 15% of your home’s value. So, if your home is valued at $200,000, the budget for an updated kitchen is approximately $30,000. For a $350,000 home, you would spend $52,500. The biggest cost element of a kitchen remodel will be for cabinetry. One industry source breaks down the elements in a renovation budget as follows:

  • Cabinets                       40%
  • Countertops                 10%
  • Appliances                    9%
  • Lighting/Electrical        8%
  • Wall Covering               4%
  • Floor Covering              7%
  • Labor/Installation        20%
  • Miscellaneous               2%
  • Total              100%

As mentioned above, a number of items influence the final budget. For example, removing existing walls increases the labor cost. If you are a serious cook, appliances will likely cost more than a typical kitchen renovation.

Your budget should consider how long you plan to remain in the home. If you are only planning to remain in the home 1 – 5 years, there is less time to recover your investment in appreciation. This mentality reduces the overall amount you should plan on spending.

If you expect to stay in your home for a long period of time, you want to ensure the renovation works best for your family. Typically, this results in a larger budget as you enjoy the benefits of the renovation for a longer time.

You should also plan on encountering surprises impacting the budget. Often these are not significant. However, we have encountered projects with significant electrical or plumbing issues requiring resolution. Fixing these problems can have a big effect on the budget.

Finally, the specific cabinet, countertop, flooring, appliance, and fixture selections you choose drives the final budget. Using experts will help you avoid making costly mistakes and identify opportunities where spending less may equal more. Typically, any fees paid to experts is more than offset by the added value they bring to the project.

With your nagging questions answered, go ahead and return to planning your new kitchen with better knowledge of what you can afford.

Warranty information has at least one characteristic in common with a legal document or owner's manual ... they are not terrible exciting reading. However, like most small print, you should take a moment to read and understand the warranty. As you evaluate your cabinetry options, remember to consider these 4 questions.

1.  What is covered?

Almost all warranties cover defects in the materials used in a cabinet’s construction. For example, if the hinge on a cabinet door breaks, a replacement hinge will be provided. Likewise, any defects due to workmanship will be covered. If the cabinets arrive and a piece of molding has a scratch in the finish, a new piece of molding will be supplied.

2.  What is not covered?

There are three key items that are typically not covered by warranty … misuse, natural aging/darkening of the wood, and labor to replace defective materials. As you would expect, the warranty excludes damage from misuse, abuse, negligence and improper installation. So, if your son uses the drawer as a ladder to reach the cookie jar on the counter, any damage will not be covered.

Over time, wood and finishes will be affected by a variety of environmental factors … lighting, smoke, humidity, and household cleaners to name a few. Painted cabinets will eventually have small, visible cracking around joints due to the expansion/contraction of the wood from variation in household humidity. These are all considered part of the natural aging process of wood. Consequently, they are not considered imperfections and are not covered by warranties.

When an item is considered defective, the warranty only covers providing a replacement part. The labor cost to install/replace the defective part is typically not covered.

3.  What is the length of the warranty?

Warranty length is generally related to the price of the cabinets. The more expensive the cabinets, the longer the warranty. In general, warranties run from 5 to 25 years. As you move to more expensive semi-custom or custom cabinets, the warranties are for the lifetime of the cabinets.

4.  Is the warranty transferable?

Almost without exception, the warranty is only good for the original purchaser … it cannot be transferred when your home is sold.


If you believe there is an issue covered by warranty, we encourage contacting the company which supplied the cabinetry. They will be in the best position to help resolve your issue as quickly and conveniently as possible. 


Cabinet Inspirations & Ideas

Ready, Set ... Remodel!

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   It’s finally here- spring!! The gray of winter is being replaced by the vibrant colors that accompany this beautiful season. Maybe this burst of new life outdoors has you thinking about adding some new life indoors, perhaps in the form of a kitchen remodel. It’s an exciting prospect to consider, but it’s also a wise idea to do some homework first.

 Here are some thoughts to ponder before diving in:

Your home’s architectural style. Use what you see on the outside of your home as a guide for the inside. Try to keep the entire home…both the outside and the inside… a cohesive unit. For example, when considering features such as cabinet doors, think in terms of which style would best represent the appearance of your home. This type of cohesiveness adds to your home’s overall appeal.

Your likes AND dislikes. Start a collection of photos from magazines that show examples of design ideas that appeal to you or achieve the desired look. Along with magazines, don’t forget about internet sites such as Houzz and Pinterest, both of which are great sources of design inspiration. Be sure to also keep handy some pictures of spaces you don’t like as well.

 

Your family’s routine. Take some time to consider how you already use the space being remodeled and areas where you would like to use it more efficiently. Think about everyday routines like where you place the mail or charge cell phones and tablets. You can design space into your home to handle items like these. Keep paper close by and write down any frustrations you have with the current space as well as any “must haves” in your remodel.

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Your color preferences. A remodel is a great time to consider a new color that complements your home’s already existing color scheme. Pay attention to your surroundings and look for colors that you like or draw you in. Purchase paint samples and try them out on a wall in your “old” space. This will allow you to see the color throughout the different lighting of day.

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Your appliances. If your remodel will include the purchase of new appliances, choose them sooner in the remodel stage rather than later. Do not leave them as a last minute consideration. If a considerable amount of time has passed since you last looked at appliances, you will find there are more features to offer a consumer than ever before! Deciding which appliances will be used in your remodel is necessary to ensure the design incorporates their requirements such as dimensions and utility needs. 

 

With these thoughts in mind, you can begin the exciting process of planning that perfect kitchen remodel and bringing new life inside your home! Give us a call, or stop in our Carmel, Indiana showroom to start adding new life to your home.


 

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