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. 


Testimonials

"We hired The KitchenWright to build us a custom media cabinet to house 3 TVs and a motorized projector screen, along with shelving. They were wonderful to work with and I appreciated their designs. The installation crew was great. We had some minor defects with our cabinets and they addressed every problem immediately. The final product was perfect and everything we wanted. The crew was professional, knowledgeable, and trust worthy. I am usually not very comfortable with strangers in my home, but the installation crew were so nice to work with. Overall experience was great and I would recommend them for any cabinetry work. I plan to get a quote from them when I update my kitchen." -Olympia M.

"I am in love with my new kitchen and The KitchenWright played a huge part in that. I had specific ideas and they educated me and made it happen. They knew what I wanted and seamlessly made decisions based on that. I've had other contractors try to pass things by on me, thinking I wouldn't know the difference, but in this case they anticipated issues and fixed them before they were permanent. They were a delight to work with. My kitchen even made the Facebook page! Thanks for making this a great experience!" -Gretchen C.

"Thanks so much for your help and input! We love our “refreshed” kitchen now. I really enjoyed working with you and have already given your card to a friend!" -Arden E.

"They did a fabulous job. They were real professionals, it was the type of job that I could leave them alone and not worry about my house." -Ed R.