Replace or reface cabinets?
long as the layout of your kitchen doesn't need to be drastically changed and
your cabinets are in solid condition, Hare says you can literally replace all
the working parts -- the drawers, lazy susans, etc. -- without touching the
cabinet boxes themselves.
Some people may choose to repaint
the cabinets, but remodelers warn against quick jobs that don't properly prepare
the cabinet. It's more than a one-day project. The process also may be more difficult
than expected by do-it-yourselfers because of problems such as built-up grease
from cooking, some experts say.
"You have to literally
take that cabinet and sand it all down to allow that paint or stain to soak up
into it," says Garner, a national training and education manager for a Minnesota
cabinet company. "There's a lot of time and effort and a lot of work involved
to be able to do it."
And despite ads that promise to lessen the hit
on your wallet and TV shows that make it appear easy, many kitchen remodelers
say that in many cases, refacing typically is not much cheaper than replacing
"It's almost the same price," Hydeck says.
"Most of the time you can get a middle-of-the-road cabinet for the same price
as you can get them refaced."
A standard new 30-inch-by-30-inch
cabinet costs $200 to $250, estimates Hydeck, although it can reach into the thousands
for custom cabinets, depending on the finish, knobs, glass and other factors.
Many people who have their cabinets refaced actually can afford to purchase new
cabinets and, as a result, have their kitchen designed to accommodate more space,
Garner says. He estimates that the average cost of cabinets range from $1,800
all the way up to $25,000.
With approximately four million
kitchen remodels in 2005, according to the National Association of the Remodeling
Industry, homeowners need to determine their reason for changing the kitchen --
whether it's for yourself or to sell your home, says Hydeck.
If doing it for yourself, he recommends replacing cabinets. If you're doing it
to sell the home within a year, you probably won't see an immediate return on
your investment, so it's best to make cosmetic improvements with new drawer knobs,
pulls and hinges.