What’s the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel — adding state-of-the-art appliances? Installing a new floor? No, the single biggest item is the kitchen cabinets. While many homeowners might think new cabinetry is somewhat cosmetic, it actually makes up the lion’s share of a kitchen redo’s expense — 29 percent, according to Home Advisor.

The exact dollar cost of your new kitchen cabinets depends on exactly how you’re going to refresh them. In terms of national averages, it can run anywhere from $2,946 to $5,435 to $7,113, respectively, depending on whether you just refinish them (change their color), replace them entirely, or resurface/reface them (put new material on top of the existing cabinet frames and replace doors and drawer fronts).

On the plus side, new cabinets are an easy way to give your kitchen an instant facelift and improve your home’s value. And, as home renovations go, they’re fairly quick and easy to do. But cheap they are not, and since costs can balloon out of control, knowing what to look for and how to buy is an integral part of installing cabinetry.

What do new kitchen cabinets cost?

According to HomeAdvisor’s latest stats, the price of new cabinets for an average kitchen can run anywhere from $2,000 to $26,000 — most projects range between $4,000 to $13,000 – depending largely on the type of cabinetry (custom, semi-custom or ready-made) and the material it’s made of. Of course the size of the job matters, too: Contractors often quote prices per linear foot, and this rate can range from $100 to $1,200.

Hardware is an additional expense and the cost of handles and knobs for your cabinets varies significantly from under $100 to as much as $10,000 for more ornate or unique models, according to the home website Angi.

Average cabinet installation cost

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Kitchen size Square footage Total cost
Small Up to 70 sq. ft. $1,700-$11,000+
Medium Up to 120 sq. ft. $2,200-$14,000+
Large 200 sq. ft. and more $4,000-$26,000+

Customizing cabinets

Another key influence on your kitchen cabinet costs: how unique the units are. Kitchen cabinets come in three categories: stock (totally prefab), semi-custom (like car models or made-to-measure clothing — they come in standard styles and sizes, but you can choose certain details) and custom (completely built to your specifications). As to average prices:

  • Stock cabinets: $100 to $300 per linear foot installed
  • Semi-custom cabinets: $150 to $650 per linear foot installed
  • Custom cabinets: $500 to $1,200 per linear foot installed

If going the custom route, expect costs to balloon up to 100% more than stock or semi-custom models.

Other costs for new kitchen cabinets

There are other items to plan for when you are buying new cabinets. Installation adds a hefty expense to the bottom line, but there are other costs that will surface on your invoice, too. You might pay an additional $300 to $500 to remove and dispose of the old cabinets and any debris, for example.

It is also possible that you will need to adjust the placement of your existing kitchen cabinets before your new ones can be installed. This is no simple process, as it can involve the moving of outlets and plumbing, and you may need to repair drywall and paint.

Tips to save on kitchen cabinets

Stock up: Stock cabinets are far more affordable, costing an average of $5,434, while semi-custom and custom cabinets can cost $13,000 to more than $30,000. If you haven’t a complicated kitchen layout, this is often the simplest way to go.

Repurpose: Sometimes, you don’t need new cabinets at all because you can save your existing ones. Refacing cabinets (putting new surfaces and fixtures on existing frames) costs an average of $7,113 — not cheap, but still far less than custom jobs. And refinishing them (changing the color) only averages $2,943, even less than stock cabinetry. Plus, with no installation to worry about, you save time and money.

Donate: When replacing existing cabinets, you can gift the old ones to a local organization and receive a tax break for your donation. You can also save money by removing or disposing of them yourself, as installation professionals will most certainly charge you for this service.

Go with a specialist: A professional installation company or interior designer might be able to help you find the look and feel you want at a fraction of the price. With wholesale discounts and insider access, they could have access to liquidation sales.

There is an undeniable convenience of an all-in-one shopping experience at places like Ikea and Home Depot, but you will pay for the added service. Be aware that some design companies will inflate costs, charging up to three times the cost of materials. They often outsource the installation to local contractors, serving as a middleman and driving prices up.

How do new cabinets impact your home’s value?

Replacing your cabinets is one home renovation that can greatly improve the value of your home. That is to say, they are a key feature of a kitchen upgrade, which typically recoups around 54 percent to 72 percent of its cost, according to Remodeling’s 2021 Cost vs Value Report. The National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Remodeling Impact Report found that kitchen upgrades rank among the top interior projects that add resale value to homes and appeal to potential buyers.

New kitchen cabinet financing options

Home renovations are never an inexpensive venture, but financing can help you get cash upfront to start the project. With a loan, you can break your renovation down into more manageable payments spread over time.

Personal loan

A personal loan can offer a great solution if you are looking for a loan with fixed terms. You can enjoy a set monthly payment with no collateral necessary. Personal loans can be a good choice for a kitchen remodel as the proceeds from these types of loans can be used for anything you want. In addition, the money can typically be provided very quickly, often in as little as 24-hours. However, in order to get the best interest rate on your loan you’ll need a solid credit score. In addition, personal loans typically must be repaid over a short timeline of anywhere from 24 to 60 months. If you want more time to repay the costs of your kitchen cabinet project a personal loan may not be the best option.

Home equity loan

A home equity loan gives you access to cash upfront via one lump sum, but you use your home as collateral to guarantee the loan. This type of funding may be a good choice if your kitchen cabinet project is particularly costly, as most lenders will let you borrow up to 80 or 85 percent of your home’s equity, which is the value of your home minus any remaining balance on your mortgage. In addition, the repayment timeline of a home equity loan can be as long as 30 years, which may make this a better option for homeowners who need more time to pay back the expenses associated with their cabinet project.

Home equity line of credit

Also known as a HELOC, a home equity line of credit is much like a credit card, allowing you an open line of credit that you can reuse as you pay it off. This loan also uses your home as collateral, but it is subject to a fluctuating interest rate that can change the cost of your monthly payments throughout the life of the loan.

Next steps for new kitchen cabinets

Renovating your cabinets can be an expensive venture, but it can pay off in the long run with an enormous return on investment and greater market appeal. When deciding whether a kitchen cabinet installation is a good investment for your home, ask these three questions:

  • Will your remodel increase your home’s value?
  • Are remodeled kitchens a draw for buyers in your local area?
  • How much will it cost, and how I can finance it?

Taking these items into consideration will help you determine whether replacing your kitchen cabinets is the right move right now for your home.

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