• June 26, 2022

Repair or Replace? That is the question

Thousands of dollars are spent each month on advertising promoting cabinet makeovers as an inexpensive means of revitalizing tired, outdated kitchens. On the surface, remodeling appears to be a convenient and sensible approach to remodeling one’s kitchen on a budget; And who is not interested in that?

Consideration of the important differences between refacing and replacing reveals much more than the publicity would have you believe.

First, make no mistake about it; to face again is not cheap. A typical Orange County kitchen can cost anywhere from $10,000.00 to $18,000.00 just to replace the cabinets, not including the countertops.

So what do you get for your money anyway? New doors, perhaps new drawer boxes, new hinges, and a veneered or refinished cabinet exterior. Perhaps the most important thing is what you don’t get.

• You do not receive new cabinet interiors. This means that when you open your new doors you still see the same old ugly interior, which consists in most cases of your kitchen wall and 1″x2″ lumber to support the shelves.

• You can’t rearrange the kitchen. This means you’ll still be stuck with that dead space in the corner and all those wasted cavities that could have housed spice racks, dump trays, lazy susans, junk drawers, and more. Many wonderful improvements have been made in the areas of kitchen design and cabinetry in the last 10-15 years. Homeowners cannot enjoy most of these improvements if they choose to remodel rather than replace.

• You don’t have as many finishing options. Because there are only a limited number of veneers available and because only so much can be done when restoring old cabinet exteriors, you often can’t get the beautiful matching finish that you can get when you replace your cabinets with new wood cabinets. solid prefinished. Also, the best finish (a baked on oil-based catalyzed lacquer) cannot be obtained in California.

• It doesn’t save as much time as you might think. Everyone has heard of someone whose kitchen was in a state of chaos for 2 months, 3 months, or even longer while the cabinets and countertops were being replaced. Capping appears to require much less time since no cabinets are removed in the process. In reality, after the cabinets have been delivered by the manufacturer (usually 3-7 weeks after ordering), most kitchens can be professionally installed within 5-10 days, including countertops. It doesn’t take 2-4 months to install kitchen cabinets and countertops.

• You don’t save as much money as you were led to believe. The reason most people think they can’t afford new cabinets is because many companies inflate the cost of cabinets and granite so much that the cost of resurfacing looks cheaper by comparison. The truth is, people just need to do a little more shopping to find a cabinet store that has the commitment, experience, and staff to do what they’d like in a timely manner for a price they can afford.

A homeowner I know had signed a contract to have his kitchen cabinets resurfaced for $12,500.00 and countertops installed for $4,500.00 by a reputable company. The next day she found that someone was able to completely reorganize her kitchen, removing an ugly peninsula that didn’t work, adding a new island, and incorporating a host of other wonderful improvements. And all this in beautiful cherry wood with beautiful granite countertops. The cost was only about $2,500.00 more to have a wonderful new kitchen instead of just a cosmetic makeover from the old one.

What did he do? He canceled the first contract the next day.

If you’re thinking of changing the face of your cabinets, perhaps you should consider what you’re getting for your investment.

david allen
President, Preferred Cabinets

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