Kitchen Cabinet Prices
Kitchen cabinet prices will eat up about half the cost of a kitchen remodel. That is a significant long-term investment, so there are many factors to consider when deciding on how much to spend.
Bang for Your Buck
Best for: Someone who plans on spending less than three years in their house. While all kitchen upgrades add resale value to your home (experts say you can expect to recoup between 90 and 102 percent of your investment), minor remodeling has the surefire guarantee of a full return.
"Small changes can have a big impact," says Janice Anne Costa, author of Everything and the Kitchen Sink and editor of the trade publication Kitchen and Bath Design News. "We're not talking about a triple glaze on cabinets or baroque cabinet carvings of course, but adding a new countertop or a fresh coat of paint. These can quickly reinvent the most-used room in your house." Here are some of the must-have ways you can get more bang for the buck.
Surfaces get a lot of wear and tear in the kitchen. So freshening up the countertops can instantly reinvent your kitchen. While precious marble or stone will most likely be a budget-buster at this price point, there are economical choices that are also now virtually indestructible, too. CaesarStone, for example, is 93-percent crushed quartz that's combined with polymer resins to create a tough-as-nails, nonporous surface, according to Janice Anne.
Repaint, Don't Replace
Often the biggest expense in a kitchen, new cabinets will probably be out of reach at this price point. If you have an older kitchen, it may be wiser to repaint or refinish the existing cabinets, which are likely wood. It will cost half as much as the price of new wood cabinets — and smarter than downgrading to particleboard to fit the budget, Janice Anne points out.
Consider tearing out cabinets completely and going for a trendier, open-shelving design, like the one pictured above. While this is an inexpensive option, it's important to keep shelves clutter-free to maintain the stylish, airy look.
Update the Hardware
The easiest and cheapest way to update a kitchen (besides painting the walls) is to install new cabinet hardware. There are plenty of styles to choose from, making it one of the easiest and least expensive ways to inject a pop of personality. Here, vintage-inspired bin pulls give this kitchen an instant facelift.
Amp up Your Appliances
If your existing appliances work well, forgo new, costly replacements. "Consider putting a new panel over your current refrigerator door," suggests Janice Anne. Only don't squander the potential to increase the kitchen's functionality for the sake of cost, she adds. however, if a new dishwasher or a convection oven will make your life easier, take the plunge and invest in that new appliance.
$15K TIP: Creating a focal point in the kitchen goes a long way. Renew your kitchen sink by replacing your chrome-finish faucet with an antique brass farmhouse style, for example, or personalize that shelf over your window by adding a collection of Depression-era glass vases.
You'll want to think about how long you plan to live in the home and what the average kitchen value in your neighborhood is. An updated kitchen is arguably the biggest selling point when a house goes on the market, so you don't want to overprice or underprice your house out of the resale value because your kitchen doesn't match the average expectations of the neighborhood or is too much.
Once you've determined these factors and established a budget, then you're ready to make pricing choices based on it. Kitchen cabinets come in three basic types: Stock or ready-to-assemble, semi-custom and custom. Stock cabinets are the least expensive and sit in a home improvement store ready to buy and install. Semi-custom are cabinets made-to-order from select choices, so they have some prefab aspects and some custom aspects and are in the mid-range on pricing. Custom cabinets are the most expensive and the price varies according to the style and design you choose. As the name indicates, custom cabinets are built to your specifications and you can add as many embellishments and accents as you want, assuming you want to pay for it.
When it comes to kitchen cabinets, you really do get what you pay for, so research carefully before choosing. Even low-end cabinets can have embellishments and additions that give them a high quality look. Know what to look for to tell the difference or you could end up with shoddy cabinets that will not stand the test of time. Just a basic cabinet replacement for a standard-sized kitchen can cost on average $15,000 or more. You can offset this cost by passing up nonessentials, like glass fronts and muntins, moldings, carved designs and other embellishments, opting to add unique hardware instead.
If your cabinets are still in excellent condition and you just want something different, you can cut your costs in half by simply refacing them. Refacing, also called resurfacing, is the process of laying a sheet of wood or laminate over existing cabinet boxes for a completely different look. Refacing allows you to change the wood type and color by placing a veneer over the existing frame. Some styles of cabinet doors can also be refaced, but you can still save considerable money refacing the cabinet boxes and replacing the doors and hardware if necessary. Painting and staining are also inexpensive options as alternatives to gutting your kitchen and replacing the cabinets.
Once you've decided on the cabinets that are right for your needs and budget, you can determine any accessories you want to add to them.
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