Ready-to-Assemble Kitchen Cabinets

Learn about the different options for ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets and see how they can help you design a budget friendly dream kitchen.
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Photo by: Lisa F. Young

Lisa F. Young

By: Amy McEvoy

Whether you're installing a brand new kitchen or updating an existing one, ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets can be a great way to incorporate new style in a budget-friendly way.

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As you start your kitchen remodel, you'll begin to immediately see that cabinets take up the majority of both the design space and the budget. Ready-to-assemble cabinets are a basic form of cabinet that can be picked up or delivered from a local neighborhood retailer. They typically come boxed and broken down into multiple parts along with instructions and hardware. They are meant to be put together by a DIY homeowner or hired help. They generally feature a low degree of difficulty when it comes to assembly, and they may save on labor costs as well.

The major advantage of ready-to-assemble cabinets is that they are inexpensive and convenient. Unlike custom cabinetry that is sold anywhere between $50-$500 per linear foot plus labor costs, ready-to-assemble cabinets are sold by the cabinet and usually range from $1500-$4500 unassembled for an entire 10x10 kitchen full of cabinets. They can be bought at local retailers without need for a pre-order and brought home immediately or delivered to your home conveniently.

One of the major disadvantages of ready-to-assemble cabinets is that there are a limited number of styles, materials and colors you can purchase. While these pre-made cabinets have come a long way in available colors, there are still only certain styles and materials available. Thermofoil is still a readily available and inexpensive material used in ready-to-assemble cabinets, although wood veneers and even real wood are newer options for homeowners wishing for a higher-quality cabinet.

While ready-to-assemble cabinets also can cut down on the labor costs that custom or even semi-custom cabinetry require, it is important that homeowners have some basic DIY skills in order to install their cabinets. Ready-to-assemble cabinets have to be put together and then hung, which requires some skill to ensure that they are safely assembled and installed. So if you are a hammer-savvy homeowner looking to renovate on a budget, check out ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets to see if they can get you closer to a new and improved kitchen design.

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