Cabinet Refacing – a financially smart approach to a kitchen remodel

11-4_1638224639I always cringe when viewing many of the do-it-yourself remodeling shows—especially when the client is handed the sledge hammer and begins hitting the cabinets in an effort to start the project.  Not only is this dramatic scene often unnecessary in the process (just unscrew them from the wall and remove!), but it is also a tremendous waste of potential to capture the value of the existing cabinets and re-use and reface them in the project.

Re-using clean, structurally sound, but unappealing cabinetry is possible through the process of refacing the boxes and replacing the doors.  The appeal of a project that incorporates the technique of refacing is that this approach to a complete kitchen remodel has virtually all the benefits of a completely custom cabinetry approach, but is generally quite a bit faster, limits waste, and is a financially smart choice.

Smart consumers are getting wise to the fact that there are plenty of options in the marketplace when considering how to update a kitchen. Doing the research for the project should include the various types of ways that a kitchen can be remodeled, updated, and modified to look and perform like new.  One of these important and innovative strategies is cabinet refacing or resurfacing.  Incorporating these strategies is an effective way to achieve your goals, for quite a bit less than using that sledge hammer.

Savvy designers consider the following four strategies to evaluate a kitchen remodel as a successful cabinet refacing project, and you should too:

Inventory your existing layout, and your existing cabinetry

This step is key to understanding what “pieces of the cabinetry puzzle” you can reuse.  In many cases, the problem in the kitchen is a lack of a few key functional pieces, and a tired and outdated appearance.  You may quickly realize through this inventory process that you already have spent thousands of dollars on your existing kitchen, and with a few modifications, and a kitchen facelift by refacing existing cabinetry, you can achieve a completely new aesthetic and a completely new kitchen.

Through the process of inventorying, you can identify opportunities and challenges that your existing kitchen presents to you.  Your kitchen may be a perfect candidate for the process of refacing.  By replacing doors, and addressing other finishes within the space—including paint, countertops, and possibly appliances—it is likely you will be pleased beyond your expectations in the final result at a fraction of the cost of a completely new installation.

In many cases, this is also an amazingly stress free option, because refacing a kitchen and replacing doors and countertops can often be accomplished in just days where a complete kitchen overhaul can take weeks.

Evaluate the current cabinetry for opportunities   

A truly functional kitchen will help you work efficiently and within a space of minimal clutter or distraction.  Consider insert dividers to manage spices, cutlery, and storage options.  Additionally you have the option to also consider improving drawers and interior hardware options that could include soft closing glides, pullouts, or adding drawers.  Keep in mind that with a refacing approach, you will not have to replace decorative hardware that would have to match or cover existing attachment holes in the door—the door or drawer front is completely replaced, giving you a new opportunity for these added design touches.  The drawer box needs to be clean and structurally sound, but rarely, except in a few cabinets, has the cabinet box been compromised to the extent that it would be impossible to reuse and resurface.

Consider your new layout—design what you want based on how you work

Any changes to the overall layout can also be accomplished with the refacing approach.  Essentially, the boxes represent puzzle pieces that can be reassembled into different configurations.  A good refacing supplier will also have the option to add new puzzle pieces, such as completely new cabinets that will be ordered to look like the refaced cabinetry.  Changing how you look at how you work within the space can also open up the possibilities.  Work with the zone approach to function—such as food storage in one area, prep in another, cleaning in another and you may find a much more organized new kitchen is possible with a few adjustments.

Select a professional company that specializes in kitchen remodels

Making sure the company you work with can provide the various options in refacing as well as compatible options allows for a custom fit project that gives you incredible flexibility.  Maximizing what you already have in the kitchen, and providing any gaps to achieve a superior installation are my goals in remodeling.

I find it most helpful to work with suppliers that can handle most situations, including providing refacing surfaces on some or all of the cabinets.  The ability to provide a variety of door styles in a range of streamlined contemporary to classic traditional, and to take the project to completion with providing hardware, tops while coordinating the various subs needed is the best approach for an efficient project.

I also appreciate a supplier that works with me in a team member approach to my overall remodeling goals, and specializes in providing a comprehensive approach to kitchen cabinet refacing and cabinetry remodeling.  Often these types of suppliers will help me find suitable contractors for the job or work with me to coordinate my other suppliers—such as appliance sources.

Refacing is a remodeling option that makes sense now—and you can take advantage of the expanding options in the marketplace that ensure a great value in your next remodel.

And be sure to research Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Costs – Tips to Keep Your Remodeling Project Under Control if you do plan to do a cabinet refacing project.