Choosing new kitchen cabinets for your home is the priciest part of the typical kitchen remodel. If you’re on a tight budget, it can be tough to figure out where to cut corners. You don’t want to go with appliances that simply don’t suit your needs or flooring that will be worn and old-looking within a few years. However, turning to kitchen cabinet refacing can be a nice compromise.
The true cost of those kitchen cabinets
Consider this: a minor remodel of a 200-square foot kitchen can cost an average of $21,411, according to the 2010-2011 Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling Magazine. If you’re looking at something a bit nicer, expect to pay an average of $57,212 for a major kitchen remodel, and around $111,794 for an upscale, complete luxury remodel.
How much of that is spent on kitchen cabinets? According to Costhelper.com, top and base cabinets for a 10×12 kitchen can cost between $4,000 and $5,000, not including installation and countertops. Semi-custom cabinets can cost a bit more, between $8,000 and $10,000. Want to go all out? Expect to spend between $16,000 and $20,000 for custom cabinets.
Keep in mind that these are basic cabinets. If you choose all sorts of bells and whistles, odd sizes and custom hardware, expect to pay much more than what is listed here.
What about cabinet refacing?
Cabinet refacing is a great way to keep the costs down while having a kitchen that looks like new. Rather than replace the cabinets completely, cabinet refacing means you keep the cabinet boxes, and simply replace the doors and drawer fronts. Since doors receive most of the wear and tear of typical kitchen use, the cabinet boxes are often just as nice as they were the day they were purchased. Replacing those old doors can make the entire cabinet set look brand-new.
In comparison to cabinet replacement, kitchen cabinet refacing cost can seem like an absolute steal. Using basic thermofoil cabinet fronts in a 10×12 kitchen can cost between $1,000 and $3,000. Bump that up to real wood veneer and expect to pay between $2,5000 and $6,000 for the job. Custom cabinet fronts can set you back between $7,000 and $9,000.
Kitchen cabinet styles can drive up the price as well. Basic styles that include a flat wood panel will usually be on the lower end of the price scale, while styles that have glass inlays, intricate designs or unique finishes can cost more. Don’t forget the hardware, either. In some cases the old hardware can be used, but if you are moving to a truly new style, new hardware could be required to keep a seamless look.
Keep in mind that these costs do not include installation. However, that’s another good thing about kitchen cabinet refacing: the enterprising do-it-yourself homeowner can usually handle the job with the proper tools and some experience in home improvement projects. Whether you tackle the job or hire a professional to do it, expect to spend a long weekend working on cabinet refacing. However, the time could well be worth the thousands of dollars you save on a major kitchen remodel.