Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Cabinet refacing that's more than skin deep

by Karl Fendelander
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

It's easy to look at bent-up hardware, busted doors, broken drawers and shoddy shelving and decide that your cabinets are so far beyond being saved by cabinet refacing that it isn't even worth getting a quote. More often than you might think, this isn't the case. Cabinet refacing experts know their way around your kitchen cupboards. They know what can be saved, what needs to be completely replaced and what could be reworked and brought back from the dead with some elbow grease and a new part or two. You aren't just paying for someone to come in and stick veneer to everything; this is a full cabinet remodel.

Deeper than doors and drawers

Unless the frame of your cabinets is crumbling particle board, chances are good it's still pretty solid. Chances are even better that what weak spots it might have are reparable and can be reinforced. Wood is forgiving in that way. Here's a look at a few things you might not expect to be covered in a typical cabinet refacing:

  • Structural integrity. Broken or rotted out pieces of wood can be replaced without too much effort -- and without ripping everything down and starting from scratch. A little reinforcement in the right places can go a long way, too. Have a bonded, licensed and insured* contractor like the ones you'll find in our network take a look at any particularly concerning, unstable cabinets before you decide you need a complete cabinet replacement.
  • Broken bits. It's not uncommon for folks to assume that, because it's called cabinet refacing and not replacing, things that actually do need to be replaced won't be covered. Any contractor worth her or his salt knows that a mix of refacing and replacing is what's actually going on. Replacing a drawer box isn't a big deal, nor are most other small replacements aimed at repair.
  • Ugly interiors. The word 'refacing' catches people up here, too -- clients and contractors alike. Don't settle for answers like "when the cabinet is full, you won't even see the interior." If you're going for glass-front or a no-doors look, the interior is one of the most important parts -- but even if you aren't, there's still no reason to skimp. Interiors can be reworked and veneered just like the doors and drawers can. Shelves can be moved, added, taken away or completely remade into highly functional versions of their former selves.

In short, cabinet refacing isn't just about making things look nice. It's also about making them look and function as well as they possibly can without being wasteful. Talk to a professional, and come up with a plan that fits your budget and makes you love your cabinetry again.

*See terms and conditions: http://www.streetcertified.com/about/Terms.jsp

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