Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Busting DIY myths about cheap kitchen remodels

by Shannon Lee
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

In a tough economy, the cost of hiring a contractor can seem steep. That's one of the reasons so many people turn to do-it-yourself projects when they want to improve something about their home. However, it is important to heed stories of projects gone awry because the homeowner didn't have enough experience to get the job done.

Though it might be tempting to jump into your kitchen cabinet refacing project on your own, keep in mind that cheap kitchen remodels don't always end up that way. Like the best of good intentions, handling that remodel on your own can often wind up costing more than you bargained for.

The truth about cheap kitchen remodels

When it comes to a remodeling project, there are two significant points to consider: time and money. Think about these issues before you launch that project:

  1. Cabinetry supplies. The cost of your kitchen refacing project doesn't end with the purchase of the cabinet doors. In order to do the job correctly, you will need several tools, from a good-quality drill to a suitable saw. These tools are definitely not cheap.
  2. A kitchen out of commission. While you are upgrading your kitchen, you likely won't be able to use it--after all, who wants sawdust in their dinner? That means eating convenience foods or going out for every meal. Either option can drive up the cost of your refacing budget.
  3. Making up for the mistakes. Think the project will be smooth sailing? Think again! Everyone makes mistakes, even you--especially if you are unfamiliar with the work. You may need to invest in extra supplies, perhaps even extra hinges and an extra door, to make sure you have all the necessities on hand to make up for that "whoops" moment.
  4. How valuable is your time? The do-it-yourself job starts with hours of research, then even more hours of measuring, planning, running to the home improvement store and double-checking your instructions, all before you really get started. A good cabinet refacing takes much more than a weekend for the novice. What else could you be doing with all that time?

Doing it yourself can be a good idea if you have advanced carpentry skills or a long history of handling your own home improvement jobs. But if you are like most homeowners, you might find yourself in way over your head and in need of professional assistance to finish out the remodel. Save money and time from the start by turning the job over to a contractor.



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