Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Cheap kitchen remodeling can pay handsomely

by Shannon Lee
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Think about the first moment you walked into your kitchen. What did you think? If you are like most homeowners, the kitchen held serious weight in your decision to purchase the house. Over 80 percent of home builders surveyed by Professional Builder magazine said they thought the kitchen was the most vital point of marketing and selling a house.

The kitchen is an important gathering place for family and friends, and the importance of that space is reflected in the remodeling choices of today's homeowner. The survey found that while the average home size is getting smaller, the size of the kitchen remains the same or is actually getting larger. In addition, cabinets are the most desired upgrade in kitchens, followed by countertops.

If you are planning to sell your home anytime soon, it might pay to update that old kitchen into something the new homeowners can make their own. Rather than go to the expense of replacing kitchen cabinets that you won't be living there to enjoy, opt for cheap kitchen remodeling with refacing instead.

Cheap kitchen remodeling can bring nice rewards

The cost difference between refacing cabinets and replacing them is significant. Basic stock cabinets for a 10-by-12' kitchen start at $4,000 to $5,000, not including installation or countertops. Semi-custom cabinets can make an $8,000 to $10,000 dent in your budget, while custom cabinets can cost between $16,000 and $20,000 and up.

On the other hand, kitchen cupboard door replacement cuts down on costs while giving your kitchen that "brand new" look that homebuyers love to see. Basic cabinet doors made of rigid thermofoil or plastic laminate can cost between $1,000 and $3,000, a substantial savings over complete stock cabinets. An upgrade to wood veneer can cost between $2,500 and $6,000, while going with thicker wood can cost between $7,000 and $9,000 or more. In short, the cost of kitchen cabinet refacing is less than half the cost of replacing the cabinets altogether.

If you are really strapped for cash but need to give your kitchen a fresh, clean look before putting it on the market, painting the cupboard doors is another option. A fresh coat of paint and new hardware might not significantly boost your resale value, but it can make the kitchen look more appealing. In a tough real estate market, every advantage counts.



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