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Kitchen Cabinets – Refacing vs. Replacing

Remodeling the kitchen is one of the most common of remodeling projects. The kitchen cabinets play a major role in remodeling and the homeowner has 2 options before him when it comes to these cabinets. He can either reface them or replace them. Both options can improve the look of the cabinets and so enhance the overall appearance of the kitchen. But these are 2 very different activities and before making a decision on the way to go it is important to understand the pros and cons of each option.

Refacing Pros
  • Cost savings. On an average the cost of refacing cabinets is about 50% of the cost of installing new ones.
  • No removal or demolition of the existing cabinets is required, so time is saved and the risk of damage to the walls is reduced.
  • The money saved can be used elsewhere in the remodeling.
Replacing Pros 
  • New cabinets with new designs and interior layouts that better suit current needs can be created.
  • New cabinets will use modern fabrication techniques and materials and so will be more sturdy and have a longer life
  • Putting in new kitchen cabinets will add to the value of your home more that refaced cabinets ever can.
Issues to Consider

When deciding between the refacing and replacing options, there are some issues that should be considered to help you reach the right conclusion.
  • What is the condition of your present cabinets? Are they solid and is the hardware in good condition? If so, you can think about simply refacing them. If the condition is not good, then replacement is the better option since you will otherwise be spending on refacing the cabinets which have only a little usable life left in them.
  • Do you need to change the location and design of your cabinets to increase work and storage space and to make using them more convenient? If new cabinets with increased functionality can save you time, effort and energy, then replacement is the better option.
  • Are you going to town with your kitchen remodeling? If you are changing everything, including all the appliances and are aiming for a completely new feel and look to the kitchen, then not replacing the old cabinets could be a mistake. Having one part of the kitchen old and difficult to use when compared to the newness of everything else can ruin the pleasure of the new look kitchen.
  • And finally a lot depends on your budget. It is common to have a kitchen remodeling wish list that exceeds the money available. When this happens compromises have to be made and one of the easiest and safest is that of refacing cabinets instead of replacing them.
The Choice Is Yours

In the matter of refacing kitchen cabinets or replacing them, there is no right or wrong. The choice you make will be based on the condition of the existing cabinets, the look you want to give to your remodeled kitchen and the money available for the project. At times, evaluating these criteria and giving them the right weightage can be difficult. That is why it is important to have a home remodeling contractor that is focused on client service and is willing to go the extra mile to talk the client through the implications of the options available to him to ensure that he makes the right choice. And if the contractor has design-build expertise that allows for various design concepts to be discussed and evaluated, the chances of making the right decision increase greatly.


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