With the number of home sales dropping, and the tighter
restrictions in the mortgage industry, many homeowners are finding it
harder than ever to sell their homes and upgrade to a larger home.
Because of this trend, home renovation projects are on the rise as
homeowners are finding ways to make their current homes more livable,
while adding value to their home at the same time. The easiest way to
add value and create the feel of a new home, is to renovate your
In a kitchen renovation, the kitchen cabinets represent
the largest expenditure in your remodeling budget. Since they are the
centerpiece of your kitchen, many of the other decisions about your
kitchen will be based off of your cabinet choice. Your countertop,
appliance, and hardware decisions will depend on the style and layout of
your kitchen cabinets.
The biggest issue with traditional, store
bought cabinets is that it could take 8-10 weeks before delivery, so it
is very important to make your cabinet selection prior to do starting
any demolition or remodeling of your kitchen. There are cabinets
available on-line, that could be delivered within 2-3 weeks, but it will
depend on what style and construction you are looking for. We will
talk about the differences in cabinets later on in the article.
looking at cabinets, it is important to come up with a target budget
and a basic floor plan or layout. With the average kitchen remodel
costing $40,000-50,000 it is important to accurately calculate all of
the expenses involved with your project. While it may seem like a
challenging project, even a DIY Homeowner with minimal experience can
design and layout their own kitchen with accurate measurements and a
couple of templates. This could save you a significant amount of money
by not using a kitchen designer.
In the event that you think this
is a project that you are comfortable tackling, you can either use a
kitchen designer or go to one of the home improvement centers and take
advantage of their free design services.
There are several factors
that are going to affect the cost of your cabinets: cabinet brand,
construction, wood type, and features. It is important to research all
of your options. What you will find is that a higher price doesn’t
always correspond with higher quality, and some of the lesser-known
cabinet lines will actually have a stronger construction.
There are however, a few general kitchen cabinet buying tips that may help you in your kitchen cabinet research.
Kitchen Cabinet Wood Choices
you are buying custom made cabinets, stock cabinets, or RTA cabinets,
they will all offer a wide range of wood choices. Solid hardwood
cabinets, such as Cherry, Maple, Birch, Hickory and Oak typically cost
much more than laminate or veneer finished cabinets.
Face Framed Kitchen Cabinets
framed kitchen cabinet construction is the most prevalent kitchen
cabinet construction type in the United States and usually it is lower
cost. This construction technique involves the building of a kitchen
cabinet face out of hardwood pieces. Typically the cabinet face is
constructed using several 1″x 2″ vertical and horizontal hardwood
pieces. The face frame is then married to the front of a particleboard
or solid plywood kitchen cabinet box. It is highly recommended that you
try to find cabinets that use solid wood or solid plywood for the
Particleboard and Fiberboard will have a tendency to
sag or warp over time from moisture. Even mid-priced RTA cabinets are
available that are made from solid Plywood sides. Hardwood or
veneered/laminated cabinet doors and drawer faces, are then attached via
hinges and roller mechanisms to the face frame and cabinet box.
Frameless (European-Style) Kitchen Cabinets
kitchen cabinet construction is becoming increasingly popular today as
frameless kitchen cabinets are considered to be more contemporary. With
frameless cabinets there is no face frame. The kitchen cabinet doors
attach directly to the sides of the cabinet and are secured with pins
and dowels. The advantages of this type of construction, is that there
is wider access into the cabinet space and the hinges are completely
hidden. Typically “ready-to-install” kitchen cabinets are constructed in
Kitchen Cabinet Finishes
There are many
Kitchen cabinet finishes to choose from when using natural woods.
Cabinet finishes include stain, paint and glazing options. In addition
there are my types of distressing techniques that can also be employed
on kitchen cabinet surfaces. Some options include Rasping, Antiquing and
There are also many types of laminates that you can choose from.
Kitchen Cabinet Sizes
cabinets come in a variety of standard shapes and sizes, however custom
sizes can also be easily specified and manufactured – at a price.
Standards kitchen cabinet sizes, known as stock cabinets, are usually
much more affordable then custom or semi-custom cabinets and usually
have shorter lead times. Most manufacturers, unless custom built,
stock universal sizes so if you have a kitchen designed at supply store
or by a designer it will usually be transferable to another cabinet
Kitchen Cabinet Quality
If you plan on living in your
home for many years, do not skimp on your kitchen cabinets. They are
constantly used and abused, and only the sturdiest will stand the test
The best kitchen cabinets employ solid frames, doors and
drawers and are fully self-contained (closed backs), with reinforced
corners. As I mentioned before, it is important to look for cabinets
that have a plywood box versus particleboard or fiberboard. This is why
it is important to look at all of the cabinet lines that are available,
even cabinets that are sold on-line.