Percent of budget: 30%
Cabinets make the kitchen’s first impression, and dated kitchen cabinets can detract from the aesthetic appeal of the room. Fortunately, you can change the color, look and feel of your cabinets without tearing through your bank account. Every square foot of the kitchen is potential work or storage area, so adequate cabinet space is a huge plus.
The first decision to make is whether to go standard or custom. Going custom offers more flexibility. With custom cabinets, you can create something that will fit both your space and your taste; however, custom work is significantly more expensive. Standard cabinets are the more affordable option, though the standard issue does limit your options in terms of size and depth. You can also compromise by installing pull-out shelves and lazy susans in standard cabinets to maximize their storage space.
Whether you decide to go standard or custom, you’ll want to decide on the right material as well. Wood, natural or painted, is the most popular choice. It’s long-lasting and durable — and you’ll find a huge variety of types and prices within the wood family. Less expensive alternatives are also available, such as composites, laminates, and even metal or glass.
If hardwood cabinets are out of the question, or if your old cabinets just need a new look, cabinet refacing or resurfacing can be an affordable option. By leaving the location of your cabinets unchanged and simply refacing the existing cabinetry, you will negate the need for demolition and new installation. Your project costs will, therefore, be considerably lower than if you were to tear out the old kitchen cabinets and replace them with new.
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