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Kitchen Cabinets and Refacing

The first time you walked into the kitchen of your home, there's no doubt you had an immediate opinion about the cabinets. Given that you're reading this article, chances are you weren't crazy about them. Kitchen cabinets must be functional, but they should also look great and, in a perfect world, fit with your home's d├ęcor. They're an important focal point.

But before you embark on the expensive task of replacing your kitchen cabinets, which can cost $30,000 or more depending on materials and the size of your kitchen, be sure to also consider the possibility of refacing them.

Replace or Reface?

No matter what you think of your kitchen cabinets' aesthetics, don't toss them out without assessing their durability and functionality. Not only is that ecologically irresponsible, it's financially foolish. Older cabinets, in many cases, are better built than cabinets you can buy new. Refacing allows you to transform perfectly good, but unattractive cabinets by adding new door and drawer fronts and door hardware. Exposed cabinet faces are covered.

Refacing cabinets can cost as little as $3,000 for a basic job and as much as $10,000 or more. The cost rises if you choose to reface your cabinets using the most expensive material, wood veneer. Also available for refacing are: plastic laminates and rigid thermofoils or RTFs. Plastic laminates come in a wide range of colors. While RTFs come in fewer colors, they can be shaped and molded into a variety of styles, including convincing wood grain patterns.

Both big and small companies specialize in cabinet refacing and you can easily find listings online or in your local telephone directory. Refacing, depending on the scale of your project, can generally be completed in two to three days. Extras, such as adding cabinets, a kitchen island, and molding and trim work, will extend the job.

Buying New Cabinets

Buying new kitchen cabinets is an investment that you add tremendous comfort and value to your home. But it's a long-term investment. The longer you plan to live in your home, the better your chances are to fully realize the fruits of your hard-earned dollars.

This Old House, Replace or Reface Cabinets? By Pete Goode

About the Author
Mary Butler is a Boulder, Colo.-based writer and editor, who spends much of her free time fixing up an old house.

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