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Buying kitchen cabinets: 8 ways to cut costs and ensure quality

Three important things to beware of when buying kitchen cabinets on a budget:

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  1. Fragile materials: Under their paper-thin veneers, which may look attractive, most cheap kitchen cabinets are made of particle board or fiber board. These materials may feel heavy, but they are not as strong as real wood.

  2. Poorly fitting drawers: It won't take long before you are sick of yanking drawers open and shoving them shut. Often, plastic tracks wear down quickly.

  3. Creaking doors and hinges: In addition to driving you crazy, they often crack and sag.

Buying kitchen cabinets the right way

Focus on quality and still spend less. Consider these five quick tips for buying high-quality kitchen cabinets without breaking the bank.

  1. Buy unfinished cabinets: Look for real wood cabinets with solid joinery and metal drawer tracks. Add your own paint or stain for a custom look. Do-it-yourselfers can save even more by installing new kitchen cabinets themselves.

  2. Simplify: Avoid pricy upgrades like glass doors, turntables, and corner pieces.

  3. Assemble cabinets yourself: Ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets can be bought and shipped for less than assembled cabinets. RTA kitchen cabinets are nearly always made of wood; they come with all their hardware; and they are available in numerous colors and styles.

  4. Look for discounts: "On sale" doesn't need to mean "cheap." Buying kitchen cabinets that are discontinued or that were floor samples can garner high-quality for low cost.

  5. Try lesser-known brands: Don't pay for marketing and advertising, unless it truly adds value to your kitchen.

Shop carefully now and you will have great-looking cabinets for the next 30 years. Buy on the cheap now, and you may find yourself replacing those new kitchen cabinets, sooner than you think.

 

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