Remodeling your kitchen requires a significant amount of time and money. If you have a limited budget for both, consider focusing only on the cabinets. New cabinetry - whether by replacing or refacing - can update the look of your kitchen quickly and without the high cost of a total remodel. Consider the following when making your plans...
Professional Installation Is a Must
Certain tasks qualify as DIY for a handy homeowner. Installation of kitchen cabinetry is not one of them.
With both replacement and refacing, accurate measurements are vital. A large gap where it shouldn't be or an ill-fitting cabinet will draw the eye in a negative way, and the wrong number also can lead to functionality issues with drawers and other moving parts. Your professional handyman will get complete and accurate measurements using his or her many years of experience. It does not simply involve putting your trusty tape measure, pencil and pad to use.
A professional installation also takes a fraction of the time a DIY project does. Tinkering away on a project that involves a less used, less vital room in the home, such as a half-bath, does little to inconvenience to your family, but taking too long in the kitchen can disrupt the entire flow of your home life. Eating meals out because your kitchen is in disarray can add up, and your family will lose one of its favorite gathering places.
Consult your professional handyman during the planning stages of your cabinetry update to ensure best results. Calling him or her in once you've gotten as far as you can will only end up costing you more in the long run, as the materials for this project are costly and cannot be returned in most cases, such as with custom-ordered pieces. You also do not want to pay to have work done twice, adding to that the expense of undoing mistakes made.
Replacing vs. Refacing vs. Remodeling
If you do decide to focus only on the cabinetry in your kitchen, you will need to decide between replacing and refacing.
Replacement involves demolition of all existing cabinets. Everything comes out, allowing you to redesign the storage in your kitchen to allow for more efficient and increased organizational space. For example, you can design your cabinetry to suit the way you work in the kitchen, as opposed to following the cookie-cutter style most builders use in their homes.
With refacing, you use the existing boxes for your cabinetry but update the fronts as well as the finish and hardware of all cabinets. This costs less than replacement and serves as more of a makeover than the partial remodel that is replacement. It has a significant impact on the appearance of the room, though, so consider it an option if you are happy with the layout and number of your existing cabinets.
Remodeling, as mentioned above, is the most expensive option and will take your project beyond simple cabinetry installation. You can design your entire kitchen from scratch, even changing where appliances and your sink goes. Since this may require installation of new plumbing and electrical , expect the cost to reflect the expertise and labor for the work.
If you are still deciding what you want to do in your kitchen, check out the Mr. Handyman hub page, Kitchen Design | Ideas for Remodeling Your Kitchen on any Budget. There you will find more ideas to make your own, from flooring to countertops to cabinetry, and helpful advice on budgeting for your project and hiring a contractor. And, as always, your professional handyman can help turn these ideas into reality in your home.
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