20 Sep Choosing a Cabinet
Tips for making the wisest decision
It’s not easy. You’re working with a kitchen and serious questions arise. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new home or a remodel, the issues you face are the same. You’ve probably already learned that it is the cabinets that consume the majority of a kitchen budget. You’re looking at making an investment in something that should be able to last for years, if not decades. Obviously, you’re not going to rush into this – this is something that needs to be done right. So before you carelessly spend time and money, weigh the factors that will help you best determine which cabinets are right for your room.
If you’re in the middle of a remodel give the existing cabinet doors a critical inspection, there may be a few bucks to be saved. Are they generally of good quality? Do they work properly, is their layout ok? If so, you’re most cost-efficient option is to freshen them up. If you’re lucky, all that’s needed is a re-stain or repaint. You may opt to reface them, and that would require a new veneer for the exterior of the box. You’d also have to replace the doors and drawer fronts, but you might be better off seeking the help of a professional at that point.
Obviously with this route you’ll save time over installing all new cabinets, since the original ones are intact and the work is done right there. Still, it is the doors and drawer fronts that will cost the most. In fact it accounts for sixty to seventy percent of the total cost. Hiring a pro to make a new door and drawer simply may not be cost efficient. But if you know someone with the expertise you could always work out a deal.
On the other hand if you choose to go with entirely new cabinets, you’ll be completely free to check out the crazy amount of possibilities available. You’ll also discover the abundance of choices that need to be made. Can stock cabinets fill the void, or will you need to go that extra mile and have custom cabinets made? The latter are made to order per your specifications. In fact they can be everything you’ve wanted in a cabinet. When you start perusing your options in the form of designs, finishes, materials and accessories you might begin to develop some firm ideas of where you want your kitchen to go. Naturally for such creative freedom, you’ll also pay a premium.
You’ll also need to consider lead time. Custom cabinets built to your specifications start from scratch and could take a month to complete. You can knock some of the cost and time off by choosing semi-custom cabinets. Instead of being specially constructed to specific details, semi customs are pre-made in predetermined standard sizes. There’s usually never a problem in finding a good fit. Sometimes a compensating ‘spacer’ may be needed to fill any unused space, and this does reflect a loss of otherwise good storage space that could be saved with a custom build. You won’t have as many options to choose from, but the ones that are available are generally very appealing as they tend to be of the most popular styles and finishes, etc… that can, in fact, appear custom. For lack of what could be viewed as too many choices you can save a decent amount of cash.
Now, on the other hand, you can save near a bundle by simply going with all-stock cabinets, with no custom elements. You still will have some options, such as finish and style and you may even find them made of real solid wood. They’ve become popular enough to have seen them develop as products of greater quality than their previously earned reputation indicates. Once, the construction of stock cabinets left much to be desired. Now, with a little searching you can find really decent ones. Just be certain to inspect the hinges, doors, etc…The truth is, eight out of ten kitchens could use stock cabinets without a single problem.
No matter what level of cabinet you select you will still be faced with further decisions. For instance, you’ll need to pick a specific construction type and door style. Traditional kitchens are designed to favor framed cabinets (when the door is closed it rests on a “frame”). European style cabinets are flat and are also known as “frameless” you will typically find them in a kitchen of contemporary design. They have no frame and as a result provide greater access to the interior. As for the doors, the types available are traditional overlays (covering some of the frame), full-overlays cover the entire frame, and inset doors sit inside the cabinet frame.
Finally, check out the scores of hardware and accessories available to you as the finishing piece to the puzzle. Look at pulls, knobs and cabinet handles. They are available at all price points and come in an endless variety of styles and colors, giving you an additional opportunity to tie everything together. And that’s the key – to use your new cabinets to create a tastefully cohesive kitchen theme.
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