a man installing white wooden cabinets in a white interior kitchen

Planning to Reface Your Kitchen Cabinets? Here’s How to Save Money

Planning to Reface Your Kitchen Cabinets? Here’s How to Save Money



Refacing kitchen cabinets is a cost-effective way to give your kitchen a fresh look without the hefty price tag of a full cabinet replacement. However, it’s important to plan and execute the project wisely to ensure you save money while achieving the desired results. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll address ten of the most commonly asked questions about refacing kitchen cabinets and provide valuable insights and tips to help you save money throughout the process.


1. What is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing involves updating the exterior appearance of your kitchen cabinets while keeping the existing cabinet frames and layout intact. This typically includes replacing cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and applying a new veneer to the cabinet boxes. It’s a more budget-friendly alternative to cabinet replacement.

Benefits of Cabinet Refacing:

  • Cost-effective
  • Faster completion time
  • Less disruption to your kitchen
  • Sustainable, as it reduces waste

2. Can I DIY Cabinet Refacing?

Yes, cabinet refacing is a project that can be tackled by skilled DIYers. It involves tasks like measuring, cutting, and adhering veneer and installing new cabinet doors. However, it’s crucial to have the necessary tools, skills, and patience for the job. If you’re uncertain, consider hiring professionals to ensure a high-quality result.

DIY Cabinet Refacing Tips:

  • Carefully measure and cut materials
  • Use quality adhesives and tools
  • Take your time to achieve a professional finish
  • Seek guidance from tutorials or professionals

3. How Much Does Cabinet Refacing Cost?

The cost of cabinet refacing varies depending on factors like the size of your kitchen, materials chosen, and labor costs. On average, it can cost significantly less than a full cabinet replacement. To save money, consider using budget-friendly materials like laminate veneer or choosing simpler door styles.

Cost-Saving Strategies:

  • Compare quotes from multiple contractors
  • Opt for standard cabinet door sizes
  • Choose durable, budget-friendly materials
  • Explore discounts and promotions from suppliers

4. What Materials Are Used in Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing materials include veneer, cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware. Veneer options range from real wood to laminate. For cost savings, laminate veneer is a popular choice as it mimics the look of wood at a lower price point.

Popular Cabinet Refacing Materials:

  • Laminate veneer
  • Real wood veneer
  • Thermofoil
  • Cabinet knobs and handles

5. Should I Replace Hardware During Refacing?

Upgrading cabinet hardware, such as knobs and handles, is an affordable way to give your cabinets a fresh look. It’s recommended to replace hardware to complement the new cabinet doors and enhance the overall aesthetic of your kitchen.

Tips for Hardware Replacement:

  • Choose hardware that matches your kitchen style
  • Measure the existing holes for accurate replacement
  • Consider purchasing hardware in bulk for cost savings
  • Explore unique and budget-friendly hardware options

6. How Long Does Cabinet Refacing Take?

The duration of a cabinet refacing project depends on the size of your kitchen and the complexity of the job. On average, it can take anywhere from a few days to a week to complete. To save time and minimize kitchen disruption, plan the project carefully and ensure all materials are ready.

Time-Saving Strategies:

  • Properly organize and label cabinet components
  • Coordinate with professionals to set a realistic timeline
  • Choose efficient installation methods
  • Ensure all materials are on-site before starting

7. Can I Reface Cabinets with Water Damage?

In some cases, cabinets with minor water damage can be refaced. However, extensive damage may require cabinet replacement. To save money, assess the extent of the damage and consult with professionals to determine if refacing is a viable option.

Addressing Water Damage:

  • Repair minor damage before refacing
  • Consider spot refacing for damaged areas
  • Consult with professionals for an accurate assessment
  • Budget for unexpected repairs in your project plan

8. How Can I Maximize Storage During Refacing?

To make the most of your kitchen space during refacing, consider incorporating storage solutions like pull-out shelves, roll-out trays, and drawer dividers. These additions can enhance the functionality of your cabinets without a significant increase in cost.

Smart Storage Solutions:

  • Identify areas where storage can be improved
  • Install pull-out shelves and organizers
  • Opt for deep drawers for pots and pans
  • Customize storage solutions to fit your needs

9. What Are Some Eco-Friendly Cabinet Refacing Options?

If sustainability is a priority, choose eco-friendly materials for your cabinet refacing project. Look for options like reclaimed wood, low-VOC finishes, and eco-conscious suppliers to minimize your environmental impact while saving money.

Eco-Friendly Choices:

  • Reclaimed wood for veneer
  • Low-VOC or water-based finishes
  • Energy-efficient lighting
  • Sustainable hardware materials

10. How Do I Maintain Refaced Cabinets?

Proper maintenance is essential to ensure your refaced cabinets stay in excellent condition. Regularly clean and inspect your cabinets, avoid harsh chemicals, and handle cabinets gently to prolong their lifespan and maintain the money-saving benefits of refacing.

Cabinet Maintenance Tips:

  • Use a mild, non-abrasive cleaner
  • Avoid excessive moisture exposure
  • Inspect for loose veneer or hardware
  • Repair any damage promptly to prevent further issues

In conclusion, refacing your kitchen cabinets is a practical way to save money while giving your kitchen a fresh and updated appearance. By understanding the process, materials, and cost-saving strategies, you can embark on your cabinet refacing project with confidence, knowing you’ll achieve the desired results without breaking the bank.

Now that we’ve covered some of the essential aspects of cabinet refacing, let’s delve into more details on how to save money throughout the project, from planning to completion.

11. Plan Your Budget Wisely

Before you begin your cabinet refacing project, establish a realistic budget. Take into account the cost of materials, labor, and any additional features or upgrades you want. By setting a budget from the outset, you can avoid overspending and make informed decisions to save money.

Budget Planning Tips:

  • Research material costs thoroughly
  • Obtain quotes from multiple contractors
  • Factor in unexpected expenses in your budget
  • Prioritize essential upgrades within your budget

12. Explore DIY Options

If you have the skills and confidence to tackle cabinet refacing yourself, consider taking the DIY route. DIY projects can save you a substantial amount on labor costs. Just be sure to invest in the right tools and materials, and don’t hesitate to seek guidance from experts when needed.

DIY Cost Savings:

  • No labor costs
  • Complete control over materials
  • Satisfaction of accomplishing the project yourself
  • Ability to work at your own pace

13. Repurpose Existing Hardware

One way to cut costs is by reusing your existing cabinet hardware, such as hinges and drawer slides, as long as they are in good condition. This simple step can save you money and reduce waste.

Repurposing Hardware:

  • Carefully remove and store hardware during disassembly
  • Clean and refurbish hardware as needed
  • Ensure hardware is compatible with new cabinet doors
  • Replace only if necessary to maintain functionality

14. Consider Refinishing Instead of Replacing Doors

If your cabinet doors are structurally sound but have a worn finish, you can opt for refinishing instead of entirely replacing them. Sanding and repainting or staining can breathe new life into your existing doors at a fraction of the cost.

Refinishing Benefits:

  • Cost-effective alternative to new doors
  • Preserves the character of your existing cabinets
  • Allows for customization of colors and finishes
  • Reduces waste by reusing existing materials

15. Shop for Deals and Discounts

Be on the lookout for deals and discounts from suppliers and retailers. Many stores offer promotions on cabinet materials, hardware, and accessories. Taking advantage of these opportunities can significantly reduce your overall project expenses.

Savings Opportunities:

  • Keep an eye on seasonal sales and promotions
  • Join loyalty programs for additional discounts
  • Consider purchasing materials in bulk
  • Explore clearance or discontinued items for bargains

16. Opt for Standard Sizes

When choosing new cabinet doors, sticking with standard sizes can save you money. Custom-sized doors often come with a premium price tag due to the additional labor and materials required for customization.

Standard Size Benefits:

  • Cost-effective compared to custom orders
  • Faster production and delivery times
  • Easier to find replacement doors if needed
  • Wide variety of styles available in standard sizes

17. Maintain a Clean and Organized Workspace

During the refacing process, it’s essential to maintain a clean and organized workspace. This helps prevent accidents, damage to materials, and costly delays. Invest in proper storage and organization tools to keep your project on track.

Workspace Organization:

  • Label and store components neatly
  • Use drop cloths and protective coverings
  • Keep tools and materials organized
  • Dispose of waste properly to avoid clutter

18. Consider Partial Refacing

If your kitchen layout allows, consider partial refacing. This involves refacing only the visible or most-used cabinets while leaving less-visible or less-used cabinets untouched. This approach can save both time and money.

Partial Refacing Benefits:

  • Focuses on areas that need the most improvement
  • Reduces the overall project scope
  • Allows for a more budget-friendly investment
  • Preserves the existing cabinets where feasible

19. Reuse Cabinet Boxes

In many cases, the cabinet boxes themselves are still in good condition. Reusing them and applying new veneer can significantly reduce costs compared to replacing the entire cabinet structure.

Cabinet Box Reuse:

  • Inspect boxes for structural integrity
  • Repair any damage before applying veneer
  • Customize veneer to fit existing cabinet boxes
  • Benefit from the durability of your existing cabinets

20. Seek Multiple Quotes

When hiring professionals for cabinet refacing, always seek multiple quotes from different contractors. This not only helps you find the best deal but also ensures that you’re working with experienced and reputable professionals.

Obtaining Quotes:

  • Request detailed quotes outlining materials and labor costs
  • Check references and reviews of contractors
  • Verify licensing and insurance
  • Choose a contractor that fits your budget and project requirements

In conclusion, saving money on your kitchen cabinet refacing project is entirely achievable with careful planning and strategic decision-making. By following these tips, you can transform your kitchen into a beautiful and budget-friendly space that meets your design preferences and functional needs. Whether you choose to DIY or hire professionals, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your budget and enjoy the results of your cabinet refacing endeavor.

In the final part of this guide on saving money while planning to reface your kitchen cabinets, we’ll explore additional considerations and tips to help you make the most of your budget.

21. Choose Low-Maintenance Materials

When selecting materials for your cabinet refacing project, consider options that are low-maintenance. Low-maintenance materials typically require less upkeep and can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for frequent repairs and refinishing.

Low-Maintenance Material Options:

  • Laminate veneer
  • Thermofoil
  • High-quality finishes
  • Durable hardware

22. Evaluate Lighting Options

Lighting plays a crucial role in the overall appearance of your kitchen. Instead of expensive renovations, explore cost-effective lighting options such as LED under-cabinet lights. These can enhance the aesthetics of your refaced cabinets without breaking the bank.

Affordable Lighting Solutions:

  • LED under-cabinet lighting
  • Smart lighting controls for energy efficiency
  • Light fixtures that complement your kitchen’s style
  • Regularly clean and maintain lighting to prolong its lifespan

23. Use Open Shelving Strategically

Integrating open shelving into your kitchen design can be a budget-friendly option. It not only adds a trendy look but also reduces the need for additional cabinet doors and hardware. Carefully choose what you display on open shelves to maintain a neat appearance.

Open Shelving Benefits:

  • Cost-effective alternative to closed cabinets
  • Provides easy access to frequently used items
  • Showcases decorative or stylish kitchenware
  • Requires less material and labor compared to closed cabinets

24. Plan for Hidden Costs

While budgeting for your cabinet refacing project, it’s crucial to anticipate hidden costs that may arise. These could include unexpected repairs, additional materials, or changes to your original design plans. Having a contingency fund can save you from financial stress if surprises pop up.

Contingency Fund Planning:

  • Set aside 10-20% of your budget for contingencies
  • Regularly inspect your cabinets for hidden issues
  • Consult with professionals to assess potential risks
  • Adjust your budget as needed to accommodate unforeseen expenses

25. Prioritize Eco-Friendly Practices

Aside from choosing sustainable materials, consider eco-friendly practices throughout your cabinet refacing project. Minimize waste by recycling or repurposing old materials and dispose of hazardous waste responsibly.

Eco-Friendly Practices:

  • Donate old cabinets and materials if possible
  • Use eco-friendly adhesives and finishes
  • Recycle or properly dispose of old hardware
  • Reduce your carbon footprint by sourcing locally

26. Invest in Quality Craftsmanship

While seeking to save money, it’s crucial not to compromise on quality. Investing in skilled craftsmanship and durable materials ensures that your refaced cabinets will stand the test of time, reducing the need for costly repairs or replacements in the future.

Quality Craftsmanship:

  • Choose experienced professionals for the job
  • Insist on high-quality veneer and finishes
  • Pay attention to detail during installation
  • Regularly maintain your cabinets to extend their lifespan

27. Revisit Your Kitchen Layout

If you’re open to more extensive changes, consider revisiting your kitchen layout during the refacing process. A well-planned layout can enhance functionality and efficiency, potentially saving you money in the long term by optimizing your kitchen’s use.

Layout Considerations:

  • Consult with a kitchen designer for layout ideas
  • Explore options for better storage and organization
  • Incorporate space-saving features like pull-out pantry shelves
  • Keep plumbing and electrical work within your budget

28. Research Local Suppliers

To save on material costs, research local suppliers who may offer competitive prices on cabinet veneer, doors, and hardware. Supporting local businesses can also contribute to your community’s economy.

Benefits of Local Suppliers:

  • Reduced transportation costs and emissions
  • Faster delivery and lead times
  • Personalized customer service
  • Potential for cost savings through negotiations

29. Maintain Your Cabinets Regularly

Once your cabinet refacing project is complete, continue to save money by maintaining your cabinets regularly. This includes cleaning, inspecting for wear and tear, and addressing any issues promptly to prevent costly repairs in the future.

Ongoing Cabinet Maintenance:

  • Clean cabinets with a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner
  • Inspect hardware and hinges for signs of wear
  • Touch up any scratches or dents as they occur
  • Consider an annual professional inspection for peace of mind

30. Enjoy the Savings and Transformation

Finally, revel in the satisfaction of having successfully completed your cabinet refacing project within budget. Your kitchen will now boast a fresh, updated look without the hefty price tag of a full remodel, and you can enjoy the money-saving benefits for years to come.

As you embark on your cabinet refacing journey, remember that thoughtful planning, informed decisions, and strategic choices can make all the difference in achieving your desired results while keeping costs in check. By following these tips and considerations, you’ll be well on your way to creating a beautiful, budget-friendly kitchen that enhances the heart of your home.

Read: Refacing Kitchen Cabinets? Read This Guide First

Read: All You Need to Know About Refacing Kitchen Cabinets and Saving Money

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