Should I Reface My Cabinetry or Just Buy New?

Should I Reface My Cabinetry or Just Buy New?

Should I Reface My Cabinetry or Just Buy New?

Cabinets play an important role in “making or breaking” our kitchen and take up nearly 50 Percent of the total kitchen renovation budget. Before you decide to reface or replace your cabinetry, there are a few things to know and consider.

What is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is changing the surface, much like painting your car or buying a set of new clothing. The industry pros call the cabinet box the “carcass” and the veneer the “skin.” The process of refacing involves removing certain elements of your cabinets while keeping other elements intact. It involves putting new doors and drawer fronts on existing cabinet frames. Many times we also switch out hinges and glides as well.

How Can I Find Out if My Cabinets are Good Candidates for Resurfacing?

Check to see if your cabinet is a good candidate for resurfacing by checking to see if the boxes are structurally sound. Sometimes times, older cabinets are stronger and studier than newer boxes, and thus can be less expensive and invasive to reface than buying new cabinets. If your existing cabinets are rusting, water damaged or falling apart, then you should consider replacing them. Another detail to consider is the value of making such an investment. Updating or renovating the kitchen can bring a return on your investment, but you want to be careful about putting money into the house that you will never see back.  

Refacing isn’t for every kitchen. If you have a kitchen with a poor layout, you’ve wasted your money on a nonfunctional kitchen. The last detail to examine is looking beyond the cabinets. With most refacers also handling flooring and countertop installations, consider looking to renovate the entirety of the kitchen to match the new improvements. You can add an island, crown moldings, wine racks, pull-out trash bins, flip-out drawers, pull-out shelves and more. Whether or not you reface or replace, make sure your decision is cost-effective and brings a renovation that is cohesive with the rest of the kitchen.  Still not sure what to do? Consider bringing in a professional interior design specialist like Kitchens Unlimited.

How Can I Decide which is Right For Me – Reface or Replace?

If you decide to make a change – whether it’s refinishing existing cabinets, installing new wood, or completely installing new cabinet doors and drawer fronts –  examine the costs. Some homeowners may consider refacing a do-it-yourself job, but for the more ambitious cabinet replacement jobs are best left to the pros. The costs range depending on the size of the kitchen, your area (Walnut Creek or Brentwood may be cheaper than Silicon Valley), and the resurfacer. Your best bet is to hire an interior designer like Kitchens Unlimited, who will provide a number of different quotes and go with an arrangement that reflects your budget and your personal taste. Before you sign a contract, check references and insurance coverage carefully, and nail down the terms of warranty whether it’s based on full-replacement or prorated cost.

Why Should I Consider a Kitchen Renovation?

The kitchen is the heart of the home – it’s the most important room that every family member uses. Once your project is complete, there is a payout of an up to date renovated look with a reduction of cost and more importantly – stress! Whether you decide on refacing or replacing based on the quality, construction, and age of your existing cabinetry, the greatest benefit is the options-galore for personalization. Should you decide to reface your cabinetry, a new kitchen “face-lift” has many advantages in being economical with minimal disruption, eco-friendly, and less time-consuming. Cabinet replacement opens up the possibility of changing the layout and functionality of your kitchen. With this complete overhaul, a new layout can mean the difference between a kitchen that works and one that doesn’t. Overall, updating the cabinets can be a cost-effective way to achieve high-impact results without the high cost and inconvenience of a major kitchen renovation.

Ready To Get Started on Your New Kitchen or Bath?

Kitchens Unlimited in Walnut Creek and Brentwood, California has been professionally transforming spaces for clients since 2003. Designing high-end quality kitchens and bathrooms is in our blood! Designing a beautiful kitchen is not that hard, the hard part is designing a kitchen that is functional & beautiful. We love to help our clients by providing insight and education while empowering them to create the kitchens and spaces that they can thrive in.  Have a project in mind but just can’t decide? Need an expert interior designer who’s easy to work with? Want a stress-free & pain-free remodel? Contact Kitchens Unlimited to schedule your free consultation today.



How Is A Remodeling Project Like Taking A Hike?


I’d love to say, “Because it’s just a walk in the park!”, which would be great if everything always went according to plan. But as you probably know, life has a way of throwing us curve balls, and sometimes, we’re doing some throwing of our own.

I enjoy hiking as my primary form of exercise, and try to get out at least twice a week. If you live in the Bay Area, you know that we’ve had a lot of rain this winter, which translates to a lot of mud on the trails. Compound that with the fact that in the winter and spring, we get to share our regional parks with lots of cattle. Hiking in the parks these days can be more than a little challenging. My hiking buddy and I have been mostly limiting our hikes to one park that has a trail that’s primarily gravel. So, we were out on our usual route today, when I suggested we mix it up a bit. Seeing as how it was a pretty decent day, and we had lots of time, and I had a handy dandy PDF of the trail map on my iPhone, what could go wrong? Well, we slogged through the mud, climbing higher up in the park, and the trail got fainter and more vague. Then, I slipped in a cow pie, and promptly fell on my butt, wrenching my knee in the process. At this point we were about 4 miles from where the car was parked, up high in the park with a nearly non-existent trail and a bum knee.

So, back to the remodeling project….sometimes you’re about halfway through the job, your kitchen, for all practical purposes is non-existent, you haven’t prepared or eaten a decent meal in weeks, and you wondered why you ever started this mess in the first place. Everything may be going along exactly as planned, but if just feels like it’s taking forever because you’re sick of living with the mess. Or, maybe like my idea to try a new trail, you threw your own curve ball into the job (“as long as the contractor is here and everything is torn up anyway, let’s________”. Fill in the blank. Add some skylights, replace all the flooring in the house at the same time, …..

Meanwhile, what has happened to the intrepid hikers? Well, once we had lost the trail, we had been trudging for quite a while up a hill through the mud, and had no desire to re-trace our steps. We could see a wider trail far below, so we had to totter (or in my case, limp) down a steep rutted hill to a muddy (of course!) trail, cross a creek a couple of times, and eventually we found ourselves on a familiar route that headed back to the car.

So, rest assured that your torn up space will being to take on the familiar appearance of a kitchen, or bath, as the case may be. Cabinets and appliances, or other fixtures appear, counters are installed, and you will begin to feel like the end is in sight, and has all been worth it in the long run.

This is a picture that I took after we climbed the hill, before things started to go downhill, literally and figuratively
This is a picture that I took after we climbed the hill, before things started to go downhill, literally and figuratively

Overcoming Your Remodeling Fears

Recently I was watching a series of commercials about a rouge contractor talking to his clients. Although funny, the comedy is rooted in true fears people have of remodeling. Lets address these fears and how can we can help you overcome them.



Fear#1: The contractor is going to disappear & when he is there, he will not listen to you anyway.


How to overcome: We help pair you up with qualified contractors who we know, like and trust. We also help you draw up a design so our wants and needs are clearly addressed on the design. The contractor has questions? He or you can call us at anytime to clarify details. We also visit the job to make sure everything is being done per our plan.





Fear #2: Contractors will do things that aren’t needed, go over budget and you’ll never get your house back!


How to overcome: Before the contractor ever starts we discuss a design so we know what is being done. Taking out the wall might not even be needed or the best solution to your issues.   We help you develop and stay on budget with a realistic timeline.





Fear #3: Contractors make things more complicated and confusing than they need to be, set unrealistic timelines and expectations, disappear leaving you questioning everything they have done and your house is still in shambles.


How to overcome: Construction can be confusing. Most people don’t do it everyday so it makes sense that you are not a professional. We are here to help walk you thru the process, translating construction jargon into english so you are clear on what is being done and why. You should have confidence in the professionals you hire. While construction is messy and intrusive, it doesn’t have to ruin your life!




Are you or someone you know afraid to remodel? Afraid the contractor will disappear, not listen to what want, go way over budget spending all your money, way past the schedule….


We are here to help you! Give us a call to start your project. Remember, remodeling should be fun! =)