The kitchen is undoubtedly one of the essential rooms in our homes. In fact, it’s impossible to have a home without a kitchen. It’s the place where all meals are done. For this reason, storage becomes a critical aspect of your kitchen, and that’s why cabinets are essential accompaniments in your kitchen.
Cabinets play a very critical role in the kitchen. Not only do they provide storage for your utensils and non-perishable foods, but they also enhance the style and beauty of your kitchen. However, they are always in use; continually being opened and closed. With time, the tear and wear catch up and other several problems that may necessitate the need for a repair, repaint or re-facing.
Here some of the most common problems that you are likely to get with your cabinets;
Drawers are sticking – sometimes the drawers may stick making it hard to close or open them. The most common cause of sticking drawers is worn out slides.
Cabinet doors are not closing as they should – this can mainly be frustrating when your kitchen cabinet doors keep swinging open.
Sagging shelves – with time, due to weight, your shelves begin to sag making it hard to store anything.
Doors are slamming loudly – this is a problem that can be annoying to any homeowner. If your kitchen cabinet doors slam loudly, you might need to install sound bumpers.
Maligned doors – sometimes the cabinet doors hinges can become loose or out of place. It may lead to doors getting maligned and unable to close or open.
Drawer bottoms – the bottom of most drawers are usually made of light plywood that becomes warped with time. You may need to replace it.
Broken drawers – with frequent use, the drawers may break from time to time. Repair and sticking will be solving the problem especially if the wood parts are still intact.
Scratches and dull looking wood – with time your kitchen cabinet doors are likely to get scratched and look dull. You may need to paint the cabinets to refresh their appearance.
Broken hardware- the door knobs and handles can break prompting a need for a replacement.
Kitchen Cabinets Repairs And Costs
As we outlined above on the most common problems you a likely to face with your cabinets, solutions to these damages will be needed. The type of repair you choose to do will dictate how much you will spend on the whole process.
Here are several ways that you can repair your kitchen cabinets and how they influence the cost of repair.
1. Refacing Your Kitchen Cabinets
When you install your kitchen cabinets, you expect to have them for the longest time possible. However, the time has a way of making the most splendid looking piece wear out or get outdated. There are so many reasons why a home a homeowner may need to reface their kitchen cabinets and fix most of the damages.
Refacing is a simpler and affordable process of giving your kitchen cabinets design a new surface look. It’s one of the best repair processes that take care of all damages and problems and at the same time acquire an updated look.
What is refacing?
Refacing is a process that involves removing all drawer’s fronts and doors and replacing them. The remaining front portions are then given a veneer treatment. The cabinet’s sides will then be covered with wood veneer or laminate depending on your choice. Your old door fronts and drawers will be replaced with new ones with solid wood.
The refacing process will also involve replacement of kitchen cabinets hinges, and you will get new hinges added to increase the efficiency of your cabinet’s doors. You also get new handles fixed, and other fixtures such as drawer slides added to your kitchen cabinet for a full performance.
Reasons Why a Homeowner May Opt To Reface the Kitchen Cabinets
The average cost of refacing a kitchen cabinet can range from $3500 to $6500. If you chose a laminate, it would cost you $1000 to $3000 for a 10 foot by 12-foot kitchen. The good thing about laminate is that; it’s durable and has a variety of color for your choice.
If your preference is a real wood veneer, you should expect $2500 to $6000. For solid wood that gives you warm and a high-quality surface, expect to pay a minimum of $5000.
You can also go for an affordable option of rigid thermo-foil which is durable and gives you a smooth surface with realistic wood patterns. It can cost an average of $1000-$ 3000, and you will have many style options for you to choose.
Fixing new hardware such as handles, kitchen cabinets knobs, and hinges will cost you an average of $2 to $4 per piece. The cost of these fixtures can go up to an average of $20 – $50 if you choose to use high-end fixtures.
The above costs are way below what you would pay for a complete replacement of kitchen cabinets. A homeowner does not need to tear down their cabinets if they are still in excellent condition. All you need to do is reface them and fix the minor damages and get a new looking cabinet for less.
Variety of choices
Aside from getting cheaper kitchen cabinets, refacing your kitchen cabinets also gives you a variety of options. You will be able to have any door material and style on the market. For example, the solid wood doors come in so many stain colors for any wood species, and you will be able to settle for the one that suits your taste in décor.
Also, you can select from a variety of door knobs and handles in the market to suit your kitchen theme and taste. There are several choices of modifications you can do while refacing. For example, if you have a large cabinet you can divide it into a double cabinet. You can also cover your cabinet boxes with veneer that will match your new drawers and doors.
All these choices will work to your advantage. You can have a look you have always wanted for your kitchen with the many choices that come with the refacing process.
It’s fast and convenient
It takes a professional around two to four days to reface kitchen cabinets compared to the many weeks you might have to wait for a replacement job to be completed. Even the mess that results from the whole process is quite minimal.
2. Repainting Kitchen Cabinets
New paintwork can transform anything, and your kitchen cabinets should not be an exception. You may have recently repainted your house to adopt a new theme and therefore, having old and outdated cabinets may not complement the new look.
However, before you jump to painting kitchen cabinets, you need to examine your cabinets to see if there are existing damages on the surface that needs fixing. Sometimes the damage to your cabinets, especially if they have a wood finish, may be too severe and it may require a refinish.
This involves several new finishing to be done together with sanding on each layer. Refinishing is a process that can be more costly than a simple touch up with paint. Also, it’s vital to note that painting kitchen cabinets may not get rid of structural damages of the cabinets. If the cabinets are made of a poor quality material, the damage will continue even after painting.
If your kitchen cabinets have minimal damages, painting them will spruce them up and give them a fresh new appearance. Painting can save you a considerable amount of money as compared to refacing and refinishing. If you are having a professional painter do the painting you can expect to pay $1200 to $6000 depending on several factors.
Factors That Can Influence The Cost Of Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets
Depending on the kind of kitchen cabinets you have, the cost of painting them can vary greatly. You should consider these factors before setting a budget for painting kitchen cabinets.
These require a considerable amount of work done to them before they are repainted. You may need to have a professional carpenter to refinish them and prepare them for the painting job. The process of prepping them can be costly, and it’s advisable to determine if it’s worth painting custom cabinets.
Quality of paint
There are different types of paint with different pricing. The quality of paint you choose to have will determine the amount you spend on the overall process. You need to select a good quality of paint that will not wear or chip off quickly. The best paint quality to use is either water/oil based paint or latex paint.
The oil-based paint based is mostly used as a top coat on kitchen cabinets. It forms a firm, durable surface and it’s not prone to damages during the drying period after application.
Latex paint comes highly recommended for those doing the DIY paint job for its easy to use, dries off quickly and you can quickly wipe the painted surface with water.
How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets
Painting kitchen cabinets can be a tedious process, and you can opt to have a professional do it for you. However, if you wish to save money and you feel you are prepared for the challenge, you can do it yourself.
Before starting the painting process, you can have one cabinet doors assessed by a paint pro to get insights into the kind of material you are handling. They will further advise you the type of paint that is most appropriate to achieve excellent results. You can also get more insights into how you will carry out the paint project successfully. There is no harm in seeking come consultation before the DIY project.
You will then need a paintbrush and a roller to get you started. Make sure you cleared all your drawers and cabinets to avoid staining your utensils and other kitchen appliances. You can then scrub the cabinets clean; you do not want to paint over dirty surfaces. The preparation may take time, but it’s necessary.
Items needed for the painting process:
- A drop cloth
- Screwdriver or a cordless drill
- Rubber gloves
- Wood Filler
- Tack cloth
- Paint roller
- Putty knife
- Painters tape
- Protective goggles
The above materials will cost you around $200 to purchase them.
You will need to remove the adjustable shelves in the cabinets and paint them first. This will enable them to dry off as you continue painting the cabinet. Proceed to remove the drawers, hinges, hardware, and doors of your cabinet to make your work easier. You should not paint over the hinges for it can affect the door’s function. Make sure you label your doors using the tape to avoid confusion when taking them back.
Have your drop cloth well laid down to avoid staining the floor with drops and also cover your walls. You can then use your paintbrush or roller to apply the primer to the cabinet. At this point, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter and let the primer dry.
Next is testing your paint color just to be sure that it comes out as you wanted. You can do test paint on the back of your cabinet door. If satisfied, you can then proceed to apply the first coat and let it dry before applying the second coat. You do not need to over brush the paint as quality paint will level and smoothen well as it dries.
At this point, your paint has probably dried off, and you can safely re-attach you drawers, hinges, shelves, and hardware. You can now admire your handwork and enjoy the new improved look of your kitchen.
Cost of Hardware
Sometimes the cost of hardware can be shockingly high which comes as a surprise to most homeowners making a home improvement. Demand, cost of material, or even the artistry can make contributions to the varying costs. Depending on your taste preference, you can spend an average of $100 on the pulls, knobs, and hinges.
Here is a summary of prices of cabinet knobs and pulls made from different materials. The list, however, does not include all the materials used to make hardware. Sometimes knobs can have a combination of various materials such as metal and ceramic. The choice of the kind of material will solely depend on your preference and style.
|Material ||Average cost
Kitchen Cabinet Design
The style of your kitchen can significantly be defined by the design of cabinets you have. Cabinets are reflection f your taste and can create an excellent lasting impression for your kitchen if they are well designed. They can make your kitchen warm and welcoming.
You cannot achieve elegance in your kitchen if your cabinets are old and outdated. If you choose to remodel your kitchen, you may consider a cabinet upgrade that will give your kitchen the much desired new look to reflect your home décor and style.
There are three types of kitchen cabinets. The kind you choose will significantly determine the designs of cabinets you will have.
These are the most affordable option in the market. They are pre-made and mostly have limited designs. The sizes also can pose a challenge in this type of a cabinet; therefore, you will need to have correct measurements of the location of the cabinets. Their quality also may not be up to your expectations. The cost of stock cabinets can range from $60-$200 per linear foot.
With semi-custom cabinets, you have an option of having them detailed to suit your styles at an extra cost. You can resize the door fronts and drawers to your preference. If you are looking for unique and long-lasting cabinets without having to spend a significant sum of money, the semi-custom cabinets are the right choice. They cost between $100- 650 per linear foot.
These are designed to your specifications. They are the most expensive type of cabinets, and you will need a professional carpenter to do them. They can be modeled to fit oddly shaped kitchen, with specific designs. They provide an endless choice of designs. They cost from $500 to $1200 per linear foot.
Cabinets come in different designs, but we will discuss the most common designs that you can have for your kitchen.
1. Framed Cabinets
If you prefer having a traditional touch in your kitchen then framed cabinets are the way to go. In this type of design, the stiles and rails form a 1-1/2 inch flat frame just near the front of the cabinet box attached to the door front.
With this design of a cabinet, the doors are usually secured to the frame making the cabinet strong and sturdy. You can also apply partial or full overlay or inset doors which are making a comeback to the cabinetry world.
2. Frameless cabinets
These are more popular with the modern styles. It gives a simper and a contemporary look for cabinets and the overall look of the kitchen. This design makes use of heavier cabinet box to hide the frame, make it sturdier and hang the doors.
The cost of these two designs will depend on the wood you use for construction and size of the cabinets of your kitchen. You also need to ensure that the design you choose for your cabinets complements the existing décor.
Kitchen Cabinet Material
The type of materials you use can influence the kind of design and style of your kitchen cabinets. Here is a breakdown of different materials you can use.
Wood is durable and affordable. It also handles paint and stain well making it a popular choice for most homeowners. With wooden cabinets, you can achieve any style you want, be it modern or traditional the decision is yours.
Here is a list of common types of wood that homeowners opt for when having remodeling kitchen cabinets.
Oak – oak gives your cabinet’s elegance and style. It is well textured with a straight grain that comes out well with dark colors. It’s also very durable and absorbent.
Maple – maple is durable and has a tight straight grain that will be suitable for a traditional and contemporary design.
Cherry – cherry is elegant and durable. It’s a heavier wood with a close straight grain that can work well for both traditional and modern designs.
These imitate the look of wood. They are strips of wood that are used on particle boards or plywood. They are not durable as real wood, but they are a cheaper option. Wood veneer costs can range from $1930 to $1300.
Laminate is a cost friendly and highly durable. It is made of synthetic material placed on particle board through either low pressure or high-pressure process. The beauty of laminate is that it does not fade like most other wood options and it can stands tear and wear well. The cost of a laminate can range from $4000 to $1500.
Summary of Kitchen Cabinet Repair Costs
|Refacing ( real wood)||$2500-$6000
|Refacing ( solid wood)||$5000
|Refacing ( rigid thermo-foil) ||$1000-$3000
Cabinet designs costs
|Stock cabinet||$60-$200 per linear foot
|Semi-custom cabinet||$100-$650 per linear foot
|Custom cabinets||$500-$1200 per linear foot
Cabinet materials average costs
Choosing the Right Contractor for Your Kitchen Cabinet Installation/Repair
When it comes to getting the right contractor for your home improvement project and repairs, homeowners are usually faced with the challenge of getting the person for the job. If you need to have your kitchen cabinets installed, repaired and refaced, you need someone who is competent and reliable. It would be very disappointing to have poorly finished cabinets that complement your kitchen.
Here are a few tips to get you the right contractor for your kitchen cabinet needs;
That neighbor next door, or your colleague at work or even a relative who had their kitchen cabinets remodeled recently will be the person to give you a referral. In short, there is a likelihood that someone you know had their cabinets repaired or replaced. These are the best people to provide you with references and also tell you the contractors who disappointed them so that you do not go anywhere near them.
If you are given a referral, make sure you ask enough questions regarding their experience with the said contractor. You need to know about their work ethics, are they reliable? Was their work timely? Did they do a good job?
If the answers are positive, you can get their contacts and proceed to schedule a meeting with the potential contractor. The best thing about getting a referral from someone you know is that you can always go and the kind of work the contractor delivered. They will also tell you the challenges they experienced along the way which can be helpful to you.
Research works wonders. It arms with information that can help you get the best services in the industry at affordable prices. You see with research; you can read all there is to know about the contractor you are about to hire.
In fact, most contractors nowadays have websites that enlist their services and cost estimates. All you need to do is read reviews and research more on feedback from past clients. You will know from the reviews which contractor is best to work on your kitchen cabinets.
10 Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before Hiring
Getting the right person to entrust with your kitchen cabinets can be tasking. However, with the correct information, you will be able to hire someone who meets your expectations. These questions will give insight into the kind of a contractor you about to engage. You can use the answers to determine if they are competent, reliable and affordable.
1. Ask if they licensed
Most states require contractors to be licensed. A reputable contractor, who has established his/her business in cabinet repairs and remodeling, will have a license that allows them to run their business. Ask for a copy of the license to see their registration details and qualifications.
2. Ask for insurance
If you are going to have people working on your home you need to know about insurance details. Anything can happen and lead to injuries. You do not want to incur medical expenses if accidents happen during your cabinet repair project. Most contractors are required to have personal liability, workers compensation, and property damage coverage. You need to ask the contractor to provide with copies of the insurance certificate and confirm if they are valid.
3. Ask about their experience
Experience matters a lot. You need someone who is competent and knows their way around the job. A novice in your house may not be the best idea. Also, an experienced contractor has dealt with enough supplies, and they can connect you to suppliers who have quality materials and supplies. Therefore, proceed to ask how long they have run their business.
4. Ask for references
References are important. They will give essential details about the contractor you are about to hire. Ask for at least three contacts of their recent clients. A contractor with an excellent record of their work will gladly give several contacts. Call them up and ask about their experience with the contractor? In general, get to know how they carried out the project and if they would use the same contractor in future.
5. Ask how long they will take to work on your kitchen cabinets
You need to work on a timeline. A contractor needs to tell the amount of time they will need to complete your project. With a schedule, you will be able to know if the contractor will be available and if they will give your project the attention it needs. Avoid contractors who are not willing to provide a time estimate. You need your project to run your project to smoothly without delays.
6. Ask for total costs of your project
Ask your potential contractor to break down the costs for you, i.e., labor, cost of materials and other expenses. You need to know about the charges beforehand so that you can evaluate and see if the prices are in order and can fit your budget.
7. Ask if they guarantee their services
A reputable contractor who is confident about his work will give you a written guarantee of their services. You might be wondering why this is necessary. Picture a scenario where the hardware on our cabinets breaks off a week after repair. This can will very disappointing to any homeowner. You will need to go back the same contractor to redo the job.
However, the situation can be tricky if you did not have a written agreement guaranteeing their services. The might even ask for an extra cost to redo their poor job. A written guarantee on services will save you from such situation. In fact, a contractor who gives guarantees their services is confident of their work, and they are less likely to disappoint.
8. Ask about their availability
It’s crucial to know the days when the will be working on your project and repairs so that you clear your schedule to be at home. Let them give you the specific working hours to avoid inconveniences.
9. Ask about the process
Ask your contractor to give a breakdown of what they will do with your kitchen cabinets. From the way the contractor explains the process, you will gauge their level of expertise, and you will be able to see if they know what they are doing well enough.
10. Ask about possibility of additional costs
You need to know possible situations that may lead to further costs. A competent contractor will be able to assess your kitchen cabinets and advice on any other additional services and material that may be needed in the course of the project.
How to Avoid Getting Scammed
Unfortunately, there are dishonest people out there ready to steal from homeowners and deliver poor services. You should be in a position to be able to identify these type of contractors who scam their clients and possibly disappear with their money.
Here are some pointers that will help you avoid getting scammed by unscrupulous contractors.
Avoid contractors who pressure into making a decision
When doing decide to repair and remodel your kitchen cabinets, you need to take your time and shop around. If you interview a contractor and they give their charges, take time to think it over before settling for final decision to hire them. You should be wary of contractors who pressure you to hire them; they are probably overcharging you.
Quotes a total cost before they even assess your kitchen cabinets
A contractor who does this might not be serious about their job, and their interest might be on money only and not the quality of service they deliver. To get a proper estimate, your contractor needs to assess your cabinets and advise on the best action.
Avoid paying upfront
A contractor asks for a full down payment before beginning your project is questionable. These are the kind of contractors who disappear with your money and never to be seen on the site. Pay only when you are satisfied. The acceptable amount that you can pay at the start is 10% of the total cost to commit yourself to the contractor. The rest of the payment comes after completion of your project.
Avoid verbal agreements
Once you agree with your kitchen cabinet project, proceed to have everything put down on paper. Make sure all the details have been captured before putting your signature on the agreement.
Your kitchen cabinets play a critical role in complementing the overall appearance of your kitchen. If your cabinets are well designed, they will define your kitchen and improve the aesthetical appeal. Most importantly, you need functional cabinets that will fulfill their functions without difficulties.
If you cabinets are worn out or, damaged, or outdated, you have several options for repair. You can choose to repaint, reface or refinish your cabinets to achieve your desired style and improve their usability. The choice will solely depend on your needs and budget.