When looking to give your kitchen a new look, the most impactful solutions are those that let you cover the most ground. For instance, painting the area, changing the floor or cabinet refacing. The latter is particularly effective, popular and controversial, all in one.
The kitchen refacing process is fairly simple, as well. First, you remove the cabinet doors and take the drawers out. Then, you skin the cabinet sides. From here, you proceed to cover cabinet boxes, add new door hinges, install new doors and drawer fronts. In other words, while you decide to keep the very structure of the cabinet, what you’re doing is replacing all the exterior elements. This way, you don’t pay for new cabinets but you make them look brand new.
Overall, refacing is a complex process that can be quite effective. As such, it has both its pros and cons. Therefore, there are several benefits and disadvantages of this project.
Pro: A frugal project
The first thing you need to understand about kitchen cabinet refacing is the fact that it’s usually a DIY project. This means that, by default, the costs are going to be lower. You have the privilege of customizing the appearance based on the materials that you acquire. Second, you get to buy these materials for merely a fraction of the cost. Third, you don’t have to pay for a handyman, seeing as how you’ll do it all on your own. Those looking for recreational activities can also find working with their own hands to be quite enjoyable.
Con: Professional refacing is expensive
You could also get a professional to reface your kitchen and, in that case, the cost would be relatively high. Namely, it’s safe to assume that you’re not restoring low-quality kitchen cabinets. If this was the case, you certainly wouldn’t bother with replacements but would rather replace the entirety of the kitchen. In that case and with high-end materials, the total cost will be thousands of dollars. The end result is probably worth it but the cost is not negligible.
Pro: Allows you to keep the layout
The biggest advantage of refacing is the fact that you get to keep the current layout of your kitchen. All the replacements are minor and aesthetic in nature, while the layout of the place as a whole remains unchanged. Although this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, it could save you from an unnecessary major kitchen remodel.
Con: No layout change
It does seem a bit confusing to add a ‘no layout change’ as both a pro and a con, however, it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you aimed to introduce a massive change to your kitchen, a layout change might be your first objective. In this scenario, refacing cabinets will not get you what you need.
Pro: Replacing material
Materials are more than just about aesthetics. You see a new material means a change in maintenance, resilience, and more. So, while refacing a cabinet, you get a chance to fix something you previously saw as a major flaw in your kitchen. If you always liked the looks and the layout but disliked the choice of material, now’s the time for a change. You can even go for something like Perspex sheets in order to make the biggest difference.
Con: Costs are hard to track
When buying or having cabinets custom-built, it’s usually relatively easy to calculate all the costs. However, when you’re refacing, things get slightly murkier. Hinges, hardware, interior storage, all of these things have their own separate costs. Sometimes, you have to order more than you wanted. Some parts or elements might be faulty, etc. Overall, it’s harder to keep track of your spending.
Pro: Eco-friendly solution
While refacing, you’re keeping a huge chunk of the original structure. This means that you’re actually reducing the waste produced by your household. This alone is enough to make this into an eco-friendly solution. Provided that you’re doing it on your own, the solution is even more eco-friendly. In other words, the difference is even greater.
If you are forced to apply the finish in the end, there’s room for staining and varnishing. Not to mention the fact that a finish itself is an additional cost to add to your list. Sure, this might not offset the total cost by too much, however, every bit counts.
Perhaps one of the most important advantages is the simplicity of the process. It wouldn’t take much time and expertise to replace the doors or drawer and cupboard fronts. It can even be a do-it-yourself project that you can finish in an afternoon. Therefore, you would be able to save the money a contractor or an expert would ask, as well as the tim_e outsourcing would take from you. If you are one who loves to challenge themselves, this project would be what you are looking for!
Con: Bones of Your Kitchen
The bones of your kitchen include the main framework and structure that are in place, naming the size, the floor and the elbow space. Because refacing is usually a cosmetic procedure, if your kitchen doesn’t have good bones, refacing would not be your thing. If you have limited counter space in the kitchen or there is a poorly-laid floor, you may need a full kitchen remodel rather than just a reface. Then, you need to consider all aspects well before embarking on any kitchen renovation project.
At the end of the day, this is one of the best options you have. It is also something that you have to consider before choosing to do any major work on your kitchen. After all, it introduces major aesthetic and minimal layout changes. This means that there are no strong reasons against it. There’s also a chance to do this on a budget and even challenge yourself for the duration of this project. It all comes down to being quite efficient as a method.
Author – Gabriel Hill is an Australian blogger interested in a variety of spheres from home improvement and health to management and environment.