Cabinetry is one of the most important aspects of your kitchen, in terms of form as well function. Your cabinets define the look and feel of the space, and their layout and design determine how user-friendly the kitchen will be.
It’s no wonder, then, that cabinets are also one of the most expensive aspects of any new or remodeled kitchen. Good materials and designs can easily take you into the thousands of dollars, especially when custom detailing and fitting is required (and it always is, to some extent). In fact, cabinetry makes up nearly half the total cost of most kitchen remodeling projects.
What this means, in a nutshell, is that homeowners tend to put extra thought into choosing kitchen cabinets. After all, ripping them out and starting over will leave your house out-of-order for weeks on end, to say nothing of the financial implications. It’s definitely one of those decisions you want to get right the first time around.
But there are a few things about your cabinetry choice that you may not have considered. You’ll have higher chances of long-term success with your cabinet if you take the following into account:
Preparing Your Budget
If new cabinetry is part of your remodeling plan, the first step is to decide your total budget for the project and research cabinets that fit into the equation. If the cabinetry you really want is more then half the total budget, you’ll have to 1) sacrifice other aspects of the project, 2) choose cabinets that do fit your budget, or 3) raise your budget. This last option may seem unrealistic, but cabinetry is an investment that can bring significant returns in a home’s market value. Many homeowners use this reasoning to spend more and achieve what they really want.
The Question of Customization
Generally speaking, the cost of your cabinetry will rise according to the level of customization. The most affordable cabinets are generally known as “stock” cabinets. These are mass-produced, which means your style options are limited. There are, however, many high quality stock designs available.
Semi-custom cabinets are the next step up. Like stock cabinets, they’re built in a factory; but they give you more options in terms of style, organization and finish. At the top of the totem pole is custom cabinetry, which is designed according to your exact specifications and installed by highly qualified pros. Custom work gives you complete control over the size, style, materials and finish of your cabinetry—but it also adds significantly to your budget.
If you struggle to decide on things like materials and finish, a kitchen design specialist may be able to advise you for a reasonable fee. Better yet, ask your friends and family to help you visualize what your new cabinets might look like.
The Importance of Accurate Measurements
Any qualified home remodeling company will tell you that good cabinetry begins with accurate measurements and planning. The first step is to take preliminary measurements yourself, visualizing the size and number of cabinets you need. These estimates will allow you to communicate clearly with cabinet sellers and/or remodeling specialists. Once you’ve made a selection, it’s crucial to bring exact measurements of the cabinets you’ve chosen to your renovation specialist and have a detailed discussion about measurements. The last thing you want are unpleasant surprises after the installation process has begun.
Meeting the Challenge
Although selecting cabinets for your kitchen can be a challenge, it’s also one of the most exciting remodeling decisions you can make. The right cabinets can lead you closer to the kitchen of your dreams—but only if you put yourself in position to make the best possible choice. Having a highly qualified home renovation specialist on your side can make a world of difference. Remember, even the most expensive cabinets are only as good as the professionals who install them.
Happy cabinet hunting! Please feel free to leave your thoughts below.