New Cabinets Or Reface The Old

Article: New Cabinets Or Reface The Old

The thought of remodeling your kitchen is exciting, but it can also be an expensive, messy and emotional undertaking. Should you do new cabinets or reface the old cabinets…well, that depends on a number of factors.

I have spent the last 25 years in the kitchen and bathroom industry, and I have probably remodeled more kitchens than most people will even go into in their lifetime. For years, as a designer and cabinet sales person, the word reface was a “dirty” word! “You pay all of that money and still end up with the same old drawers”, “The skins peel off”, “you can’t get the same quality doors as new”, “It’s so messy”, All of these things I used to say to prospective clients until that one day!

It was New Years Eve of 2005, I was at a house party and as usual I was checking out the cabinets.

I opened the doors and drawers to see if I could tell what brand they were and I was just absolutely shocked to discover that these cabinets had been redone somehow! I looked a little closer and thought to myself “What, how, who, humm…oh my god…have these cabinets been refaced?” Sure enough after having found the host of the party and owner of those cabinets my suspicions were indeed correct, the cabinets had been refaced by a small local company!

Folks, let me tell you, my life was changed forever. Now that may sound like a stretch to many of you but that fateful eve did in fact change my life. As a business man I was always and am always looking for new business opportunities. From reading my trade magazines, I new full well that cabinet refacing was an ever expanding and popular trend in the industry; but as I mentioned above I shyd away from it…until that night that is.

By late summer of the following year I was working (grossly underpaid) for the largest cabinet refacing company in the country, in one of the largest markets in the country. I was engaging in corporate espionage! It was my plan to learn all that I could about cabinet refacing in as short of a period time as I could do it in and start my own refacing company! I figured, “This is going to be a sinch, after all, I’m a kitchen pro, I’ll teach these guys a thing or two!” Boy was I ever wrong. I was with that company for nearly a year and boy did I learn alot. Thank goodness that I got my refacing education there rather than from my own company or I surely would have bankrupted it! In time I grew efficient at the job, took my new found knowledge and left to form my own cabinet refacing company…Kitchen Renew.

In that year I measured for and supervised the installation of nearly 400 cabinet refaces in the New York metropolitan area. I learned about retro fitting drawers and the kind of hinges you should use and the kind that you should not. I learned that the “Big Guys” in the industry do it as cheaply as they possibly can! The “big Guys” run publicly traded refacing companies, they have huge overhead, lots of shrink and dividends to contend with. kitchen Renew is not only able to compete but my company can actually offer a better product while still doing the job 10% t0 60% less than the Big Guys.” The “Big Guys” use sub-contractors which can be just fine if one of the good ones show up to your house, but if one of the bad ones show up instead all I can say is beware!

Kitchen renew also uses sub-contractors on occasion but under very close scrutiny, in fact each and every Kitchen Renew Installation is inspected by the owner himself. If an installation does not meet with my standards, the installer does not get paid until it does! Kitchen Renew uses state-of-the-art materials, doors from some of the best manufacturers, hinges that are 3x the cost of the ones that the “Big Guys” use and the best adhesives on the market. All of this only costs me a few hundred dollars extra but insures a fine quality job and happy customers.

Now please understand that cabinet refacing is not for everyone and not all cabinets can or should be refaced. If you have a poorly designed kitchen layout and are able to improve its efficiency than I as a designer suggest that you do so! Nothing is worse than spending alot of money to improve your life only to find out that it did not improve. If your cabinet boxes or frames are in very poor condition, falling apart or severely water damaged You may want to consider new ones. Otherwise my motto is “Don’t Replace…Reface!” Refacing saves you time, Saves you money and Saves you a whole lot of mess!


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