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We are installing a new kitchen in our house and are trying to determine the most economical way to replace the cabinets. We are into DIY and this is not our "dream house", just a house to get us by for the next 4-5 years. We would keep the current cabinets if possible, but they are very old and my wife loves to cook. We plan to install the cabinets ourselves to save money.

Some places we have considered so far to purchase the cabinets are Home Depot, Lowes, and Ikea. Ikea seems to be the best so far. The hinge mechanisms on the cabinets and dampers on the drawers seem to have a better feel and there are a lot of options for sizes/features. Ikea seems to have more options than The Home Depot or Lowes in-stock cabinets (we are not even considering the "special order" cabinets because we are under the assumption they are out of four price range). However, even looking at the mid-range Ikea cabinets we have some sticker shock. Roughly how much do fatwalleters pay to replace cabinets? I am curious what is "the fatwallet way" to replace cabinets. I am assuming a DIY install is the best way to go to save money. Are there other places than Home Depot, Lowes, and Ikea we should be shopping for cabinets?

Thanks for the advice.

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You might want to check out Expo Holdings. It's a North Carolina based company.

http://www.expoholding.com/
http://www.eas... (more)

smile123 (Jul. 12, 2010 @ 3:51p) |

Costco has decent kitchen cabinets and sometimes they run 20% off. Also, search craigslist and you will be surprised wh... (more)

sideout (Jul. 12, 2010 @ 4:47p) |

Our cabinets are 50 years old and solid maple throughout. Their styling is kind of ugly, but we're keeping them.

larrymoencurly (Jul. 13, 2010 @ 12:11p) |

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If it were me, I would keep the cabinets and have them refinished /updated with new hardware, etc - MUCH cheaper, less disruptive, hassle, will probably end up looking just as nice. If you want to splurge, upgrade the countertops, sink.

Buy the cabinet fronts, but make the rest of the cabinets yourself out of hardwood plywood, thus keeping your kitchen free of chipboard and making the cabinets stronger and much lighter.

Massive kitchen renovation is not a FW friendly afair, and frankly is something that fit better with a housing boom than the current economic climate. I don't know where you live or what you do, but I would be hesitent to go pouring tons of money into a house you plan on selling in 5 years- the way to do it is to spend smart. Maximize what you have. Spending 10 grand on new cabinets in the current climate is like lending money to a relative- don't expect to get the investment back. And please oh please don't buy ikea stuff for a real house.

Our last house had plain jane 1950s flat cabinets-the layout was ok but they were rather ugle and beat up. I made new cabinet fronts for my kitchen- as long as the layout isn't 'that' bad refacing/new hinges/hardware can be done for cheap. I bought some MDF (processed plywood like stuff- straight), cut it into proper sized rectangles, and then used a router table and some bits to make them look like fancy paneled cabinets. Sand them, paint them a nice color, new hardware, and done. I did this myself, but I understand there are companies that will do this for you. That is the FW way.

True totally new cabinets will be expensive no matter how you do it.

Taking the "devil's advocate" position I would suggest that kitchens SELL houses... if your kitchen is sub-par it will definitely lower the price someone is willing to offer for your home (if an offer comes at all!). Of course if you gold-plate your kitchen you're just wasting money if you're planning to sell.

My wife and I have redone our kitchen two times; once in the house we sold four years ago, and once in this house. Both times we used Kraftmaid (www.kraftmaid.com) cabinets purchased through Home Depot and both times we did the work ourselves (Kraftmaid cabinets are "custom" cabinets and are made to order in about 6 weeks). Our first home "sold" specifically because we had remodeled the kitchen and it stood out from the other homes on the market that had builder's-grade oak cabinets.

We chose a Honey Spice finish on a Cherry wood raised panel door. They were not "inexpensive"; In both cases we purchased about $6,000 worth of cabinets with each cabinet running approximately $500. But my wife and I are completely satisfied with the results and would happily do it again. If we had a contractor do the work and provide the cabinets, the cost of the same remodel would have easily been $20,000 (we spent about $8,000 total).

I second wp746911's opinion that Ikea cabinets aren't the best choice for a home. I'm sure they are fine, but I doubt someone looking to purchase a home would say "Oh wow, Ikea cabinets!". Though if I were remodeling a kitchen for a rental, I would probably choose Ikea over a higher grade cabinet.

Ultimately it's up to you to figure out where the balance point is between budget and results. But personally I wouldn't rule out custom cabinets (like Kraftmaid) without pricing them first.

TC - i literally just finished doing this project at the end of last month and i did it totally DIY and didn't buy anything new. my wife & i sanded, primed, & painted the old cabinet doors (inside & out), drawer fronts, shelves, & the cabinet faces (part that's attached to the wall). we have an 8x10 galley kitchen -- bought our house last year, plan is to live here for 4-5 yrs then buy our "real" house that we'll live in for the next 30 yrs. we didn't want to spend much, so what we did was buy expensive ($10/bottle) metallic spray paint and paint the old hinges. bought new hardware, which was honestly the most expensive part of the job. whole thing cost less than $150 with the new, chic hardware. took us about a week, but that's b/c we have limited work space and applied a total of 4 coats (of paint/primer-in-one from valspar) to everything (both sides of cabinets). i would HIGHLY recommend doing what we did if this isn't your long-term house. the cost is just too much to get new cabinet doors/drawers ... i know it's nice to have the cool ones from IKEA (trust me, our "real" house will have a high-end kitchen like that) but it's not worth it if you're going to sell or be renting the house in a few short years.

if you'd like, PM me and i can send you before & after pics of our job. i'll never regret what we chose to do -- the kitchen looks FANTASTIC and the cost was incredibly low.

NotSoHard - I saw your pics of the 'before' kitchen.... In the Boston market, that is already consider 'upgraded'.... So many kitchens in houses on the market are the 1970's or earlier vintage.

PS -- we priced out our kitchen -- to have new cabinets & everything installed (i also love the closing action on the IKEA ones), our cost would have been around 5000-6000 .... we're not "cheap" ppl, so don't be misled by the $150 cost of our kitchen remodel (we also paid around $3000 for new appliances & tile flooring installed), but we really wanted to do the cabinets the "Fatwallet way" --- in the end, our kitchen is a huge upgrade at total cost of 3150 that will definitely pay itself back ... NotSoHard has it right in that kitchens do sell homes ... but if you spend too much, you won't recoup what you invested, esp. in this economy

OK here's links to our kitchen project --- i'm pretty proud, so if you don't like it, go easy on me (my very first DIY home improvement project!)

BEFORE: http://i1011.photobucket.com/albums/af238/bobghenghiskhan/4A.jpg

With new flooring, appliances, & paint: http://i1011.photobucket.com/albums/af238/bobghenghiskhan/4B.jpg

With new cabinets (1): http://i1011.photobucket.com/albums/af238/bobghenghiskhan/4C.jpg

With new cabinets (2): http://i1011.photobucket.com/albums/af238/bobghenghiskhan/4C.jpg

Total cost so far: $3150
Next up: Countertop (prob go with nice-looking laminate since this isn't our "real" house but we def. need to do something) and Tile (DIY, thanks to the internet!)

Ooops, the last picture should be: http://i1011.photobucket.com/albums/af238/bobghenghiskhan/5D.jpg

If you want more info on IKEA cabinets than you ever wanted, go to ikeafans.com. Very helpful people over there.

If you're not looking to get any extra money from your kitchen redo at the time of sale, redo your existing but ONLY if they are in good solid condition. If you redo crappy or an old style cabinets, you'll still have crappy cabinets.

You will have many more configuration options with IKEA than ready to install cabinets from big box stores. I purchased in stock basic cabinets from Home Depot, Menards and also bought two cabinets from IKEA. IKEA was by far the best quality. The HD and Menards ones are crap and cannot wait to change them. I bought a 36" wide IKEA base without the doors because I didn't need the doors as I am using for laundry baskets. You can also delete shelves if you don't want shelves, etc.

We built our home almost 6 years ago and wish I would have used IKEA cabinets. It would have been 1/2 of what I paid for my custom cabinets.

Ditto NotsoHard's comments. Sound exactly like what I did 3 yrs with Kraftmaid via Lowes (10% Coupon & Free Sink Base Cabinet). Our Lowes will layout the kitchen design in 3D CAD so you can visualize it (Free). We went with Cinnamon 'Spice' on Maple or something like that. Very hard doors that amazingly don't show any dings yet with 3kids & 3yrs of abuse.

wp746911 said: Massive kitchen renovation is not a FW friendly afair, and frankly is something that fit better with a housing boom than the current economic climate. I don't know where you live or what you do, but I would be hesitent to go pouring tons of money into a house you plan on selling in 5 years- the way to do it is to spend smart. Maximize what you have. Spending 10 grand on new cabinets in the current climate is like lending money to a relative- don't expect to get the investment back. And please oh please don't buy ikea stuff for a real house.

Our last house had plain jane 1950s flat cabinets-the layout was ok but they were rather ugle and beat up. I made new cabinet fronts for my kitchen- as long as the layout isn't 'that' bad refacing/new hinges/hardware can be done for cheap. I bought some MDF (processed plywood like stuff- straight), cut it into proper sized rectangles, and then used a router table and some bits to make them look like fancy paneled cabinets. Sand them, paint them a nice color, new hardware, and done. I did this myself, but I understand there are companies that will do this for you. That is the FW way.

True totally new cabinets will be expensive no matter how you do it.


That's a complete fallacy. The FW way is to get a great deal on your preference. This isn't a site for the penny pincher as much as a site to get the best deal possible no matter preference or circumstance. You have to realize that for some people, it's not about the resale value in 5 years, it's about making a home out of your house while you're living in it.

look @ RTA cabinets - google it - its called Ready to Assemble Cabinets - you can usually save big bucks, i saved over 80 percent

I did IKEA in my current house, that is up for sale, not a flip.

I've had them for 3 years, the boxes, and hardware are great. the doorstyles are limited, mine are in fine shape except 1 or 2 doors have a chip. I paid somewhere in the area of 3K plus another 600 for a large pantry unit. Lindigo doorstyle.
the drawers and pullouts are just so much nicer than the instock cabinets or other flat pack, big box store cabinets, its hard to resist. I'd love it if they had nicer more traditional wood doors.

you can also get custom doors made for your ikea boxes/drawers through scherrs.com they will drill for the hinges as well upon request. I am planning on going that route for my next house.

Kraftmaid is nice, but more expensive. If you do go that route, be careful with which wood, which finish and which doorstyle, those will significantly drive the cost.

or you can get some off brand chinese crap, they seem to be everywhere

I don't know where you are located, but if there is a Grossman's Bargain outlet within driving distance, get a truck and take a trip! They only stock two or three styles/colors, and they are RTA cabinets, but they are ALL WOOD, and pretty cheap. I use them for my kitchen updates in my rentals, and while I get their cheaper line of Oak for that purpose, they have a Maple in both a light and dark finish that looks awesome when installed. They even sell granite by the piece, so you can buy two or three pieces and silicone them together. You can easily fool future buyers into thinking it's a solid piece of granitre, vs the chepaer look of granite tile. My closest store in Kingston, NY had sample kitchens done up with the nice cabinets, the granite, pot filler faucets, etc - it looked like somehting you'd see in a million dollar home, and if memory serves, the cabinets run about $100 each, a little more for the bigger ones. best bang for your buck, and they put the box store ones to shame!

http://www.bargain-outlets.com/

Don't forget about counters - they can make or break a kitchen at selling time. If granite is becoming the norm in your neighborhood, you will need to budget accordingly. Ditto for appliances - you may not need Viking, but old or cheap-looking stuff will hurt.

We just did the kitchen last year. A project that we expected to last 2 months, lasted 8. But that is because we discovered that some "professionals" don't follow not only the code, but logic either.

We were going to go with Home Depot's custom line, but than met a local cabinet maker at the County Fair (Erie County Fair to be precise). He claimed that he would beat Home Depot's price on custom cabinets.

Home Depot custom cabinets in the product line we were considering were pressed wood, and wood veneer fronts. Really, they were just a slight step up from the off-the shelf products. But, our lay out required some different dimensions that were available on the shelf.

The cabinets we got from the local cabinet makers were solid oak front, drawers, and doors, and ply wood sides, with solid wood inserts at ends. We paid $4000 (no sales tax for home renovations) for 20 feet of lower and upper cabinets of varying height (to accommodate fridge, over the range microwave/hood....). These have full extension drawers, but are not self closing, which would have added cost.

We have had estimates ranging from $26,000 to $35,000 from contractors, without the appliances. We were able to do everything our selves for $10,000, which included all new appliances.

Be prepared to find "surprises" in the walls. I have lost faith in any of the contractors really knowing what they are doing, other than getting the job done fast to get paid, and move onto the next job.

We are re-doing the bathroom with IKEA furniture, but that is because European sizes fit better in a smaller bathroom, making it look big (i.e. US double vanity is 61" long, while EU double vanity is 55" long). However, be prepared to find that IKEA cabinets mounting hardware does not necessarily match up with the US stud spacing. It may require you to open up the walls to install horizontal pieces of 2x4 and re-Sheetrock to allow the cabinet to be hung.

Paint your cabinets

The 'before' photo is at the bottom area of the blog.

before
after

edit - I didn't realize that anyone might think this was my blog. It is not. This is not my blog. Also, if you read the blog carefully and click her links, she goes into detail covering All the changes that were made. ie, buying the appliances on Craigslist, adding plywood to the top of some cabinets, putting glass into some of the doors...etc.

I do carpentry and remodeling on the side and here are my 2 cents. I have installed your off the shelf models at lowes, custom order high ends as well as Ikea cabinets. In all honesty you do get what you paid for but do you really need it? I have ikea cabinets in my house and the hinges are full extension ball bearing as well as dampers to slow them down. The doors are solid but the frames are low quality wood with stickers on them. Do you want half inch plywood on the back of your cabinet? If that is important to you than you will pay for it. My personal preference is to pay less for a cabinet that looks and functions really well then pay top dollar for something that will last forever. Chances are I will get sick of the way it looks prior to the product failing. We do need more information though, if you live in a high end neighborhood and you put ikea cabinets in them, it might be noticed by an upscale customer. I live in an average 200k neighborhood in Fl and most people just care what it looks like? One recommendation I make is if you are looking to save some money and have you kitchen standout is to do concrete countertops. They are pretty easy to do and CHEAP if you do it yourself. For $200-$300 (including tools/finishing products) you can get a nice custom countertop that isnít the neighborhood standard. Long story short, I think Ikea makes a great product for what you pay and most people will be completely satisfied with it!

Looks really nice. I like the changes including the backsplash, cabinet lighting, exhaust fan, island mods, and cabinet paint. Some changes I would make is I don't like granite tile or the deep fridge. Overall though, i am sure you got a great deal and will 3 fold get a return on what you put into it! If you layout isn't bad then this is the way to go. If you need to update your layout, getting a few custom made cabinets gets really expensive!

cheaptrick said: Paint your cabinets

The 'before' photo is at the bottom area of the blog.

before
after

cheaptrick said: Paint your cabinets

The 'before' photo is at the bottom area of the blog.

before
after



Let's play a game of "How many differences can you spot?"

It is not just paint that made the difference in your case....

If you aren't in a rush, talk to design people at Home Depot about the timing of manufacturer sales. If you do all the pre-design with them and time your purchase right (usually week long sales), you can get 30% off the cabinets, plus 1-2 free cabinets, and then an additional 10% off by opening a HD credit card. As for counters, find a small granite guy with a lot of inventory and ask if he has any rejected slabs or remnants that will work with your design. Been there, done that, and got the kitchen.

I second (third, fourth?) the IKEA recommendation. Consumer Reports has rated the IKEA cabinets very highly. I'm on the tail end of a kitchen reno. Since my family handled nearly all the labor, the total cost was ~$8300 for new cabinets, quartz countertops, glass backsplash and new hood, fridge and Bosch dishwasher. I thought that was pretty good. $1620 of that was for new lighting + electrician. The cabinets were only $1900. It took 3 people 5.5 days to get to the 90% done stage. Yeah, the IKEA cabinet frames won't win any beauty contests, but I think most people are okay with having utilitarian insides for their cabinets. The door styles are diverse and I picked one of the cheapest - I think it looks much more expensive than it was. As IKEA cabinets are frameless, the doors pretty much cover the cabinet boxes completely, so you just see the pretty doors. The function is what really got me. Metal drawers with full extension and soft close. My kitchen is so much more functional now.

If you are moderately handy and aren't moving any electric, water or gas lines, you can probably do the install yourself. Ikeafans.com is a tremendous resource. The other neat thing is that if you get sick of your door style, you can just go buy new doors and have a whole new look in about 1 hour. Same for when you sell the house. If the purchaser hates the style you picked out, they can pick anything else in the catalog and switch things out very easily.

If in MI I would check the RTA cabinets from KSI outlet http://www.ksikitchens.com/outlet.asp

I went with RTA cabinets from http://www.grandjk.com/kit.html This was a pin in the back because they do not sell direct to consumers and don't do designs, etc. I had a quote for my cabintes at $6500 (Espresso Maple, K8) and ended up buying them direct for $4000. To do that I used my friends builders license to sign up as a distributor. The whole process was not exactly simple but it saved me lots of cash. Putting the cabinets together was not too difficult but I did buy my own corner brackets from rockler to ensure they were square.

I also agree with counter and appliance coments above.

How about looking into http://www.closeoutcabinets.com !

Jaydeep

You might want to check out Expo Holdings. It's a North Carolina based company.

http://www.expoholding.com/
http://www.easytoinstall.com/

Phone: (336) 667-8765

Costco has decent kitchen cabinets and sometimes they run 20% off. Also, search craigslist and you will be surprised what you can find.

randyfrasman said: My personal preference is to pay less for a cabinet that looks and functions really well then pay top dollar for something that will last forever. Chances are I will get sick of the way it looks prior to the product failing.
Our cabinets are 50 years old and solid maple throughout. Their styling is kind of ugly, but we're keeping them.



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