Important Questions to Ask When Shopping for Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen is a room where all members of a household enter at some point in the day. Therefore, it’s important that this communal gathering place is pleasing to the eye and generates a comforting atmosphere, and nothing rejuvenates a home quite like having a new kitchen.  In the current economy, however, not everyone can afford to completely remodel their kitchen. A full blown kitchen remodel can cost a fortune.  Nevertheless, it is possible to give your kitchen a fresh, new look by replacing your kitchen cabinets. This is a less costly project than a complete kitchen remodel, yet provides all the visual benefits as it can offer an incredibly dramatic change.


Planning is the first step in upgrading your kitchen. In order to organize an effective, yet economical upgrade of your kitchen cabinets, it is advantageous to predetermine your goals and budget. This takes some calculating and it can be helpful to envision different scenarios, ensuring you won’t be taken by surprise, financially speaking.


Regardless of the size of your kitchen, following these simple steps before tackling your kitchen cabinet remodeling project will ease any potential stresses:


Decide on Your Budget

Determining how much to spend on your cabinet upgrade can be a daunting task, as underestimation can lead to serious financial woes. Consider using 10 to 15 percent of your home’s total value for your complete kitchen remodel, and allocate 40 to 50 percent of that budget to your new kitchen cabinetry.

Selecting Your Cabinets

You’ll do well to choose cabinets that correspond to your personal taste as well as your budget. Making your selection simply because it’s within your price range leads to disappointment in the long run, so be sure that you are content with your aesthetic decisions. In terms of types, when it comes to purchasing new kitchen cabinets, you have four main categories to choose from:

Ready to Assemble (RTA) – These cabinets are the most readily available and the most affordable. You can purchase RTA cabinets from just about any chain home improvement store. Though their selection is not extremely wide with regard to materials, size, and style – not to mention that, as the name would imply, RTA cabinets require assembly – you may take solace in the fact that by assembling the cabinets yourself, you’re saving a significant amount of money. One important factor to consider, however, is that the lack of durability of RTA cabinets can sometimes mean problems over extended periods of time. If you decide to use RTA cabinets for your kitchen upgrade, make sure that the person executing the assembly and installation has the skill, knowledge, and experience to do it well.

Stock – This is another cost-affordable option when purchasing kitchen cabinets. Stock cabinets are mass produced, though some of the available types are manufactured to conform to minimal standards and are not created from high-quality materials. Still, they can enhance the beauty of your kitchen and can help you remain within your renovating budget. Most importantly, when budgeting for your cabinet upgrade, remember to take into account the cost of stock cabinet installation.

Semi-Custom – This option provides you with a much wider selection than that available with RTA and stock cabinets. The material and style of semi-custom cabinetry mean that these cabinets are the mid-range price option. This option allows you a wider range of sizes and much better material quality. Semi-custom means that you can order cabinets to your specifications with regard to size and depth. You also have many styles, storage options, and finishes to choose from, so you can bring a personalized look to your kitchen at a reasonable price. The cost of installation of semi-custom cabinets is generally included in the price.

Custom – Custom cabinets are 100 percent made to order and offer the most options with regard to hardware, materials, style, and finishes. Installing custom cabinets in your kitchen means that you will have a one-of-a-kind decor. You can choose the wood, finish, size, depth, shape, and any decorative accessories that are unique to your personal taste. While the style options of custom cabinets are without limit, these cabinets come with a high price tag and can eat up a large portion of your kitchen upgrade budget. Craftsmen will most often include the cost of installation and delivery of custom cabinets in the price.

Choose Your Cabinet Material

Your final decision pertains to the many options of cabinet materials. The most commonly available materials for cabinets are wood, laminate, thermofoil, metal, and glass. When deciding what material to choose, consider durability, potential wear and tear of the cabinets over time, and the size of your budget.  Considering the wide selection, it is often best to ask the advice of a professional if you are unsure of which would best be used in your home.


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