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Hidden Costs? Repainting Existing Cabinets vs Buying New Cabinets

August 14, 2018

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Hidden Costs? Repainting Existing Cabinets vs Buying New Cabinets

August 14, 2018



     The first consideration when it comes to pricing new cabinets is their construction. There are three main types: stock cabinets, semi-custom cabinets and custom cabinets.

Stock cabinets are are cheaply made pre-fabricated cabinets that offer no flexibility or consideration for the size and shape of your kitchen, however they are low priced and stocked by big box home improvement stores. Semi-custom built cabinets offer a little more customization but require longer lead times, depending on how much customization you're after. Custom cabinets are higher quality cabinets, made by hand to fit the homeowners exact specifications. The wait time and cost for these largely depend on the scope of the work and the cabinet makers availability. 


     When it comes to prices, stock cabinets come in at around $60 to $200 per linear foot, semi-custom cabinets are in the range of $100 to $650 per linear foot, and custom cabinets can cost between $500 and $1,200 per linear foot. Things can get pricey fast.


     On average, professionally refinishing existing cabinets are less than half of the cost of new cabinets. Even though repainted cabinets will look exactly like brand new cabinets in the end, sometimes people are willing to pay more just to say something is new. But is it only double the cost? Is it that simple? Not so fast! There are a lot of hidden costs associated with buying new cabinets that you may have never thought of. Let's consider some of the hidden costs that apply to NEW cabinets, and NOT a factor when having your cabinets repainted/refinished.

      Counter-tops. When you remove your cabinets to make a place for new ones, make sure to give a farewell kiss to your counter-tops because it's likely the last time you'll ever see them. "Can't we just move the granite slab, install new cabinets, and put the counter-top back down?" The short answer is, no. Moving a granite slab once it's installed without breaking it, is almost impossible. Don't believe me? Call around to hire someone to remove them, and ask them for a guarantee that they won't break (Let me know if you find someone). Once they're broken, repairing them is not an option.

     Plumbing. Yes, you're going to need a plumber if you remove your counter-tops because the sink will need to be disconnected and reconnected.


     Electrician. Yep his hand is going in the cookie jar too. You're going to need someone to disconnect that garbage disposal, dishwasher, ice maker, etc. You're neighbors unlicensed brother-in-law who connected a fan or two in the 80's is not an option, that is, if you value your home and those who live it in.  According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), Home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, nearly 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage. Yikes.


     Back-splash and wall repair. It's going to happen, you can ask everyone working in your kitchen to be careful but it's inevitable. Your walls, and anything around the cabinet install will get damaged to some degree. Have your painter on speed dial.


     Time. Although not a cost in the typical way you would budget a project, we all know time is money. Custom cabinetry can take three to four months to build and ship to your home from the time you approve the order. Semi-custom cabinets take between four to eight weeks, and ready-made stock cabinets (If buying junk that doesn't last or fit your kitchen is your thing) can be on site within a few days of placing the order. All of this includes your kitchen being closed for some time. Aside from being a major inconvenience, it can get costly eating out every meal for an extended period.


     As we mentioned earlier, none of these problems are a concern with repainting your cabinets. Not only is the initial cost much lower, you don't have to remove your counter-tops, dishwasher, garbage disposal, or any appliance. You don't even have to empty the cabinets out! From start to finish most jobs are completed in a week or less, without tearing up your kitchen.


     Hopefully this article has guided you to make the right decision for your budget and home. If you decide going the route of making your cabinets look brand new for much less money and hassle, The Cabinet Makeover can help. We offer basic finishes in any color and sheen, and go up to glazed and other special finishes. Contact us for more information.





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New Orleans,Louisiana