Buying a home means knowing you could walk into a large number of expenses: from basic costs to aesthetic ones. And while you might love your home as it is when you move in, you might also consider changing things up once you’ve settled in.
Let’s talk about an area you probably spend a lot of time in: your kitchen. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or entertaining guests, you most likely want this space to feel welcoming and aesthetically pleasing. If you’ve been wondering how to change the look of your cabinets, you may be considering cabinet refacing.
When it comes to kitchen cabinet refacing, it’s important to do some research before getting started. If you’re wondering “what is cabinet refacing?” let’s break it down: refacing allows you to change the look of your cabinets without replacing them completely.
That means you keep the bare-bones structure of your cabinets but change the look and perhaps some of the smaller pieces.
Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or want to breathe new life into your current one, refacing cabinets in your kitchen or dining space could really transform the space.
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Reasons to reface
According to HouseLogic, refacing your cabinets might actually save you money. That’s because refacing your cabinets generally only costs about half as much as replacing them entirely. It also creates less disruption in your home in general, since you don’t need to do an entire overhaul.
First off, you should make sure that your base is strong. If your cabinets end up needing more work later, it might be beneficial to just make all of those improvements now. If you see any other major work that needs to be done, now might not be the best time to consider refacing.
If you see any other major work that needs to be done, now might not be the best time to consider refacing.
For example, if you need to improve the condition of the drawers, that might be an issue to tackle before considering refacing.
A minor kitchen remodel like refacing might be one of the most useful home improvement projects to increase the value of your home. This could potentially be impactful.
Think of it as an investment into not only your current living situation, but perhaps your future one if you consider selling this house. In that case, the refacing kitchen cabinets could be worth the investment in the long run.
Standard options for refacing
The look of wood veneers can really revamp your space by making your cabinets look as if they are made of certain types of wood. Refacing your cabinets with wood veneer, however, is the priciest choice of the available options.
According to HouseLogic, this can cost between $2,500 to $6,000. The overall refacing kitchen cabinets cost depends a lot on what materials you choose.
You can also choose plastic laminates or melamine-based laminates for your cabinets. The laminate is glued to the cabinet and the excess is then trimmed off. This project can often be done by smaller shops or even some handy DIY-ers.
These can often be more affordable but can run the risk of chipping. According to HouseLogic, refacing your kitchen cabinets with a laminate material will cost around $1,000 to $3,000.
Rigid thermofoil (RTF)
This vinyl-material is often confused with laminate, but it’s made up of different materials and installed with a different method—generally by using a large vacuum press to fuse the thermofoil over the cabinets.
Using this material will yield cabinets that are fairly moisture resistant, although they won’t be the most heat resistant. RTF cabinets are also fairly easy to keep clean.
If you’re still weighing your options, consult a professional for some guidance to see which option is best for your space.
Working on your budget
When thinking about the question of money—how much it costs to reface cabinets—quite a few factors can come into play. It’s often beneficial to think about your budget sooner rather than later. You don’t want to be halfway through your project only to realize the costs are higher than what you can realistically spend.
If you are living with a partner, sit down with them and open up the topic of budgeting for this project. Talk about your mutual goals; establish what you feel comfortable setting as the overall cabinet refacing cost.
You don’t want to be halfway through your project only to realize the costs are higher than what you can realistically spend.
If you are looking for a starting point, consider using SoFi’s Home Improvement Cost Calculator. This easy-to-use tool just requires you to input some basic information about your home and your possible project.
For example, you could indicate that you want to do a basic update on your medium-sized kitchen. Say you live in the 90013 zip code and the house was built in 1980. The calculator will give you a rough estimate of your kitchen project.
One thing to keep in mind: this total amount also includes a 20% margin for contractors. Consider doing the same when creating your budget from scratch.
Refacing your cabinets might feel like a small project with short-term effects but in reality, the changes you make to your home now can help you in the long run.
Consider using tools like SoFi’s Home Improvement ROI Estimator to get a sense of which home improvement projects could help increase the value of your home.
Now it’s just a matter of figuring out when you want to start this project. Some homeowners plan out their remodeling project for the winter season, when more contractors might be available.
HouseLogic states that the process takes around two to four days, so keep that in mind when trying to find a good time as well. Research professionals in your area who can do it for you, or consider finding more information on how to do it yourself.
Whatever your decision, have fun with the project and know that it will potentially add value to your home in the long run.
Financing your home improvement
If you’re officially ready to get started on this home improvement project, but you are short on cash, you could think about the possibility of taking out a personal loan to offset the costs. You can get a quote, apply online, and get your funds in as little as three days.
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