How to Save on Kitchen Cabinets

Written by Ashley Sutphin Posted On Wednesday, 28 February 2024 00:00

If you’re remodeling your kitchen, it can be a costly project. One of the biggest expenses you’re probably going to run into is the cabinets.

Kitchen cabinets are an integral part of a renovation, and they usually make up around 40% of your total budget. Two big factors that play a role in the cost of cabinets are the quality and their construction.

Cabinets are a long-term investment, but even with their importance, how can you save money on the cost of new ones?

Do Your Research

The first step to saving on the cost of your kitchen cabinets is to do your research. You need to figure out the features and construction elements you can’t live without versus the ones you can skip.

You’ll start by learning more about the materials used to construct cabinets.

For example, particleboard is one of the cheapest options, but it breaks easily and doesn’t do well with humidity and moisture.

Medium-density fiberboard tends to be the option a lot of people prefer because it’s somewhere in the middle in terms of cost and actually, when compared to solid wood, has a better performance. It’s very water-resistant and can deal easily with changes in humidity and temperature.

Solid wood cabinets are beautiful, but they’re expensive and not always a realistic option. For example, if the temperature and moisture aren’t carefully controlled in a kitchen, it can destroy solid wood cabinets.

Get Custom Doors and Pre-Made Boxes

If you want the look of high-end cabinets without the price tag, there’s a creative option to explore. Get custom doors, but use premade boxes from IKEA or a retailer like Home Depot.

You get the outward look of custom cabinets at a fraction of the cost.

Of course, you don’t even have to do custom doors unless you want them or need them because of a spacing issue.

You can get pre-made cabinet doors as well and make them feel more high-end or custom with the hardware you choose.

Most factory-made cabinets and less expensive pre-made options have integrated rails, and they’re made with either particleboard that has a veneer or a medium-density fiberboard panel.

When you’re deciding on cabinets, avoid having too many built-in extras like spice racks and pullouts. The more of these you add, the more expensive your cabinets will be if you’re going with custom options or even when you’re buying cabinets in-stock.

Get Unfinished Cabinets

If you get unfished cabinets, you’re going to save money, but you’ll still have to paint or stain them. Stain is something you might be able to do on your own, but with the painting, you could need a professional. You’ll have to do the math on how much that will cost to figure out if it’s worth it.

Use Open Shelving

Finally, if you know you want new cabinets but you’re still on a budget, utilize the open shelving trend. The trend looks great, and it’s significantly less expensive than having upper cabinets. If you do only open shelving instead of uppers in your kitchen, you could ultimately save thousands of dollars or more.

Along with being cheaper, open shelving can keep your kitchen feeling brighter and airier. This can work especially well in a smaller or more closed-in kitchen, where having too many upper cabinets could create a crowded feeling.

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