When planning a new home or remodeling an older one, the kitchen cabinets make one of the most important investment decisions a homeowner will face. Well designed kitchen cabinets can make food preparation chores and clean-up much more efficient. In addition, the cabinets are the first thing a person notices when entering the kitchen, so their style and appearance play a big role in overall home decor.
The 3 Types
There are three classes of kitchen cabinets to choose from when building. These are stock, semi-custom, and custom. Stock cabinets are already built and require the shortest wait when installing. They are also the least expensive option. However, they are also the choice that will be the least tailored to your own specific needs. While stock cabinets should hold your supplies adequately, you might have special needs and interests that would make more individualistic cabinets desirable.
Semi-custom cabinets do not require as long a wait as truly customized kitchen cabinets, but they are not built until the order is made. These cabinets can fit your spaces more precisely and feature options like a lazy susan. They generally take at least a month to be built. True custom cabinets are crafted according to the home owner’s specific needs, and can take several months to be completed.
Cabinet Ideas from Bloggers
- Contemporary Italian kitchen design cabinets
- Retro kitchens: Retrorenovations, a great blog, has this post on glass corner shelves
- The blog DesireToInspire has some great idea pictures with pink kitchen cabinets
- Stainless Steel Cabinets done right at Remodelista
- Simple maple cabinets for a small kitchen
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The material chosen for kitchen cabinets will affect the price greatly, with hardwoods being one of the more expensive, but durable, options. The more fashionable styles also drive the price up. One style that is in vogue right now are top cabinets with glass doors. These look great, but you’d better keep the contents neatly arranged or they will look messy. There’s no “stash and hide” with these cabinets.
If remodeling an older kitchen, the cabinets are again one of the most important decisions. If the doors and drawers no longer work adequately, replacing them makes sense, unless you have your heart set on that vintage look. Good older kitchen cabinets can get a face lift by painting or possibly stenciling them.
They can also be professionally refaced. In many cases this is preferable to replacement, since the quality of craftsmanship in older homes is often excellent, while new cabinets, especially cheaper ones, might prove to be a disappointment.
It’s estimated that the kitchen cabinets make up about half of the cost of building a kitchen. That makes them a major investment, so it pays to get educated about your options.