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Sorting Through Kitchen Cabinet Choices
Posted By Alicia Garceau

If existing cabinets are of good quality, are in excellent working condition and the layout functions well, the most affordable option is to freshen them up by restaining or painting. Another alternative, refacing, involves installing a new veneer on the exterior of the cabinet box and replacing the doors and drawer fronts, and should be handled by a professional. The process is much faster than installing new cabinets because the cabinets remain intact and the work is done onsite. However, be forewarned that when it comes to cabinets, doors and drawer fronts account for the greatest expense.

"Sixty to 70 percent of the cost of the cabinet is the door," says Jeff Cannata, past president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and president of Designer's Showcase Kitchens & Baths Inc. in Carol Stream, Ill. "So, if you're paying for someone to put a new door or a new drawer in ... it might be more affordable to shop new."

And with new cabinets, there's an added bonus: the freedom to explore different layout possibilities.

Stock cabinets, which are the least expensive of new cabinet options, are premade and come in standard sizes. Though stock cabinets often get a bad rap in terms of quality of construction, there are many on the market that are made of solid wood.