One more question..."would you rather..."

LCaroline12February 10, 2014

It's me again! I joined this forum because my husband and I are discussing a full remodel for our kitchen, and I have so many questions!

We have a classic 1980's kitchen. The veneer is peeling on our current cabinet doors but the box frame is very sound and in good condition. I originally thought about having new doors built by a custom woodworker, and leaving the frame box. He would paint the cabinet box to match the doors. He said he can do the job for $3,000 to $4,000. I have worked with this custom wood worker and he does excellent work. My question for you... Would you rather pay $4K to a woodworker to build custom doors or just take that money and buy all new cabinet doors and boxes? I'm not 100% sure what an all new cabinet system could cost, but I'm guessing it would be around $5,500.

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It completely depends on how functional the kitchen is now. Chances are a 30-yr-old kitchen has room for improvement, and if you are going to build new cabinet boxes, you might tweak the layout.

The cabinet boxes from my 1989 kitchen were in perfect condition, but there was so much wasted space. I kept essentially the same footprint, made some changes to the way cabinets were configured (like running uppers to the ceiling, adding extra shelves to the uppers, and using a smaller sink base to get useful cabs on both sides), and gained about 50% more storage space!

I would not spend $4K on a facelift if the layout was poor.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 3:40PM
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I'd get an estimate from the cabinet door guy for the whole project.

I also think you might want to look at function and flow before you decide not to.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 3:46PM
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You both bring up interesting points to look at the flow. Is the current flow my favorite? Nope. Here's why. We have this peninsula that creates a divided feel. I think I have a solution for this though. I can do without the cabinets over the peninsula, so I'm planning to take the low cabinets out completely and hang lighting from the lowered ceiling. Actually these cabinets can be reused in our laundry room so technically I'll still have the storage. You're right though. We are going to get a quote for totally new cabinets and just see how it compares. If it's close in price, it might just be worth it to get all new. I'm a big fan of buying local and supporting local business, though, so that's why I really wanted a custom woodworker to build doors originally.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 4:02PM
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And here's a view from the inside of the kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 4:04PM
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Do you have another dining space? And if so, are you open to consolidating all dining to that space? If so, then you could about double the size of your kitchen and make it much more connected to the rest of the house.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 4:24PM
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Two high chairs - do you have twins?

No way would I invest in refacing the current kitchen - there is so much you could do with a different layout. Your fridge, stove, and sink are cramped, for starters - taking down the cupboards above the peninsula will make it feel more open, but won't give you any more prep space.

What's on the wall opposite the sink?

Right off the top of my head, I'd make an L-shaped kitchen, with the range moved to the left and the fridge moved to the sink wall (at the end). Leave the sink in place, and run the uppers to the ceiling. Add extra shelves in the uppers, and you'll gain back almost everything you lose in the peninsula.

It's not a huge kitchen - you might be pleasantly surprised at what your local guy would charge to build new.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 4:41PM
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" ... If so, then you could about double the size of your kitchen and make it much more connected to the rest of the house."

That's gonna cost a lot more than $5,500!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 4:43PM
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Wow, you guys are good! @annkh, yes we have twins! Honestly, my ultimate dream is the L shaped kitchen that you described. We *could* afford a complete remodel like this, but we do have young toddlers, so I'm not sure if now's the time to drop $20 to $30K on our dream kitchen. Plus, we just did the floors two years ago and if we move the lower peninsula the floors will have to be redone, too. Heck, if we yank the floors up, we'll need to put in new subfloors too since they are sloping in some spots. See how this all escalates?? Haha! I'm sure you all completely understand how that goes! ;)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 5:07PM
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Are the babies your only children? I have twins too, and that was enough for us. They are 19 years old now, sophomores in college. Trust me, it does get easier!

I just remodeled my kitchen this year, after dreaming about it for 15 years. When my boys were little, I didn't have the time or energy to think about the kitchen.

Your kitchen is not ideal - but it isn't horrible either. The cabs over the peninsula do give you a lot of storage, and while ideal prep space is between sink and range, you have a lot of counter space. I think I would live with it until I had the time and money to do what I really wanted. Mine was definitely worth the wait!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 5:35PM
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Don't spend a lot of money putting lipstick on a pig. If your drawer boxes and slides aren't good quality or are showing signs of wear/aging it isn't worth it.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 6:10PM
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As others have said, a lot depends on the storage inside, not just the boxes. Most of us put in drawers in all of the lowers which not only maximizes storage, but is more convenient for access. WIth a small kitchen, what to do with your corners are also impt. Choices can be an easy-reach, super susan or even making it a dead corner if it allows for larger cabinet boxes to either side. If soffets are removed then you will also gain that storage all the way to the ceiling. Most also put in a deeper cabinet over the refrigerator; without the soffet the cabinet can not only be deeper, but taller and a great space for vertical tray storage. I agree removing the cabinets over the peninsula would make your kitchen look more open and brighter, but for that you will really need to maximize your storage solutions elsewhere.

I'd suggest visiting a kitchen showroom and looking at all the options available with kitchen cabinets, not just the door styles, but the interior components, include the hardware.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 7:53PM
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You may want to get a better feel for pricing both as a moderate update and complete reno. The figures may surprise you. if you and/or DH are handy, that's another consideration.

I was with the other poster. No twins, but at least a 15 yr wait. No regrets now that the time has come. It won't be my dream kitchen, since this is not my dream house. It'll have a much more functional layout with mucho storage. I will smile every time I walk into this new kitchen, but that's kinda where I'm at in life. Simple pleasures

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 8:51PM
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