cabinet refacing

go_figure01July 6, 2012

I am new to the site and I absolutely LOVE it. Mostly, because ALL of you who post here seem to be so down to earth, kind and generous with all your information and pictures, suggestions and opinions. I am quite the stalker, I must admit. I have sat in awe in many of your kitchens & living spaces many many times. Thank you so much for your hospitality!!! SO MUCH INSPIRATION and dreams manifested. I have often thought how wonderful it would be to someday have you all in mine, too. Again, I thank you so very much for posting all of the wonderful things you have ! Looking at the hundreds of pictures and images has made my heart smile outloud !!!!

So ...I am embarking upon a kitchen upgrade/remodel/addition in the hopefully, near future (1yr) altho I have been collecting info/pic/files to do so, since the very day we moved in. My DH and I have been in our home w/my now 2 adult sons (ages 18 & 21) for the past 23 years. We live in a very small home approximately 1500 sqft built in the early 1970's. We live in Orange County, Ca.

Recently, while browsing thru HD, one of the salespeople caught us and asked if we would like a free home estimate for cabinet refacing. I hadn't really considered this option much before but thought it would be helpful info to have to compare w/other options. I was also promised by the initial salesperson that I would receive a hard copy "footprint" of my kitchen lay-out, which really was my incentive to let them come out in the first place. I never did receive it tho, the guys who came out said they didn't know what I was talking about.

Anyhow, one of the guys was the regional mgr and the other was an area sales rep. The regional mgr very nice and had alot of good information. He was not pushy at all and had to leave 3/4 of the way into the presentation. They were here for over 3hours! OMG.

After it was all said and done, the quote I was given to replace my existing 22 doors and 8 drawers was almost $25,000 !!! I was shocked by this number, and want to ask you all if you think I am justified to feel this way, or if I just need to restructure my expectations - ALOT. The doors they quoted were something called "PFL" or "Thermofoil". They included the hinges but not the knobs or pulls. They included sliders underneath. The product they showed me seemed to be nice but...

I am just dumbstruck that the price averages out to approx $1000.00 per door/drawer!!!

I am feeling somewhat flatlined if I may say so, because this fee did not of course include flooring, countertops, or backsplashes. Just my same ol' existing frames with new doors - which really, aren't in too bad of shape now that I think about it.

I am sure glad that I have time to research around and am not rushing into anything.

Any thoughts or experiences that you can share would be greatly appreciated.

I hope to include some pics soon, once I can figure out how.

Thank you all again so much.

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I think one of the hardest parts about starting a kitchen remodel/renovation, at least for most of us, is coming to grips with the cost of doing it. The cabinets are usually the most expensive part of the kitchen remodel if you are replacing them with new ones. I had heard from many friends and had read many posts here about the cost of cabinets, so I was not totally surprised when we got our cabinetry quotes. Also, if you are planning to get new appliances, get out there and see what they cost so you can be realistic about your appliance budget. I had a "high" kind of dream list and then a list with lower cost alternatives. I have picked from both lists, depending on the importance of the appliance to me (and my DH, of course). Good luck to you and keep on reading everything you can!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 9:54AM
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My advice would be don't walk away, RUN! I think you need to explore other avenues.. Sounds like you have time to keep looking at other options.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:04AM
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Thank you for your responses :)

notlazysusan: you are so right! I have heard the same thing about cabinet prices. I guess the refacing cost caught me off guard because they were addressed the doors. And yes, so true about appliances too. I am now looking at Blue Star and doing some research there. I like Dacor, Wolf, and Jenn-Aire. Gonna have to give and take ALOT I am sure...thank you again for your thoughts.

thank you andy_man for the Kitchen Cabinet NJ site.
peonybush: tying my laces now !! TG I am quite the explorer.

BEST to you all.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:22AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Refacing cabinets through a company is about the most expensive route you can go. And it doesn't give you the opportunity to tweak the layour or even any money left over for nice counters.!

For that same 25K, you can do a modest DIY gut that would address every single element in the kitchen from the electrical needs, to new floors, to new appliances, etc. This assumes that you are handy enough to tackle many/most of the labor on this. If you are not, then I'd suggest using the intervening year to acquire skills to reduce the ultimate cost. Almost everyone can paint. You can tile if you take a couple of classes and start with a smaller project like a laundry room. Simple wiring for new lights isn't at all difficult, although if you have an older home with minimal electrical service, you probably want to have a pro come in and upgrade the panel and most of the kitchen wiring.

If your tastes are more than just modest, such as stacked cabinetry with glass and a lot of it, and you lack even rudimentary DIY skills, then double to triple that budget. But, you can stand back and watch the pros at work and not have to lift a finger!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:28AM
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I had 56 cabinet doors/drawers custom made with 3/4 inch plywood cabinet boxes and paid less than 20,000 with installation and hardware included. Grant it you may live in a higher price area but definitely shop around some more.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:35AM
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I have to agree with the others. That quote seems incredibly high for refacing your cabinets. What is the approximate size of your kitchen? Take your time with this project as there is no urgency. I had serious sticker shock initially also when planning my kitchen. Figure out what aspects are most important to you.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:35AM
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I had one of those HD reface guys in my home. It did not end well. When he wouldn't stop his sales pitch and finally I asked for a bottom line, he just tossed out a dismissive "somewhere between $12-15K" including new counters. That to reface my wee 10x10 golden oak cabs with the appearance of painted.

I changed course and ended up getting new doors and drawer fronts (paint-grade maple), including end panels and crown and had the whole mess painted by pros. Not including counters, it cost about $5500 and painting was about $4300 of that total. My same old cabs and they look completely different.

So glad I ran from the refacing option. Actually kicked them out of my house.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:41AM
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That sounds very high to me. We got our cabinets refaced with real maple for about $11,000 and that included 24 doors, 12 drawer fronts, 10 new drawer boxes with Blum soft close glides, tip out trays under the sink, a new what-not shelf and valance, and 4 full width roll out trays for two 33" wide base cabinets.

We got 2 other quotes for refacing: they were $8,000-$9,000 for laminate and $10,000-$11,000 for wood. Both of the salesmen were pushy and tried to get us to sign contracts by offering one day only special discounts.

We actually tried to get a quote from Home Depot (a salesperson caught us when we were at the store too). But the guy they sent turned out to be deathly allergic to cats (they never asked if we had cats) and had to leave before he could give us a quote. He said they would send someone else to finish, but we never heard back from them. After looking at reviews for Home Depot at Angie's List, we decided that was probably a good thing!

Here is a picture with the original '80s oak cabinets just before we got our new counter installed:

After with refaced maple cabinets, Silestone counter, and new sink, faucet and backsplash. (We haven't redone the lighting, repainted or replaced appliances yet.)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:47AM
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You didn't say whether your existing cabinets are stained or painted. If you are considering painted, you might consider painting your own frames and replacing the doors yourself. Someone on here used Barker Doors for replacement and was very happy with them. They indicated the price was VERY REASONABLE.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:48AM
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Welcome fellow OC'er. I know there are several more of us on here too.

Quote sounds outrageous to me. I'd def keep looking.

And I'm also suspicious. I had two sales people approach me while I was looking in HD too (at bathroom fixtures) and I cut them off before they got far with "it's new construction and I'm working with a builder." They no longer had any interest in me whatsoever. :)

They seemed to be pretty aggressive in approaching people, however. And it was odd because they didn't have the HD apron and stuff on. I almost got the feeling they were reps of some outside company, and not HD personnel. Possibly trying to drum up business and possibly not supposed to be doing that. It was a funny vibe I got with the two who approached me. And you say it was the regional mgr and a sales rep who came out. It's surprising to me that HD is sending a regional mgr out to talk to every potential buyer about refacing cabinets. That doesn't sound like HD personnel to me. But maybe they do, I don't know. (Just FYI - I was at the HD on Hillcrest when it happened to me.)

Anyway, regardless of my paranoia :) that sounds high. I'd run up to Ikea in Costa Mesa and check out all the places in Anaheim before I'd pay that. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 11:16AM
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Every time I read postings from everyone, I honestly TG that I found this website! I can't imagine even going forward with any project without it! Thank you so much for responding. Great comments and advice that I will def. heed.

beeps & linelle: "exactamont" 2 guys roaming HD not in the standard "uni". I am gonna STEER CLEAR of HD.

hollysprings: Thank you so much for the inspiration, that is more in line w/what I had in mind. I have a # of about $50k in mind for the entire kitchen, not sure if it is realistic but would like to stay in this range.

mary11,badgergal, tuesday08, juliet11: TY so much for sharing your info. so helpful in providing a good idea of what is reasonable and what to expect.

A few answers, my existing kitchen is approx 13 X 18. This includes about 9.5 ft beyond the peninsula for an eating area. But it is hardly used as such because it so small, no room.

I am going to try and post some pics now.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 12:55PM
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As a KD that has the ability to sell refacing, I will tell you this: Unless you LOVE your existing floor plan and have higher quality (semi-custom and up) cabinets, I would not consider new fronts. It's not that much more, usually, to replace with all new.

I remember back when Sears used to do a lot of refacing. Their bids were almost double what all new would cost. So many unsuspecting homeowners would do it, not even checking in to what all new would cost. They took the word of these salesmen that all new would surely cost them 50% more.

Do what you like, but do your homework first.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Can't figure out to post pics! Errrggg. Read the forum post and opened a photobucket acct but still no luck... Is there a way to just copy & paste??

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 1:34PM
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I absolutely wouldn't spend that much to reface my kitchen! OMG, seriously??? We offer kitchen refacing but every time I quote a reface and then show my customer a quote for all new cabinets, they choose to go with new cabinets. Not sure what market you are in but here in Northern New England the average kitchen I sell with granite countertops runs between 7 and 10k and I am not selling junk cabinets. (Although they are not super high end either, mostly Kraftmaid and StarMark.)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 1:51PM
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Just want to make it unanimous - that price sounds crazy to me. Look into different options, and don't assume true custom is too much. My custom cherry cabs for my admittedly smallish kitchen were under $12K, including all knobs, soft close doors, full extension drawers, special features, etc. HD quote was more expensive than custom.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 1:52PM
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Kompy: For the size of my kitchen, I was quite happy with the existing floor plan. There wasn't much else that could have improved it. My cabinet boxes are builder's grade and 21 years old. I had some qualms about that, but now that everything's finished, I feel pretty certain that they've got at least another 21 years left. I admit that I still have three (3!) blind cabinets, but life still has sunshine and birds singing. My drawers do not fully extend and I don't have any bells or whistles. No drawers with cradles for each of my utensils. :( I had a $20K budget and figured new cabs would eat up most of that, if not all. My old boxes were just painted, so technically, it's not a reface job. With a larger budget, yeah, I would have been thinking all new. But I'm happy I got a new look and feel for a little over $5K with enough left over to finish the kitchen.

I didn't get hit on by a roaming guy in HD. I actually asked for someone to come to my house and talk about refacing. Those people aren't HD people and you can tell there's a huge difference. The guy pleaded with me to listen to his financing pitch and when I told him I only pay cash (true), it derailed him. He went on and on. I finally said, let's cut to the chase, I need a figure. When he tossed out his guestimate, he hadn't even measured my kitchen. He didn't want the job.

Later, he called me to say he'd left his camera at my house. I said, no, in fact you didn't take any pictures. He said, yes, I left it there. I disabused him of that notion.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 1:54PM
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When we first looked into redoing our kitchen, we looked at refacing first. Our neighbors daughter had it done and it was beautiful. They used wood to face the frames instead of a veneer. We upgraded to dovetail drawers, full extension and soft close. To do this and replace the counter tops with a level 2 granite was 13,000. It included a free sink and faucet.

I went to one of the marble and granite yards to look at granite and went into a cabinet distributor by mistake. We got talking and said I could most likely get new cabinets installed for that. He gave me the names of 5 different contractors he sold to and said he liked their work.

The one we went with gave us an estimate of 14,000( rounding numbers here). This included ripping out the soffits and using 42 inch cabinets, a sink, faucet and garbage disposal, appliance hookup and plumbing. We were also able to get rid of 3 blind cabinets. The 2 bottom ones included super susans.The upper cabinet was angled and had glass front.We ended up getting our own facet, sink and disposal so we received a credit for those item. The only appliance we replaced was a 25 year old Jenn Air cooktop. We paid extra to get the gas line to the kitchen. We had that done by our HVAC people.

The cabinets a very similar to the ones linked above in NJ. Not top of the line but good enough as we plan on selling in the next five years, plus it is just DH and I now.

Please do go and check out other sources.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 2:08PM
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go figure01 - I live about an hour down the road from you in a sister house; just under 1500 square feet and built in 1971.

My take: if those cabinets haven't been replaced since the house was built, it's time to replace them, especially if you want to replace the counters with a stone of some sort. Before we took out the old cabinets we thought they were still in pretty good condition. Upon removal we discovered they weren't as good as we had thought. Even though our kitchen was quite efficient space wise, we did make it even better. I bet you can too. Since 1970, many things have changed for the better: alternatives for blind corners, alternatives to overhead (like over a peninsula) cabs, full extension drawers, large sinks (a new, but old, idea), drawers for lowers, etc. Chances are good that you'll need to update the electric presuming you'd like to replace your probable two-light kitchen with something more modern like recessed and under-cabinet lights and a pendant or two.

We just did this last fall. The cabinets are InnerMost from HD, one of their more expensive lines. In addition to the kitchen cabinets, we ordered four 54" glass front cabinets for the same-space dining room. The whole cabinet order came to $14,000. We wanted frameless cabinets because, like you, space is at a premium. Ikea cabs are also frameless and you really should hop up to Costa Mesa to check them out. Go at a mealtime and get some Swedish meatballs while you're there ;-)

P.S. If you get serious about Ikea cabs, but aren't so hot on their door selection, remember that many people use the Ikea boxes, but buy the doors and drawer faces elsewhere. That gives you more style choices.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 2:46PM
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We quoted someone for refacing our cabinets with maple, and replacing the doors/drawer fronts. The total was about $11,000. That was for 38 doors and 27 drawers.

We ended up refinishing our cabinets instead and putting new door and drawer fronts on them. The total cost for that was around $12,000 for the cabinetmaker, finisher, and cost of new doors/drawer fronts and hinges. The cost of the unfinished doors/drawer fronts was about $4500 of the total.

I think you need to take some time and look at all your options, and if you really want to consider refacing, quote someone else. The price you were quoted seems really high.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 3:31PM
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Wow that is pricy. In my last kitchen we looked at all the options without cabinet replacement, refacing, and painting. Refacing was about $150 per opening I think, We ended up adding some trim, moving some cabinets around to improve layout and painting. The whole kitchen including 95' of granite, sink, hardware, etc. with 56 doors/drawers ran around $7K, and the improvement was dramatic.

In my current very small kitchen we replaced all the uppers for taller ones and a few bases with RTA cabinets and painted the lowers and pantry, and I am very pleased with the result.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 6:36PM
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My bill for refacing about 25 kitchen cabinet doors and 7 drawer fronts, with hidden hinges, was $2,200 in 2010.
I was 100% delighted with the end result. I'm not a big cook, and knew I wouldn't live there forever, so I didn't choose to get new cabinets and drawers, and I went with MDF instead of wood. The MDF paints up very pretty,and I wanted a painted kitchen anyway. The carpenter painted the kitchen, changed some of the big single doors into much prettier double doors, and made 2 of the cabinets glass-fronted, with the glass of my choice. I truly felt like I had gotten a Better Homes and Gardens magazine type kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 9:12PM
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Here are gofigure's pictures:
Kitchen entry

Close up of pantry Nook area Forward view of kitchen View from left side of entry Looking into kitchen from entry
    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 9:38PM
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What look do you want? I would be tempted to have them painted. I like the doorstyle, and your glass uppers. It would look like a completely different kitchen painted, with new backsplash, hardware, appliances (I can't tell the condition of yours) and counters. Except for appliances you could easily do it all for under 10K, unless you choose a very pricey countertop.

Do you have an inspiration picture?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 11:24PM
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Hi gm3,
I am looking for a blended cottage/farmhouse/vintage look. I am thinking that painting the existing cabs like you suggested, may be the best way to go.

I love the look of cottage white (not bright white) cabs, subway tile backsplash, and dark (blk?) countertops (granite or soapstone?) but I don't like any flecking or marbling it in. I do like marble slab tho. Not sure of flooring tho - this will cause me alot of angst I just know because I will be redoing the rest of the house as well in it, or a different material.

I have literally over 100 hundred inspiration pictures in my file. But the most recent ones that I gravitate to are

Basbushkacat, JBrodie, yardboi, Dolode, Breezygirl, AbouttogetDusty, aokat15, and Beekeeper.

I do not know how to post the pics very well - but they all have pics posted of their incredibly awewome kitchens.

I definitely need new appliances which pulls me to moving the existing area around for when I do get them. I would like a gas cook-top and walloven, or range w/add'l walloven,
French style refrig, farmhouse (apron) sink.

I appreciate all your help!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 12:55PM
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We got a quote from HD and it was $21,000. I about died hearing the high cost and thought we would do nothing. I talked to a custom cabinet maker they reframed and redid all my doors, new drawers, and extended drawer hardware for $10,400 for maple wood. The reframing, pulled off all my old frames and allowed me to make any changes I wanted in changing the cabinet configuration, although we made only a few changes, they were improvements to what we had. I was able to choose a custom dye on the wood and it looks gorgeous. I'm waiting to finish the back splash to post pictures and I need to figure out how to post pictures too. I will never trust HD again. I'd run from them. I have since had a friend who's brother went with HD and has had many headaches, but that was not for refacing and that can happen, and may not be the norm. My custom cabinet company noticed defects before I even said anything, and let me know they were going to replace them. It was a great experience and I've been enjoying them for over a month now.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 10:02PM
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Make sure you post when you are done, i think it will look great, you have a great start.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 11:21PM
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Hey sutrotower, you in SF?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 11:32PM
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I think you should post a layout w/measurements of walls, doorways, window etc and see if it can be tweaked a bit w/o too much trouble. Maybe it's time to get rid of the peninsula so you can use your table?

on photobucket - hover your cursor over the pic you want to post. a list should pop up - copy the one that says html (I think), click copy and then put that(paste) in the text box when you type your post for here. click on the 'preview message' below the text box and see if the pics appear.
If they do and you are done with what you want to post, click 'submit'.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 1:25AM
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Here are my cabinets. The pictures are dark. I will try to get better ones that show the colors better than this does. They were builder tract home oak before from the 90's. This was taken right after the counter tops went in.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:09AM
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link did not work. looked good in preview.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:11AM
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trying it again.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:13AM
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One more

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:15AM
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Do you have a budget or are you trying to get an idea of cost before you pull the trigger? linelle has a kitchen similar to yours as do I-the tile everywhere look;-) I'd have those repainted in a heartbeat since they seem to be in really good condition. I have a friend who is a KD in OC(I live here too--HI!) and she says a repaint will run around 7-8K--WAY better than the $25K you were quoted. Go to Anaheim one day and hit up a bunch of stone yards(they are all within several miles of one another) and just take a look around at what stones grab you and make note of them and perhaps get quotes. Just measure countertop space before you go.
If you REALLY want new appliances that do not fit in your current arrangement, then you'll be paying a lot more for new cabinets if you move a ton of stuff around. I'm redoing my kitchen for 9K, but I restained my cabinets myself.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:34AM
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Oh-I also meant to mention since you said farmhouse, etc-what about going the opposite of painting and DISTRESSING the cabinets? Just another thought.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:42AM
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Gotta say it one more time: are those cabinets original to the house? Cabinets which are 40+ years old in a tract-type house are not good candidates for repainting and adding a lovely piece of granite or soapstone on top. I did sand and refinish my cabinets of the same era and it was hugely successful, but that was about 18 years ago.

If the previous owner replaced the cabs before you moved in, then you might consider spiffing up what is there. With the white tile counters, that's possible, as a 1970s house in this area would more likely have originally had a laminate, so the tile might indicate an upgrade back then.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 12:03PM
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hi suzannes1,

The cabinets were made by the previous owner when we bought the house in 1989. They are really thick and sturdy and seem in good shape to paint.

I am not sure what you mean - do you think the underlay under the counters would not be a good candidate for adding a granite or soapstone counter on top? Or did you mean just in relation to adding a new countertop to cabinets that were inferior?

Ya, I think the cabinets and tile were upgrades in the '80's.

I am trying to decide if I can live w/the existing footprint (and save the $ to put in the addition) or move things around.

Thanks for all your comments and suggestions! Much appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 4:33PM
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New in 89, excellent! The problem with old cabinets and new stone is that the stone will last a good 20+ years. Cabinets at the end of their life will expire long before the new stone top. It would be a shame to have to throw away a perfectly good and expensive counter top when the old cabinets have to be replaced because they are literally falling apart.

So now you have choices. You can sand and repaint what you have. You can order new doors/drawer faces, maybe from somewhere like Scherr's, and paint everything to match. You can get new and keep the same footprint. OR you can re-design your kitchen/breakfast area and make better use of the space. As it is, you have two difficult inside corners next to the sink, and a whole extension of the kitchen that flows into the dining area. Is the door near the refrigerator the only door? Is this dining area the dining area?

Suggestion: measure out your kitchen and draw it on graph paper. There are some marvelous design people here who could help you make that space as good as it can be. With that in hand, you can go back to HD (or really anywhere) and get them to spec out how much that new cabinetry would cost. This is a much bigger project than you'd originally intended, but it might be the more cost effective option. And if it isn't, you can always sand and paint, but at least you'll have concrete options to choose from.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 6:37PM
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Hi suzannes,

I am also getting the post on my email and I reply there too, so sorry if this redundant.

You are amazing. I am so grateful that you shared your time w/me about this.
It really makes such good sense. You are right about having to make decisions.

I am glad I do not have to rush into it. And mostly, am SO fortunate that I found this website.

Yes, the entry next to the frig is the only one besides the back slider. The area in the nook is also the only area.
The wall where the frig/oven is the backside of the living room where there is a fireplace w/flatscreen above. I have thought about tearing down the wall to open it up if I were to redesign the kitchen.
Also, where the existing dining area is, we are thinking of removing the back wall where the slider is, and going out an add'l 20 ft. to add on more living space. On the sink wall, I have also thought about pushing it out 5 ft (X 20).

I have the print on graph paper already, just have to learn how to put it on GW.
I have to scan it first and then ? But I wonder if the scan will be big enough.

I'll figure it out and read the faq and bruehl's post.

Thank you so much again.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 7:11PM
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