Whether you’re embarking upon a total kitchen remodel or you’re simply hoping to replace cabinets that are worn beyond repair, choosing the right style, color, and design for your home can be an overwhelming task. While having options is generally considered a good thing, cabinets come in a wide variety of materials and finishes, which can become confusing for even the most decisive homeowner.
Therefore, just like purchasing a piece of property or preparing for a large home makeover, it helps to set a bit of groundwork before viewing your options so you don’t wind up with regrets down the road.
SET YOUR BUDGET: At the end of the day, money is the true determiner of the type of cabinets you’ll settle upon, so it’s important to establish a realistic budget in advance. With those monetary boundaries in place, you won’t have to worry about spending more than you can afford and you’ll be prepared to cover any additional fees—i.e. the cost of any damages, additional work, or changes in the project.
TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION: While many of us assume that cabinets are cabinets, they can actually be constructed in a variety of different ways—custom, semi-custom, and stock. If you’re looking for the most cost-effective option, stock cabinets are probably the smartest choice since they can be purchased through your local home improvement store.
Semi-custom cabinets, while a bit more pricey, give homeowners more options than stock cabinets since they are made-to-order, but since they are not true custom cabinets, some options may not be available. Therefore, if you’re someone who has a bit of extra money play with, custom cabinets are always a smart choice because they can be produced with almost any material in a limitless number of finishes.
CABINET STYLES: If you’re not sure what you want your final product to look like or what type of feel you’d like your kitchen to emit, take some time to peruse a few kitchen design and home improvement magazines to get a better handle on what you like. More often than not, upon closer evaluation of your selected photos, you’ll find that a certain style—country, casual, traditional, modern, etc.—appears more frequently than the rest. This is the style you should probably go with.
MATERIALS: When selecting your cabinets, you have three materials to choose from—wood, metal, or laminate. Wood tends to be extremely durable and can be painted or stained in a variety of colors; however, it has a tendency to warp over time due to its natural propensity to expand or contract in varying humidity levels. To avoid this, metal cabinets are a great choice, but while easy to clean, they generally look best in modern or contemporary kitchens which may limit your design choices.
Thankfully, if you don’t feel right about wood or metal, laminate is always a versatile choice that will keep you within your budget. However, it’s important to remember that since laminate cabinets are produced by covering multiple layers of wood with a decorative panel, repair may be impossible if they become chipped or damaged.
FINISHES: As with anything, it’s often the finishing touches that create a complete picture, so selecting the right wood stain or finish is important. For laminate or stainless steel cabinets, nothing is needed past the final color selection; however, wood requires a bit more since staining (or painting) and varnish are often necessary.
From there, it’s time to settle upon the perfect cabinet hardware to complement the overall décor of the space and enhance the look of the cabinets themselves.
Home remodels are not just about going from something drab to something exciting and new—it’s a process that, like any other project involving larger amounts of money, requires organization, patience, and a solid understanding of the possible limitations involved.
If you’re considering a kitchen remodel and would like some assistance or advice, please feel free to contact me. I would love to help you through the process.
Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders, Corp. | www.CRESBuilders.com | 770-983-4698