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New Kitchen vs Refaced
Old 12-27-2009, 07:27 PM   #1
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New Kitchen vs Refaced

DW and I just bought a "new" house and closing 12-30-09 to take advantage of the tax credit. Beautiful house but dated relative to the kitchen cabinets. Talked to Home Depot yesterday and the salesman said it would be more cost effective to go new rather than reface. He said refacing is too labor intensive and costs the same as new cabinets. New cabinets will take about sixteen weeks from sales agreement to completion. That's the only place we have talked to so far. Thinking about Lowes tomorrow and then look at some more places. Maybe refacing is the way to go if you are living in the house and don't want to tear up the plaace.

Question: Has anyone had any experience in this regard? It will be costly and we don't want to make any mistakes. We will be living in our old house until this project is done so we have a choice on the timing.
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:48 PM   #2
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Keep in mind that the sales person at Home depot is interested in selling.....

There are a lot of variables in making the choice to reface, rehab or replace. Will you do the work yourself? Do you like the current cabinets as far as function and layout? Are they decent quality and structurally sound?

We just redid a kitchen and made the choice to start new. My advice is that if you choose this route, hire a kitchen designer and look in to semi custom cabinets. Big box stores aren't necessarily a great deal on cabinets and a knowledgeable designer can save you cash in the long run. They have a lot more experience and know where costs can be cut and what works and doesn't work.

We found a kitchen designer who's services were free if we bought from her. It turned out we got higher quality cabinets for LESS money than we would have at the big box stores. We also got exactly what we wanted.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:21 PM   #3
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Congrats on the new home!

I'd lean toward replacement, the cost of factory-fabricated stock cabinets is probably close to on-site refacing, and you will get a new (not remodeled) look. If you are not living there during the remodel, the heck with the mess!
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:36 PM   #4
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I also would go with new. I received an estimate for refacing that was almost as much as new. I had HD measure my kitchen and gave me an estimate for KraftMaid cabinets. I then faxed the drawings to 5 other KraftMaid sellers in the area. Most beat HD's estimate and I saved $2000.
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:15 AM   #5
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We decided to start from scratch when we did our kitchen this summer. Used the kitchen designer at Lowes and was very happy.

We went with Kraftmaid cabinets and are very pleased with the results. After the rebates from Lowes we had the best price considering the quality which is not always easy to compare with cabinets.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:43 AM   #6
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Thanks all for the feedback. Very interesting replys. Think we are leaning toward new also. We liked the older guy salesman at Home Depot and valued his input and he was sort of pushing us toward new Kraftmaid cabinets. I'm just wondering how much they care about your project once they turn it over to their designer and installer. However, Home Depot (or Lowes) would stand behind the
product and the installation. He also told us we are looking at about 16 weeks from start to finish. Didn't think it would take so long.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:24 AM   #7
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As a slightly different voice, we did resurfacing in my house. The reason we did that is that they just don't make solid wood boxes like they used to. I did have Home Depot do the resurfacing and they did a fantastic job, everything is solid and well done.

That said, if you don't have solid wood boxes (I think a 500 lb man could dance on mine) or you want to change your layout completely, new is the way to go. My father did all new when we remodeled his house and they are very nice, not as sturdy as the real thing, but still very nice.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:38 AM   #8
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I had HD measure my kitchen and gave me an estimate for KraftMaid cabinets. I then faxed the drawings to 5 other KraftMaid sellers in the area. Most beat HD's estimate and I saved $2000.
Hmmmm.... can't say that I agree with your methodology here- asking one vendor to do all the up-front design work, generate layout drawings and material lists, and then shopping their proprietary work product out all over town to save a few $ from a low-bid seller who didn't have to provide the same level of service.

But maybe that's just me.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:38 AM   #9
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Congratulations on the new house!

From personal experience I second what Janet said. If you do choose "new", start with a good kitchen designer who can (a) ensure your kitchen has the best ergonomics, (b) knows everybody in the business and can steer you to the best craftspeople and (c) can get significant discounts.

If you lived north of the border you could get a home renovation tax credit for this reno.
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:02 AM   #10
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I don't have much advise regarding the new vs. resurfaced question; but, I will recommend getting bids from contractors/suppliers/designers other than Home Depot (assuming Lowes is the same). And, if you do go with Home Depot, please do not skip the due diligence of following up on your own with recent customers of the contractors (and sub-contractors if possible) that will be used.

My SO just had her kitchen completely remodeled by Home Depot. Some of the work was excellent: The electrician and plumber (both sub-contracted) did much better work than I would have expected; but, the contractor used his own people for the dry-wall work; and, I think I could have done a better job. (I am not handy; but, the taping and mudding was horrid. We actually did quite a bit of sanding and finish work ourselves before painting.) And, this shoddy work was not finished on schedule.

The remodel was barely done in time for X-mas: The Home Depot kitchen designer delayed the start by 10 days because she forgot to send the orders off to contracting firm. We also received a warped, custom sink that could not be installed in the new counter.

On a more positive note: Once the Home Depot store manager became involved, things did start moving much more quickly and smoothly.

Please do yourself a favor and check references, not just BBB records, as thoroughly as possible on whomever you choose.
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westernskies View Post
Hmmmm.... can't say that I agree with your methodology here- asking one vendor to do all the up-front design work, generate layout drawings and material lists, and then shopping their proprietary work product out all over town to save a few $ from a low-bid seller who didn't have to provide the same level of service.

But maybe that's just me.

I left out some info. I paid a non refundable fee for the measuring and "designing". The HD salesperson was VERY condescending. I thought it was me until I brought back my wife-to-be and she concurred. It was then I decided to go elsewhere. Once I understood the methodology of kitchen designing (ie cabinets on the 3"), I obtained a Kraftmaid catalog, redid the original poor design and then submitted the plans to others. I don't consider a $2000 savings "a few dollars."

Nardelli was the HD CEO at the time and his management style probably reflected in the salespeoples' attitude and why they were losing so much business to Lowe's. They have come a long way since his departure and as a result I have given HD THOUSANDS of dollars of my business.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:32 PM   #12
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I left out some info. I paid a non refundable fee for the measuring and "designing". The HD salesperson was VERY condescending. I thought it was me until I brought back my wife-to-be and she concurred. It was then I decided to go elsewhere. Once I understood the methodology of kitchen designing (ie cabinets on the 3"), I obtained a Kraftmaid catalog, redid the original poor design and then submitted the plans to others. I don't consider a $2000 savings "a few dollars."

Nardelli was the HD CEO at the time and his management style probably reflected in the salespeoples' attitude and why they were losing so much business to Lowe's. They have come a long way since his departure and as a result I have given HD THOUSANDS of dollars of my business.
Thanks for the clarification- if you paid them for the design, it was yours to do with as you pleased- and if their service sucked you did what I would have done- voted with your feet.
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:50 PM   #13
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I don't necessarily have an opinion as to which route you should take, but we had a good experience with refacing (now nearly 4 years ago). We went with a local business who hires all their own people (no subs) and gives a 10-year guarantee on the work. We have a small kitchen, and didn't request any changes to the layout so the work only took one week. It still looks great, although a couple of the doors are starting to sag a little (the laminate doors are heavy and we have a couple small doors above the fridge that are about twice as wide as they are tall). I've been meaning to call the company to see if they can adjust those, or replace the hinges.

At the time, we weren't sure how long we'd be keeping the house, so 10 years of nice cabinets was a good solution for us. Also, the original cabinets were very sturdy, so it seemed a shame to rip them all out.

When we were getting estimates, it was definitely cheaper for the refacing than to do new, so I'm not sure why others had a different experience in that regard.
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