Cost to Replace Kitchen Cabinets: Detailed Information and How-to Guide

Last updated on April 7, 2024

Get the scoop on the factors that determine the cost of replacing kitchen cabinets to facilitate your kitchen upgrade budgeting.

Key takeaways:

  • Stock cabinets: Affordable option starting at to 0 per linear foot.
  • Fully custom cabinets: Premium option above 0 per linear foot.
  • Materials: Laminate can start at ,000, cherry wood can cost ,000 or more.
  • Factors affecting cost: Material quality, customization level, geographical location, size and layout of kitchen, additional features and upgrades, potential structural changes, removal and disposal of old cabinets.
  • Ways to save money: Refurbish existing cabinets, choose RTA cabinets, opt for fewer custom features, shop sales and clearances, consider alternative materials.

What's Inside

Cabinet Replacement Cost By Type and Material

cabinet replacement cost by type and material

When embarking on the journey to replace kitchen cabinets, the road forks widely depending on your choices of type and material—each with its own price tag.

Stock cabinets, essentially the ‘off-the-rack’ option in the cabinetry world, are the most budget-friendly. Produced en masse, they offer a quick and affordable fix, starting at around $60 to $200 per linear foot.

Semi-custom cabinets climb the price ladder as they provide a blend of standard sizing with limited personalization. With more styles and sizes at your fingertips, anticipate spending approximately $100 to $650 per linear foot.

Fully custom cabinets sit at the upper echelon of kitchen makeovers. Crafted to fit your exact specifications, they come with a premium, usually above $500 per linear foot, reflecting the bespoke craftsmanship.

Materials cast another influential variable— from practical laminate that can keep costs as low as $4,000 for an average kitchen, to opulent cherry wood that can reach $20,000 or more in total cost.

Thermofoil, a durable plastic coating over an MDF core, offers an economical yet sleek look, while sturdier hardwoods like oak, maple, and hickory provide longevity at a higher upfront investment.

The composition of your dream kitchen can greatly sway the final tally, so weighing the merits of each material against your priorities and budget is a decisive step in the planning phase.

Factors That Affect Cabinet Replacement Costs

The scope of your remodel and the choices you make along the way can significantly impact your total expenditure. Here’s a look at some key factors:

Material Quality: Solid wood cabinets are typically more costly than those made from laminate or thermofoil, but they offer a longer lifespan and a more traditional aesthetic. – Customization Level: Opting for custom cabinets allows for a tailored fit and unique design options but expect a higher price tag compared to stock or semi-custom units. – Geographical Location: Labor and material costs can vary widely depending on where you live. Larger cities often mean higher prices. – Size and Layout of Kitchen: Larger kitchens require more cabinets, increasing materials, and labor costs. Complex layouts might need additional customization, further bumping up the budget. – Additional Features and Upgrades: Soft-close hinges, organizational add-ons, and high-end hardware can add functionality but also cost to your cabinet replacement. – Potential Structural Changes: If your renovation includes knocking down walls or reconfiguring the layout, there may be additional construction costs to consider. – Removal and Disposal of Old Cabinets: Don’t forget to account for the cost of removing and disposing of your old cabinetry, which can add to the total budget.

Understanding these factors can guide you to make informed decisions and prepare for the financial aspect of cabinet replacement.

5 Ways to Save Money On Cabinet Replacement

Refurbish Existing Cabinets: Refreshing your cabinets with new paint or stain and updated hardware can make a huge difference at a fraction of the cost of full replacement.

Choose Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) Cabinets: RTA cabinets come disassembled, which means lower shipping costs and often a lower price point than pre-assembled units.

Opt for Fewer Custom Features: Customized bells and whistles are nice, but opting for standard sizes and finishes can keep your budget in check.

Shop Sales and Clearances: Keep an eye out for promotions and clearance sales at home improvement stores. Sometimes, last season’s styles are sold at significant discounts.

Consider Alternative Materials: Solid wood is costly; exploring materials like thermofoil or laminate can be just as stylish but much more budget-friendly.

DIY Cabinet Replacement Vs. Hiring a Professional

Embarking on a DIY project implies a hands-on approach, often leading to considerable cost savings. However, it’s vital to assess skill level, time availability, and potential challenges before deciding to replace kitchen cabinets independently. Here, accuracy in measurement and cutting, along with the ability to handle plumbing or appliances if they need to be moved, are key skills.

On the flip side, hiring a professional guarantees expertise and efficiency. A seasoned contractor navigates complex aspects such as fitting cabinets into uneven walls or working with specialty materials, which might be daunting for the average DIY enthusiast. Additionally, their experience can lead to a seamless finish that might be hard to achieve without professional tools and knowledge.

When determining which route to take, consider these points:

  • Skillset: Do you have the necessary carpentry skills, and can you understand cabinet installation instructions?
  • Tools: Professionals have the right tools for the job. Do you?
  • Time: A professional can complete the job faster. Do you have the time to dedicate to this project?
  • Complexity: If the layout changes or needs customization, a professional’s know-how is invaluable.
  • Cost: While DIY can be cheaper, mistakes can lead to additional costs. Weigh potential savings against the risks.

Deciding between DIY and hiring a pro hinges on balancing these elements with your goals for the cabinet replacement project.

Understanding the Basic Cost to Replace Kitchen Cabinets and Where Can You Save On Costs?

Embarking on a kitchen cabinet replacement project can lead to a significant improvement in your kitchen’s aesthetic and functionality. Yet, it’s crucial to grasp the basic costs involved and identify opportunities to pare down expenses without compromising quality.

Typically, the starting point for cabinet replacement is determining the scope: whether a complete overhaul or partial refurbishment. Full replacements often range from $4,000 to $13,000, while refacing cabinets could start as low as $1,500. These values fluctuate based on material choice and whether you opt for custom, semi-custom, or stock cabinets.

Key ways to trim costs include choosing thermofoil or laminate over solid wood, which can offer durability at a lower price point. Additionally, incorporating open shelving in lieu of upper cabinets can both modernize the space and reduce material costs.

Further, ordering Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) cabinets saves on labor expenses since you can assemble them on your own. However, ensure you’re comfortable with the assembly process to evade potential mishaps.

Another potential saving lies in preserving current layouts. This eliminates the need for costly plumbing or electrical reconfigurations and can be a subtle yet strategic way to control the budget.

Lastly, consider the timing of your renovation. Shopping for cabinets during holiday sales or promotions can lead to significant savings. Keeping an eye out for discontinued models or slightly dented items in clearance can also aid budget-conscious renovators in scoring deals.

In essence, while cabinet replacement can be financially demanding, strategic choices about materials, configurations, and purchasing can ease the pressure on your wallet.

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