Cabinetry Considerations

You've officially had it. Your kitchen or your bathroom simply has to be remodeled. You can’t take it any more. That decade old knife scratch on your laminate counter top from your now 15 year old son on Thanksgiving that one year is driving you crazy. The bleach stain from your daughter attempting to salvage her favorite white tank top in the upstairs bathroom just can’t be ignored anymore. That counter-top is gone. Those floors are history.

When to Update?

Now what about those cabinets? Are they worth the added expense? Don’t kid yourself, cabinets aren’t cheap. In fact, custom cabinetry can be one of the most expensive investments in a home. And as the bids start rolling in- and sticker shock undoubtedly takes its affect- all the sudden refinishing those old cabinets in a long and labor intensive DIY project that you delegate to your husband starts looking more and more attractive.

Before you send him off to Lowes to embark on this sort of project, it’s important to educate yourself fully on the decision your making. Sure, you might be concerned about the payout on new cabinetry, but in the long run is it worth it?

Replace or Refinish?

Here are some things to contemplate when considering refinishing verses replacing cabinetry:

1.  How outdated are your cabinets? Sure, you may think that the only thing in your kitchen or bathroom that isn’t in terrible shape are the cabinets, but make sure you think about the finished picture. If you are replacing the tile floor or installing granite countertops, rest assured that all the sudden those cabinets will look a little shabbier than you intended. Refinished or not, if the style of the cabinetry is reminiscent of the 1980s and you’re installing 2012 floors, granite tops, and perhaps a new sink or shower to boot, those cabinets are going to show their age AND some.

2.  Even if you don’t think your cabinets are aesthetically dated, how old are they? Do they have enough longevity left in them to match the new countertops that you’ll be installing? Your new granite has years of lasting use. What sorts of longevity do your cabinets promise- even if they aren’t completely outdated? Are any of the doors broken or cracked? What kind of shape are your hinges and drawer gliders in? Do you even have drawer gliders?

3. Resale value! Are you planning to live the rest of your days in your current home? If you foresee any sort of possible relocation in the future, updating other aspects of your home while skimping on your cabinetry is going to be obvious to educated home buyers. Buyers will be disappointed to find the lovely marbled granite in your kitchen coupled with old, worn in cabinetry. Today’s buyers are looking for soft closing drawers. They are looking for cabinetry accessories. Just about any real estate agent will tell you that bathrooms and kitchens are the biggest attractants or deterrents of any home sale.

4. Lastly, configuration matters. In a lot of older and newer homes, space is wasted. A good home layout can make your life a lot easier and your family a lot happier. Is there wasted space in your kitchen or bathroom? Are there corners that just aren’t usable or places that you can realistically see implementing extra cabinetry. Do you like that wall of cabinets between your kitchen and your living room, or do you wish things were more “open concept”? If you find yourself unsatisfied with the amount of space in your kitchen or bathroom, the solution may very well be reconfiguration. And you simply can’t do that by refinishing your cabinetry.

If your thinking of replacing countertops, flooring, or adding backsplash to your existing kitchen, then you might as well just throw your good money away when you skimp on the cabinetry. You won’t be adding the value to your home that you’d like, and you will certainly be missing out on lots of improvements that today’s custom cabinetry can offer.


Custom cabinets now come with some of the coolest accessories! If budget is no issue for you or your family, put as many in as you would like. You would be amazed at the organization that well designed cabinetry can bring you. If your budget is your boss, you can price out cabinetry without the bells and whistles. You’ll then be aware of your base point, and you can begin adding accessories from there. Price things individually, and do some research on what would make your family’s life easier. In small spaces, well thought out cabinetry will make all the difference.

Resist Procrastination

One thing is certain, once you begin the daunting task of redesigning your kitchen or bathroom by replacing countertops, backsplashes, tile work, and more- the very last thing that you are going to want to do down the road is rip out cabinetry. You aren’t going to want to touch that kitchen or bathroom again. So get it right the first go around, and save yourself the headache later.


If budget does require you to scratch an aspect of your upgrade off the list, do something that’s easier to replace than cabinetry. Truthfully, that new granite countertop will be no bargain, and it’s easier to live with the existing countertop and replace it in a year or two than it is to remodel all the aesthetic aspects of your kitchen but continue to live with the frustration of poorly organized drawers and shelving. If your space isn’t very livable, don’t just slap make-up on your kitchen or bathroom. Transform it in a way that only cabinetry can do. Functionality beats aesthetics. If you’re on a budget, get your space livable. Then dress it up once you’ve saved a bit more.  

Have questions? Ideas? Want a free estimate? Give us a call at Woodmaster Woodworks, Inc. We’re happy to discuss with you all your options. We stand behind our custom work, and we’re proud to offer it at competitive prices. At Woodmaster Woodworks your input is our initiative! We want you satisfied every step of the way.