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Cabinet Refinishing vs. Replacement

So, you’ve decided that something must be done about your kitchen cupboards. You’ve been looking at the same ones for years, and you are either going to refinish or replace them. Which one is the better option? There are several things to think about if you choose either one.

If you’re only replacing drawer fronts and the doors on the cabinets, then the price will depend on what materials you want. If you’re just refinishing the pieces, then the cost would be whatever the cost of the stains or paints are. Add more to the cost if you’re replacing the hardware.

But what if you’re going to reface the fronts and doors? Well, there are multiple types of materials used in refacing. Rigid Thermo-foil or RTF is one of them. RTF is the durable and affordable. Plastic laminate is another. It has a wider range of finishes and styles than RTF. Wood veneer is the other. It is the costliest but also known to last the longest.

If you decide to replace your cupboards because they’re too far gone, then you can also go with a new kitchen layout. So you may choose to switch the stove with the sink and put the cabinets in different places then. It will cost more when something this major is involved.  

There’s additionally the time factor too. A contractor can replace doors and fronts in a couple of days. If there’s stripping and repainting or staining, it may take a little longer. If you plan on having everything replaced, then your contractor will need to tear out the old ones. It’s more time consuming for everyone since your kitchen will be ripped apart. You’ll be storing items which were in your cabinets somewhere else, and the kids will be happily eating only in front of the TV.

So it comes down to what you want to do with your kitchen, refinishing or replacement.

Different Styles of Kitchen Design

There are many different styles of kitchen design which may not have crossed your mind. When remodeling your kitchen, knowing what style you prefer is the first step too. Discussing it with your professional contractor is the next one. Below are some different kitchen styles and the pros and cons of each:

  • The U-shaped kitchen: This is a very versatile design for a kitchen which is large or small. It uses three walls, so the work stations are spaced for convenience. It has a lot of storage space on the countertops, and it’s great for people who cook frequently. However, it can look cluttered if you don’t store your utensils so you should consider installing a Lazy Susan and hiding the microwave in a wall cabinet.
  • L-shaped kitchen: This look is created by having work space and counter space on two adjacent walls. The design is flexible because appliances can be placed in several locations. Space can open into a nearby room or a table also, so the person cooking will be able to interact with individuals in another room. This layout is not a good choice for a small space.
  • Galley kitchen: This layout is only big enough for one cook. The work stations are on parallel walls which keeps the appliances close to each other. You need at least 4 feet of space between the cabinets so the drawers can be opened at the same time if needed. For more storage, stack storage options to keep clutter down.
  • Single wall kitchen: This layout has the appliances and the cabinets lining one wall. The sink is usually in the middle; the refrigerator and stove are on either side of the sink. The cook will have to walk from one end to the other, but it does save space.
  • G shaped kitchen: This is very much like the U shape because it uses three walls of the kitchen too. But, there’s an added partial fourth wall. This wall has countertops and cabinets in it. This partial wall can have a counter for a breakfast bar.


Before remodeling your kitchen, decide which style will work in your space.

In-law Kitchen Designs

When you have your senior in-laws move in with you, the idea of trying to create their private area can be challenging. It may be done by combining two rooms on the first floor such as an unused bedroom and dining room. Or it could be done by converting a bedroom and enclosing a back porch. Go over your plans though with a reputable contractor helps. But whatever combination you come up with, be sure to include a kitchen of some kind.

What kind of kitchen?

If you have limited space, you don’t have to put in a full-fledged kitchen. You can have a small apartment sized refrigerator, a sink, counter space, a pantry for canned goods and a microwave here. It can be an essential kitchen area without needing much space. A small table with folding sections can be used, or comfortable stools for a counter for eating instead of a larger dining room set too.

Another option is going with a larger kitchen area. Your in-laws may be healthy now, but what happens when they get older; they may need to be in wheelchairs? You need to be sure that the openings to the kitchen have at least 32 inches of space then which is open for a wheelchair to pass through the doors with open wheelchair channels to move to areas. Additionally, in the kitchen area, there needs to be space of at least 60 inches around the appliances so that a wheelchair can be turned around for access.

Other concerns

Also, reachable counters is something to think about too. For a person who is standing, a counter is about 36 inches high, but if the individual is in a wheel chair, then it should be 28-32 inches high. You can put the countertops in now if your in-laws are mobile at 36 inches and then plan on having them lowered if necessary though. If you tell your professional contractor your concerns, he can make allowances for having to adjust them in the future.

Another idea would be to install non-slip flooring. This way your in-laws won’t slip and fall when walking, using a walker, or if they’re in a wheelchair. Also, placing cabinets a little lower as well as a Lazy Susan on the shelves will make it easier for reaching things.

If you have your in-laws move in, an area that they can all their own will make it easier on everyone.

Kitchen Sink Styles

When redoing your kitchen, and thinking about replacing the kitchen sink, do you know how many different styles there are? There is one to fit whatever remodeling dream you have. All you need to do is choose the one you think will suit your new design best and then talk it over with your professional contractor. So, just in case you don’t know your choices, below is a helpful list:

  • Vessel sinks: These sinks used to be just for bathrooms, but now moving them into the kitchen has caught on. A vessel sink sits on the counter, or slightly below it. Because of this position, you don’t have to bend over it like a traditional sink which is easier on the back. They come in a variety of materials, so one will match the look that you’ve chosen.
  • Farmhouse sinks: It’s also called an apron sink. It’s rectangular, has an exposed front and is extra deep. It’s set into of the counter, and the hardware is installed right into the countertop too. The installation of the faucets is either to the side of the basin or behind it.
  • Trough sinks: This sink is leaner and longer than a regular one. It can handle up to four faucets and drains, and about as many people using it. These are ideal for families who like to cook in groups, or for someone who gardens or does crafting. You can run several faucets at once to get the job completed efficiently.
  • Seamless sinks: This sink is melded right into the countertop into a single piece. It eliminates the problem of trying to clean that tiny crevice between the sink and countertop. The sink looks as if it’s flowing into the countertop. You can also have it manufactured from the same material as your countertop, for example, quartz or natural stone.

When you’re remodeling your kitchen, think about adding a new style of the sink too.

Luxury Closet on a Budget

You’re thinking about redoing your closet, but your budget is a little on the slim side. However, with the help of a reliable contractor, you can do an overhaul without spending the big bucks. Below are some suggestions to think about when redoing your closet:

  • Add a touch of gold: Have the contractor add a touch of gold metallic paint to the ceiling of your closet, or paint any metal trim for a touch of flair.
  • Mirrors: Adding full-length mirrors can let you see how you look in those pants. Plus, it gives the room an airier feel, making the room seem bigger.
  • Replacing the handles and knobs: If you have the handles or knobs replaced with decorative accent handles or knobs, it can bring a sense of uniqueness.
  • Add a faux fur rug: Having something soft under your feet feels luxurious. Plus, it’s easier on your feet when you’re trying on fashion shoes or those chic boots.
  • Crown molding: When you add crown molding to your closet, it frames your closet like a picture in a frame. Because space is small, you can choose something which sets it off for a feel that gives luxury at a low cost because you aren’t framing in much area.
  • Lighting: The right lighting and lighting fixture is crucial in a luxury closet. It could even be a small crystal chandelier which will give it a high-end look.
  • Hangers: Something as simple as hangers which match can add to the look of your closet. Find a type which appeals to you, buy a batch and donate the mismatched hangers to a good cause.
  • Bins and baskets: These are great to organize all the loose odds and ends. Try to stay in groupings of matching threes’ or more. Too many different styles and colors will make it look cluttered.


Everyone has their ideas, but hopefully, these will give you more.


How to Survive a Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen remodel is one of the best ways you can add value to your home. The kitchen is the centerpiece of the home and is one of the first things potential buyers evaluate. Also, since your family is likely to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, a kitchen remodel your family will enjoy kitchen renovations for years to come.

remodelingThe problem with any kind of home improvement project is the inevitable upheaval. This is especially difficult ­­when it comes to a kitchen project because it is such a vital room in the home. It is impossible for most families to function for long without a kitchen. Not only do they not have a place to gather, they don’t have a place to store food or prepare meals.

If you want to do a remodel project, the key to survive it, the key is good planning. You should work with an experienced contractor who can tell you exactly what to expect. Depending on the size of your project, the contractor may recommend that you do the project in stages so that it manageable for your family.

If you’re only installing cabinets, you can probably use your kitchen during the majority of the project. However, if you are installing high quality cabinets, there will be some sanding and staining during the installation process. Cheaper, pre-made cabinets produce less dust and are easier to install, but will won’t produce the high end effect that you want. The cabinets won’t last nearly as long and they will have a cheap, generic look. They also won’t fit into the room naturally. You’ll trade the shorter inconvenience time for substandard cabinets.

If your remodel includes custom cabinets, there will periods of time that you have to stay out of the room. Custom cabinets require some trimming and sanding. A good contractor will take many of the measurements before beginning the remodel which will minimize the amount of construction when they arrive in your home. However, you can plan with your contractor to determine the amount of time that you’ll need to plan to eat meals in other rooms or outside of the home.