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Guide to Affordable Home Renovations: Kitchen Cabinet Criteria

From: Date:9/11/2016

Guide to Affordable Home Renovations: Kitchen Cabinet Criteria


Cabinets are a major factor in kitchen renovations. There are limitless choices and price points for cabinets. Picking the best cabinets for your renovation project can improve your kitchen¡¯s appearance and functionality. On weekends and during get-togethers, family members and guests often flock to the kitchen to congregate¡ªit¡¯s the heart of the home, and your cabinets will be the backdrop.

Types of Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets can be divided into three main categories: stock, semi-custom, and custom. Here is a rundown of your options:

  • Stock Kitchen Cabinets These cabinets include mass-produced designs that are easily installed. Typically, stock kitchen cabinets cannot be modified to your specifications except how they are painted or stained. Stock kitchen cabinets are the least expensive of the three options, offer the simplest installation, and are the most readily available.
  • Semi-Custom Kitchen Cabinets This option is similar to stock cabinets because they are also mass-produced. Semi-custom kitchen cabinets differ from stock kitchen cabinets in their customization opportunities. When using these cabinets for your kitchen remodel, you can specify the size of the cabinets, and select basic design details, such as the particular finishes, moldings, and trim you want. Of the three kitchen cabinet options, semi-custom is the second most affordable.
  • Custom Kitchen Cabinets Custom cabinets are basically the same as semi-custom cabinets, but they offer even more modification opportunities. You can choose most of the design specifications for custom kitchen cabinets. However, if you want to design cabinets for your kitchen completely from scratch¨C100% custom¨Cyou should expect to pay significantly more.

Framed vs. Unframed Cabinets

When choosing cabinets for your kitchen renovation, you can go with framed or unframed (also known as frameless). Here are some of the differences between these two options:

  • Framed Cabinets This traditional style has a rectangular frame on the front of the cabinets. Framed cabinets allow the cabinet hinges to be mounted on the outside of the cabinet. These cabinets can hand independently of each other, if necessary. One disadvantage of this option is that the "lip" of the frame slightly reduces the storage capacity of the cabinet.
  • Unframed Cabinets These frameless cabinets are a newer, more modern looking style that result in more streamlined kitchen storage, and slightly more room (due to the lack of "lip"). Unframed kitchen cabinets are slightly more expensive than traditional framed cabinets.

Budget Considerations

When undertaking any renovation project, establishing a budget is the first step. Having a grasp of how much you can and want to spend will set some parameters for which cabinets you can choose. Keep in mind the cost of installation as well as the cost of the actual cabinets when determining your budget.

Design Features

Style, convenience, and quality are all important kitchen cabinet considerations. Even the most inexpensive options can look great and last for years if you choose carefully. Current kitchen cabinetry offers more design features than ever. You can opt for updated elements such as:

  • Smooth-gliding drawers
  • Pull-out shelves
  • Rotating lazy Susans to spin items from the back to the front
  • Large drawers for oversized cookware
  • Pull-down storage in front of the sink to hold dishwashing accessories