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Smart Investments in Kitchen Cabinetry — a Realtor's Advice

Get expert info on what cabinet features are worth the money, for both you and potential buyers of your home Full Story
     Comment   August 24, 2014
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nancyinmich
"Tell us: What are your favorite cabinetry features that you're glad you invested in, either for yourself or for a future sale?"

My favorite cabinetry feature that I invested in for myself was in getting a a set of used, high quality cabinets from GreenDemolitions.com. I bought an entire kitchen full of cabinetry for $3600 and spent under $1000 bringing it to Michigan. I Paid a friend perhaps $100 to scrub off the grime, then I sanded lightly, restained it, and hubby finished it with three coats of polyurethane. Our carpenter did the rest. He put on new oak veneer where he felt the cabinet boxes were worn. He followed my design and repurposed a 27" corner double oven cabinet into a raised dishwasher cabinet. He then made us three cabinets that we needed to make the kitchen perfect: a corner cabinet to fill the gap between our big dish cupboard and the wall oven cabinet on the adjoining wall, a drawer base for under the wall oven, and a cookbook cabinet with a door to match the cabinetry that I had fitted with a fluted glass panel. He reinforced the sink cabinet that had seen better days and converted two 30" wall cabinets to shallow base cabinets for me by making toe kick risers for them. I believe there were three cabinets that we did not use.

By re-using a 24 year-old set of Quakermaid cabinets, I received most of the modern accoutrements that we all love: a 33" base cabinet with pull-out trays, a pull-out tandem trash, pull-outs on either side of the island cooktop, a magical 36" pantry with rotating shelves, a regular 18" pantry cab, a skinny cabinet for trays, flip-out sponge/scrubbie storage panels in front of the sink, and drawers, drawers, drawers - some with dividers included! I have only one traditional base cabinet with shelves, and it is on the desk unit. I use it to hold rarely-used baking pans.

High quality cabinets can last a lifetime. Sometimes a new owner dislikes a cabinet style (mine are modern and unusual) or a homeowner simply wants a change and can afford to completely gut a perfectly good kitchen. When we did this project, I was just on the edge of being physically able to do the project, but we made it! I will be forever glad to look at the kitchen and remember the work we put into it and the money we saved. Having already done one custom kitchen with a wonderful local custom cabinet company, and the contractor who has since become our go-to- guy for everything, I knew what was involved. I just haunted the Green Demolitions site with my graph paper and kitchen dimensions and drew out possibilities with each possible kitchen they offered until the right one came along. It was a fun exercise in geometry and creativity. It challenged me to wait for the right set and not settle on something that "would do". It was also an exercise in waiting for the price to come down vs. the risk of losing out on the kitchen. Since we did our kitchen four years ago, prices at Green Demolitions do have a higher starting price, so that part of the balancing act is even more of a challenge, but the quality of the kitchens they offer has increased, as well. There are more sources for used kitchens, too. In some areas, Habitat for Humanity ReStores have entire kitchens in fairly good shape. Craigslist is another source. Look for quality name brands or older cabinets made without fiberboard. Plywood is a good cabinet box material. Doors should be solid wood or have at least solid wood frames.
April 7, 2014 at 2:46PM     
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redpoint
Thanks so much for this tip, nancyinmich. I didn't know such a thing existed!
April 7, 2014 at 3:14PM     
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   Comment   August 24, 2014
lodka added 1 photo to ideabook: lodka
   Comment   August 23, 2014
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