Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day 22 - Kitchens

This is a little off topic from the usual low-carb/pro-swimming posts that I usually write here, but I'm actually looking for input.

On Saturday, Jason went to Home Depot where they were advertising a free consultation for kitchen cabinet refacing.  When we bought this house, we immediately had 2 renovation projects in mind:  1) redo the half bath off the kitchen, and 2) reface the kitchen cabinets.

Our house was built in the 1930s and the cabinets themselves are sturdy, high-quality wood, custom-fit for the contours of our wee kitchen.  Some previous owner even put in nice granite countertops at one point, which are lovely.  However, the cabinet doors and drawers are terrible.  The faces are painted white, which I'm not a big fan of, though I know it can be done much better than what we have, and they look dingy and cheap.

I'll just put out there right now that my dream kitchen has dark cherry cabinets with stainless steel appliances.  However, we won't be in this house for more than a few more years and we're not completely gutting anything in a house that we will be in for less than 10 years.

So the guy shows up yesterday morning from the Home Depot and runs us through the process.  We pick out the cabinets - a nice maple - and he gives us the estimate.  Which is about 1.75 times more than I was expecting, of course.  We can spread the payments out over a couple of years, and really, it wouldn't be too painful.  But is it worth it?

After the guy left, Jason stood in the kitchen squinting at the cabinets, mulling over whether we could measure and order the cabinets and do it ourselves.  And, yes, we probably could.  But not in 2 or 3 days, which is the Home Depot's promise.  (And I'm guessing not without at least one of us wanting to file for divorce)

The other option, which might wind up being the way to do it without it costing a fortune or our sanity, is to measure and order the cabinets and drawers direct from the manufacturer, then find someone to install them for us.

I like to cook and I'm in the kitchen a lot.  When we were looking at homes last year, I looked askance at places that had a kitchen with an electric stovetop.  Living in New England, where gas hook-ups are plentiful, I can be a snob like that.  Honestly, a good kitchen would draw me into a prospective place like nothing else.

However, last night, I was prepping some vegetables for roasting, and looked around the kitchen. thinking, this is actually a pretty small room.  I really don't think I want to pay the Home Depot price for what is essentially a small room with not that many cabinets. 

Here's my question for everyone: how much is a nice kitchen worth?


Tenacious-K said...

If the cabinets are sturdy as you say and functional, perhaps refinishing the frames and just replacing the doors and drawer faces with new panels would be a more economical way to go. Wouldn't take long for the swap out either.

It sounds like the cabinets as they are are workable for the size kitchen you have, so your concern is principally cosmetic. If you don't plan being there that long then don't put any more money in the kitchen than needed to resolve the cosmetic issue.


Kelly said...

That's what we're planning to do, actually. The cabinets are in good shape, so we're just refacing. Still pretty expensive with the Home Depot!

Andrea said...

We completely redid our very small kitchen 5 years ago, but the cabinets were in bad condition, and we'll stay here forever. I think you'll have to ask yourself how much enjoyment you'll get out of them while you are there (versus how it'll affect your house value, which can be tricky).