This Is Usually The Most Expensive Part Of Any Kitchen Remodel

Remodeling a kitchen comes with many advantages. Often considered the heart of the home, the kitchen is easily one of the most important rooms in a house, which makes it home to some of the greatest returns on investment after a renovation. Minor upgrades can breathe new life into a home and add aesthetic appeal, while mid-range and major improvements can drastically improve functionality, but just like other byproducts of homeownership, such projects call for a lot of money to execute. A full remodel involves the replacement of most, if not all, of a kitchen's features, essentially leaving no aspect of the room untouched. However, the priciest part of this comprehensive remodel is the installation of wooden cabinets, an investment that can cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars to well over $10,000.

The range of pricing for new kitchen cabinets varies widely because the features are so customizable, and certain materials pose more of a challenge for contractors. Kitchens also come in all shapes and sizes, so custom jobs may cost homeowners, with specific installation requests even more expensive to execute. While the project is pricey enough to strain even the most financially stable households, there are ways to cut back on costs to make the project more affordable.

How does pricing for kitchen cabinets work?

New kitchen cabinets can cost upwards of $20,000 to 30,000. But how exactly do these expenses add up? The total cost of a kitchen cabinet installation depends on a variety of factors, including the size and layout of the kitchen, the materials used to make the cabinets, and embellishments added for customization, like decorative trim, molding, and even hardware accents like knobs and pulls. However, the extent to which you can personalize your new cabinets depends on the type you choose to install.

Stock or prefabricated cabinets typically cost less than custom and semi-custom cabinets because they are usually manufactured ahead of time and produced in bulk. This saves contractors a lot of time and eliminates much of the prep work that's normally required. Pre-made cabinets come with limited options for personalization, which may not be ideal if your kitchen features an atypical floor plan or dimensions. Cabinet materials also differ greatly in price, depending on the quality and durability of each option. Solid wood is one of the most expensive materials for cabinets, with costs (excluding labor) ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Manmade alternatives, like laminate and wood veneer, usually run much cheaper, sometimes costing half that of their all-natural counterparts. Incorporating accessories into your cabinets can affect pricing as well, with add-ons like pull-out trash cabinets and wine racks costing extra to install.

How to keep cabinet costs down

If the cost required to replace your kitchen cabinets seems completely out of your budget, you may wonder: What are effective ways to minimize costs without sacrificing the quality of the craftsmanship? When selecting your cabinet materials and overall design, it may help to prioritize functionality over aesthetic appeal. In other words, focus more on choosing materials that are durable, long-lasting, and affordable rather than being swayed by opulent styles that may break your budget. Be mindful that less is often more when remodeling for a high return on investment, as prospective buyers are usually more interested in homes they could imagine styling themselves rather than those that are overly unique or personalized.

If the frames of your existing cabinets are still in good condition, avoid a full cabinet replacement entirely and opt to switch out the doors and hardware instead. Along with requiring fewer materials, these smaller-scale updates are much less complicated than a full-fledged installation, meaning you could easily cut the labor costs involved and complete the job yourself. Cabinet doors can range in pricing from just $30 to $300 per door, depending on the type of material and whether they're pre-manufactured or custom-made. Some minimalistic designs come with no established space for hardware or trim, which could save you even more money in the long run. Knobs and handles cost even less to replace, with average prices ranging from $1 to $30 per piece.