"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Kitchen cabinets. Cabinet refacing. Cabinet refinishing. Cabinet hardware

If the kitchen cabinets have an outdated look but are generally speaking in good structural  condition you may want to consider refacing. It makes sense to keep the supporting cabinet frame and just replace the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Add a few pullout drawers and a lazy susan and your kitchen make-over is complete. Not only do you end up with a beautiful new kitchen but in the process you will also save 50% or more compared to buying a complete new kitchen.

For even greater savings you could just refinish the cabinet frame, doors and drawer fronts. Your only expenses would be for sandpaper, sealer, primer, paint/stain and new hardware (hinges, handles and drawer pulls). You can create a complete new look for your kitchen for only a few hundred dollars.

Kitchen cabinet doors were properly aligned and adjusted when installed. Over time the doors may get out of line caused by settlement, use and/or misuse and may have to be readjusted.

To prevent scratches use only non-abrasive cleaners.
Kitchen Cabinets Overview

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Kitchen cabinets. Cabinet refacing. Cabinet refinishing. Cabinet hardware
Kitchen cabinets have to be able to stand up to years of abuse in the form of heat, smoke and steam. Some of the more economical materials used for cabinets may not do too well under those conditions.
Kitchen cabinets have changed dramatically over the years. Gone are the days when kitchen cabinets had those hard to reach areas where you would place the least often used dishes. Today kitchens can be ordered with lazy susans for corner cabinets, so-called soft-close or positive-close mechanisms enabling drawers to shut quietly, or which shut fully after being pushed only partially, deep drawers for cookware, units with vertical storage for cookie sheets, sponge trays on the front of sink cabinets, pullout hideaway garbage/recycling containers, pull-out spice cabinets and built-in appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens. Many of these options come with an additional price tag.
With so many styles, materials and finishes to choose from it is important to have a budget in mind before getting quotes. Kitchen cabinets are one of the biggest investments when you are considering a kitchen renovation project. Kitchens can be expensive, but you can choose from new kitchens (most expensive), refacing existing kitchens (less expensive) or strip and refinish the existing cabinet frame, doors and drawers (least expensive).

Newly installed kitchen with stainless steel appliances and
cultured granite countertops

The preferred choice of material for kitchen cabinets is solid wood. It is also the most expensive material. However, there are other, less costly materials you can choose for your kitchen cabinets such as wood veneer, laminate or melamine.
Solid wood. Pine is economical and ideal for creating a country style kitchen especially if knotty pine is used. The drawback for pine is that it is relatively soft and can be easily scarred. Kitchen cabinets can be also made of maple, oak, cherry and birch. Hickory cabinets are harder to come by but they sturdier, stronger and harder than cabinets made of oak or maple.
Wood veneer.Wood veneer kitchen cabinets look much like those made of solid wood but they are not as durable. A thin layer of wood (veneer) is glued onto particle board or MDF board (medium density fibre board). MDF board is stronger and more dense than particle board. It is an engineered wood product made by combining wood fibres, wax and resin binders under high temperature and pressure.
Plastic laminate kitchen cabinets are durable, stain resistant and available in a vast array of textures, patterns and colours. Cabinets made of laminate are relatively less expensive than wood veneer and solid wood. Plastic laminate is nothing more than kraft paper and resins bonded together under heat and pressure. With proper care they can last a lifetime.

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