Why Cabinet Replacement is still better than Refinishing or Resurfacing

Kitchen Cabinets Brown - Kitchen Remodel Rancho BernardoIf you are considering doing a kitchen remodel in Rancho Bernardo this winter, you should definitely think about your kitchen cabinets. Since they are the most noticeable part of your kitchen, chances are it’s them you want to change.

There are various options for you to choose from, but the question is – which one is best for you?

You might have heard of cabinet refinishing, refacing and resurfacing, but what’s the difference? And how are they different from repainting or replacement? There’s been much talk about the alternatives to cabinet replacement and their supposed cost-effectiveness, so we set out to see if the hype is really justified.


These two terms can be used interchangeably because they mean the same thing. The concept of resurfacing/refacing entails changing the face (that is, the front) of the cabinets. What does this mean in practice? It means that you get to keep the existing cabinet structure, but replace the old cabinet doors and drawer fronts with new ones. If the cabinet boxes are in a solid operational mode, your cabinets are eligible for refacing.

Cabinet Refinishing

Like the name suggests, refinishing involves changing the finish (or the color) of the cabinets. Basically, you can change the finish in two ways: by hand sanding the finish on the existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts, or stripping it with chemicals before applying a new coat of finish. Put simply, it’s almost like you exfoliate the cabinets.

Refinish or Repaint?

There are some materials where refinishing is simply not possible precisely because of the sanding. These materials include laminate and thermofoil, among others; they can’t be sanded, so refinishing is not an option.

When it comes to repainting, bear in mind that the color you envisioned may not look exactly the same when applied, regardless of the type of material. If you want to give your kitchen a complete makeover, we suggest going for cabinet replacement – changing the paint finish alone will probably not do the trick.

Refinish, Resurface or Replace?

If your cabinet structure is worn out, you should definitely go for cabinet replacement. If you feel your cabinets are simply not fashionable anymore or you want to change the style of your kitchen completely, refinishing and resurfacing may not be enough. On the other hand, repainting is rarely advised, especially in the case of wooden cabinets.

Kitchen Cabinets White - Kitchen Remodel Rancho Bernardo

While it is true that refinishing and resurfacing are less expensive that replacing the cabinets altogether, you should ask yourself: is it really that much of a save? On average, customers are able to save up around $5k if they go for refinishing or resurfacing, which is not enough to overshadow the benefits of cabinet replacement.

You should also consider the fact that there are plenty of smart cabinetry options to purchase – these can make your whole kitchen more functional and save you time and energy. In the end, it’s up to you to determine what you need.

Cabinet Replacement for a Modern Kitchen Remodel in Rancho Bernardo

You don’t have to overhaul your kitchen to make it look more modern or make it more functional. Oftentimes, you simply have to replace the cabinets. After all, they are the most conspicuous part of any kitchen. For professional advice and custom designs, contact Classic Home Improvements – we can make sure you get the most out your Rancho Bernardo kitchen remodel by helping you choose the right cabinets and installing them for you. We boast award-winning remodelers and an outstanding customer service – call us today and request a Classic Quick Quote!


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Explanation of Remodeling Timeframes

Are you dreaming of kitchen remodeling or bathroom remodeling next year?   2018 is right around the corner and we have noticed that the time scales people have in mind are very different from what can be delivered.  Most people suffer from what the remodeling and construction industry call “HGTV Syndrome.”  Let us elaborate becase the magic of television has completely warped the minds of the everyday homeowner.

Remodeling Timelines:  HGTV Versus Reality

Television has made homeowners believe their kitchen, bathroom or home addition can be completed in 2 weeks for $10,000.  For some reason that is the same answer every time.  The reason HGTV makes remodeling look so seamless and inexpensive is because they have a lot of help average homeowners could never get.

In order to get the materials they need to complete a project they reach out to local and national vendors for materials in exchange for a mention or shout out on national television. Trading advertising for building materials is a great trade off and allows the homeowner featured on the show to have much lower material costs than they would normally.

HGTV has ways of getting a crew together quick to turn a home renovation around in a day. Most times they employ dozens of employees working 24 hours a day.  This ensures they can meet their production deadlines.  While it makes for fantastic TV and can provide inspiration to homeowners for their own remodels, the timelines shown on TV aren’t realistic.  We are going to break it down for you per project so you have a better idea before you dive head first in a remodel.

Open Kitchen Floorplan - Kitchen Remodel Contractor FallbrookKitchen Remodeling Timelines

Kitchen remodels are in very high demand because more homeowners are deciding to customize their home rather than relocate.   The time it takes to build a kitchen remodel depends on the scope of work and size of the space.  Many people do not take into consideration the kitchen remodel planning stages (including selecting a contractor, designing the space, and selecting materials) which take several weeks on top of the actual construction time!  For example,  a standard kitchen cabinet order can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks to be delivered.  The time it takes to actually build your kitchen remodel will range from 6-8 weeks (no permits) to 8-10 weeks (with permits).  Kitchen remodels with walls being added or removed and kitchens with floor plan changes take the longest to complete.

Bathroom Remodel Photo - Project completed in San Marcos CA by Classic Home ImprovementsBathroom Remodeling Timelines

Bathrooms are smaller than kitchens however they can be just as complicated.  Depending on whether your bathroom remodel a simple hall bathroom can take 3-6 weeks.  A large master bathroom will take anywhere from 8-10 weeks.   The variance in time is due to product selection and scope of work.  For example, it takes longer to tile a bathroom wall than to install a fiberglass tub.  If you are relocating your toilet or changing from a tub to a shower the underground plumbing is affected.  So your scope of work really determines the length of time it will take to remodel your bathroom.  Additionally, and just as importantly, the time it takes to complete your remodel will be determined by what type of remodeling contractor you hire.

Small Bathroom - Room Addition Contractors San DiegoRoom Addition Timelines

Additions and whole house remodeling are a whole other animal and can take 3 months to a year depending on what you are doing.  In all of your remodels, keep in mind the time it takes to obtain a permit.  Once you have submitted for a permit you will be waiting approximately 6 weeks to get approval, and that is with no requested changes from the city.  If the city requests plan changes the clock starts over.

Remember that creating incredible spaces for your home are not works of television magic, but well thought out designs accompanied by hard work from reputable contractors. As much as homeowners wish this process would be quick and painless, the best projects must take some time to create. Keep this in mind when you are thinking about your next home renovation.

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