A kitchen renovation or remodel is a great way to add value to your home. It is also one of the more expensive ways though. Most people considering a remodel are surprised to find that new, custom cupboards and cabinets will cost more than a complete set of new appliances, depending on the style they choose. The best way to reduce this cost and renovate your kitchen from ceiling to floor is to find a set of used kitchen cabinets that fit your decorating and budget requirements.
Yes, used cabinets can appear to be in very bad shape and condition. The truth though is that it’s usually the paint or stain covering them that’s showing its age and needs to be stripped away. In fact, your current cabinets and cupboards may be the items to look to first. Remove the paint or stain on your current cabinets to see what you have to work with. If you still like the style and the cabinet hardware, then simply repaint to match the rest of your renovation.
However, if you can’t stand the cabinets you have and want some custom cupboards at a reasonable price, then here is where you get started. The best places and people to look for are as follows:
- Area retailers and home and garden stores. Every year, these businesses have to remove their display models and replace them with the latest styles and designs. Instead of throwing them away, the manager will offer steep discounts to get rid of them at a smaller profit or at least in order to avoid a disposal fee. Their loss is your gain if you work with the store manager at a reasonable price. Remember, you are doing each other a favor, so don’t expect to just walk away with them for pocket change.
- Local contractors. Other people are renovating their kitchens as well and most hire someone to remove their old appliances and cabinets. Many local contractors will hang on to the used kitchen cabinets they remove to either use on future jobs or to sell to people like you. It is very simple to look them up online and email or call to ask about what they may have on-hand. Make sure to ask to see them before you agree on a price.
- Flea Markets and Salvage Yards. If old cupboards and cabinets do bypass a contractor, they will still end up for sale someplace. Agencies that are paid to haul away trash and other discarded items are very careful to pick out items still worth the time to clean up and put on display. Salvage yards have some great bargains on used cabinets and are open year round. Fleas markets will generally have a nicer selection, but their days and hours are more restricted. Neither place normally offers loading or delivery, so be prepared to have a van or truck ready to go.
- Classified and Online Ads. These are great sources for finding just about every type of kitchen cabinet and cupboard. Classified ads can give you locations of garage sales and other sources such as estate liquidations. Online ads are normally from an individual, but are sometimes better since they usually have pictures of the item for sale. With each type, remember to pay attention if the item for sale is local or not. You’ll want to see the item before you make an offer and you certainly won’t want to pay shipping on what could be a couple hundred pounds of wood and hardware; any savings you’ll see from buying used will quickly disappear that way.
Once you find the cabinets you like, you may find that the accompanying hardware doesn’t fit with your retro-style oven or your modern refrigerator. This is a much easier problem to take of. Cabinet hardware, new and used, can be found at every source referenced previously in this article. What makes it easier to find as a used item is the size and portability.
Do-It-Yourself renovators are not as careful in removing old cabinets during a remodel as professional contractors. They are easily smashed or cracked and if a frame doesn’t pull easily away, it gets hammered off and the wood is left dented to uselessness. What do survive are the handles, hinges and trim pieces. Even a novice will save these on the off-chance they might be useful later. He will just drop them in a drawer or put them in a box where it sits for months, even years. A complete set of kitchen hardware can be purchased at a garage sale for as little as $10.
Kitchen renovations can be expensive. However, if you perform a careful search and use every source available, you can get the kitchen you want at a much lower price. The chase for that perfect kitchen can be fun if you keep the right attitude and stay patient. Good Hunting!