At about 40 percent of most kitchen remodel budgets, cabinetry represents a long-term investment. It's important to consider what your money can buy and how much you want to spend.
"There are many factors to consider when deciding how much to spend on cabinetry, such as how long you're going to stay in the house; the value of your home and neighborhood; and the age of your kids and if you have pets -- which add to wear and tear," says Paula Kennedy, a certified master kitchen and bath designer from Timeless Kitchen Design in Redmond, Washington.
According to Kennedy, most cabinets range from $500 to $1,500 per cabinet box. "Based on an estimated 30 cabinets in an average-size kitchen, you can be looking at a cost of about $15,000-$45,000," she says.
1. Measure the dimensions of your kitchen. To get the best cabinets within your budget, use a compact work area and standard sizes.
2. Determine your cabinetry construction. Cabinets are available as stock, semicustom, or custom units. Your choice will impact the overall cost and options available.
Stock. Sold ready-to-install at home centers and dealers or ready-to-assemble online, stock cabinets are the lowest in price. Your dealer might not have every unit in stock, but special orders take as little as a week. Stock cabinetry ranges from 6 to 42 inches wide, in 3-inch increments. Average cost is $75-$400 per linear foot.
Semicustom. Next up in price, semicustom cabinetry is also factory-made in standard sizes, but you'll find more woods, finishes, and decorative features. Widths range up to 60 inches. Options include pantry units, sliding shelves, and drawer inserts. Allow four to six weeks for semicustom orders. Average cost is $150-$900 per linear foot.
Custom. With the most options available, custom cabinetry is designed, built, and installed to fit your space. A professional kitchen designer will help establish an efficient layout. Exotic woods, ornate details, and period styles will add cost and delivery time but result in a one-of-a-kind kitchen. Average cost is $500-$1,400 per linear foot.
3. Add in bells and whistles. If custom cabinetry isn't in your budget, consider mixing a few custom pieces with semicustom or stock units. Millwork and architectural details add character, and accessories make the most of every inch of storage. Although details and accessories add beauty and function to your cabinets, they also add to the cost.
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