Are you planning a kitchen remodel? If so, you could save a lot of money by finding and buying cheaper cabinets. The trick, however, is to save without compromising on style or quality. To help you choose the right cabinets for a budget-friendly kitchen project, HomeAdvisor offers the following five tips:
1. Get the Best Kitchen Cabinets for the Money. The most affordable kitchen cabinets can start around $30 per linear foot, with minimal features. It’s cheaper to choose standard sizes, like 24” or 30” wide. Custom options take more work, so they can be expensive. Pull-out shelves and drawers cost the most, so you may want to limit them. For the most part, there isn’t a big difference in value between $30 and $100 per linear foot. Bargain kitchen cabinets tend to have a thinner frame and shelving, which means they can bow or sag under pressure. If you plan to store heavy tools or appliances, opt for thicker panels made of plywood.
2. Stick With Inexpensive Cabinetry. Solid hardwood cabinets can cost $300 to $350 per linear foot. By comparison, the cheapest kitchen cabinets can cost $30 to $150 per linear foot. These typically contain a plywood frame with a door made of particleboard, also called MDF. Keep in mind that cheap construction often doesn’t last as long. Aim for products with 3/4″ thick panels and screws that’ll go most of the way through the panel. If you’re building it yourself, extra nails will help hold it together.
3. Don’t Buy More Cheap Cabinets Than You Need. You can save hundreds or thousands of dollars on budget cabinets by buying only what you need. Manufacturers set prices by the unit. Wider sizes tend to have a lower cost per linear foot. For example, selecting two 36” wide base models will probably run less than three 24” ones. It’s tempting to fill the space with cabinets, but you’ll pay for every empty unit. Sometimes, it’s easier to thin out kitchen tools you don’t use than to build more places to store them.
4. Save on Labor With Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) Cabinets. Assembled cabinets can cost $50 to $150 per linear foot, compared to $30 to $100 per linear foot for RTA units. You might not have as much choice in RTA products, but you’ll save on shipping or bringing them home from the store. Remember that DIY only saves money if you have the right tools and materials and know what you’re doing. Cabinet assembly usually takes a few hours per unit and requires several supplies not provided with the kit.
5. Shop Locally for Used Kitchen Cabinets. Since solid wood cabinets often last longer than the kitchen design, you may find people nearby looking to sell their old ones. Cabinet removal can cost $15 to $30 per linear foot. To avoid this expense, some homeowners will even give them away for free instead of demolition, if you’ll get them out of the house. Before you choose used products, you should shop around and consider at least a few options, inspect the condition before buying, ask if the price includes removal and make sure you can transport them to your home promptly.