Over the course of 20 years, meeting with families who are looking to remodel their kitchen, I would guess nearly two-thirds start the conversation by sharing with me their must-have appliances and finishes. Now, despite what you might think, homeowners in the communities I service like Hershey, Carlisle and York want the high-end brands like Sub-Zero, Wolf, Viking and yes, even La Cornue. And finishes? I’ve seen clients spend over $150 a square foot for granite countertops, and that was before installation!
Let me give you three reasons why anyone remodeling their kitchen should, after working with a Certified Kitchen Designer to develop the right plan, make investing in cabinetry their top priority.
First, cabinetry is the foundation of the room – literally. As a certified designer I’m thinking about the cabinetry long before I worry about the appliances or finishes and that’s because cabinet design is the critical element determining not only how well the available space will be utilized, but should also suggest the size and placement of the appliances.
Second, appliances, countertops, faucets and tile are easy to replace. Once your cabinetry is installed, it’s not going anywhere . . . until you do your next kitchen remodel and gut the space.
And that’s really leads to the third and final reason to invest in cabinetry first. If you put your remodeling budget into cabinets before appliances and finishes, you won’t ever need to worry about buying new boxes again. High-quality construction and materials, like those found in our Quality Custom Cabinetry and Mother Hubbard’s Signature Cabinetry line, guarantee that your cabinets will truly last a lifetime. Yes, you may end up refinishing the doors in twenty years, or swapping out hardware, but the cabinets themselves should perform beautifully for the life of the home.
So, how do you know when you’re scrimping on cabinets? Of course it depends on the kitchen plan, but a good rule of thumb is that your cabinets should be approximately 35% to 50% of your budget. If your budget puts cabinets at 20% of the total, you can pretty much assume that you’re skimping on this critical area. If this sounds like you, put the shiny refrigerator brochure down and walk away from the Best Buy appliance aisle!
What if you’re on a limited budget? Should you need to save dollars and cents, one of the easiest areas is with the countertop. It can be changed and upgraded easily at a later date. High definition laminate is a great choice. It is durable and the new edge options available today make the countertop look real. The cost savings can be as much as half the investment of a natural granite.