If you are planning on remodeling your kitchen, expect your cabinets to take up about 40% of your budget. This sounds like a lot, but depending on what you plan to spend, you may find yourself replacing kitchen cabinets on a budget.
Just because you don’t have a lot to spend doesn’t mean you can’t end up with beautiful new cabinets. We have six hacks to help you find affordable cabinets for your remodel.
1. Consider Buying Used
In a world of upcycling and reusing, why not consider buying used cabinets for your kitchen remodel? Of course, you’ll want to proceed with caution. But you can definitely find some great deals and outfit your entire kitchen.
Try looking on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You need to have a way of hauling your find back to your home. Then you need to have someone who can adjust and install them in your kitchen.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match cabinet pieces. You could find white cabinets that work perfectly for your uppers, and then a colored set for your base cabinets.
Another option is your local Habitat ReStore. These are shops that sell donated goods so that the profits can go towards Habitat for Humanity. You will find everything from appliances to cabinets, to donated building materials.
2. Stick With In-Stock Options at the Big Box Stores
Many home improvement stores have name-brand options that are factory-made and ready for you to take home in a day or two. Try to time your purchase with a kitchen or seasonal sale. You could even look for a rebate from the cabinet manufacturer.
This option works best if you have a standard-sized kitchen. This way you don’t need a lot of customization of your cabinets.
A couple of times a year IKEA holds a kitchen sale. During these sales, they discount their cabinets, appliances, and accessories.
This option is appealing due to IKEA’s user-friendly online kitchen designer platform. This lets you design your new kitchen at your own pace. Then buying has never been easier as their helpful employees will ensure you purchase everything you need to install your new kitchen.
The downside is that you need to prepare for hundreds of boxes. This will be the biggest and most complicated puzzle you have ever put together.
3. Check With Local Contractors
Get friendly with your local contractors and let them know what you are looking for. Some of them might be willing to work with you and let you know when they have the cabinets you are looking for.
This is a win-win for them since you buying them means they don’t have to haul them away.
4. Try Wholesale Options
Look for a wholesaler or distributor that can offer you a lower cost than a cabinet retailer. This is because you are skipping the middleman and buying directly from the source. You won’t get to visit a fancy showroom with all of the frills, but it’s worth it since the savings are passed on to you.
To save even more look for RTA cabinets. This way, you assemble them yourself and save on the labor costs.
5. Look for Overstocks
Cabinet companies have to get rid of their returns and overstocks somehow. You’ll have to locate and travel to the manufacturer’s outlet location. But depending on the size of your purchase, even this added expense won’t matter with the amount of savings you can achieve.
You could find brand new cabinets on sale for 80% off. Or you could purchase cabinets that are deeply discounted because they are missing doors.
6. Try a Local Shop
This is not your cheapest option, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. First, consider their no-frills options and see if they fit into your budget.
They can help you consider different cabinet door styles that are within your budget. Slab doors are almost always lower cost than ones with a raised panel or inset. Though sometimes you’ll find that shaker style doors are the most affordable.
Import from China
If that doesn’t work, ask about cabinets from China.
Many local cabinet shops offer a discounted option of importing cabinets from China. Now be aware that what you save in price, you give up on features and style. They typically come in very few styles and color options.
They also tend not to have a warranty. Then there are the cautionary tales you’ll find online about cabinet from China containing hazardous chemicals and warping wood.
Shop for the Right Cabinets
No matter where you decide to buy your cabinets, some particular features and customizations will make your cabinets more expensive.
While shopping, don’t go for the soft-close drawers or full-extension slides. This can save you several hundred dollars.
You should also try to have more doors than drawers in general. Those fancy pullouts that hide your trash can will inflate the cost. Is this added expense worth it when you can hide your trash bin under the end of the island or in the pantry?
Finally, consider the material the cabinets are made out of. An all-plywood construction is going to cost the most. You could save by choosing thermofoil or laminate instead.
If you have your heart set on wood, consider the species of wood. Oak is almost always going to be the most affordable option. Hickory is going to be a step up from oak.
Maple and Cherry are both beautiful but are going to be on the expensive end of the budget spectrum.
Replacing Kitchen Cabinets on a Budget Is Possible
Before you commit to spending a fortune on new kitchen cabinets, consider these six options. They will help you make replacing kitchen cabinets on a budget easier.
If buying used doesn’t bother you then repurposing someone’s old cabinets or buying a manufacturer’s returns may be the perfect solution. If you want new, then try looking for options at a big box store or local shop.
Check out the budget section of our blog for more tips on saving money around your home.