Homeowners often get caught in the refacing hype when shopping options for their kitchen cabinets. Typically presented as an economical and cost-effective alternative to installing new cabinets, the remodel cost savings aren't nearly as significant as you'd think.
On average, refacing existing kitchen cabinets adds up to 70-80% of the cost of brand-new cabinets. We've seen this play out in various remodel cost breakdowns over the years in numerous project comparisons -- and the fact is, you're just not saving as much by refinishing existing cabinets vs. installing new. The average kitchen remodel should range between 30k and 50k. Of course a lot can go into a remodel but this is an average.
The obvious benefit to installing new cabinets is the ability to customize features and layout to your current lifestyle and needs or to those of prospective buyers. Remember -- refacing uses the existing placement and configuration, but freshens up the look with new doors and hardware.
Refacing can still be a viable alternative to new installation, but you need to carefully consider the real cost -- design inflexibility and changes to lifestyle -- beyond the sticker price.