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Cabinets: Should You Replace or Reface? (page 2 of 2)

Save money on your kitchen remodel by refacing your cabinets instead of replacing them. But make sure your current cabinets are up to snuff first.

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Another Option: Open Shelving

Another alternative for homeowners with older cabinets in good condition is to remove the doors altogether and convert their existing cabinets to open shelving. Interior shelves can be removed or reconfigured inside the existing cabinet frames for a thoroughly modern and updated look.

"(With conversion to open shelving) there is an opportunity to refinish interiors in another color from the exterior or add beadboard backs," Lorey says.

However, even if your original cabinets are solidly built and in good condition, refacing or converting to open shelving may not be the best option if your current cabinet design or layout isn't efficient or functional. If the cabinets you have now aren't deep enough to hold your saucepans or tall enough to accommodate your cookie trays, replacing them completely may be the better option.

"If a homeowner is looking for major design or layout changes, those can be better achieved by starting over," says Gary Reynolds.

What about a mix-and-match option, where some existing cabinets are rehabbed while others are completely replaced? Experts say this is a practical and cost-saving option many homeowners overlook.

"We often leave original glass upper cabinet doors and replace just the base cabinets to improve functionality," says Lorey.

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