Full Kitchen Remodel vs. Cabinet Makeover: Which is Right for You?

full kitchen remodel vs. cabinet makeover

Your kitchen has seen better days. Maybe it’s outdated and stuck in the ‘90s. Maybe it’s worn out from everyday wear and tear. Maybe the layout and design irritate you because it’s cramped and inefficient. Or maybe it’s all of the above. If you’re nodding your head in agreement right now, it’s time to give your kitchen a facelift. But how do you know if you need a full kitchen remodel or just a cabinet makeover?

Full Kitchen Remodel vs. Cabinet Makeover: Key Differences

First, let’s explain the difference between the two options. A cabinet makeover usually involves painting or refacing the cabinets and purchasing new hardware. With refacing, you keep your existing kitchen cabinet frames intact. Your kitchen is given an updated look by either adding a laminated veneer to your cabinets or replacing cabinet fronts.

On the other hand, a full kitchen remodel involves tearing out your existing cabinets and replacing them with brand new ones. You can design a fresh layout, or use the same layout that you had before with updated cabinets.

Maybe refacing the front of your cabinets is sufficient for you. Or maybe you need to gut your current kitchen and replace it with an entirely new one. Now that you know the differences between a full kitchen remodel vs. a cabinet makeover, how do you know which route to take?

Is it Better to Reface Cabinets or Get a New Kitchen?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors. Here’s how to know which option is right for you:

Budget Size

Refacing your cabinets requires less labor (time) and materials, and therefore less money. Doing a cabinet makeover is easier on the wallet. According to HomeAdvisor, cabinet refacing costs $7,133 on average, and it’s usually about a 30% to 50% lower cost than replacing custom or semi-custom cabinets.

If you decide to do a full kitchen remodel, keep in mind that new cabinets can take up as much as 50% of the total renovation budget, and changing a layout can involve moving plumbing and electrical, as well — increasing labor costs.

Time Spent

If you’re going to gut your kitchen, the process from start to finish takes longer. That’s because there’s more work to do. Kitchen cabinet refacing is a faster, convenient update that gives your kitchen a newly remodeled look in a fraction of the time it takes to do a full remodel.

Giving your cabinets a cosmetic makeover usually takes a few days to a week, rather than weeks or months for a full kitchen remodel. Fully replacing existing kitchen cabinets involves demolition to remove the old cabinets, designing and ordering the new cabinets, and installation. From there, you’ll need finishing touches like countertops, hardware, and a backsplash.

Efficiency Needs

If one of the reasons your current kitchen doesn’t work is because of the layout and design, you’ll probably need new cabinets with a revised layout. There’s no way to make improvements to the layout and design when refacing. Changing the flow of your kitchen could involve moving appliances, plumbing, and electrical to more efficient locations.

A full kitchen remodel opens so many doors when it comes to making this space functional. Traffic will flow smoother — no more stepping on toes or waiting for someone to get out of the way so you can grab what you need.

Long-Term Goals

Do you want the improvements you make to your kitchen to impact your home’s resale value in a positive way? A full kitchen remodel costs more upfront, but it’ll get you more value from your home when you sell it. A cabinet makeover, on the other hand, doesn’t increase resale value as much. In hot housing markets, a fully updated kitchen with an efficient, functional layout is almost certainly a good investment for resale. After all — kitchens and bathrooms sell homes.

Whether you choose to update your kitchen with a cabinet makeover or complete a full remodel, you can count on an improved version of this central space. Both options are great for making your kitchen look more updated. But the option that’s right for you depends on how much you want to put into this project. Are you all in?

Kitchen Remodel & Cabinet Makeover Solutions

Every home deserves a kitchen that’s beautiful, welcoming, and functional — designed for the way you live. Established by two long-time central Ohio homebuilders and craftsmen, The Creative Kitchen Co. offers customized kitchen remodeling and refacing solutions. Contact us for more information.