Reface or Replace Cabinets in St. Louis: Here’s What to Consider


reface or replace kitchen cabinets st. louisIn a typical kitchen or bathroom remodeling project, new cabinets are factored into the budget the majority of the time. However, about one and three homeowners opt to keep the cabinets already hanging or giving them a facelift. Whether you reface or replace cabinets in your remodel depends a lot on your expectations of the remodeling project and, of course, your budget.

Out With The Old and In With The New

The cost of a full blown kitchen remodel averages around $60,000 in the St. Louis Metro Area with one third of that going toward cabinets. The advantages to investing that kind of money are myriad. While people love the sleekness of a granite countertop, for example, the wow factor is what comes from what it rests on.  More than anything, cabinets set the tone of the room’s style.

New features included in them also make them convenient and more functional than ever. From slow closing drawers and doors, mixer stands that rise up to countertop level, embedded spice racks, cookie sheet racks and much more, cabinet makers are increasingly incorporating ergonomics into their design.

The same thing that is happening in the kitchen is also taking place in the bathroom where cabinets contain drawers and holders for curling irons, hair dryers and anything that used to sit ingloriously next to the sink.

reface or replace kitchen cabinets st. louis

The most notable change, though, is that bathroom cabinets have grown up, literally. The typical height of your mother’s bathroom cabinet was 32 inches. Today, they have moved up to the 36 inch level that is found in the kitchen.

So, replacing cabinets during a remodel is a no brainer for many. The contractor might not take a sledge hammer to them like they often do I those DIY shows, but their removal demonstrates your conviction for a fresh look to your kitchen or bathroom.

What is Old is New Again

For those others who just can’t let go either of their old cabinets, their money or both, take comfort in knowing there are great options available to you to freshen up the look of your kitchen or bath at a fraction of the price of replacement.

Cabinet facelifts, as they are known in the business, generally cost between $5,000-$15,000 and still provide aesthetic punch to the room, as well as add functionality.

reface or replace kitchen cabinets st. louis

Simple touches like replacing handles, or swapping out a solid door for a glass one gives existing cabinets a new look. A more radical conversion would include staining them in a new shade or painting over them. Some even choose to laminate over existing surfaces, however, many design build firms do not recommend this as there are problems down the road with this approach

All of these options can change the look of the room. What they can’t do is provide you with more of the cabinet space many homeowners desire.

What about those whistles and bells that come with new cabinets such as mixer shelves or cookie sheet racks? Well, there is good news in that department. There are lots of aftermarket products available that can be retrofitted into existing cabinets to provide that added functionality you desire.

Reface or Replace Cabinets: The Contractor Should Help Guide You

Your design-build remodeling contractor should be able to guide towards what is right for your house and your budget. They should be problem solvers for you and not simply trying to increase the overall cost of a project.

Of course they are going to consider your budget, but they’ll also want to know what your long or short term expectations of living in the house are to recommend refacing or replacing your cabinets. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value annual report,, a major kitchen remodeling in the Greater St. Louis area averages around $62,000 with a cost recoup when the owner sells of 62 percent. By comparison, a minor kitchen remodel is around $20,000 with a recoup rate of 72 percent.

Whether your reface or replace cabinets, changing the look of a kitchen or bathroom invigorates homeowners and for good reason. Understanding what are your expectations going into it will help ensure a satisfactory outcome.

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