Remodeling your kitchen is one of the best ways to boost your home value. But with endless upgrades and options, it’s hard to know what’s really worth the investment. Well, since we’re cabinetmakers who’ve seen our share of bad cabinets, we believe that beautiful, functional cabinetry is the first place to start.
WORK WITH A REPUTABLE CABINETMAKER. We all know this, but it’s worth repeating: quality matters. The strongest cabinet boxes are all-plywood construction. They can handle today’s heavy stone countertops and tolerate moisture better than unpredictable particleboard. Also known as MDF or engineered hardboard, particleboard doesn’t have the same per-square-foot strength of plywood. Shelves can sag and fasteners can blow out. So, avoid particleboard in busy kitchens like we do at Swita Cabinetry.
Another worthwhile point of quality involves design. Your kitchen designer should be doing cabinets full time or he hasn’t created enough layouts to know what doesn’t work. At Swita Cabinetry, we care about efficiency and ease of operation in your home. If something is going to be cumbersome, we’ll let you know and offer better solutions.
Installation is also an area you shouldn’t skimp on. Even the best cabinets can look cheap if installed incorrectly. Slight errors in measurements or subpar installation methods can spoil the outcome. I had a customer stop at our shop looking for help a few months ago. Her cabinet from another company fell off the wall. Yes, smashed to the floor with all the china and crystal inside. It wasn’t due to construction, but how it was (or wasn’t) secured to the wall by the previous installer. Experienced installers plan ahead and have the required tools and materials to make your kitchen look terrific.
INVEST IN STONE COUNTERTOPS. Stone is all the rage today and rightly so. It looks beautiful and performs remarkably. Cambria quartz, what I have in my house, is worth the investment with the best designs in the industry and a lifetime warranty. If your budget requires cut backs, but you really want stone, go with a grade A granite, which is the lowest priced category. Even laminates offer less expensive options, but the high definition designs are worth paying the slight increase.
GET GOOD HARDWARE. I look at decorative hardware like jewelry; the right necklace can make the outfit. Pulls and knobs in the perfect finish can add so much style to your space. And, don’t overlook interior hardware. We use Blum because it’s the best in adjustable door hinges and undermount drawer glides with soft-close technology–no more slamming things around.
UPGRADE PLUMBING FIXTURES. I had a cheap faucet. Once. After bumping it with a cast iron skillet and water sprayed in my face, I realized that it was time for an upgrade because my grandma’s cookware wasn’t going anywhere. You really do get what you pay for in faucets, sinks and related fixtures.
An average kitchen remodel can range from $10,000 to $30,000+ and where you invest should be inline with your passions and priorities. Avoid skimping on structural, high-use areas and you should be happy for a long, long time.
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BY KARLA SWITA
Karla is married to Pete and together they own and operate Swita Cabinetry. When not at the shop, she is probably with one of their kids–Noah, Jackson or Marissa–or writing a blog with Pippa (the Vizsla) nearby.