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Refacing vs. Replacing: Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Kitchen Makeover

The heart of the home, the kitchen, often undergoes renovations. Whether you’re trying to increase your home’s value or just itching for a change, you might be torn between refacing your kitchen cabinets or replacing them entirely. Both choices come with their sets of pros and cons, but it’s easy to stumble into pitfalls if you’re not informed. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the common mistakes homeowners make when choosing between refacing and replacing their cabinets. Armed with knowledge, you’ll be in a better position to make the best decision for your space.

Overlooking Budget Constraints

Many homeowners start a kitchen renovation without a clear budget in mind. Refacing, which involves replacing only the front of the cabinets and doors, is generally more cost-effective than complete replacement. However, if your cabinets are damaged or outdated in terms of design or function, the cheaper refacing option might not be the best in the long run.


“I thought refacing would save me a lot of money. While it was cheaper upfront, I soon realized my cabinets weren’t as functional as modern ones. I had to replace them entirely a year later.” – Jane D., Boston

Ignoring the Longevity of Your Cabinets


If your cabinets are still sturdy and functional, refacing can give them a new life. On the other hand, if they’re older than 20 years, they might not be worth saving.



According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, well-built cabinets can have a life expectancy of 50 years. However, those in high-use kitchens might show wear sooner.

Not Considering the Home’s Overall Aesthetic


Refacing might give you a fresh look, but does it align with the rest of your home? For instance, ultra-modern cabinets might look out of place in a century-old traditional home.


Personal Perspective:

“When I chose to reface, I opted for a sleek, handle-less design. It looked great on Pinterest, but in my colonial home, it felt jarring. I wish I’d considered the bigger picture.” – Alex L., San Francisco

Underestimating the Importance of a Skilled Professional


Whether you’re refacing or replacing, the craftsmanship matters. Some homeowners opt for DIY or go with the cheapest professional option. Remember, poor craftsmanship can be glaring, especially in a space as central as a kitchen.


Data Dive:

A survey by HomeAdvisor found that homeowners typically spend between $4,060 and $9,100 on cabinet installation, with an average of $6,110. While this might sound steep, quality work can save money in the long run by reducing the need for repairs or replacements.

Overlooking Resale Value


If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, consider what potential buyers might prefer. In upscale markets, for example, completely new cabinets might be expected.


Expert Opinion:

“In luxury listings, I often see completely renovated kitchens with brand-new cabinets. It can be a selling point. However, in mid-range homes, a well-done refacing job can be just as impressive to potential buyers.” – Rebecca M., Real Estate Agent




The decision between refacing and replacing kitchen cabinets depends on various factors, from budget to the age of the cabinets. By being aware of common mistakes and doing thorough research, you’ll ensure your kitchen not only looks beautiful but also meets your functional needs. After all, the kitchen is where memories are made, from holiday meals to late-night snacks, so it deserves careful consideration in every renovation decision.

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Serving the Arlington, TX area. Project 360 Painting and Remodeling specializes in residential and commercial painting and remodeling and 3D design. Over 15 years of experience. Fully insured. Free estimates. Call today.