When installing new kitchen cabinets, there are hundreds of choices when it comes to materials, design, and layout, so choosing the perfect set of cabinets for your kitchen can be difficult. Many homeowners make the following eight mistakes regarding their kitchen cabinets. Making sure that you avoid these common mistakes can save you time and more, as well as ensure that you remain happy with your choices for years to come.
Mistake #1: Choosing low-cost cabinets
There's something to be said for sticking to a budget, but when choosing cabinets, if you go too low-cost, you'll end up with cabinets that need to be replaced in just a few years. Low-cost cabinets are often made of particle board instead of wood, so they don't hold up well, even under normal conditions. They also absorb smells and moisture more easily. With kitchen cabinets, that general rule of thumb is to be in at least the second price tier, avoiding all of the cabinets that are extremely low budget.
One of the largest problems when it comes to installing kitchen cabinets is inaccurate measuring. In some places, being a few inches off might not matter, but in other places, just and inch or two--or even less--can cause major problems in functionality. This also affects the overall look of your kitchen. So, when you measure, make sure that you go through the entire process at least twice, ensuring that all of your numbers are correct.
Mistake #3: Choosing trendy cabinets
Today's trends will look laughable in just a few years, with some trends looking outdated even sooner. You want a kitchen that is more classic, unless you can afford to redo your kitchen every season to accommodate the new trends. Instead, look for cabinets that will be stylish for years to come.
Mistake #4: Making a decision about cabinets without knowing your countertop, paint, and appliance options
You might fall in love with certain cabinets, but if you can't find other kitchen options that work well with the cabinets, they may not be the right cabinets for you. When you're building a kitchen, you have to think about all of the components, including the countertops, paint, and appliances. This depends not just on the look of the components you choose, but also your functionality needs. For example, do the cabinets you've choose have options that fit above the refrigerator?
Mistake #5: Installing kitchen cabinets at the wrong height
When you install the kitchen cabinets, you likely want some space between the ceiling and the top of the cabinets, but if you leave too much space, the cabinets could hang very low. That cuts down on the functionality of your kitchen, since countertop space will be awkward and some of your smaller appliances won't be able to fit under the cabinets. At the same time, you want to avoid installing the cabinets too high, or your top shelves will be too high for most people to reach items stored on them. Check out your cabinets' manufacturer guidelines, and then consider you specific workspace needs before you start installing the cabinets.
Mistake #6: Ordering cabinets without seeing a sample of the product
If you ever orders in a restaurant based on the picture in the menu, you know how disappointing it can be when you get the final product. The same is true of home improvement projects. The cabinets you see in catalogs have been prepped for pictures, so they may look much better than the actual product you receive. It may not be a case of the company being dishonest--sometimes it is just hard to envision what the texture, finish, and color will be like in real life. Always look at a sample of the product before you make a purchase. You may not be able to see your exact cabinet, but you should be able to see something in a similar style of finish from the same manufacturer.
Mistake #7: Replacing cabinets that could have been refinished
Few people realize just how easy it is to refurbish old cabinets. Unless there's something structurally wrong with the cabinets or you're completely changing the layout of the kitchen, it is usually a more budget-friendly choice to refinish the old cabinets or just replace the doors. If you do decide to totally replace the cabinets, consider removing the old ones carefully so you can donate them to a local charity or Habitat for Humanity.
Mistake #8: Installing the cabinets without reading the directions
Lastly, don't just start opening boxes and installing the cabinets in your kitchen without looking at the manufacturer's directions. You don't want to get halfway through the project to find that you installed some pieces incorrectly and need to start over. Make sure you're doing things correctly the first time around.
Key Hiring Tips
From large to small projects, before you select any contractor be sure to take the time to properly screen them. The time it takes now to screen a contractor will help ensure success for your home improvement project and avoid problems down the road.