I hate to generalize, but from what I’ve seen, men love demolition. I’m here to say: put the sledgehammer down, gentlemen. Reuse those cabinets!
I watch house flippers (and regular folks) tearing out all the old, solid wood, masterfully built kitchen cabinets, and replacing them with brand new, particle board, crap cabinets, and spending a ton of money in the process. Here at Feng Shui Style, we reuse everything we possibly can, for a myriad of reasons:
- “They don’t make ’em like they used to”. It’s true.
- “Reduce, reuse, recycle.” You’re not only tearing out perfectly good materials, you’re wasting all the man hours it took to install them the first time. You’re also incurring additional costs to install the new cabinets.
- Historic Preservation. If you tear out 1950s cabinets from a mid-century home, and install granite and modern, white, shaker style cabinets, you’ve just ruined the continuity of the home. Believe it or not, there are people out there who want an intact mid-century home. We’re not talking about a time capsule – we’re fine with freshening things up. Or, let’s say you have a 1920s home. Strange as it may seem, a classic subway tile and Carrara marble works in a 1920s kitchen, because that’s what would have been in there originally. It fits with the house.
- Money. If you’re flipping homes, presumably you’re doing it to make money. Even if you’re a homeowner, you certainly don’t want to spend more than you have to on a renovation. Reusing things like cabinets – by refacing them, painting them, staining, them, etc., will save you a significant amount of cash.
We practice what we preach. Our client had fairly ugly, dated, oak cabinets in his kitchen. He didn’t have the budget to upgrade them. The only thing that made the cabinets dated was the finish. Oak is better than particle board, any day. So, I had to get creative. Check out the Before and After photos below. These are the SAME cabinets. We painted them white, cut out the middles, added glass, and silver barrel pulls. Voila!
Now, I can hear you out there saying “What if I want to change the footprint of my kitchen?”. We did change the footprint of Zack’s kitchen. We took out the wall that previously held the stove. We added a header, and matched the crown molding. Because we shifted things around, we ended up having to buy 2 stock cabinets to fill in the space to the left of the new stove position. We bought them at Home Depot. Once everything was painted white, you can’t even tell! Now, it helps if you’re redoing the flooring, as we were. This will cover all the tracks you leave behind from moving things around.