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If you didn’t build your home, or pay top dollar for the one you’re in, chances are you don’t love your kitchen, or it needs updates. Desirable kitchens are not only highly functional, but they also reflect the homeowner’s personal style. If you didn’t design yours, you probably can think of something you wish were different every day.
Often called the heart of the home, kitchens are where families prepare and share meals, and guests congregate, so if you’re not happy with your kitchen, it might be time to consider a remodel.
Kitchen remodels can be designed for almost any budget, but no matter what finances have been set aside for the update, renovations happen best with a plan.
If you’re looking to make some significant changes to your kitchen, but your budget is tight, keeping existing items can save on costs. Appliances, flooring and cabinets are all high-cost items. Another possibility is to do your renovation in phases. If you’re considering this option, it’s important that your cabinets are replaced before selecting and installing new countertops.
Here are four reasons why replacing the cabinets before the countertops is a must in any kitchen renovation.
1. Solid foundation: Cabinets provide the foundation for your countertops. If you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen, odds are you’re considering a solid surface or stone counter, like quartz or granite. Stone and manmade countertops are very heavy. If your existing cabinets aren’t structurally sound or level, mounting new counters on top will be problematic. If you’re hoping to resurface or paint your existing cabinets for a cost-effective solution in your kitchen upgrade, be sure to have the integrity of the cabinets confirmed before proceeding with this option.
2. Too fragile to move: Some homeowners assume you can purchase fancy new countertops to make a big impact, and then have the cabinets replaced at a later date. This isn’t an option. Natural stone and man-made countertops are very fragile, and once they are set in place, very few fabricators would be willing to move them at a later date because the chance of damaging them is too high. If you attempt to have the countertops moved at a later date, in most cases, you also will void your warranty.
3. Locks layout in place: Once the countertops are ordered, your kitchen layout is locked in place. While you might think your work triangle – sink, range, fridge – is highly functional (and you might be right), kitchen designers can make subtle changes to your cabinets. Adding a spice rack or hidden trash can, or extending the counter to create a peninsula, when they design the new cabinet configuration might not be possible if the countertops are already in place.
4. Finishing touches: Beautiful new countertops deserve to be accented with a custom backsplash, and backsplashes can only be installed after the countertops are securely in place. Once the backsplash is installed, moving the countertops to replace cabinets would not be possible without damaging the backsplash.
When it comes time to update your kitchen, the first step is calling a professional contractor. Kitchen renovations are full of critical decisions to ensure you will be happy with your investment far into the future. Don’t risk a costly mistake or renovation fiasco by attempting a kitchen upgrade DIY style. No matter what your budget is, starting with a solid plan is the only way to guarantee success and satisfaction with a kitchen renovation.