Perfect Your Renovation With David Bromstad's Money-Saving Cabinet Upgrade Advice

With the many facets of a kitchen renovation, it's not uncommon for the cost to quickly increase as each feature gets upgraded. And one of the most expensive parts of a kitchen renovation is the cabinets because of the amount required and having to pay per cabinet. However, there are options to get the look of upgraded cabinets without spending a ton of money. HGTV's David Bromstad had a money-saving solution on Season 4, Episode 11 of "Color Spash," opting not to replace the entire cabinet. "Instead of replacing all the cabinets, we're going to reface. [It's] always a great way to save money," Bromstad says in the episode (via HGTV). Leaving the cabinet boxes in place and simply installing new doors instantly gives your kitchen an update at a much lower price.

To replace the entire cabinet, on average, can range between $2,200 and $24,600, depending on the size of the kitchen and the size and amount of cabinets. The type of cabinet also can affect the price. For example, affordable stock cabinets can range between $50 and $100 per linear foot plus labor, while a total custom job can fall somewhere between $470 to $1,230 per linear foot. This can be quite expensive, whether this is the only kitchen project you're tackling or part of a total remodel. Taking Bromstad's advice and refacing can help save money that can be used on other aspects of your project.

Refacing kitchen cabinets can save money

David Bromstad has proved that updating a kitchen doesn't have to break the bank. Rather than spend a couple thousand replacing all of your kitchen cabinets, Bromstad suggests refacing them instead. Cabinet refacing is keeping the actual cabinet box in place and installing new door and drawer fronts. Refacing, on average, can cost anywhere from $4,491 to $10,570 for an entire kitchen, which includes material and labor. Of course, the number of cabinets also plays a role in the final cost of the project.

What's great about refacing is that it's a project that most homeowners can do themselves. This cuts out the extra labor cost of hiring a professional and leaves only the cost of materials. In many cases, this can be as simple as purchasing new cabinet doors, removing the old ones, and installing the new doors onto the cabinet. You may even be able to use existing hardware like hinges and pulls if they're still in good shape. When refacing kitchen cabinets, you can look for doors and drawer faces that already match your cabinets. Another option is to paint or stain both the doors and the cabinet boxes so they look cohesive. This is a good option if you want to further update your kitchen with a new wash of color. Whichever option you choose, refacing rather than replacing is a money saver.

When you can reface your cabinets

David Bromstad chose to reface kitchen cabinets for his clients in order to save some money on the renovation. However, he was able to do so because the cabinets were already in the right condition. Because refacing means swapping out the cabinet doors, the boxes have to be structurally sound. This means any damage to the cabinet should be cosmetic. If cabinet boxes have wood rot or deep damage, it may be better to replace the box rather than reface the cabinets. Water damage is another thing to look for before choosing refacing. If the wood or MDF material of the cabinets is compromised, you should replace them to ensure the structural integrity of your kitchen. Refacing cabinets is also the better option if you're satisfied with the current placement and functionality of the kitchen layout.

Since cabinet refacing is a cosmetic change, it's also a good chance to update or swap the style. If you have older cabinet faces, refacing is a chance to change the style to something more modern, such as sleek flat paneled doors or a more timeless shaker-style cabinet door. Cabinet refacing can also be a way of increasing home value as well by updating the appearance. If you're looking to sell your home and want to update the kitchen to potentially increase the sale price, refacing could be a good option that doesn't cut into the budget.