Take advantage of what you have. Even if your current cabinets are out of style or have seen better days, there are other people that would love to have them. Be gentle when you remove your current cabinets and you can sell them to someone else. Use that money to go towards your renovation. Really take stock of the cabinets that you have and decide what it is that you don’t like and what you are trying to achieve by replacing the current cabinets. Are you trying to update the look of the kitchen? Are you having problems with the current configuration?
If the cabinets are still in good condition, there are quite a number of options. The doors can be replaced. Be sure to check to see if your cabinets have frames or are frameless and buy doors and hinges that will work with your type of cabinets. A new coat of paint can do wonders to update a kitchen. Make sure to remove all of the doors, drawers, and hardware and give all of the wood a light sanding. Apply at least 2 coats of the paint and let dry. Once everything is dry, reinstall the doors and drawers and new hardware.
As easily as you can sell your old cabinets, you can buy someone else’s used cabinets. Search your local classified ads and craigslist.org. If you have a local Habitat for Humanity Restore, you can find great deals on used and new cabinets. The stock changes frequently so your cost will be in the amount of time you spend hunting down the deals. When shopping for used cabinets, make sure to have detailed measurements of your kitchen on hand at all times. You’ll need to compare the sizes offered to make sure there will be enough cabinets to offer a useable configuration for your space. Look for cabinets that are made with furniture grade plywood for the carcasses and solid wood doors. If you will be replacing the doors, focus on finding carcasses in the best condition possible and don’t worry about the state of the doors on the cabinets.
If you must buy brand new cabinets, do plenty of research. Many cabinets will be nearly identical, but the prices will be vastly different depending on the brands. Consumer Reports is a great resource for finding out more about the reliability of the new cabinet manufacturers. Ikea offers a 3D kitchen planning tool which will allow you to design a kitchen with almost limitless configuration options. By doing most of the design, building and installation yourself, you can save about 50 percent of the cost of a normal kitchen renovation.
While replacing kitchen cabinets can be an expensive undertaking, there are numerous options to help defray the cost. Plenty of research and elbow grease can result in a kitchen that you are proud of at a fraction of the cost.