Kitchen Cabinets

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murphyreedus
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Kitchen Cabinets

#1

Post by murphyreedus » Mon Sep 19, 2022 9:25 am

Anyone done a kitchen remodel lately?

We're updating cabinets/countertop/flooring/backsplash. Most of it's already chosen, but I can't decide if I should facelift or replace our builder grade golden oak 90s cabinets. They're 25+ years old but still in pretty good shape despite children beating the shit out of them, just dated finish and we'd like wall cabinets to the ceiling instead of the current 30" tall ones. In general, we're satisfied with the layout and cabinet features, and won't be making any major changes with appliance/plumbing/electrical locations. We aren't wanting to sink a pile of money into a dream kitchen remodel because we aren't planning to stay in the house forever (we wouldn't be here right now if the housing market wasn't so stupid).

I've looked at painting and changing hardware on the current cabinets, ready-to-assemble cabinets, big box "semi-custom", modular stuff like Ikea, full custom, and making new cabinets myself.

Painting and updating hardware: Anywhere from 1k to 6k depending on if I hire a paint shop or DIY it.
RTA: 8k-13.5k
Big Box semi-custom: 9-14k
Modular: 9k for Ikea Sektion. 5k for Menards Klearvue
Custom: 20k to infinity, minimum lead times start at 6 months
Full DIY: more of a problem of time, I'd probably get them done before the next presidential election


Right now I'm leaning toward the cheaper facelift option, with some alterations:

- adding stacked cabinets on the current 30" wall cabinets to bring them to the ceiling
- replacing the current 1/2 overlay doors with new pre-painted full overlay doors, then painting the boxes to match
- new hardware/pulls (at the very least I'd have to do all new hinges with the full overlay doors)


That is seeming like the best combo of updating looks, adding some storage, and limiting cost. Anyone had success with something like that, or am I just putting lipstick on a pig?

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#2

Post by Skid » Mon Sep 19, 2022 12:43 pm

I've done a facelift, a new build, and a complete remodel of an existing kitchen. If you aren't going to stay in your house just do a facelift. Installing cabinets is a big job. You'll have to replace your countertops and likely flooring as well. Not only that, but where will you prepare and cook awhile you are doing all that?

I completely re-modelled our kitchen two years ago. Added additional wall ovens, pantry, island cook top, flooring, countertops, island hood fan, etc. It took 3-4 months, and we were able to use the kitchen in our nearby carriage house. If we didn't have that second kitchen I don't know what we would have done in that time with 5 people to feed.

If you will soon be selling your house, a re-modelled kitchen is always a good investment, even if you just do a face lift.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#3

Post by Hardartery » Mon Sep 19, 2022 2:09 pm

No sense in replacing the cabinet carcasses. New ones are not going to be better, and that part is the cheap part anyway. All the cost is on doors and hardware, wholesale change is just extra disruption and mess for a neet gain of nothing if you aren't changing the layout. I did a full kitchen from nothing this last year in the US. The cabinets took forever to arrive, and roughly half of them were damaged and had to be replace. Massive PITA, thanks to the third party shipper that Home Depot contracts with. Painting is all about the prep, do that part right and the finish is easy peasy. If the cabinets are going to be painted (As opposed to urethaned) and subject to abuse by children or clumsy adults, consider using porch paint for the finish as it is significantly harder and more durable. Allow extra time for order fulfilment. Nothing comes when it's supposed to anymore. One of our cabinets literally arrived 3 months late.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#4

Post by murphyreedus » Mon Sep 19, 2022 3:29 pm

Skid wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 12:43 pm You'll have to replace your countertops and likely flooring as well.
The flooring and countertop are changing either way, which is the main reason I'm considering cabinet replacement at all. The current 25+ year old solid surface countertop is cracked in a few spots and is too old for anyone to repair. It already had existing repairs when we moved in, so I am guessing it was not installed by people who knew what they were doing. I've also already redone the flooring up to the kitchen, but am waiting until the cabinet layout/paint/whatever is done before I finish it.
I completely re-modelled our kitchen two years ago. Added additional wall ovens, pantry, island cook top, flooring, countertops, island hood fan, etc. It took 3-4 months, and we were able to use the kitchen in our nearby carriage house. If we didn't have that second kitchen I don't know what we would have done in that time with 5 people to feed.
Good point. We don't have a second kitchen. I'm predicting a lot of grilling and paper plates if we do a replacement, which is definitely another point in favor of a facelift. I should add that while I currently have no plans to change any electrical/plumbing, my wife went from "we don't need a range hood, don't bother pricing one out" to "I was looking at range hoods the other daaaaaaaaay...". I can only assume that this will get more expensive for me the longer I delay.

Hardartery wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 2:09 pm No sense in replacing the cabinet carcasses. New ones are not going to be better, and that part is the cheap part anyway. All the cost is on doors and hardware, wholesale change is just extra disruption and mess for a neet gain of nothing if you aren't changing the layout. I did a full kitchen from nothing this last year in the US. The cabinets took forever to arrive, and roughly half of them were damaged and had to be replace. Massive PITA, thanks to the third party shipper that Home Depot contracts with. Painting is all about the prep, do that part right and the finish is easy peasy. If the cabinets are going to be painted (As opposed to urethaned) and subject to abuse by children or clumsy adults, consider using porch paint for the finish as it is significantly harder and more durable. Allow extra time for order fulfilment. Nothing comes when it's supposed to anymore. One of our cabinets literally arrived 3 months late.
That's definitely a story I keep hearing about trying to do anything home improvement-wise right now, in addition to the fun of skyrocketing prices.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#5

Post by mouse » Tue Sep 20, 2022 2:40 am

So I don't have as much experience as other entries here but we managed to feel pretty good about our kitchen by just slapping on some fresh paint and changing the hardware on our exisiting cabinets/drawers... like was mentioned just spring for the decent paint if that's the route you go... my wife wanted them to be white and it paid off to not cheap out because of how often I have to wipe gross shit from the kids off of them...

At some point in the near future I will be convinced to do new countertops and a sink replacement though...
murphyreedus wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 3:29 pm I should add that while I currently have no plans to change any electrical/plumbing, my wife went from "we don't need a range hood, don't bother pricing one out" to "I was looking at range hoods the other daaaaaaaaay...". I can only assume that this will get more expensive for me the longer I delay.
Hey that's how I went from doing 'a few repairs to the deck' to 'basically build a new deck' over the course of a couple days. Though to be fair, some of the update ideas were mine... she just got the ball rolling...

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#6

Post by murphyreedus » Tue Sep 20, 2022 10:32 am

mouse wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 2:40 am So I don't have as much experience as other entries here but we managed to feel pretty good about our kitchen by just slapping on some fresh paint and changing the hardware on our exisiting cabinets/drawers... like was mentioned just spring for the decent paint if that's the route you go... my wife wanted them to be white and it paid off to not cheap out because of how often I have to wipe gross shit from the kids off of them...

At some point in the near future I will be convinced to do new countertops and a sink replacement though...
Were your cabinets already painted and you did a new color, or were they stained/urethaned? Do you remember what kind of paint you used? My plan if I I do paint is to de-grease/sand/grain fill/sand/prime/sand, light sanding between paint coats. If I'm only doing the boxes I'll be using a roller and brush.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#7

Post by 5hout » Tue Sep 20, 2022 11:40 am

"We aren't wanting to sink a pile of money into a dream kitchen remodel because we aren't planning to stay in the house forever (we wouldn't be here right now if the housing market wasn't so stupid)."

The return on kitchen remodeling is terrible. Just absolutely terrible. Do not do anything beyond retouching if return on value is a factor. Penetrating stains and similar can really add new life to old wood. Are your current cabinets veneer, solid wood or painted? If they are not already painted I would strongly rec'd against painting now, as it really limits a future buyer's easy options.

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/m ... estate.asp 70%-83% ROI
https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/ ... lling-tips ~90% ROI
https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/15/homes/us ... index.html ~70% ROI
https://www.renofi.com/learn/renovation ... nvestment/ up to 100% ROI depending on market
https://www.thisoldhouse.com/home-finan ... investment 80-87% ROI

What do you see? The ROI is negative. If you spend 10k to get 8k back, you are losing money. If you want to remodel your kitchen because you want to, great have at it. If you talk to a local real estate expert and they say you need one to attract competitive bids in your area (i.e. you're in a cooling or slower market and having a out of date kitchen will limit your comps and damage your purchase price) then you may have a positive ROI or other deal-related benefits. Otherwise, please do not go down the path of thinking this is worthwhile for resale value.

Also, realize that a poorly done or out of touch remodel will not achieve the above ROI ranges, and may substantially hurt your market value. You are better off with good bones that a future buyer can fix than doing anything weird/quick that they have to undo, and then start over (i.e. forcing them from a minor remodel into a major remodel).

If you're going to live there 3-5 years, I'd say a minor remodel is worth it, but anything less... idk man, hard to justify. Spending 3 months planning and 3-6 months in remodel hell for negative ROI and only living in the upgraded room for 3 years, nope.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#8

Post by mouse » Wed Sep 21, 2022 4:26 am

murphyreedus wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 10:32 am
mouse wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 2:40 am So I don't have as much experience as other entries here but we managed to feel pretty good about our kitchen by just slapping on some fresh paint and changing the hardware on our exisiting cabinets/drawers... like was mentioned just spring for the decent paint if that's the route you go... my wife wanted them to be white and it paid off to not cheap out because of how often I have to wipe gross shit from the kids off of them...

At some point in the near future I will be convinced to do new countertops and a sink replacement though...
Were your cabinets already painted and you did a new color, or were they stained/urethaned? Do you remember what kind of paint you used? My plan if I I do paint is to de-grease/sand/grain fill/sand/prime/sand, light sanding between paint coats. If I'm only doing the boxes I'll be using a roller and brush.
Ours were already painted... and I don't remember exactly what we used,
ut it was more than likely a valspar because I'm pretty sure we got it at Lowes. I just remember springing for a pricier option because we knew there'd be a bunch of gross little fingers on them...

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#9

Post by JonA » Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:20 am

5hout wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 11:40 am
https://www.investopedia.com/articles/m ... estate.asp 70%-83% ROI
https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/ ... lling-tips ~90% ROI
https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/15/homes/us ... index.html ~70% ROI
https://www.renofi.com/learn/renovation ... nvestment/ up to 100% ROI depending on market
https://www.thisoldhouse.com/home-finan ... investment 80-87% ROI

What do you see? The ROI is negative. If you spend 10k to get 8k back, you are losing money. If you want to remodel your kitchen because you want to, great have at it. If you talk to a local real estate expert and they say you need one to attract competitive bids in your area (i.e. you're in a cooling or slower market and having a out of date kitchen will limit your comps and damage your purchase price) then you may have a positive ROI or other deal-related benefits. Otherwise, please do not go down the path of thinking this is worthwhile for resale value.
Those ROIs probably don't take in to consideration that he's doing the work himself. 25% labor cost is probably in the ball park. If he's doing it himself, he _might_ eek out a positive ROI.

It depends on how you value your time. If you enjoy the work and you'd otherwise spend your time sitting on the couch watching TV, then breaking even isn't a bad proposition. I've embarked on all sorts of DIY projects that took months to complete and ultimately had a negative ROI but a nice quality of life factor: swing sets, forts for the kids, motor sports stuff, cars, etc.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#10

Post by 5hout » Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:00 am

JonA wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:20 am
5hout wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 11:40 am What do you see? The ROI is negative. If you spend 10k to get 8k back, you are losing money. If you want to remodel your kitchen because you want to, great have at it. If you talk to a local real estate expert and they say you need one to attract competitive bids in your area (i.e. you're in a cooling or slower market and having a out of date kitchen will limit your comps and damage your purchase price) then you may have a positive ROI or other deal-related benefits. Otherwise, please do not go down the path of thinking this is worthwhile for resale value.
Those ROIs probably don't take in to consideration that he's doing the work himself. 25% labor cost is probably in the ball park. If he's doing it himself, he _might_ eek out a positive ROI.

It depends on how you value your time. If you enjoy the work and you'd otherwise spend your time sitting on the couch watching TV, then breaking even isn't a bad proposition. I've embarked on all sorts of DIY projects that took months to complete and ultimately had a negative ROI but a nice quality of life factor: swing sets, forts for the kids, motor sports stuff, cars, etc.
Agree 100%. If you enjoy it or it's a neutral activity and you don't mind discounting that time (or accounting for it) then fuller steam ahead. Just seen too many family members get involved in projects they hate to "increase home value" as if the goal was revenue, not profit.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#11

Post by murphyreedus » Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:47 am

JonA wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:20 am

Those ROIs probably don't take in to consideration that he's doing the work himself. 25% labor cost is probably in the ball park. If he's doing it himself, he _might_ eek out a positive ROI.

It depends on how you value your time. If you enjoy the work and you'd otherwise spend your time sitting on the couch watching TV, then breaking even isn't a bad proposition. I've embarked on all sorts of DIY projects that took months to complete and ultimately had a negative ROI but a nice quality of life factor: swing sets, forts for the kids, motor sports stuff, cars, etc.
The remodel is more for us than ROI. I think it's realistic that we'll be here several more years since houses in our price range are still seeing bidding wars with above-asking price offers, waived inspections, etc. The remodel options I'm looking at are a whole different financial level than a "dream kitchen".

The labor costs I've been seeing in quotes are insane. Stuff like 10k in labor to install 10k in pre-assembled stock cabinets. Business is good.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#12

Post by mgil » Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:27 pm

5hout wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 11:40 am "We aren't wanting to sink a pile of money into a dream kitchen remodel because we aren't planning to stay in the house forever (we wouldn't be here right now if the housing market wasn't so stupid)."

The return on kitchen remodeling is terrible. Just absolutely terrible. Do not do anything beyond retouching if return on value is a factor. Penetrating stains and similar can really add new life to old wood. Are your current cabinets veneer, solid wood or painted? If they are not already painted I would strongly rec'd against painting now, as it really limits a future buyer's easy options.

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/m ... estate.asp 70%-83% ROI
https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/ ... lling-tips ~90% ROI
https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/15/homes/us ... index.html ~70% ROI
https://www.renofi.com/learn/renovation ... nvestment/ up to 100% ROI depending on market
https://www.thisoldhouse.com/home-finan ... investment 80-87% ROI

What do you see? The ROI is negative. If you spend 10k to get 8k back, you are losing money. If you want to remodel your kitchen because you want to, great have at it. If you talk to a local real estate expert and they say you need one to attract competitive bids in your area (i.e. you're in a cooling or slower market and having a out of date kitchen will limit your comps and damage your purchase price) then you may have a positive ROI or other deal-related benefits. Otherwise, please do not go down the path of thinking this is worthwhile for resale value.

Also, realize that a poorly done or out of touch remodel will not achieve the above ROI ranges, and may substantially hurt your market value. You are better off with good bones that a future buyer can fix than doing anything weird/quick that they have to undo, and then start over (i.e. forcing them from a minor remodel into a major remodel).

If you're going to live there 3-5 years, I'd say a minor remodel is worth it, but anything less... idk man, hard to justify. Spending 3 months planning and 3-6 months in remodel hell for negative ROI and only living in the upgraded room for 3 years, nope.
I appreciate this post. Remodeling might help velocity, but never amplitude.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#13

Post by JonA » Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:18 am

murphyreedus wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:47 am
JonA wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:20 am

Those ROIs probably don't take in to consideration that he's doing the work himself. 25% labor cost is probably in the ball park. If he's doing it himself, he _might_ eek out a positive ROI.

It depends on how you value your time. If you enjoy the work and you'd otherwise spend your time sitting on the couch watching TV, then breaking even isn't a bad proposition. I've embarked on all sorts of DIY projects that took months to complete and ultimately had a negative ROI but a nice quality of life factor: swing sets, forts for the kids, motor sports stuff, cars, etc.
The remodel is more for us than ROI. I think it's realistic that we'll be here several more years since houses in our price range are still seeing bidding wars with above-asking price offers, waived inspections, etc. The remodel options I'm looking at are a whole different financial level than a "dream kitchen".

The labor costs I've been seeing in quotes are insane. Stuff like 10k in labor to install 10k in pre-assembled stock cabinets. Business is good.
That's pretty crazy. I guess when I built our kitchen, it was back in 2008 right after the housing bubble collapsed. I never got any quotes, since I already knew I was going to do it myself and it was a new kitchen.

Are you planning any custom trims around the top or bottom of the cabinets? I did a crown with a library molding around the top and a simpler cove molding around the bottom. The trim carpentry took far more time than mounting the cabinets (which was a saturday afternoon for me with a helper), but it made a world of difference in the end result.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#14

Post by Hiphopapotamus » Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:15 am

mgil wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:27 pm
5hout wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 11:40 am "We aren't wanting to sink a pile of money into a dream kitchen remodel because we aren't planning to stay in the house forever (we wouldn't be here right now if the housing market wasn't so stupid)."

The return on kitchen remodeling is terrible. Just absolutely terrible. Do not do anything beyond retouching if return on value is a factor. Penetrating stains and similar can really add new life to old wood. Are your current cabinets veneer, solid wood or painted? If they are not already painted I would strongly rec'd against painting now, as it really limits a future buyer's easy options.

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/m ... estate.asp 70%-83% ROI
https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/ ... lling-tips ~90% ROI
https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/15/homes/us ... index.html ~70% ROI
https://www.renofi.com/learn/renovation ... nvestment/ up to 100% ROI depending on market
https://www.thisoldhouse.com/home-finan ... investment 80-87% ROI

What do you see? The ROI is negative. If you spend 10k to get 8k back, you are losing money. If you want to remodel your kitchen because you want to, great have at it. If you talk to a local real estate expert and they say you need one to attract competitive bids in your area (i.e. you're in a cooling or slower market and having a out of date kitchen will limit your comps and damage your purchase price) then you may have a positive ROI or other deal-related benefits. Otherwise, please do not go down the path of thinking this is worthwhile for resale value.

Also, realize that a poorly done or out of touch remodel will not achieve the above ROI ranges, and may substantially hurt your market value. You are better off with good bones that a future buyer can fix than doing anything weird/quick that they have to undo, and then start over (i.e. forcing them from a minor remodel into a major remodel).

If you're going to live there 3-5 years, I'd say a minor remodel is worth it, but anything less... idk man, hard to justify. Spending 3 months planning and 3-6 months in remodel hell for negative ROI and only living in the upgraded room for 3 years, nope.
I appreciate this post. Remodeling might help velocity, but never amplitude.
I always wonder about that. Do those ROI calcs take into account whether a home without a certain upgrade/repair stays on the market longer than one that has it? It's not just sales price that matters, and having your house sit on the market for months because every buyer dislikes the "whatever" can be a real PITA and screw up other plans and make it difficult to coordinate the purchase of your new house or worse, you're forced to carry both mortgages for a few months. Those kind of hidden costs and risks should be taken into consideration as well depending, as others have pointed out, what your goals are.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#15

Post by murphyreedus » Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:54 am

JonA wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:18 am That's pretty crazy. I guess when I built our kitchen, it was back in 2008 right after the housing bubble collapsed. I never got any quotes, since I already knew I was going to do it myself and it was a new kitchen.

Are you planning any custom trims around the top or bottom of the cabinets? I did a crown with a library molding around the top and a simpler cove molding around the bottom. The trim carpentry took far more time than mounting the cabinets (which was a saturday afternoon for me with a helper), but it made a world of difference in the end result.
Usually I can get a couple quotes for the same work that are wildly different, and sometimes the cost is cheap enough that it's not worth me DIYing.

For what I'm looking to do, with no appliance or utility moves, its not exactly rocket science to install the cabinets. I'm not under a tight timeline, so I'd probably give myself a leisurely 2-3 days for demo and 2-3 days for install (not including assembly time if I go with RTA cabinets - I'd have all of those assembled before I start demo). In a perfect world, I could probably demo one day and start install the next, but I assume that as soon as I start a vehicle will break down or a kid will get sick or something.

Not sure what I will do for moldings yet. If we go with 42" wall cabinets they'll go right to the 8' ceiling, but I'll still need some way to hide any waviness (probably would drop the height from the counter a quarter or half inch). 39" would allow for crown without messing with the above counter height, but isn't as readily available as a stock size so the options are limited. 36" is shorter than what we'd like.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#16

Post by omaniphil » Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:29 am

murphyreedus wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:47 am The labor costs I've been seeing in quotes are insane. Stuff like 10k in labor to install 10k in pre-assembled stock cabinets. Business is good.
Wowzer. We remodeled our kitchen in 2015, went down to the studs, with new plumbing, wiring, lighting, stock cabinets and everything, and I think we paid 20k for it.

We definitely did not see much of an ROI on it, as we sold the house for less than 20k more than we bought it, 6 years previously. the ROI wasn't the only reason we did it though, and if you like to cook, spend time in the kitchen, host parties and what not, having a nice kitchen is totally worth it. I'd have done it all over again even if I didn't get any return because it was such an improvement.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#17

Post by murphyreedus » Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:36 pm

omaniphil wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:29 am We remodeled our kitchen in 2015, went down to the studs, with new plumbing, wiring, lighting, stock cabinets and everything, and I think we paid 20k for it.
I like it. Where did you get the cabinets from?


Under cabinet lights are something I keep forgetting about. Do you find that it was actually worth it to have them, or a novelty thing? Our kitchen seems to have plenty of light, so I don't know if we'd actually use them. We'd have to cut into the sheetrock to add wiring and switches, but that wouldn't be a major deal if we are putting up new cabinets and backsplash anyway.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#18

Post by omaniphil » Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:24 pm

murphyreedus wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:36 pm
omaniphil wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:29 am We remodeled our kitchen in 2015, went down to the studs, with new plumbing, wiring, lighting, stock cabinets and everything, and I think we paid 20k for it.
I like it. Where did you get the cabinets from?


Under cabinet lights are something I keep forgetting about. Do you find that it was actually worth it to have them, or a novelty thing? Our kitchen seems to have plenty of light, so I don't know if we'd actually use them. We'd have to cut into the sheetrock to add wiring and switches, but that wouldn't be a major deal if we are putting up new cabinets and backsplash anyway.
We had the "Contractor's Choice" brand from Masterbrands. I'm not sure if the brand has been discontinued or not, but Masterbrand had a whole ranking of brands from $$$$ to just $$, and we chose maybe the 2nd cheapest brand? They were sufficient, and seemed totally fine. Also a step up from the builders grade cabinets that we had when we moved into a new construction house after we sold that one.

Undercabinet lighting was amazing. Its honestly one of the things I missed the most about that kitchen. If you do it, make sure its centrally wired so that you don't have to turn each light on individually. I loved when I was doing food prep for the extra light, and also it was awesome to use at night, when we didn't want to it to be super bright.

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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#19

Post by Philbert » Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:27 pm

Hiphopapotamus wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:15 am
mgil wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:27 pm
5hout wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 11:40 am "We aren't wanting to sink a pile of money into a dream kitchen remodel because we aren't planning to stay in the house forever (we wouldn't be here right now if the housing market wasn't so stupid)."

The return on kitchen remodeling is terrible. Just absolutely terrible. Do not do anything beyond retouching if return on value is a factor. Penetrating stains and similar can really add new life to old wood. Are your current cabinets veneer, solid wood or painted? If they are not already painted I would strongly rec'd against painting now, as it really limits a future buyer's easy options.

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/m ... estate.asp 70%-83% ROI
https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/ ... lling-tips ~90% ROI
https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/15/homes/us ... index.html ~70% ROI
https://www.renofi.com/learn/renovation ... nvestment/ up to 100% ROI depending on market
https://www.thisoldhouse.com/home-finan ... investment 80-87% ROI

What do you see? The ROI is negative. If you spend 10k to get 8k back, you are losing money. If you want to remodel your kitchen because you want to, great have at it. If you talk to a local real estate expert and they say you need one to attract competitive bids in your area (i.e. you're in a cooling or slower market and having a out of date kitchen will limit your comps and damage your purchase price) then you may have a positive ROI or other deal-related benefits. Otherwise, please do not go down the path of thinking this is worthwhile for resale value.

Also, realize that a poorly done or out of touch remodel will not achieve the above ROI ranges, and may substantially hurt your market value. You are better off with good bones that a future buyer can fix than doing anything weird/quick that they have to undo, and then start over (i.e. forcing them from a minor remodel into a major remodel).

If you're going to live there 3-5 years, I'd say a minor remodel is worth it, but anything less... idk man, hard to justify. Spending 3 months planning and 3-6 months in remodel hell for negative ROI and only living in the upgraded room for 3 years, nope.
I appreciate this post. Remodeling might help velocity, but never amplitude.
I always wonder about that. Do those ROI calcs take into account whether a home without a certain upgrade/repair stays on the market longer than one that has it? It's not just sales price that matters, and having your house sit on the market for months because every buyer dislikes the "whatever" can be a real PITA and screw up other plans and make it difficult to coordinate the purchase of your new house or worse, you're forced to carry both mortgages for a few months. Those kind of hidden costs and risks should be taken into consideration as well depending, as others have pointed out, what your goals are.
Time on market has a lot to do with the condition of the market. In a hot market like last years, ROI would be even worse.
My observation of home buyer psychology as a contractor obtaining a significant part of my business through real estate agents is that remodeling is an aspirational activity for many homebuyers. I would be surprised if this trend has not intensified in the last 10 years considering the proliferation of remodeling shows. Consequently, buyers are more likely to get excited about the $202,000 house that could use a kitchen remodel, than the $220 ,000 house with the brand new kitchen. If your before kitchen is terrible, to the point where it appears challenging to maintain sanitary conditions, then yes a remodel will shorten market time, Otherwise for a functional but dated kitchen like the before picture above, your cost evaluation should be based on your personal utility including enjoyment, not the belief you can get a positive ROI or easier sale

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mgil
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Re: Kitchen Cabinets

#20

Post by mgil » Fri Sep 23, 2022 2:14 am

@Philbert, I tend to agree.

The old “location, location, location” maxim about real estate still seems to dominate. With price being a strong second and lots of other things being a distant third/fourth/fifth/etc.

I know when I’m ready to move, I might paint a few things and touch some stuff up, but remodels will only be done if there is an actual loss of functionality.

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