AK's Kitchen Renovations Series - I - CABINETRY

Finally - the much awaited first installment of AK's Kitchen Renovation series!

   Naturally, we always receive many questions about the various aspects of kitchen remodeling. Either people can't decide the best way to go, or they're not sure what options they have and often are looking for the options that will give them their best value. And the hardest part of answering those questions is that they are different for every customer!
   The best thing we can do is to educate our customers on their options, ask them plenty of questions, and discover with them what works best for their family, their home and their budget. Today we begin the educational series with cabinetry! Probably the most commonly asked questions involve cabinets, as they are a dominant presence in every kitchen!

AK has broken your cabinet options down to 3 main categories: Replace, Reface, Refinish!

1. Replace - Replacing your cabinets means pulling out all or most of your current cabinetry and replacing it with new cabinetry. This option is the most effective resolution and also carries a higher cost. Replacing your cabinets is an effective choice to dramatically change the look of the your kitchen, but also the ONLY effective choice to dramatically improve the functionality of the kitchen by changing the footprint!
If function is an issue in your kitchen that you would like addressed, then replacement is the best option for you. An important aspect of replacing cabinetry is to have not only fabulous new cabinets, but a fabulous new design! New cabinets alone don't create a better functioning kitchen, a designer does!
A relatively simple example of a cabinetry replacement is this Alpharetta remodeled kitchen by AK. In this kitchen, the owner along with the designer decided not to move some major items (like the range) but moved the microwave and oven for better functionality and disguised the dishwasher and frig for better aesthetics! This cabinetry replacement also dramtically changed the look of the kitchen; the new cabinetry is exquisite and of much higher quality and with many more "extras" then what the former cabinetry offered.


Before: After:  Click Here!

The above kitchen is an award-winning example of how replacing cabinetry can dramatically change aesthetics AND function!



2. Reface - Refacing existing cabinetry typically invovles using a new door and drawer front (with new finish) that replaces current doors and drawer fronts. Refacing also uses a laminate nearly matching the new door/drawer color that is adhered to all exposed ends and open areas. This type of project maintains the same foot print and functionality. The only occassional exception to this is when the present cabinetry will support after-market accessories that allow the present cabinetry to be more functional. (ex: roll-out drawers, lazy susans, soft-close drawers, etc.) The cost for this type of project has a mid-range cost associated with it that is still less than new cabinetry. A general rule is that refacing costs 50-60% of what cabinetry replacement costs.
AK rarely works with customers who want to reface cabinetry for two reasons: One - most of AK's clients wish to utilize AK's professional design expertise to make a functional change. Two - most of AK's clients decide their is more value to replacing cabinetry than in spending 60% of the cost to change aesthetics only.


3. Refinish - The process of refinishing existing cabinetry typically entails adding a new color or stain to the present cabinetry. If the bulk of the doors and drawer fronts are in good shape this is a cost effective option! However if the existing cabinets are damaged, any flaws in the present cabinetry may show through the new finish. The options and / or limits to specific finishes available for your cabinets depending on the present material's condition. This option is typically the least costly, maintains the current footprint (in some instances we may be able to offer alternative ideas) and allows for the same accessory installations as in option 2.
This AK remodeled kitchen has refinished and replaced cabinets! The perimeter cabinets were refinished with an antique glazing and distressing while the island cabinetry was completely replaced with dramatic ebony cabinets. You can see that the before & after aesthetic differences are dramatic, despite the footprint remaining the same. This worked for the homeowner because the footprint of the kitchen functioned well and they just wanted a more high-end appointed kitchen, with new appliances, lighting, tile, countertops, etc. With AK's design expertise to combine refinished and replaced cabinetry with all new appointments the kitchen was quickly and easily changed from ordinary to extraordinary!


The kitchen above is a perfect example of AK's ability to offer some different options when refinishing cabinetry. The owner's of the kitchen above were happy with the way their kitchen functioned with the exception of an akward kitchen desk. AK removed the desk cabinetry and moved it to where you now see a bar with seating next to the television. All the cabinetry was then refinished with dramatic contrasting paint colors which made the cabinets' aesthtic change, with new tile, countertops and appliances, enough to change the feel of the whole kitchen!


We hope you now feel like you have a handle on the cabinetry options you have to choose from when renovating your kitchen. The final question you might have is, how does AK know which option is best for me? AK uses this kitchen page and questionnaire to ask critical questions that help us understand what you want to gain from your renovation project and how your family lives day to day in your kitchen. With these questions answered, and an idea of your desired investment amount, AK can recommend the right option for you!

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