February 18, 2015

Best Time to Buy Kitchen Cabinets

Read more about What to Buy in November

You can knock off some serious dollars if you time your purchase just right. Read on for the best time to buy new cabinets for your kitchen.

Have you always fantasized about redoing your kitchen cabinets but you keep putting it off? A remodeled kitchen can do wonders for any home, kicking up its resell value or just making it more useful for everyday use. But it’s also a costly investment.

When to Buy Kitchen Cabinets: Late November and December

© Sound Racer (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

This is the optimal window of opportunity to replace your kitchen cabinets because the demand for contractors is low, which creates more wiggle room for negotiation. Why the concern about labor? Well, that’s where the cost comes in. The price of labor can cost more than 50 percent of the price of a new set of kitchen cabinets.

Also, holiday sales are on the horizon, so you’ll save on the cost of the new cabinets and accompanying supplies. Expect to save 10 to 15 percent at select retailers.

Smart Shopping Tips

  • Do your homework
    Depending on the style you select, a new set of kitchen cabinets can set you back thousands of dollars. So before making your final selection, visit a handful of home improvement stores, look at online retailers and peruse catalogs to explore your options. Decide how much you want to spend and which cabinet type — whether it be basic, midlevel or premium —best suits your needs and budget. The more modern and intricate the look, the more money you’ll spend.

  • Skip the fancy features
    Looking for fancy knobs, or do you want glazing or glass doors? Be prepared to fork over a handsome sum of cash or stay with the standard models to make your money stretch.

    If you can’t afford a set of glass doors, install what you can afford now and get the doors later. Inquire about adding the knobs yourself. Big-box hardware stores will sell them much cheaper than a store that specializes in kitchen remodels.

  • Don’t forget about the installation costs
    As I mentioned earlier, the cost of cabinets isn’t the only figure you’ll need to consider. Installation fees, which include miscellaneous supplies and labor, have the potential to wreak havoc on your wallet.

  • Refinish existing cabinets
    In an effort to preserve your hard-earned cash, look into refinishing what you already have in the kitchen (if the cabinets are in stellar condition, structurally). Do they just need some new paint?

  • Name-brand kitchen cabinets aren’t your only option
    Converting several pieces of wood into box-shaped structures to create a set of kitchen cabinets isn’t rocket science. This means that the smaller manufacturers are just as capable as the larger ones of delivering a comparable product at a fraction of the cost.

  • Buy used
    You may be able to secure someone else’s scraps for little to nothing if someone else is remodeling a kitchen and has had the old cabinets carefully removed. Check Freecycle.org or Craigslist for available options in your area. Also look into donating your old cabinets to a charity, like Habitat for Humanity, and possibly get a tax deduction.

  • Shop online
    The RTA (Ready to Assemble) Cabinet Store offers a variety of kitchen cabinetry to choose from at 50 percent or less than the standard price. IKEA, which also has brick and mortar locations, is another outlet worth considering. You can do the installation yourself or hire them to do it for you.

  • Consider MDF (medium density fiberboard) cabinets
    You may prefer 100 percent wood cabinets, but those made out of MDF are a more cost-efficient option. And if you’re really strapped for cash, it’s the cheapest you’re going to get. But expect the cabinets to decline over time because of the inferior quality of the material.

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