Why Some Homeowners Choose Used Kitchen Cabinets
Whether you’ve decided to upgrade or completely remodel your kitchen, you know there will be a lot of important decisions to make. Besides choosing what type of countertops, lighting, and appliances you want, choosing new kitchen cabinets is a big decision. It can also be an expensive one. As expenses quickly add up, you might be interested to know that you can save a lot of money by purchasing used kitchen cabinets. Replacing kitchen cabinets is a significant factor in the overall cost of a kitchen remodel., Purchasing used cabinets will save money, which can be used towards other parts of your remodel, like upgrading appliances or lighting.
Factors to Consider When Buying Used Kitchen Cabinets
Like you would do when purchasing any used item, thoroughly inspect the cabinets to identify any marks, defects, damage, or blemishes. Here is your complete guide on how to buy used kitchen cabinets that will help you save money on your kitchen remodel.
1. Overall Condition
First, examine the overall condition of the cabinets. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as scratches, dents, and other damage. Make sure that the cabinets are structurally sound and that drawers and doors function properly. It’s also important that you like the design of the cabinets and feel comfortable with how they will look in your newly remodeled kitchen.
2. Structural Integrity
Assess the quality of the cabinets. Consider the material used. Are they made of solid wood or particleboard? Well-built cabinets that are made of quality material will obviously last longer and provide better value for your money.
3. Door, Drawers, & Shelving
When buying used kitchen cabinets, it’s very important to inspect the doors, drawers, and shelving for cracks, splits, or warping. Make sure these elements of the cabinets are sturdy and will withstand more use. Do the drawers open and close smoothly? Are the shelves missing any pieces? Also, check that the doors are properly aligned when closed.
Open the cupboard doors and drawers several times to ensure they don’t stick or catch. If you’re replacing the hardware, check to ensure the existing holes on the used cabinets align with the new hardware you purchase.
5. Water Damage
Water damage is not always apparent on an initial inspection. Depending on the type of material used, water damage can range from obvious to subtle. So inspect the cabinets closely. Do this by observing any discoloration or stains, swelling or warping, and mold or mildew.
6. Wood Quality
While it may cost you a little more, cabinets made of quality material will last longer. Therefore, look for cabinets that use hardwoods like oak, maple, birch, or cherry. These woods tend to be of higher quality and durability. Try to choose cabinets that are made of solid wood versus a cheaper veneer. Look for solid joinery methods like dovetail, and avoid cabinets that use staples or nails, which indicates cheaper construction.
7. Size and Layout
If you’re pleased with the look and construction of the cabinets, make sure they’ll fit properly into your remodel layout. Take the necessary measurements with you when you go to inspect the cabinets. Consider the layout and configuration of the cabinets and ensure they align with your kitchen's design and functionality requirements. Take into account factors like cabinet depth, height, and available storage options.
8. Cleanliness and Hygiene
While the quality of the used cabinets you are considering is important, so is their condition. Do the cabinets have an odor or appearance that is displeasing? It’s important to consider the cleanliness and hygiene of the used cabinets. Inspect for any signs of mold, mildew, or pests. Ensure that they are clean and sanitized before installation to avoid any issues.
9. Style and Design
Evaluate the style and design of the used kitchen cabinets. While used cabinets can be refinished in a different color or stain, it’s still important that they match your personal taste and complement your kitchen's overall theme. Consider factors like door style, design, and hardware to ensure they will work with your desired look.
10. Price and Budget
Of course, the asking price and your budget for cabinets will play a big part in determining if purchasing used cabinets is right for you. Compare the price of the used cabinets with the cost of new cabinets. Consider the condition, quality, and additional factors like installation, transportation costs, and whether the used cabinets need additional work, like repairs or refinishing. All of these things should be taken into consideration before making a final decision.
11. Warranty or Return Policy
While most used cabinets will be sold ‘as is’; it never hurts to ask. Inquire if there is any warranty or return policy associated with the used cabinets. This can provide you with peace of mind in case any issues or defects arise after the purchase.
12. Source and Reputation
If purchasing from a cabinet reseller, try to answer the following question. Does the seller have a good reputation? Research their track record, read reviews, and seek recommendations to ensure a reliable and trustworthy transaction.
13. Installation Requirements
Evaluate the installation requirements of the used cabinets to determine if you have the necessary tools, skills, and resources to have them installed properly. Remember, professional installation will have to be factored in when considering the overall costs/value of the used cabinets.
If you're planning to integrate the used cabinets with existing kitchen elements, ensure they are compatible and don’t require changes to your remodel layout. Check if the cabinets have the necessary features, such as pre-drilled holes for adjustable shelves or holes for plumbing and electrical connections.
15. Finish and Paint
If you plan to keep the current finish on the used cabinets, e make sure it has been applied evenly by running your fingers over the surface. Make sure it feels smooth and doesn’t have any bumps or blemishes. Look for cabinets with a durable finish so they will resist scratches, stains, and fading.
Is Buying Used Kitchen Cabinets Worth It?
While buying used vs new cabinets will likely save you money, there are several pros and cons you should be aware of before making a final decision. Let’s evaluate some of the advantages and disadvantages of using secondhand kitchen cabinets for your kitchen remodel.
Used Cabinet Pros
- It’s usually a cheaper option than buying new ones.
- You can often find other kitchen necessities like sinks or faucets during the same visit.
- Architect yards that sell used cabinets often let you add countertops.
- You can find high-quality cabinets for significantly less than their retail value.
Used Cabinet Cons
- You may have limited styles to choose from.
- They require more cleaning and prep time before installation.
- You might not find the sizes or layouts you are looking for.
- May not include a warranty on quality.
How ShelfGenie® Can Help
Remodeling a kitchen can be exciting and stressful. With so many decisions to make, you can quickly feel overwhelmed. ShelfGenie makes upgrading your cabinets, kitchen shelves, and drawers less stressful with custom Glide-Out solutions that make storing and accessing everything you need easy. Plus, all our work is backed by the Neighborly Done Right Promise™, which ensures your satisfaction.
Our dedicated designers will work with the cabinets you already have to add up to 50% more usable storage space. During our free, in-home design consultations, you’ll see a 3D rendering of your perfectly optimized storage solution. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!