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North Carolina Kitchen Cabinet Reface

I moved into this lovely mid-80's home in Union County. The kitchen had dark cherry cabinets that had certainly seen better days, and all the kitchen appliances were shot and ancient. The kitchen is actually quite large, and I knew that new cabinets would cost me an arm and a leg, so I had to find a reasonable alternative.

Essentially the cabinet boxes were solid, but after 2o years, the finishes were just worn down in lots of spots. The previous owners also allowed their yappy Yorkie puppy to gnaw on the edges of a few of the lower cabinets as well. The drawer pulls were a dated gold and the hinges were all on the outside of the doors. Ick!

I started with some research on refacing, and was intrigued. As anyone who has ever had a kitchen gutted knows, you are left without a kitchen for at least 4-8 weeks depending on what you're having done. Now, I've got two little kids, so being kitchen-less would be absolutely impossible. I needed something that could be done in a week, but yield similar results. I immediately discounted Sears as a possibility because their veneers and doors looked cheap to me.

Kevin, my contractor referred me to Carolina Cabinets Refacing, and they were a complete joke. They come in with a whole sales pitch about how they have Amish quality woods.

They bring a drawer sample and show me these beautiful dove tails. I told the guy that his drawers were truly lovely, but that I basically didn't own one single piece of furniture that had dovetails like that. I told him I wanted a durable kitchen, not furniture. I still wanted solid wood veneers and doors and a great look, however.

The salesman tells me that his price would be the same as the cheapest cabinets at Home Depot, except I was getting this hoity-toighty Amish wood. Fine. I get it. Gimme the price. The next day these clowns quote me $22,000 for the reface. Now, I'm no idiot, because I do know that the cheapest cabinets at Home Depot aren't going for anywhere near this insane price. I mean, for $22 grand, I better be getting NEW cabinets, not a reface! By then it didn't matter, because I also then find out through my research that they don't even wrap their veneers all around the cabinets, and that you can see their nails in the side panels, etc. Nixed!

More research on the web leads me to Kitchen TuneUp out of Mint Hill. The sales pitch is immediately non-pushy and they have a variety of product levels at different prices. They offer all of the latest finishes, including glazing. I'm told that the whole project will take one week after the cabinets come in (about 10-12 weeks), and the price thankfully comes in to way less than half of the morons at Carolina Cabinet Refacing with more bells and whistles. The guys did a great job of cleaning up every day, and I was still able to use my kitchen in the evenings to make dinner.

There were a few hiccups with my order in terms of when things arrived, and I had some missing veneer that had to be reordered - but that bit of aggravation worked out in the end. And best of all, the work exceeded my expectations. I didn't think for a minute that a reface was going to look like brand new cabinetry, but boy does it ever.

So, overall, I had a positive experience at a reasonable price point, and I hope I've inspired you to tackle your old kitchen.

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Submitted to INSIDERinfo by Lisa Freeman

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