It may seem like a good deal, and they may even look good on the surface, but cheap kitchen cabinets are something that you should inspect very closely before having them installed in your kitchen. First, the material is often very fragile under its veneer, usually some sort of laminate or a substance like fiber board or particle board, which is more or less synthetic wood. It isn’t nearly as strong as the real thing, even when cheap kitchen cabinets are made of real wood.
Unfortunately, the problems don’t stop at the material. The drawers are often ill-fitting, which means that they are either difficult to open or they do not open and close smoothly. They are often built on substandard plastic tracks, rather than metal extensions. Have you ever heard a squeaky, creaky kitchen hinge, either in your kitchen or someone else’s? That’s a sign of cheap kitchen cabinets.
It’s natural to hunt for a bargain. Getting a good deal that fits your budget is always a pleasant experience. Investing in cheap kitchen cabinets, however, will cost you more money in the end than they saved you in the beginning. They will begin to fall apart in short order, and you will either have to get them repaired or replace them entirely, far sooner than you thought you would have to do so.
Following are some alternatives to cheap kitchen cabinets. They are inexpensive, so they will save you some money, but they also won’t fall apart on you within a few months.
1. Buy them unfinished: Have you done a little remodeling in your time? Or would you like to start now? A bit of staining and painting can turn some unfinished cabinets into beautiful additions to your kitchen at a low price. The cabinets themselves are well-made and only need that added color to make them look as good as they feel sturdy. Since you get them unpainted or unstained, you can make them whatever color you like to match your personal décor. You can also get them cheaper. If you are up to installing them yourself, that’s another big cost saver. Read more about unfinished kitchen cabinets.
2. Get them used: This is often a better option than getting cheap brand new ones. Cabinets like these may be specially-made, often of strong solid wood, so they will last you a long time. Since they were custom-made, they could have special features that are hard to find otherwise, like baskets, special hardware, Lazy Susans and so forth. Look around or try the Internet to see if anyone wants to give up their kitchen cabinets. People who are in the process of moving or remodeling are often glad of the extra money that they’ll get by selling their kitchen cabinets to someone else. You’ll help them to defray their own costs while saving some money of your own, getting quality kitchen cabinetry for a fraction of the cost. Read more about used kitchen cabinets.
3. Keep it simple: Try to get kitchen cabinets free from all of the options that kitchen cabinets can have. Avoid things like glass doors, turntables, corner pieces and the like, and you’ll see the prices start to come down.
4. Import them: Some kitchen cabinets are not cheap because they are poorly made, but because they are made in a country where the cost of manufacturing them is much lower, such as China. The wood is gathered locally and then shipped to China, where they can build it at a low cost, which is then passed on to the buyer.
5. Buy them RTA (ready-to-assemble): The labor cost associated with assembling the cabinets is not included, since you will be doing the assembly, which means you save a good deal of money. Since they can be packed more easily than an assembled cabinet, they are cheaper and more efficient to ship as well. Those of you who enjoy putting things together will love RTA kitchen cabinets. Read more about RTA kitchen cabinets.
6. Get them at a discount: This is not the same as cheap kitchen cabinets. There are actually some kitchen cabinets that are sold inexpensively but are still well-made. These are usually stock cabinets that have been made for display. Discontinued models often also sell at a lower price than the newest cabinets. Cabinets that are slightly damaged in some way that is largely unnoticeable will also sell at a reduced price. Read more about discount kitchen cabinets.
7. Go independent: A kitchen cabinet does not have to be a brand-name product. That name or logo associated with your cabinet could raise the price significantly. Visit an independent store to see if they have anything that doesn’t carry an expensive brand name. Sometimes you can get as much as 20% off of the price of some of the more popular brands.
8. Build them yourself: Woodworkers and others who are good with their hands can get their dream kitchen cupboards by building them themselves. It will take some time, but you will get the look that you want for just the cost of materials. If you have the tools and experience, this may be the best option of all.