When it comes to home renovations, a kitchen remodel is on the higher end of the price spectrum. One of the biggest line items in any kitchen remodel is cabinetry, which can account for up to 40% of your total budget. If you're willing to think outside the box a little, you can save yourself some money and still make a solid long-term cabinet choice.
As always: do your research
Take time to learn about the materials that separate budget cabinets from premium options.
Particleboard is the cheapest option, but it's not incredibly durable and degrades easily if it comes in contact with water.
Medium-density fiberboard has a slightly higher price tag but boasts superior quality without breaking the bank. MDF is very water-resistant and actually resists warping and expansion better than expensive hardwoods.
Solid wood cabinets are beautiful and durable when cared for properly, but they're expensive, heavy, and just as susceptible to damage from moisture and fluctuations in temperature as some cheaper options.
Consider pre-built boxes with premium doors
If you want the high-end look without the price tag, a creative option is to use premade boxes from IKEA, Lowes, or Home Depot, but order custom doors. You'll get the outward look of custom cabinets at a fraction of the cost. This is an especially smart option if the sides of your cabinets are mostly concealed by walls.
Get unfinished cabinets
You'll save money by purchasing unfinished cabinets, but you'll still have to paint or stain them. Stain is something you can do on your own, but achieving a clean paint job is tricky and may require the help of a professional. You'll have to compare costs to decide if it's worth it.
Use open shelving
If you want a new look for your kitchen but the numbers still aren't lining up, consider open shelving. When executed well, open shelves can look great, and you'll save thousands not buying cabinet uppers. Your kitchen will feel brighter and more open, but just keep in mind this option may not appeal to every potential buyer when it comes time to sell.