If you are looking for kitchen cabinets on the cheap, then one place you should put on your list for pricing, is your local hardware store.

Most of the big box hardware stores, and home improvement stores have a kitchen and bathroom department. You have probably bought all kinds of supplies from them, but did you know they can compete quite well for kitchen cabinets?

While working on our renovation, we had used up a lot of our budget on other parts of the house, such as furnace, wiring, plumbing, and there was not a huge budget left for the kitchen remodel.

But it needed one. This was a very poorly put together kitchen from 1972, and it was not taken care of, so there was no saving the cabinets or the countertop... It all needed to come out.

After I called a few kitchen design places, they came out and took lots of measurements, and came up with some brilliant and stunning kitchens, their design departments were stellar, but at the bottom of the page was the estimated price tag, and I almost fainted.

Granted, the kitchen was full of all the bells and whistles, and you could not want a better kitchen, but it just did not justify the rest of the this semi detached house in a small town. You would want to totally gut the rest of the house to even look half as good as this new kitchen would!


Painting Kitchen Cabinets

NOTE:  If your cabinets are still in good shape, and you don't mind some work, then you can also repaint them and replace the hardware.  This worked in our last house.  If they are falling off the wall and broken, this may not be the best option, but if you are really watching your budget, then look at the awesome products on the market now that can make your kitchen look professional.

Back to My Story

I had to say NO, and then as I was wandering through the local big hardware store, I started looking at the two lonely kitchen displays they had, I figured that was it.. but I was in for a pleasant surprise. I talked to the "kitchen lady" and she brought out all these brochures and drawings, and then came over to the house for a FREE estimate. She told me, if I went with standard size cabinets, that I would save money. The minute I want anything specialized, the zero's would add on to the tag.

By keeping the kitchen cabinets as standard as possible, almost following the original foot print, accept for a few changes she made for the better, this was going to work out. The old foot print of the kitchen had the stove and fridge jammed up right beside each other, which looks bad, and is hard on the fridge, but many houses from this era did this. She suggested a different wall, and that would allow for sidewalls and a upper cabinet over the fridge, as long as I chose a standard sized fridge, which I already had.

The next thing that surprised me, was that "light maple" wooden cabinets, are the cheapest. Possibly because the trend is for dark woods and oak, but these maple cabinets were even cheaper than that white melamine look.

Paint Your Countertop

Giani Granite Slate Countertop Paint Kit
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Once again, if your structure of your cabinets and counter tops are in good shape, just worn out, then instead of replacing, try painting the cabinets, and then also the counter tops.  There are some great products that are designed to be durable and would save you a lot of money.

In my case the kitchen was beyond repair, but I did use these products in my present house, and they are still looking great.  You can change the colours totally without ripping anything out.

Cheap Kitchen - We Went With Standard Sizes

So, we decided to go with this light maple, and then compliment it with a dark laminate countertop, and a darker floor tile. Because she was from a hardware store, she had all kinds of suggestions for other parts of the kitchen as well. We also chose a laminate tile, which we could do ourselves, and it looked just like ceramics, at a much cheaper price for the floor.

She went back to the store, and came up with the same fancy drawings, the other kitchen designers had, and we were able to buy affordable cabinets and kitchen for more than 1/2 the price of the other quotes, and this was an INSTALLED price! I sat there the other day, and watch their team install them for me!

So, if you are looking to replace your kitchen cabinets, and are trying to do this on the cheap, then don't rule out your local hardware store, they carry all kinds of kitchen cabinets and styles. Just because they don't have the big fancy showroom, doesn't mean they can't compete. This is especially true, if you are trying to renovate without going overboard. You don't want to price your house out of the market.

Affordable kitchen cabinets. Add your local hardware store to your "to do list" for estimates.