WNY Handyman

Inexpensive Kitchen Cabinets

I was researching some kitchen cabinet options and figured that I would give a company that sells on Ebay a try. If you are doing a kitchen remodel or renovation yourself, the cabinetry will be one of your most expensive purchases. If you go into your Home Depot or Lowe’s, you could spend thousands on a 10′ x 10′ kitchen.

If you are looking to save some money, you might be tempted by the stock cabinets that they have. The stock products can end up looking good, but you will not have very many options in terms of finishes.

If you are considering a ‘knock-down’ cabinet (otherwise known as something you have to assemble), you should look beyond your local home center. Since these items are knock down, they can be easily shipped. Easy to ship means that there is probably someone selling online at a steep discount to what you would expect to pay.

Inexpensive Kitchen Cabinets

Most knock down cabinetry is made of ‘furniture grade’ particle board. Calling it furniture grade is kind of humorous. That might just be another way to say “It will fall apart with excessive use”. Knock down cabinetry is also referred to as ‘ready to assemble’ or RTA. The assembly was much easier than anticipated. Easier than putting together your typical piece of furniture.

 

When buying a cabinet that you will be assembling, be sure that the cabinet box is made of plywood. You don’t want something that will fall apart.

Another thing that you will find with some of the RTA cabinets is that they do not have face frames. The cabinet doors cover the entire carcass of the cabinet box. This is often referred to as ‘full reveal’. Full reveal cabinets look great, but if thy are only this way because there is no face frame, you lose stability with your cabinet. The face frame really adds a lot of stiffness to the box. Since the face frame is usually made of solid wood, you will have a nice frame for your cabinet door to hang from and for the cabinets to be joined to each other.

The Ebay seller that I used is kitchenyourway. They are based out of Texas and are importing their cabinets from China. I was very happy with the colors that they offered (only a couple but nice). The quality of the construction was nice. The assembly was simple. The one negative that I would have to mention is the quality of the finish. There are some imperfections that I wouldn’t put up with if these were at a higher price point.

The cabinets that I priced out were $1472.90. That included the price to ship our kitchen cabinets to NY. Since this retailer is based in Texas, there was no sales tax charged at the time of the purchase. To purchase a similar set of cabinets from a home center, the price would have been in excess of $2,200 (not counting the 8.25% NY sales tax). I feel that the quality is much greater in that it looks like a custom cabinet and is solid maple construction with a plywood carcass. The company generally ships within a few days.

It might be worth exploring this option if you are renovating a kitchen. Many of the companies in this business will sell you a low priced ‘sample’ cabinet to let you see the goods. The price for a 9″ base cabinet was around $50-$70 (including shipping) for the sample from the companies that I looked at.

Hope this helps. If you are in the Lancaster, NY area feel free to contact me if you want to take look at the cabinets in person. They are going into a renovation that will probably become a rental unit.

Bottom line is that there are many options when you get to the lower end of products with the local cabinet retailers or home centers. Do some searching. You should search on your favorite search engine for “rta kitchen cabinets”. Or, do the same search at Ebay. I think you will be pleased with the options available.

Another RTA cabinet seller that we have used is RTA Cabinet Store. They are located in Pennsylvania and offer a nice line up of RTA cabinets.   Since I am in NY state, the location helps to keep our freight cost low and allows for a very short lead time on our cabinet orders.

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