Should I Put New Granite Countertops on Old Cabinets?

Many people recognize that remodeling their kitchen can increase their home's value tremendously. I wonder, though, if in their desire to make an upgrade many people are making hasty decisions and doing a "half job" on their kitchens. This may well result in making it much more costly if they decide to do a bigger kitchen remodeling job in the future.

For example, some people decide to install brand new granite counters on cabinets that are either very old and poorly made and/or have a poor design. Many have fallen into the trap of thinking that those new granite tops are going to totally transform their "blah" kitchen into something they have seen pictured in  high-end design magazines. This can result in the disappointment of investing $3,500-$5,000 only to realize they are stuck with the same old cabinets and kitchen design for many years to come.

Some people have tried to re-use their counters when they have their cabinets replaced. This in itself can be a very expensive project. I am working with someone who wanted to save their counters but change their cabinets. Fortunately, they liked the kitchen design so there were no modifications needed for the countertops. However, the cost to remove, set aside, and return to re-install was around $1,400 and it couldn't be guaranteed that there would be no damage to the tops during removal.

So what does this mean? Should nobody get new granite countertops on their cabinets? No, but homeowners need to avoid making a quick decision and end up doing the kitchen backwards. Give some real thought to how well the layout of your kitchen is working for you. Are the appliances in the best location? Will they need to be replaced soon? Then, look at the cabinets. Do you like the finish? Are the drawers and hinges working correctly? Basically, see what it would cost to do a modest kitchen renovation. You may be surprised that, all in all, it will end up being a much better investment and save you major aggravation later on. It has the added benefit of greatly increasing the value of your home!