If you are looking to remodel your kitchen cabinets, there are a few ways you can accomplish this. The first is the refacing method, and the second is a total custom cabinetry overhaul. While there may be some middle ground (e.g., custom refacing), it is important to look at the first two methods and size them up by their differences before making a choice.
Refacing keeps all of the actual cabinets but adds all new doors, drawers and hardware. This allows you to make over the appearance of your cabinets without gutting your kitchen of the cabinets entirely. It is also a much cheaper method of remodeling your kitchen cabinets than a total custom cabinetry makeover, typically costing thousands less than all new cabinets.
Custom cabinetry jobs include an entirely fresh take on cabinets, with designs, wood types and finishes not commonly available in most home improvement stores. A professional cabinet maker comes to your home, asks you what you would like to see in your kitchen, shows you several design options and variations, and then takes measurements of your current kitchen before providing you with an estimate of the total cost. Since it is a process that typically guts your kitchen and rips out every cabinet in the space, you will not have use of your kitchen for several days and you will have to contend with a lot of noise and mess the whole of that time.
However, the end results are stunning cabinets that absolutely no one else has, and amenities that make kitchen cleaning and organization so much simpler. Additionally, if you have special hardware in mind (e.g., hand-painted drawer pulls, antique hinges, etc.) the carpenter can incorporate these into the design of your new cabinets. A craftsmanship guarantee is often part of the deal too, so if you do not like the end results or there are defects, you can get the cabinets redone. That is not something you can usually get from pre-fab cabinets or resurfacing jobs.
How to Choose
If money is no object, definitely go with the custom cabinets. Likewise, if your kitchen remodeling budget is tight, refacing might be the better option. You could still use your special hardware if you reface, so keep that in mind as you weigh your options. Additionally, if you reface, you may be placing doors and drawer faces on particle board versus the all-hardwood durability and beauty of custom cabinets.
For more information, talk to a professional like Scott Arthur Millwork & Cabinetry.