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How to Choose Stock Kitchen Cabinets

Buying stock cabinets for your kitchen remodel can definitely save you money. Here are some tips to help you make the right buying decision.

Stock cabinets save you time because you don’t have to wait for them to be built. And they save you money because you aren’t paying for customizations.
But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. You just need to know what to look for.

What to Look For

  • Solid wood and plywood cabinets. They’ll give you better longevity and crisper details than pressed wood.
  • Walls at least ½-inch thick. They’re more sturdy.
  • Consistency of finish. Lesser quality cabinets often have irregular finishes and colors from one cabinet box to the next.
  • Full-extension hardware. It allows you to open drawers all the way and open doors almost 180 degrees to make access easier.
  • Dovetail joinery. Or a metal box. Drawer sides and backs that are stapled together won’t last as long.

Cost and Installation

The cost of quality stock cabinets for an average-sized kitchen generally runs $8,000 to $10,000. Semi-custom cabinets would cost about twice that. And full custom cabinets would cost even more.

There are some lower-cost stock alternatives, such as IKEA (as low as $2,500), but you’ll offset your savings with the hassle of difficult assembly — fine if you have the patience and skill.

But unless you’ve got professional building experience, actually installing kitchen cabinets isn’t a typical DIY job.

So carve out $100 to $300 per cabinet (depending on labor rates in your area) to have them professionally installed.

The Drawbacks of Stock Cabinets

  • Finish and color choices are limited. The most likely options are painted white, natural wood, or stained maple and cherry.
  • Stock cabinets are only 36 inches tall. If you want taller cabinets, you’ll have to go semi-custom, which can take you up to 42 inches.
  • You could lose potential storage space. Filler strips are used to cover gaps created when the stock sizes don’t quite fill the space — whereas custom cabinets can be measured to take advantage of all space.
  • Extra details such as crown molding aren’t included. Mitered corners and furniture-style sides aren’t included either. However, you can add crown molding yourself later if you choose.
  • Warranties are limited. The industry standard is about 5 years, and they only cover product failure, not wear and tear.

Note: You’ll also need to choose hardware. But that can be a fun project to really personalize your kitchen.
Get more tips on planning a kitchen remodel.
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7 Smart Strategies for Kitchen Remodeling

Follow these seven strategies to get the most financial gain on your kitchen remodel.

A significant portion of kitchen remodeling costs may be recovered by the value the project brings to your home. Kitchen remodels in the $50,000 to $60,000 range recoup about 74% of the initial project cost at the home’s resale, according to recent data from Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report.

A minor kitchen remodel of about $19,000 does even better, returning more than 82% of your investment.

To maximize your return on investment, follow these seven strategies to keep you on budget and help you make smart choices.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan

Planning your kitchen remodel should take more time than the actual construction. If you plan well, the amount of time you’re inconvenienced by construction mayhem will be minimized. Plus, you’re more likely to stay on budget.
How much time should you spend planning? The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends at least six months. That way, you won’t be tempted to change your mind during construction and create change orders, which will inflate construction costs and hurt your return on investment.
Some tips on planning:
Study your existing kitchen: How wide is the doorway into your kitchen? It’s a common mistake many homeowners make: Buying the extra-large fridge only to find they can’t get it in the doorway. To avoid mistakes like this, create a drawing of your kitchen with measurements for doorways, walkways, counters, etc. And don’t forget height, too.

Think about traffic patterns: Work aisles should be a minimum of 42 inches wide and at least 48

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inches wide for households with multiple cooks.

Design with ergonomics in mind: Drawers or pull-out shelves in base cabinets; counter heights that can adjust up or down; a wall oven instead of a range: These are all features that make a kitchen accessible to everyone — and a pleasure to work in.

Related: Test Your Ergonomic Design Knowledge

Plan for the unforeseeable: Even if you’ve planned down to the number of nails you’ll need in your remodel, expect the unexpected. Build in a little leeway for completing the remodel. Want it done by Thanksgiving? Then plan to be done before Halloween.

Choose all your fixtures and materials before starting: Contractors will be able to make more accurate bids, and you’ll lessen the risk of delays because of back orders.

Don’t be afraid to seek help: A professional designer can simplify your kitchen remodel. Pros help make style decisions, foresee potential problems, and schedule contractors. Expect fees around $50 to $150 per hour, or 5% to 15% of the total cost of the project.

More tips on planning a kitchen remodel:

Keep the same footprint Get real about appliances Don’t underestimate the power of lighting Be quality-conscious Add storage, not space Communicate clearly with your remodelers

2. Keep the Same Footprint

Nothing will drive up the cost of a remodel faster than changing the location of plumbing pipes and electrical outlets, and knocking down walls. This is usually where unforeseen problems occur.
So if possible, keep appliances, water fixtures, and walls in the same location. 

Not only will you save on demolition and reconstruction costs, you’ll cut the amount of dust and debris your project generates.

More tips on planning a kitchen remodel:

Plan, plan, plan Get real about appliances Don’t underestimate the power of lighting Be quality-conscious Add storage, not space Communicate clearly with your remodelers

3. Get Real About Appliances

It’s easy to get carried away when planning your new kitchen. A six-burner commercial-grade range and luxury-brand refrigerator may make eye-catching centerpieces, but they may not fit your cooking needs or lifestyle.
Appliances are essentially tools used to cook and store food. Your kitchen remodel shouldn’t be about the tools, but the design and functionality of the entire kitchen.
So unless you’re an exceptional cook who cooks a lot, concentrate your dollars on long-term features that add value, such as cabinets and flooring.
Then choose appliances made by trusted brands that have high marks in online reviews and Consumer Reports.

More tips on planning a kitchen remodel:

Plan, plan, plan Keep the same footprint Don’t underestimate the power of lighting Be quality-conscious Add storage, not space Communicate clearly with your remodelers

4. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Lighting

Lighting can make a world of difference in a kitchen. It can make it look larger and brighter. And it will help you work safely and efficiently. You should have two different types of lighting in your kitchen:   Task Lighting: Under-cabinet lighting should be on your must-do list, since cabinets create such dark work areas. And since you’re remodeling, there won’t be a better time to hard-wire your lights. (Here’s more about under-cabinet lights.) Plan for at least two fixtures per task area to eliminate shadows. Pendant lights are good for islands and other counters without low cabinets. Recessed lights and track lights work well over sinks and general prep areas with no cabinets overhead.

Ambient lighting: Flush-mounted ceiling fixtures, wall sconces, and track lights create overall lighting in your kitchen. Include dimmer switches to control intensity and mood.

Related: How to Choose the Best Bulb for the Job

More tips on planning a kitchen remodel:

Plan, plan, plan Keep the same footprint Get real about appliances Be quality-conscious Add storage, not space Communicate clearly with your remodelers

5. Be Quality-Conscious

Functionality and durability should be top priorities during kitchen remodeling. Resist low-quality bargains, and choose products that combine low maintenance with long warranty periods. Solid-surface countertops, for instance, may cost a little more, but with the proper care, they’ll look great for a long time.
And if you’re planning on moving soon, products with substantial warranties are a selling advantage.

Related:

Kitchen Remodeling Decisions You’ll Never Regret

White: The Savvy and Chic Kitchen Color Choice

More tips on planning a kitchen remodel:

Plan, plan, plan Keep the same footprint Get real about appliances Don’t underestimate the power of lighting Add storage, not space Communicate clearly with your remodelers

6. Add Storage, Not Space

Storage will never go out of style, but if you’re sticking with the same footprint, here are a couple of ideas to add more:
Install cabinets that reach the ceiling: They may cost more — and you might need a stepladder — but you’ll gain valuable storage space for Christmas platters and other once-a-year items. In addition, you won’t have to dust cabinet tops.
Hang it up: Mount small shelving units on unused wall areas and inside cabinet doors; hang stock pots and large skillets on a ceiling-mounted rack; and add hooks to the backs of closet doors for aprons, brooms, and mops.

Related: Storage Options that Pack More Space in Your Kitchen

More tips on planning a kitchen remodel:

Plan, plan, plan Keep the same footprint Get real about appliances Don’t underestimate the power of lighting Be quality-conscious Communicate clearly with your remodelers

7. Communicate Clearly With Your Remodelers

Establishing a good rapport with your project manager or construction team is essential for staying on budget. To keep the sweetness in your project:
Drop by the project during work hours: Your presence broadcasts your commitment to quality.

Establish a communication routine: Hang a message board on site where you and the project manager can leave daily communiqués. Give your email address and cell phone number to subs and team leaders.

Set house rules: Be clear about smoking, boom box noise levels, available bathrooms, and appropriate parking.

Be kind: Offer refreshments (a little hospitality can go a long way), give praise when warranted, and resist pestering them with conversation, jokes, and questions when they are working. They’ll work better when refreshed and allowed to concentrate on work.

More tips on planning a kitchen remodel:

Plan, plan, plan Keep the same footprint Get real about appliances Don’t underestimate the power of lighting Be quality-conscious Add storage, not space
Read more:  http://members.houselogic.com/articles/tips-for-kitchen-remodeling/preview/#ixzz2vTYMvuYK Follow us: @houselogic on Twitter | houselogic on Facebook

7 Steps before you Buy a Home

1. Decide how much home you can afford

Generally, you can afford a home priced 2 to 3 times your gross income. Remember to consider costs every homeowner must cover: property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and community association fees, if applicable, as well as costs specific to your family, such as day care if you plan to have children.

2. Develop your home wish list

Be honest about which features you must have and which you’d like to have. Handicap accessibility for an aging parent or special needs child is a must. Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances are in the bonus category. Come up with your top-five must-haves and top-five wants to help you focus your search and make a logical, rather than emotional, choice when home shopping.

3. Select where you want to live

Make a list of your top-five community priorities, such as commute time, schools, and recreational facilities. Ask your REALTOR® to help you identify three to four target neighborhoods based on your priorities.

4. Start saving

Have you saved enough money to qualify for a mortgage and cover your downpayment? Ideally, you should have 20% of the purchase price set aside for a downpayment, but some lenders allow as little as 5% down. A small downpayment preserves your savings for emergencies.
However, the lower your downpayment, the higher the loan amount you’ll need to qualify for, and if you still qualify, the higher your monthly payment. Your downpayment size can also influence your interest rate and the type of loan you can get.
Finally, if your downpayment is less than 20%, you’ll be required to purchase private mortgage insurance. Depending on the size of your loan, PMI can add hundreds to your monthly payment. Check with your state and local government for mortgage and downpayment assistance programs for first-time buyers.

5. Ask about all the costs before you sign

A downpayment is just one homebuying cost. Your REALTOR® can tell you what other costs buyers commonly pay in your area—including home inspections, attorneys’ fees, and transfer fees of 2% to 7% of the home price. Tally up the extras you’ll also want to buy after you move-in, such as window coverings and patio furniture for your new yard.

6. Get your credit in order

A credit report details your borrowing history, including any late payments and bad debts, and typically includes a credit score. Lenders lean heavily on your credit report and credit score in determining whether, how much, and at what interest rate to lend for a home. Most require a minimum credit score of 620 for a home mortgage.
You’re entitled to free copies of your credit reports annually from the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Order and then pore over them to ensure the information is accurate, and try to correct any errors before you buy. If your credit score isn’t up to snuff, the easiest ways to improve it are to pay every bill on time and pay down high credit card debt.

7. Get prequalified

Meet with a lender to get a prequalification letter that says how much house you’re qualified to buy. Start gathering the paperwork your lender says it needs. Most want to see W-2 forms verifying your employment and income, copies of pay stubs, and two to four months of banking statements.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll need your current profit and loss statement, a current balance sheet, and personal and business income tax returns for the previous two years.
Consider your financing options. The longer the loan, the smaller your monthly payment. Fixed-rate mortgages offer payment certainty; an adjustable-rate mortgage offers a lower monthly payment. However, an adjustable-rate mortgage may adjust dramatically. Be sure to calculate your affordability at both the lowest and highest possible ARM rate.

More from HouseLogic

Learn how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages can help you save on financing
Learn more about the costs of homeownership

Other web resources

Homebuyer counseling resources

Get a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who has thrice survived the homebuying process. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.
Read more:  http://members.houselogic.com/articles/7-steps-take-you-buy-home/preview/#ixzz2vTXEhMp7 Follow us: @houselogic on Twitter | houselogic on Facebook

Downpayment Assistant Funds Available on New Homes for First Time Homebuyer

Downpayment Assistant Funds Available on New Homes for First Time Homebuyers from New Home Builder FHA, VA, Conventional and USDA Loans.

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For Sale 203K Renovation Projects in Jacksonville, Florida

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How To use the FHA 203k Streamline and Full Program Can be use Accessibilty Improvement For Persons with Disabilities in Jacksonville fl

How To use the FHA 203k Streamline and Full Program Can be use Accessibilty Improvement For Persons with Disabilites in there  AS Is Home Purchase weather it a Short Sale Home or Foreclosure Home. And You don’t Have to be a Veteran… Here are things the  FHA/HUD 203k Products Can do:

  • Interior Door Enlargements
  • Modify Kitchen Cabinets
  • Bathroom Modification
  • Flooring
  • Modify Outlets and Light Switches High.
  • Driveways, Sideways and Ramp Installations and Much More…..

Call Me Today So I Can HelpYou Find a Home Veterans an Non Veterans Disabilities…(904) 348-0452

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FHA 203k Renovation on Short Sales Homes in Jacksonville Fl

This is a Great Buy on a Short Sale Home in Southside of  Jacksonville, Fl 3 Bedroom 2 Bathroom For $108,900.

This Home is a Great Candidate For FHA/HUD 203k Renovation Program.

Upgrade the Kitchen with New Cabinets and Counter Top. New Tile Floor in The Kitchen and, All New Appliances.

New Shingle Roof, Exterior Painting and Interior Wall Painting.

Call Me Today …. About This Home and, The FHA 203K Programs  904-348-0452

FHA 203k Renovation on Short Sales Homes in Jacksonville Fl

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Complete Home Realty, Inc

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Beautiful Home For Sale In Fleming Island, Florida For $415,000.00 – Homes For Sale in Jacksonville Florida -Orange park homes for sale

Beautiful Home For Sale In Fleming Island, Florida For $415,000.00 – Homes For Sale in Jacksonville Florida

Executive homewith all the bells & whistles you want. Golf course view of hole 13 lucky #. Media room with full bath, game room room with balcony looking out @ golf course & formal living area. Granite counter tops, stainless steel app.,formal dinning area. Large screened in patio to enjoy. The list on this 1 goes on.

5- Bedroom, 4 Full Baths  Sq Ft 3964, 3 Car Garage,  Year 2005  Priced at $415,000.00 Great Deal for a Beautiful Home and Community to live in..

Will Consider FHA; Will Consider VA; Conventional; Case

 

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