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February 4, 2016

Building My New Parkwood Home Part 3: Cabinets

Appliances are all picked out, now on to cabinets. I must admit, I love white cabinets. I’ve always wanted them, but have never lived in a home with white cabinets. The standard in our new build? Beautiful maple cabinets available in 8 different stains….but sadly, not white. (this is typical, although white is common it’s rarely a standard option!)  I steeled myself for a pretty significant upgrade cost, but to be honest, I wasn’t willing to compromise.

(PS – if you’ve missed the first 2 posts in the Building My Parkwood Series, here they are:  Part 1: It BeginsPart 2: Appliances)

Parkwood uses Kitchen Showcase in Englewood, and their showroom gives you a great idea of what your standard cabinets could look like and every upgrade imaginable. Luckily, your sales rep should be able to walk you through everything in a systematic way. First, we chose our cabinet type and color. Here’s where it gets tricky – there are so many ways to upgrade – and it all boils down to what matters most to you.

One of the first selections you’ll encounter is solid wood versus Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF). MDF is an engineered wood product, which means it won’t warp or settle (yay!), but it also means you cannot refinish it. Solid wood cabinets give you the flexibility to touch up or refinish if needed – and many people simply prefer the feel and look of solid wood. I, however, am not one of those people. I just wanted white cabinets and goodness knows I’m not handy enough to refinish a cabinet. As it turns out, I also loved the feel of the white MDF cabinet with white thermofoil…so easy to wipe off/clean and it is stain resistant – which is perfect for my messy family!  MDF will save you quite a bit of money over a solid wood cabinet and for those of us on a budget this is an area you can save some money & still get the white cabinets you love.

Soft close versus standard drawers and cabinet doors? In my experience, every buyer will open/close drawers and see if they are soft close. It’s just something we all know to test – but did you know that soft close drawers tend to be more durable too? I can see my toddler opening and slamming, opening and slamming….durability matters. For my kitchen set up, the dovetail, soft-close drawers were less than $200 per drawer, which I will appreciate on the third slam…

So we’ve chosen these soft white thermofoil/MDF cabinets with an elegant beadboard design (which my husband says looks like a French cottage and I say looks “retro-modern” – check out my Pinterest Board) and now we’re looking at a huge variety of drawer sizes, trash cabinets, organizing trays and so much more. If you love the Container Store – you’ll love this part! The sales rep and I discussed how many of the specialty inserts could easily be done after we build. That means I can live in my kitchen for a while and see what I really want/need in terms of organization. Whenever possible, we try to balance what makes sense to do before and after – and in my opinion: painted cabinets, soft-close drawers = while building, nifty inserts = after building.

What does all this mean in terms of dollars? Please know that every builder will be different and pricing will depend on the size of your kitchen and the standard you are starting with, but for us, upgrading to white MDF cabinets with dovetail soft-close drawers and upgraded cabinet pulls was a little over $1500. Keep in mind, we were VERY conservative – but when I was researching upgrade options before our appointments, I know I would have appreciated some price guidance.

Parkwood’s standard KitchenCraft Aurora series cabinets are beautiful (and we chose the standard cabinets for all our baths to keep cost down), so you could get away with $0 in upgrades, but most budgets tend to be around $2,000-$12,000. Why such a broad range? If you stay close to standard or choose MDF, you can stay on the lower end of this budget. However, upgrading to a specialty stain or painted finish will get you closer to the high end (or beyond) in a hurry. My husband asked a great question “would you pay $12,000 more for a house because the white cabinets were solid wood?” For me the answer was no – but I asked a friend and she said she would pay it in a heartbeat. As with many things in real estate – the value of finishes is subjective. You are building your home – not a future buyer’s home. Make it the home you want to share with those you love – for me, that means French cottage, retro-modern, white cabinets!

As always – I’m available to help with your Stapleton dream too!

Links you might like:

Check out my Pinterest Board for kitchen drawings, loved designs and musings….

Pop by Kitchen Showcase’s Pinterest Board to fantasize about your amazing kitchen!

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