DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen | Blog
“Can I replace my countertops and keep my existing cabinets?”


When you call DreamMaker, we want to do whatever we can to help you – regardless of whether or not you end up actually working with us. We want to ensure that the choices you make for your home are educated choices.

We get questions about partial remodels a lot, and we understand that sometimes they come from a concern about overall cost. In keeping with our educational focus, we’ve developed three questions you should ask yourself, to think about what level of remodeling is right for you.


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1. Are you planning to sell your home?

- YES: If you are planning to sell your home right away, new countertops may not be your best investment. Of course, your selling agent wants your home to show well and sell quickly, but if that $8,000 granite countertop doesn’t add $8,000 to the sale price, it might be a poor investment. If your countertops are in bad shape and need to be replaced in order to sell the home, consider using an inexpensive laminate, or offer a countertop allowance to potential buyers to maximize your return on investment. New homeowners might prefer that option so they can pick the countertops they want.

If, on the other hand, you plan on moving in a few years, install new countertops now, and enjoy those new granite or stone countertops for a while.

- NO: If you are staying in your home for some time, new countertops can be a great way to increase your kitchen enjoyment without a complete remodel. Make sure you consider all types of materials to find the one that is right for you. (Check out our two-part blog on countertop materials, Part 1 and Part 2). 


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2. Does the room's layout function well for your family?

If your kitchen is a space where the cabinets are simply not large enough or are awkward to get to, replacing only a countertop may not give you the best end result.

In the past, replacing Formica or laminate countertops with newer Formica or laminate was not expensive. Stone, quartz, and solid surface countertops – the types of materials that are in demand now – are much more pricey! Can you commit to living with your current kitchen layout… for another 20+ years (which is the life of these durable, but somewhat expensive, countertops)?

Remember – You cannot replace cabinets AFTER you put in a new countertop. You would have to remove everything, including that new countertop, to replace the cabinets. Most stone and quartz tops can’t be removed in one piece, so they are cut, or broken into manageable pieces. Once new cabinets are installed, a new countertop would have to be made.


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3. What are your cabinets made of? Have they deteriorated?

If they are solidly built and have not had any damage, then new cabinets may not be something you need to consider. Here are suggestions for evaluating your cabinets:

- One hint: Your sink cabinet gets the most use/abuse. If you have had any water damage or leaks, or you see warping or other significant deterioration on that cabinet, you should think about new cabinets.

- Do you have to replace any broken drawer slides, drawer boxes, hinges, and/or hardware? Are your drawer slides and hinges functional, but not the smooth or soft-close like newer ones? The cost of hardware repairs and updates can really add up.

- If you have cabinet boxes that are in good shape, and they are in a layout you like, but you don’t like the wood finish or door style, refinishing or refacing are possibilities. Just be aware that refacing the cabinets, with new doors, drawer boxes, slides, hinges, hardware, roll-out shelves, etc., can easily approach the cost of new cabinets.


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Replacing your countertop and keeping your cabinets might be the perfect way for you to refresh a tired kitchen, or it might be just putting the cart before the horse. We can help you decide.

Call one of our designers today to discuss your remodeling needs: 734-669-4000, or email us at info@dm-remodel.com.


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Shannon Janeczek

Shannon is the Marketing Manager for DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen Ann Arbor. If you'd like to contact us with a guest blog post, or a remodeling story, just email her at marketing@dm-remodel.com.

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