Impulse and Kitchen Cabinets

Homeownership reminds me of living in Uzbekistan.  There’s a different language when working with contractors.  You have to sift through what they’re saying, while trying to listen to what they are actually saying.  Not to mention a whole lexicon for construction materials and supplies.  No one is ever on time, goals fall a bit short of their deadline and there is little respect for a single woman’s attempts at doing this stuff.

That said, I have been very fortunately to have some guy friends who know what they are talking about and have referred good people to help me navigate through this culture shock.  It’s still a shock nonetheless.  The example I will use to illustrate this today will be kitchen cabinets.

Never having owned a house before, I really had no idea how much cabinets cost.  Do YOU?  My cabinets were fine.  After they were cleaned up a bit, they were actually kinda nice.  But as we were gutting out the whole kitchen, I decided, why not?  Get rid of them too.  A new set for such a small kitchen can’t be more than…what?  1 to 2K?  WHY HAS THIS NEVER COME UP IN CONVERSATION?!

My all around repair guy didn’t bring it up.  My friend who is acting as my advisor through this whole process didn’t even flinch when I said “get rid of it all.”  I may have even been channelling a little bit of the Joan Crawford.  Who knows.  Point is, ladies and gentlemen – DO NOT THROW OUT YOUR CABINETS.  Refinish them.  Repaint them.  But do not throw them out, as a new set is likely to cost you 5K to 9K.  For wood boxes?!?  I just don’t get it.  But there you have it.

Lesson learned.  To make up for it, I promptly went on craigslist to find anything salvageable – we’re talking both for my kitchen and my pride at this point.  Fortunately, fortune has smiled at my foolishness.  I found a set of 1950s Sears white metal cabinets that will work nicely with my theme.  They were available for what I thought is a reasonable price – $150.  Granted, they need a good scrubbing and spray paint over.  And I had to rent a U-Haul to pick them up.  But all in all, a “new” set of cabinets for $200 is a much easier pill to swallow than 5K.



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