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  • A couple before and afters of a reface job

    This is a reface job I did last week. It was a pretty standard, average sized job. There were a few modifications to the cabinets over the fridge so it could fit. The color is cordovan on maple. The countertop will be replaced later by others.

    It took 3 1/2 days but there were many measure and manufacturer errors to fix--at least a days worth. If the people before me could get their you know what together I could make a lot more money this year. But that is the rub of being an installer, you fix everything.

    The good news is my hard work has paid off and I have been rewarded with the largest job to come through our branch in history, plus I have a trainee working with me now. If he ever stops trying to get me to sign up for his pyramid scheme he will do great at this. Actually he probably will do fine either way--I'll just be more irritated in the mean time.

    Eli
    Attached Files
    Last edited by woodenstickers; 02-03-2008, 03:51 AM.
    A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

  • #2
    Re: A couple before and afters of a reface job

    Eli,

    Nice work! Cabinets look considerably better and certainly the owner has got to be pleased with the update.

    CWS

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A couple before and afters of a reface job

      I agree... nice work

      What's the warranty on a reface job like that?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A couple before and afters of a reface job

        Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
        I agree... nice work

        What's the warranty on a reface job like that?
        Thanks guys. The warranty by my company, which is a big orange company we are all very familiar with, is 1 year parts and labor. If it is done right it should last much, much longer than that. I have refaced a few kitchens that had been previously refaced over ten years ago before the micro veneers were used and they seemed to hold pretty well. The doors and drawer fronts are solid wood, the sides are 1/4 veneered ply and the faces are micro veneered. It is all stained at the same time from the same stain batch at the door manufacturer.

        It's like anything else though, depends who you get doing the work. I am going to do my parents kitchen for them this summer so I do believe in the process, but there are some guys I work with that I wouldn't let near my parents house.


        Eli
        A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A couple before and afters of a reface job

          Great job! I've been thinking about having that done in my kitchen. My cabinets are in great shape, but are dated. How much does a job like that run?

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          • #6
            Re: A couple before and afters of a reface job

            Looks very nice, my wife saw the pics and has new ideas for my weekend.
            Buy cheap, buy twice.

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            • #7
              Re: A couple before and afters of a reface job

              I'm not sure about the east coast, but that job here in the bay area was just under 12grand. They had quite a few upgrades though, drawer boxes, crown molding, wood species (maple), roll-out shelves.

              If your current cabinets are in good shape I really think it is the best way to go because the downtime is way less, you don't have to change your counter-top if you don't want to at the moment, and of course price. For new cabinets installed in that kitchen it would have been minimum 30 thousand and a lot more time without the kitchen.

              Part of the reason I like this job, in fact the main reason, is that I almost always leave a happy customer. It is rare that the job doesn't greatly exceed their expectations. Part of that is our ill informed sales force not really understanding much beyond sales, but I am still surprised myself a bit with how good it looks.

              This week I start the big job--5 million dollar house. It will be tricky with angled peninsula backs and doors mounted on a sub-zero fridge. I'll be sure to take pics and post em when I'm done.

              Eli
              A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A couple before and afters of a reface job

                Originally posted by woodenstickers View Post
                I'm not sure about the east coast, but that job here in the bay area was just under 12grand. They had quite a few upgrades though, drawer boxes, crown molding, wood species (maple), roll-out shelves.

                If your current cabinets are in good shape I really think it is the best way to go because the downtime is way less, you don't have to change your counter-top if you don't want to at the moment, and of course price. For new cabinets installed in that kitchen it would have been minimum 30 thousand and a lot more time without the kitchen.

                Part of the reason I like this job, in fact the main reason, is that I almost always leave a happy customer. It is rare that the job doesn't greatly exceed their expectations. Part of that is our ill informed sales force not really understanding much beyond sales, but I am still surprised myself a bit with how good it looks.

                This week I start the big job--5 million dollar house. It will be tricky with angled peninsula backs and doors mounted on a sub-zero fridge. I'll be sure to take pics and post em when I'm done.

                Eli
                If you dont mind answering a couple of questions I have, that would be helpful to me.
                Im going to reface my cabinets. ( I build furniture so its not that big of a deal for me). My plan was to rip off face frames, doors and draws and build all new ones. There currently red oak.Changing to maple. I have enough wood alreadt to do this.
                My question is what is micro veneer you use for the face frames and how is it applied? Does it roll into the top and bottom edges as well and is this available to the public?
                Also do you always use 1/4 ply to shin the faces or is there a slew of 1/8 inch ply available for this?
                What do you do on the inside of the boxes? Say if I wanted glass doors and my insides are oak with predrilled holes for shleve adjustment?

                Thanks

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A couple before and afters of a reface job

                  Originally posted by woodenstickers View Post
                  I'm not sure about the east coast, but that job here in the bay area was just under 12grand. They had quite a few upgrades though, drawer boxes, crown molding, wood species (maple), roll-out shelves.

                  If your current cabinets are in good shape I really think it is the best way to go because the downtime is way less, you don't have to change your counter-top if you don't want to at the moment, and of course price. For new cabinets installed in that kitchen it would have been minimum 30 thousand and a lot more time without the kitchen.

                  Eli
                  12K for refacing? Wow!!! That is very nice work, but in the midwest here I could have custom cabinets, countertops and a backsplash done on that small of a kitchen for 12K. Geez the west coast is expensive

                  Again, beautiful work.

                  Jeff

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A couple before and afters of a reface job

                    No problem. I can first let you know that the company that did the doors and other materials for the job pictured, Quality Door, is a big supplier for Home Depot and they do sell to the public through the stores. They have a "do it yourself" program that lets you order the doors and drawer fronts, veneer, 1/4 inch ply, hinges and other supplies. The instructions they give (easy as 1,2,3) are laughable however and if followed will leave you with a pretty crappy kitchen. The product is good though.

                    First thing is why are you removing the face frames? Unless you really want to build new ones part of the benefit of this process is you don't need to. The only time we replace face frames is if the original ones are particle board. In your case it would just be a matter of using a pretty rough grit sand paper to rough up the surface of your face frames. I use a belt sander with 50 grit and just run it across the surface in a few directions to get a kind of cross hash and knock off the shine. (this is only for stained wood faces, paint is a different story)

                    But that comes after the bottoms (if you choose to do them) and sides are covered with the 1/4 ply material. You don't really want to cover large areas with the micro veneer because it shows bumps and dips and doesn't forgive any mistakes in application. So you cut your bottom panels, scribe to the wall, and then cut it close to the edges of the cabinets. I use construction adhesive and then a 23 gauge pinner to fasten it. Then route or sand the edges flush with the cabinet box. Next come the sides, same process. Now you have the raw edge of the ply facing out and flush with the face frames. This is when you sand the face frames and fill any spots or flush up any spots that need it.

                    After wiping down and getting it dust free you apply a laminate adhesive to the face frames with a roller, brush or foam painting pad. This glue has to be dry before application of the veneer.

                    Now comes the part that separates the good job from the crap job. I have a laminate slitter that will cut my veneer or formica into strips of any width. In that stupid booklet at HD they show a lady using a straight edge and a utility knife (on a wood floor with no protection under it too) to cut strips. They tell you to cut it wide and then trim the excess off with a utility knife after you apply a fat overhang on each side of your stiles and rails. No good. You do need to plan for a bit of an overhang--the outside edge especially, but if you overhang it too much it looks really fake because there are "L" shaped notches at every seam. So, if you don't want to invest in a laminate slitter (about $120), you can use your table saw or if you are very careful I guess a straight edge. I recommend the slitter. Less waste than the saw and very precise.

                    The veneer has a 3M adhesive already on it with a peel and stick backing. Use a good paper cutter or a square and utility knife to get a square end and slowly apply it starting with the outside stiles, top and bottom rails, and so on, just like built in cabinets. You can cover anyplace that two cabinets are next to each other with one piece of veneer to make it look better (just make cure to flush them before gluing them) The glue will stick on contact and be very hard to get off. Use a heat gun and slowly peel the strip if you end up going off track, but don't plan to reuse the piece. Then use a roller or a smooth piece of wood to apply pressure everywhere. The glue is pressure sensitive as well.

                    Now use a router or file or both to file the edges flush. File in forward motion only so as not to pull the veneer. I suggest trying the insides first to get the hang of it because the outside corners are very sensitive and will need a light touch. If you choose to route the outside edges with a laminate trimmer be certain to apply a lubricant to the edge of the ply. It is very easy to burn or mark the edge otherwise. Vaseline or Crisco works, I use a product called Lami-Lube that sprays from a can.

                    Jeeze, this is turning into a fricken book. The truth is yes, anyone can do it. But there are some skill sets that are unique to it. They say you are no good til you have "filed a mile". I am about at 3/4 of a mile i think. I was a carpenter for about 7 years or so before I tried this and it took me about 6 months to get better than decent.

                    To answer your other questions, you can put the veneer on the inside edges but my company doesn't. It is difficult to make all those edges look good, but it also can be a problem if you catch the edge of the veneer when moving things in and out of the cabinets. Truthfully, when the doors are on you will probably never look at the inside edges again. Also, many people are concerned about the insides of their cabinets before we start. My company does not do any insides. Ever. People who are worried about it forget about it for the same reason I stated above once the job is done people . You only see the insides for a few seconds at a time. --Unless you are getting glass doors!

                    SO, if you want to get glass doors I strongly suggest you go with an opaque glass. Or paint the insides of your cabinets a neutral color. Unless you are prepared to trim out all of the edges of your boxes, or spend a lot, and I mean a lot of time fitting ply in most likely unsquare insides, or you don't care about the seams inside too much, forget about facing the insides. If you just want to cover the pre-drilled holes you probably can fit some pieces inside and leave a gap at the inside faces frame where you cant see it to butt it up against the back. Or if you really want to I'm sure you could figure something out that will be acceptable. But it will take effort.

                    There are lots of things I am leaving out right now, but if you have more questions I'll be glad to answer them now or in the future.



                    And to Jeff, yeah, I know. I can hardly imagine spending that kind of money on anything that doesn't have an ignition. To put it in perspective that house was worth well over $600,000 and it was just a two bed two bath. I saw gas for $3.29 today and almost had a heart attack because that is lower than I've seen in months. My sister pays $1100 a month for a studio apartment here in a seriously bad neighborhood, I mean crack-whores all around all the time. It is crazy here. But the pay scale makes up for it I guess. The job I started yesterday has a price tag of $41,000!

                    Eli
                    Last edited by woodenstickers; 02-06-2008, 11:26 PM.
                    A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A couple before and afters of a reface job

                      Nice work, Woodenstickers. Thanks for posting the instructions they don't include with the kit!!
                      I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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                      • #12
                        Re: A couple before and afters of a reface job

                        Nice work there

                        Is the stove vintage or is it new and just vintage styled?

                        From what I hear around here many cabinet shops will only do work where they send someone out to check measurements first and also discuss the job with both the home owner and contractor. They want it to come out right the first time around. I know what you mean about the painful correcting work.
                        Last edited by Woussko; 02-07-2008, 10:01 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: A couple before and afters of a reface job

                          Thanks for all the help. I got a clear understanding of that way now.
                          I lived in Play Del Rey for 10 years.House cost there was a million and up for a house. Condos were 400000 and up when I left. Mine was 2 bedroom 2 bath, 5 big blocks from beach, they were selling for 550 when I left.Wish I would of sold then, I still have it.

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