Rehab Choice - Kitchen Cabinets Quality

4 Replies

Hello all, I am new here and this is my first post! I have purchased a single family property that will be rented out for around $1,000 a month once the rehab is finished. My contractor brought me a price quote for kitchen cabinets that seemed really high at $5,800. I asked him why it was so much and he said it was because they are wood and not cheap press board. He recommended that because they last longer. My question is, should I go with what he said or should I cheap out and get lower grade cabinets to save money? I do plan on holding this property forever and renting it out. Thanks!

Hi Stephen,

I'm sure you'll get a broad spectrum of opinions on this question, but I've gone with the lowest grade of solid wood cabinets.  

To give you a little background on my why I use solid wood cabinets: My business strategy revolves around finding mid-century brick ranch style homes in decent neighborhoods, which are common in North Florida (where I grew up and invest).  I rehab these, often with new kitchens and bathrooms, and hold them for long term rental.  If a business could have a mantra, mine would be "we provide good, safe homes to good people."  I want the stuff in the rental to be solid, but obviously not appointed with the most luxurious furnishings.  This is rural North Florida, not Manhattan, after all.     

I haven't held any of my buy-and-hold rehab rentals long enough to say the solid wood definitely lasts longer and is therefore worth the extra money.  However, I've seen hundreds of older homes and it does appear the solid wood is more sturdy and last longer than the cheap stuff.   Many of the rentals I have now didn't require a remodel and have the original, 30, 40 or 50 year old solid wood cabinets in them and they still look good, though maybe a little dated.   They may have plenty of dings from brooms, mops, toys, etc, but they generally aren't wobbly or warped.  A little putty and painting, maybe new countertops, and they look great.  Further, when I do rehab and price new cabinets, I've found a local cabinet suppliers than can give decent prices on the solid wood stuff.     

I'd also add that when I look at a potential purchase that has already seen some updating, I check out the cabinets.  That can be a good indicator about the sort of quality they've put into the remodel.  I've seen some horror stories that have great curb appeal.     

Hi and welcome.

You didn’t specify how big the kitchen is so it’s hard to tell if the price is high. Also, does that include counter top?

I do fix and flip but always use solid wood cabinets, boxes and doors, as they present better, aren’t affected by humidity as much and can take a beating.

In any case, for fix and hold, I’d want a solid wood cabinet so they last longer and won’t require replacing as often, especially here in Florida where moisture tends to find a way to destroy things. If they do get scratched or gouged, you can patch and paint them. Can’t do that with Formica covered MDF.