On this page:
- How Do Pros Price Cabinet Repair Work?
- Do I Need a Pro to Repair My Cabinets?
- What Influences the Cost of Repairing Cabinets?
- How Much Will My Project Cost?
- Preparing for a Cabinet Repair Project
- Cost Comparisons
- Level of Difficulty
- Find a Pro
No matter in what room of your home they are, banged up and tired-looking cabinets can be difficult to use and can really ruin the look of the space. There are a number of repair options available to spruce up cabinets without going to the extreme of replacing them, and the cost of repairing cabinets will depend on several factors, such as the nature of the repair and the skills required to do the work.
How Do Pros Price Cabinet Repair Work?
What’s It Going to Take?
Repair work is typically charged on a time and materials basis, since it is hard to predict what will be involved in the job until it’s underway. A pro may be able to give you an estimate of the total cost of the job, but in the end, you will probably be charged for the number of hours spent on the work and the actual cost of the materials used for the repair. If a carpenter needs to take some of your cabinet parts off-site to his shop, his time spent transporting the pieces and working in the shop will generally be charged at the same rate as the time spent at your home working on the cabinets.
Who to Call?
There are various types of pros whose skills might be needed for cabinet repairs, from a handyman to a trim carpenter, cabinet maker, or painter. The type of damage or problems with your cabinets will help determine the best type of expert to call, which could affect the cost of labor on the job. For basic structural and hardware repairs, a handyman may be the most economical choice, with labor rates that typically range from $20 to $50 per hour. For about the same price range, a painter can handle most refinishing and surface restoration tasks, while it could cost $30 to $75 or more per hour to bring in a skilled cabinet maker or finish carpenter.
Do I Need a Pro to Repair My Cabinets?
What’s the Problem?
Many simple cabinet repairs, like replacing hardware, adjusting hinges, and installing new doors or drawer fronts, can be completed by a DIYer with basic skills and a screwdriver. If the issues with your cabinets are uncomplicated, you can pocket the cost of labor by picking up the materials and doing the work on your own.
However, repairing damaged frames, altering cabinetry, and refinishing surfaces require quite a bit more skill and time so are often best left to a pro. Before lining up a contractor for repairs, find out what will be involved and decide if it’s something you are equipped to do yourself.
Is it Worth It?
If your cabinets are in good condition overall, repairing most types of damage and wear—and even refinishing an entire installation--is typically more cost-effective than replacing the cabinets. It can cost several thousand dollars to install new cabinets in an entire kitchen, but if yours are salvageable it may take as little as $100 or so to get them back in shape, depending on the nature of the problem. If you are dealing with just a single vanity cabinet though, or if your kitchen is due for a remodel in the near future, it may not make sense to invest in repairs if a replacement is less expensive than the price of labor, or if the cabinets’ days are already numbered. When deciding whether to spring for a professional repair, be sure to consider the longevity of the repair and your plans for future updates or changes.
There is no substitute for experience when it comes to making advanced repairs to things like furniture and cabinetry. If your project involves significant structural repair, custom woodworking, or matching an existing finish, you will get the best results from a pro with the right skills for the job. Many experts in the field maintain a portfolio of their work or a list of customer references, so you can get an idea of their capabilities before hiring.
What Influences the Cost of Repairing Cabinets?
The Nature of the Job
There is a pretty wide scope of possible repairs for cabinets, whether in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry area, garage, or home office. If your project involves something fairly simple like replacing dated handles or pulls or even patching damaged wood to secure loosened hinges, the job could be completed for as little as a pro’s minimum service fee plus the price of materials. On the other hand, if your cabinets need complete refinishing, substantial alterations, or significant structural repair, the job could span several days and cost many times as much.
The type of repairs needed for your cabinets have direct influence on the skill level required, and as the skill level increases, so will the cost of repairs. This type of project is a great example of hiring for the specific repair, rather than for the general skill area.
While it is always important to hire a qualified pro, it may not be necessary to pay a premium for the expertise of a cabinetmaker or furniture restorer if a handyman or painting contractor has what it takes to restore the appearance or function of your cabinets.
How Much Will My Project Cost?
Many kinds of cabinet repair projects can be complete within a few hours, such as replacing hinges or doors, upgrading drawer slides, repairing shelves, and installing new pulls. This type of work can typically be completed by a handyman, and if it can be done in a single day, will probably cost less than $200 for labor.
The cost of materials will depend on what the job requires. For example, replacement hinges for a single door could cost less than $20 and a new Lazy Susan kit might run about $80, while replacement door panels could cost over $100 each.
If your cabinets require a little more attention to correct damage to the wood or the finish, to alter frames and doors to accommodate appliances, or to provide a whole new look through refinishing or refacing, the job could be fairly disruptive, time-consuming, and expensive.
The details and scale of the project will determine the overall price of the job, but it would likely cost at least $150 to have a carpenter make structural changes or repairs to a single cabinet, and up to several thousand for painting or refinishing on site. This level of work often spans several days, especially if drying time is required for adhesives, paint, or finish, and may put your cabinets out of service for the duration of the project.
Types of Cabinets and Components
If your repair project involves changing out some cabinetry components, the type of cabinets and their construction may have some influence on the cost of the job. For example, it is often more cost effective to replace a damaged door or drawer front than it is to repair it, but if your cabinets are a custom or semi-custom style or color, the replacement will cost more than for a “stock” style that you can pick up or order easily at a home center. If your cabinets were custom built by a local craftsman, replicating the original construction could be even more challenging, depending on the style and finish.
Preparing for a Cabinet Repair Project
It’s always important to get estimates from multiple providers when planning a project, but when it comes to repairs, shopping around has extra bonuses. Not only can you benefit from competitive pricing, you can get several recommendations for the job and choose the pro and method that seem most thorough and appropriate to you. If you are not sure what skill level the job requires, contact different kinds of contractors, such as a handyman and a finish carpenter, and compare their approaches and estimates for the repair.
Prepare the Site
Whether you are doing the work on your own or bringing in a pro, preparing the area and the cabinets ahead of time can save a lot of hassle. Make sure the work area is easily accessible and remove the contents of the cabinets or drawers to save time and prevent damage. If your budget is tight, ask the pro if there is anything you can do to cut down on labor costs, such as taking off the doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, or reassembling the components after refinishing or repair.
Plan for Downtime
If your repair project is a disruptive one, be sure to plan ahead for the time your cabinets may be off limits. Having cabinet contents displaced and some areas of the home out of service can be inconvenient, but if your project involves decommissioning your entire kitchen for a few days, the cost and hassle of eating out could put a little extra burden on your budget and schedule.
|$5 - $20||$250 - $380||$350 - $700|
With such a broad scope of potential repairs for cabinets, it can be hard to anticipate what your own project may cost. Compare your situation to our examples to help plan and budget for your own repairs.
Straightening Up on Your Own: $5 - $20
- • Type of Repair: Straightening out a sagging cabinet door with a new hinge is a common and simple DIY project that doesn’t require a lot of time or any specialized tools.
- • Skill Level: This type of job usually only calls for a new hinge and a screwdriver. But, even if a drill and some wood glue are involved, it’s still a basic DIY job.
- • Materials: Cabinet hinges range from as little as $2 to as much as $40 each, so the type of hinge required will determine the budget for the job.
Catching Up On Maintenance: $250 - $380
- • Type of Repair: Normal wear and use can take a toll on a kitchen, but tackling a to-do list of minor repairs can spruce things up considerably. Replacing a few drawer slides, changing out the hardware, replacing toe-kick trim, and adjusting some hinges could take a few hours of a pro’s time.
- • Skill Level: This type of job is perfect for a handyman, and with an hourly rate of $25 to $40, it’s an economical project.
- • Materials: A budget of $100 to $200 is adequate to replace the cabinet pulls and various pieces of hardware and trim in most kitchens, though high-end pieces and custom trim could raise the budget considerably.
A Bit of Re-engineering: $350 - $700
- • Type of Repair: Reconfiguring a pantry cabinet is a great way to provide more functional storage space, but a job like this calls for custom carpentry on site or inserts and shelving built to spec by the manufacturer.
- • Skill Level: Adding or changing shelving, drawers, and custom components calls for advanced carpentry skills, so a job like this is best suited for a specialist in the field.
- • Materials: The lumber and hardware for a job like this could range from $100 to $400, depending on the features of the build and the size of the cabinet.
Level of Difficulty
Many types of cabinet repair are within the abilities of most do-it-yourselfers, while others require more advanced skills and even some specialized tools. If you aren’t up to the task, be sure to check around and choose the best pro for the job. There are several types of experts who may be a good fit for the job, and some could carry a higher price tag than others.
Find Cabinet Repair Services Near You
If you are ready to bring in an expert for all or part of your cabinet repair project, use Pro Referral to contact a Cabinet Repair Pro to get the ball rolling. Our network of independent contractors is full of experts who can help, whether you need general services from a handyman or the specialized skills of a restoration pro or a finish carpenter.