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Buying replacement kitchen doors is a big enough decision to make without also having to consider if your cabinet carcasses need replacing as well. But in some kitchens, the carcasses can be in a poor state of repair and it is best to replace them at the same time as the doors.

You would be forgiven for thinking that replacing the carcasses is the equivalent of installing a brand new kitchen. But it is is simpler than that. You can keep your tiling, your worktops and the layout of your kitchen, plumbing and appliances – still saving yourself significant money on the cost of a full kitchen makeover.

So how do you know if you should take this opportunity to replace your kitchen cabinets along with your kitchen cupboards and when can you tell if they will still do the job?

What are your old carcasses made of?

Many of the older types of carcasses or those from handmade kitchens are actually made of very durable hardwoods and it would be a shame to replace them. They are likely to be very sturdy and may simply require sanding and repainting. However in recent years carcasses have been made of chipboard and mdf. These may not withstand use quite so well and may need replacing sooner.

What do the insides look like?

Sometimes it is just the way your cupboards look when you open them which makes you wish for new carcasses. Many cabinets are lined with a veneered white or patterned melamine. This can chip and discolour over time and give your cupboards a very worn look. You can get around this by buying new veneer and recovering the inside of the cupboard space. The other option is to replace the shelves only. Repainting is not easy if the insides are veneered.

Think about glass?

If the insides of your cupboards are plain shelves which have become worn, replacing them with glass shelves can lift the cupboard and make it look more modern and newer. You can usually buy glass shelves in DIY stores if not from your replacement kitchen door specialist.

Are the cabinets secure?

Carcasses are generally fixed to the walls with brackets and these can become loose and worn over time. If this has happened to yours it could result in damage to the wall, cupboards which have dropped or even dangerous carcasses which might come loose entirely.

If this is happening, it may be appropriate to get new carcasses and ensure that the walls are correctly repaired so that a firm fixing point is available.

Are your cabinets strange sizes?

Your kitchen cupboard door supplier will be able to provide cupboard doors to fit any size cabinets, but you may find it easier to have standard sized cupboards. It will make the ordering process simpler and may cut down on cost. Assuming your new standard carcasses fit your kitchen layout, it will certainly make it easier to find doors and accessories at a later date.

Are you changing your kitchen layout?

You may find that you can reuse some of your kitchen cabinets in your new kitchen layout, but some sizes of cupboards may not fit into your new scheme. In this case you may buy new carcasses to fit into the extra spaces created. This will mean that you will have a mixed range of carcasses and if this is not something you can live with, you will need to replace them all.

Redoing your kitchen is not something you want to do regularly, so if you are taking the time to change your kitchen cupboard doors, make sure you check the carcasses as well. If you want your kitchen to look great inside and out, new cabinets may be the perfect solution for you.

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