By Jerry L’Ecuyer & Frank Alvarez
Dear Maintenance Men:
I am starting my planning for a major kitchen cabinet remodeling project in my rental units. However, I am having a difficult time making material and design decisions. What recommendations can you give?
When doing a kitchen or bath material selection, cohesive and functional design is important. Kitchen and bath rehabs are some of the most expensive work you can do in an apartment unit and proper planning is a must. In order to appeal to a larger segment of the population, try to keep the interior color scheme to neutral earth tones. Cabinetry quality varies greatly. Don’t let the cabinet fronts fool you. Manufactures designed their cabinets to look good at first glance. Keep in mind, being in a rental environment, the cabinets also need to hold up to abuse. Look at the actual construction of the cabinet box or frame. Keep in mind; you do not need to use custom cabinets to fit your existing layout. The use of prefabricated modular cabinetry can greatly reduce the time and cost to have a finished kitchen or bathroom. Using real wood cabinet fronts with 3/8” plywood sides is essential for durability. The drawer fronts and sides should be connected with a dovetail or other positive lock construction. Drawers that are held together by nails or cabinets built with particle board will not hold up to tenant abuse.
On a side note; if you are gutting the kitchen or bathroom, use this time to relocate and add more electrical outlets and under cabinet lighting.