One of those things like vinyl siding or replacement windows or carpet cleaning that gets sold in those strange mailers that you get with the Have You Seen Me? things on the other side of the sheet. Or sometimes it gets sold in the mall at one of those little carts. Or Sears seems to be pretty thick into it too.

The basic idea is this: Your kitchen cabinets are ugly. Say, they're this 1950s or 1960s garish thing going, but the frames and interiors are actually in good shape, or maybe they're custom. Instead of ripping everything out and putting in new cabinets, you hire these refacers, who give you new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, and put veneer on all the rails and exposed surfaces of the cabinets themselves. This takes less time and money, supposedly, than redoing the entire kitchen.

However, when we looked into it, for what it would have cost for cabinet refacing alone, we redid the whole kitchen--new cabinets, floor, counter, and appliances. Of course, we did the work ourselves, which probably helped. The thing was our old cabinets sucked and needed replacing--not that cabinet refacer guy told us that.

I imagine there are times when refacing would be the right way to go. I'd think though, once you did it, you'd probably want a new counter and floor, and boy, those appliances now look dingy . . .

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