Replace or reface? That is the question. It’s only a matter of time before most homeowners take a good hard look at an outdated kitchen and dream up a dramatic change.

Remodeling a kitchen is a smart way to boost the function, appearance and value of your home, while remaining eco-conscious. Perhaps the single most defining factor of a successful kitchen remodel is beautiful new cabinetry.

But at nearly 50 percent of most total kitchen renovation budgets, replacing your old cabinets is no cheap fix. If you want to save time, money and the environment, cabinet refacing might be the answer.

What is cabinet refacing?

Rather than gut your kitchen and install new cabinets, you can simply “reface” the cabinets by replacing the doors, drawer fronts and molding. You keep your existing framework, which means there is nothing to rip out and replace.

Refacing requires no permits or construction and saves about half the cost of new custom cabinetry. Best of all: refacing the cabinet doors makes 80 percent of what people see in your kitchen look brand new.

Reasons to reface rather than replace.

Cabinet refacing enables you to change the style, color, wood type and even the historical era of your kitchen cabinetry. Consider it a facelift, a mini-makeover, a fresh, clean new look — all at a much lower cost. Refacing breathes new life into your kitchen, improving the aesthetics without changing the nuts and bolts.

The options are endless. Switch from light, bright oak to the regal dark of cherry wood — or the other way around — and transform an outdated kitchen into a contemporary haven. Get the look of a complete renovation within days and without the hassle, cost, mess and inconvenience of a full remodel.

Good for the environment.

Cabinet refacing is perhaps the most affordable and environmentally-friendly way to add serious dollar value to your kitchen. Make no mistake: refacing leaves a huge impact on your home and the planet.

By recycling and reusing, cabinet refacing cuts down on the costs of materials and transportation. The process keeps your perfectly good cabinets out of the landfill. Compared to replacing, cabinet refacing uses fewer resources and conserves one of your most precious resources— money.

Good for your wallet.

Cabinet refacing creates the “new kitchen” look without the new kitchen price tag. You get the kitchen of your dreams at a fraction of the cost. More than just save you money, cabinet refacing cuts down on time, materials and labor.

Good for your peace of mind.

Choose refacing for a speedier remodel without the long, invasive kitchen renovation process. Ideal for its convenience, refacing requires no removal of appliances and keeps your kitchen functional during the installation. More than just time, refacing saves you in labor and headaches.

Green cabinet refacing ideas to consider.

Want the look of a complete kitchen renovation within days and without the hassle, cost, mess and inconvenience of a full remodel? Consider adding some finishing touches. Add new pulls, knobs and hardware to complete the green kitchen facelift you desire.

Know when to replace.

One thing to keep in mind: always consider the “bones” of your current kitchen cabinets. Inspect your cabinets for signs of water damage, excessive wear and tear or faulty construction. For cabinets low in quality, replacing the entire piece may make more sense. Consult with NDA Kitchens, your local kitchen remodeling expert, for help making the decision.