I have a customer who needs some cabinets resized. These are older factory cabinets, made from particleboard. I tried to talk him into new cabinets, but he is stuck on these pieces of crap for some reason. Is there a way to take apart the doors without busting them up too bad? I've got to shrink them up by 2 inches.
From contributor A:
I realize that this doesn't answer your question directly, but I would spend more time helping them to understand that rebuilding cabinets is usually just as expensive as making new ones. And this is not just a sales pitch. When you consider that your shop is set up for making cabinets, and you are most productive in your shop, it makes little sense to spend a bunch of time in the field without the benefit of your shop. If you are a one man shop, you need to be charging as much for field work as shop time. Your overhead continues no matter where you are. When I run into situations like this, I am quite frank with them and tell them that it would be easier to replace than to re-fit, and the price reflects that.
As far as taking apart the doors, be careful. What happens if you break them? Who is responsible, and are you charging for this liability? Again, when you consider all the time and energy, it may be easier to make new.
Then, unless they are only clear-coated, you will need to get the stain matched, blend in the raw parts to match the rest of the door, and re-spray it to a uniform finish, hopefully without getting fisheye or adhesion problems from whatever products they have used to clean them over the years. Then you need to make sure the sheen is the same as the sheen of the existing cabinets or they will stick out like a sore thumb even if everything else is dead on. I would tell them they either need to reface the kitchen, replace the kitchen, or have the cabinets painted when you are done with the refab job.