By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Shopping for a medicine cabinet has risen to new heights, with choices that rival fine cabinetry. From its humble beginning as a basic metal utility cabinet to store medicine, today's cabinets are finely constructed and built with convenient features. A favorite of ours is one with a mirror on the back wall of the cabinet and another mirror inside the door for expanded visibility. Nice features that assure quality are sturdy and easy-to-adjust 1/4-inch shelves and a rubber door bumper surround that softens the sound of closing. You'll find two types of cabinets, those designed to be wall-mounted or on the surface of the wall which are fastened to the wall with drywall screws. Cabinets that are recessed into the wall are fastened to wall studs so they are flush with the wall.
DIY Hassle Alert
Choose a unit large enough to conceal any holes left after removing the old unit. If you're replacing a recessed cabinet, choose one that will fit in the existing wall cavity or enlarge the opening to accommodate a larger size cabinet.
To remove an old cabinet and replace it with a good quality new unit, a carpenter will charge $483, which includes the labor and material. You can buy the unit for $295 and install it, pocketing a 38 percent saving. Protect the sink and faucet and surrounding area with a drop cloth so you don't damage them while you're working, and have basic carpentry tools on hand to complete the job.
Be inspired by Pinterest ideas about Medicine Cabinets.
The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to replace a medicine cabinet with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Cost updated 2018
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.