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Self-Closing Kitchen Drawers: Worth the Investment?


Oct 29, 2020 by Barbara Zito
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There's no doubt an updated kitchen will be a hit with homebuyers. But before you blow your renovation budget on high-end appliances, quartz countertops, and maybe even a walk-in pantry, sometimes it's the smallest details that can attract "oohs" and "ahs."

One example is self-closing kitchen drawers. Due to their popularity, they're an available option with many cabinets these days, from high-end models to more economical versions. Here's why you'll want to consider including these "magic" drawers in your kitchen renovation.

How do self-closing drawers work?

It doesn't take superhuman strength to fully close a kitchen drawer -- even that overflowing junk drawer. But for some reason, it's super easy to leave drawers slightly open. Maybe it's sheer laziness, or maybe it's being too careful not to slam a drawer on inquisitive little hands. But to the discerning homeowner, partially opened drawers can make the kitchen seem untidy.

Self-closing drawers solve this issue. With a gentle push, you can send the drawer back on its hinges, which will take the drawer back to its fully closed position automatically.

It's not magic; just a pair of special metal slides that can be installed on just about any drawer -- yes, you can retrofit existing ones -- to make it self-closing. Is it necessary? No, but it's certainly a cool feature to have.

Self-close vs. soft-close drawers

You may hear "self-close" used interchangeably with "soft-close," but there's a difference. Soft-close -- just as the name says -- closes softly when the drawer is pushed back on the slide. The self-closing drawer, on the other hand, shuts with more conviction. It glides back on the slide, then shuts quickly and firmly. It's not exactly a slam, but it's definitely not the whisper you'll get with the soft close. And If you've got little ones who like peeking inside kitchen drawers, you'll likely opt for the soft-close slides instead to avoid tears.

How much do self-closing drawers cost?

The self-closing or soft-closing hardware itself isn't too expensive. If you were to DIY existing cabinets in a small kitchen, a quick browse on Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) shows if you buy them by the pack, you can likely transform an entire small kitchen for under $100.

However, if you're doing a renovation with custom cabinetry, it's more about the cost of the high-end materials and labor. You might not even have a choice in the matter -- self-close or soft-close drawers come standard at a certain price point. Only the lowest-end cabinet models will typically come with the regular-close drawers.

Value

A kitchen renovation adds big value to a home. According to Remodeling's 2018 Cost vs. Value Report, investors can expect a 59% ROI for a major midrange kitchen remodel. Rather than focus on how drawers close, concentrate on how roomy they are and where they're located in the kitchen. It's likely a moot point anyway -- even with mid-priced cabinets, you'll likely have this small yet desirable detail included.

The closing argument on self-closing drawers

Self-closing kitchen drawers might make a fun demonstration at an open house, but they won't make or break a property sale. It's more about the premium surfaces and appliances that will truly upgrade a kitchen in the eyes of homebuyers.

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. bz829 has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.