Mary Saunder disliked the cabinets in her kitchen from the moment she moved into her Bowie, Maryland, home. "They were metal, the color of bronze," Saunder says, "but my husband's motto was 'If it ain't broke don't fix it.'" When her husband passed away last February, Mary decided it was time to act. "I couldn't stand it any more," she says. But rather than spend the $25,000 or $30,000 redoing the kitchen with new cabinets would have cost her, she settled on a simpler, cheaper and far less intrusive solution. Motivated by a newspaper ad for Sears' kitchen-cabinet-refacing service, she scheduled an appointment and signed up. After two visits to take measurements and show her the new finish and hardware options she could choose from, Sears moved in. Two days and 29 cabinets later, Mary's kitchen was transformed. "I'm 100 percent satisfied," she says. Total cost: $9,100. Mary Saunder is fairly typical of thousands of U.S. homeowners who make the decision each year to reface rather than replace their cabinets. "The truth is," says Gerald Baldner, founder and president of Kitchen Solvers, a refacing franchising firm in La Crosse, Wisconsin, "some of the cabinets built 20 and 30 years ago are more solidly constructed than most modular, prebuilt cabinets today. So when it's time to redo the kitchen, it often doesn't make sense to start from scratch."