Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kitchen Cabinet Quotes

Okay so we think we have a design for the kitchen that we like...now the big question is, how much are these cabinets going to cost???
To that end we've sent out our best design idea to three different cabinet 'shops'.
We sent them these three diagrams, which all of you have seen before....

The bare walls only version.

The closets and appliance list.

Our Best Idea
Then you have to write an essay about what type of people you are and how you use the kitchen....this is what ours looked like.

Background Data:
The ceiling height is 9’ exactly.
We generally prefer the cabinets go all the way to the ceiling.
We like crown molding and light rail molding on our cabs also.
We are not a multiple cook household really. It’s just me cooking with maybe someone else helping prep.
We are not BIG BAKERS but we bake sometimes. So, I don’t need a dedicated baking station but I need somewhere to put a reasonable amount of baking supplies.
The kitchen is in the center of the house so there are no windows or skylights.
We do use the breakfast bar all the time to actually eat at and at parties we put the drinks up there and people can sit there and watch me cook without getting in the way. We don’t have to keep that exact breakfast bar set up but we need something like it.
We’re looking for a kitchen that will look ‘right’ in our Victorian house. Something that will look good now and 40yrs from now. No avocado green or harvest gold please.
My wife likes the furniture look with the feet and what not..but she hates to see exposed hinges…yes I know its contradictory.
In the floor plan that has the cabinets. That is our current fav layout that we’ve come up with but we encourage you to ‘think outside the box’ with your design. The only wall that can be adjusted/removed though is the wall where we inset the fridge.
We need to use the odd shaped pantry closet well. We need somewhere to store our bulk goods and small kitchen appliances.
The smaller broom closet, we are at a loss as to what to do with it.
Hopefully that’s enough info to get you started.
Please email me a PDF of your plans and I promise to study them and get back to you with our comments-changes quickly.

The three places we have chosen to get quotes from are Home Despot for Kraftmaid cabinets, Precision Cabinets & Trim and Crown Point Cabinetry. We believe that cost/quality wise the Kraftmaids will be on the low end, then Precision and then Crown Point.

We've asked them all to start with our design and quote it in stained maple and cherry, no paint, no beating the cabinets with chains.

Let me go through what I know so far about the different options.

Home Despot
Ya, I know, its Home Despot...but Kraftmaid only sells their cabinets through dealers and Home Despot is my closest dealer and they do the design and quote for free! Used to be $50 refundable when you bought cabinets. We've used these cabinets before and found the quality to be good as long as you upgrade to the all plywood construction and the good drawer slides and hinges.
The designer appears more competent than the last one we used. She says that she is one of the last of the 'old guard' she's been working for HD for 12 yrs and when she started you had to go to kitchen design school for two months before they would let you near a customer....she says they dropped that policy a while ago and now they just hire people who supposedly already have the experience...you know how that goes....
So, this is the 'known quantity' option the bench mark that we will judge the other against.
I have an appointment with them on Tues to see what they've come up with.

Precision Cabinets & Trim
Precision Cabinets & Trim is a localish (friggen Brentwood) cabinet company with a full CNC cabinet shop. This means that they can basically build cabinets in any size. When we were going to do the super cool kitchen in Chez 2.0 this was the place that we picked. We are working with the same designer who doesn't appear to be cheezed off that we sold the house instead of buying his cabinets. This place also includes installation with their quote. Actually, I don't think you can get it any other way as they want to control the product from start to finish. This is a philosophy that I like, you have one company to go to for any issues. They are supposed to have a quote to me by Wednesday.

Crownpoint Cabinetry
Crownpoint Cabinetry is similar to Precision as it is a full custom CNC shop. This is the company that advertises in every single home magazine that I read. They say that they are furniture grade cabinets that will last a lifetime. By all rights this should be the high-end super high quality option. They are not local which means I'm going to have to pay to ship their cabinets from the East coast.....that can't be cheap...They also don't do a full design for free....they want 2% of the total cabinet costs...they will do a rough draft estimate and quote for free though...so that is what they are doing for me. I am supposed to have it by this Thursday.

Our plan is to try to get all three places to quote the same kitchen as closely as possible and then pick a winner from there.

Quality Comparison
I don't know enough yet about the exact materials and construction methods of the three places to do an honest comparison. None of them make it easy to know this information, so I'm still working on it.

Some of the qualities that I believe make a good cabinet are.
  1. Solid Wood face frames at least 3/4" thick-joinery method, not sure about.
  2. Cabinet boxes made out of furniture grade plywood. Which I think means at least 7ply and 1/2" sides, bottom, top and back. Not sure on best joinery method here either.
  3. Solid wood drawer boxes with dovetail joints-not sure about the thickness of the drawer bottom.
  4. High quality full extension soft close under mount drawer slides and high quality soft close hinges.
So, did I miss any thing?
Does anybody have any idea about what the best joinery methods are?
Next Up
The Home Despot Quote.....

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