BUYING CUSTOM CABINETRY, MANUFACTURED CABINETRY THROUGH A CONTRACTOR, OR BUYING FROM HOME/BIG BOX STORES- WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES

Custom Cabinetry:Purchasing custom cabinetry is your best option. Many of our clients feel that custom is more expensive.  But it isn’t when you know the difference. With custom cabinetry you are able to choose any door style from so many choices; whereas, the others only offer a limited choice. You won’t have the same door style as your neighbor next door-unless you want that? Then, you are able to choose what type of wood you like, color stain, paint color, moldings & other details, and finish. Many contractors and box stores will try to sell you cabinetry made out of wood that will not hold up in time or may talk you into the other extreme which is more money than you wanted to spend. They may offer soft woods that nick easily and can even warp in time or offer a few selections of stain or paint colors as well. You may also have limited options. But with custom cabinetry you may put in pull out drawers of any kind, drawer glides, have easy-close doors and drawers, etc.  You also can have your cabinetry from box to box -there is no lost space between the cabinet boxes because we build them to fit “your” kitchen. You gain much added space this way. Plus, if for some reason, something isn’t right from the design process, the change can be quickly and easily changed (no waiting to call three people or waiting 3 weeks or more to reorder).  With the custom cabinetry designer, you have the choice to make your kitchen – the way you will love it for years to come! Cabinetry is a large expense, but that is why you need to love how it looks, love how it works and why it needs to last!!!!  If you buy lesser expensive cabinetry, you may be purchasing again in a few years. With custom, you are able to repaint, refinish, etc. when styles may change for a lot less money than purchasing new again.  

Purchasing Cabinetry through a Contractor: This is your second best option. It could be a little bit less expensive than custom. But, here are some things to consider when considering this route. Contractor’s usually buy cabinetry from a specific manufacturer.   However, clients are unaware that manufacturer’s require contractors to sell a specific amount of cabinetry each year.  So the contractor will push you into possibly purchasing something that does not suite your needs or you may not like it that well.  Or the contractor is using a dealer (or middleman) which again costs more.  Some manufacturers will offer less expensive lines (not made durable and will skimp in many ways manufacturing the product) so that contractors do not have to meet such a high quotas. So now you are getting an inferior built cabinet line and do not have options.  Plus, the contractor has to order the cabinetry according to the company’s specifications (sizes of cabinetry), not according to your kitchen or bathroom size. Now, you may end up losing cabinet space because spaces underneath the face frame are left between the cabinets because they have to purchase smaller cabinetry than your space (wall to wall). You are offered fewer choices of doors, colors, finishes, molding’s, etc.   If you have any cabinetry you want to keep, it is highly unlikely you can refinish it to match any new cabinetry. If there is any damage in shipping, or in the design….it can take weeks to get the cabinetry pieces you need because they are considered a special order. This may cause issues with the subcontractors who have set aside the specific dates to come on your project and now have to delay. Lastly, these contractors are “required” to have a showroom in order to sell for these cabinet companies, which also adds to the cost of your contract because of the higher overhead.

Box Stores, IKEA, etc.:This could be your least expensive option, but you have to look at the full picture.  You need to understand the whole process.   First of all, these type of stores will charge a fee for a design and it is usually about the same as a Design/Remodel company such as Saunders Construction Co. (do not always think the large chains charge less).   The box stores will design the project at the store or make you do it on a computer (not in your own home). Plus, I love how they make you figure out a design of a kitchen (or bath)  when you may have no special training or know how to design a space.  Then after taking up all your time in the store getting you to sign a contract, they will send out someone to measure (now they have taken up your time on two occasions, instead of just one).   You have to pick from their displays which have limited choices, and be careful….their displays say that they can do your whole kitchen for $5000.00!   We reviewed the layouts in a few stores.   In one store we saw, there were no upper cabinets at all.  It just had some simple shelving.  We are able to do shelving as well which definitely cuts down the cost of upper cabinetry.  Then in another kitchen it had mostly appliances.  There are no banks of drawers and no pantries (which are a very expensive – extra!)   Plus, some of the designs do not include any moldings, kicks, glides, pull outs, etc. IT’S ALL EXTRA.  Yes, they usually have soft close, but it should be a standard today.   Then, during installation….the installers have no idea what was discussed during the design process because they are only installers, not the designer and builder. If you want to add a plug that you forgot during the design process …..the installers have to call and get approval.   This alone, may delay your project for several days, and you may get a huge overcharge or denied the change altogether.   Many times, the installers will not even discuss any aspects of the project with you. They are only there to install.

Remember, with a design-build contractor like Saunders Construction Co. who builds their own custom cabinetry…..we are here to help you design and build your kitchen,  bath or office.  We offer honest advice to help you with your decisions on the different wood options, paint or stain options, cabinet and hardware design options etc. to help best fit your needs and desires.  We also schedule counter top fabricators and tile contractors for your project.  These contractors have worked with us for many years and can be fully trusted as well.

Saunders Construction Co. is there from the design process, building process, and all the way through the installation process.  We are with you every step of the way making sure your project is done accurately and efficiently.  I guarantee, you will absolutely love your new project and it will be built to last.

Written by Leslie Saunders of Saunders Construction Co.

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