It’s an old saying, and one that still holds true. In today’s faster and cheaper world, a lot of the most important decisions are based solely on price and how fast we can get it. Sometimes faster and cheaper is just that. When you’re comparing remote controls, you might stand there for 20 minutes looking at all of the options before you decide. You pride yourself on finding the most bang for your buck, and move on. Maybe later you realize that you should have taken a little more time, and bought that one that was $5 more. We all do it, and usually end up buying twice. Value and lowest price aren’t the same thing.
Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling your existing home, if you’re like most people, you have done your homework. You’ve looked at all the latest websites, schemed and dreamed, and come armed with a big book of ideas and plans. Taking all of those pictures and convenience hardware options and integrating them into your exact space isn’t easy.
Factors to consider when choosing a custom cabinet maker:
Customer Service – Customer service is probably one of the most important. If you’re waiting two weeks for a bid from one company, and another has already met you, provided samples and designs, and accurate pricing, then you shouldn’t keep waiting. The same way you’re waiting for a bid is how you’ll be waiting 6 weeks late on your cabinets, and then waiting again for them to come and do their punchwork if you go with waiting. There is a serve in customer service. Find someone that wants your business, takes care of your needs and questions quickly and efficiently. How you are treated is something to never overlook for the potential “savings”.
Quality – What your cabinets are made out of and how they’re put together is important. Do you save $1,000 bucks and live with puttied nail holes that don’t match scattered across the face of your $15,000 dream kitchen? Did you consider asking how they attached their face frames? Most people don’t. Are you painting your cabinets? Are you being quoted “Paint Grade” by one company and “Paint Grade Maple” by another? Most people don’t know that what’s specified as “Paint Grade” is usually a combination of wood species and man-made pressed board that could never take paint evenly. “Paint Grade Maple” is just that, solid white maple. The nebulous combination of “Paint Grade” might save you a little money up front, but what are you going to have to live with? You’ve put so much time and thought in your dream kitchen, would you want to pinch pennies in quality?
Finish – The most beautiful cabinets in the world can still be ruined by a poor finish, and the ugliest can be made beautiful by a good finish. The finish is really what you see when you look at cabinets to be honest. Are you really comparing the same things when you look at pre-finished and job-finished? The guys that painted your walls might be cheap to throw some stain or paint on your cabinets, but what’s that going to look like in your home that you’ve worked so hard for? Wouldn’t you rather your project be finished in a dust-free controlled environment by experience professionals using state of the art processes? You might save $500 having those painters “stain and finish” your cabinets, but who’s going to pay them to put them all back together when they’re through? How many options and samples do you think the wall painters will have for your unique finish? What is the finished product going to look like when you’re through, and isn’t it worth $500 to be happy with the finish?
Installation – Getting your new dream kitchen installed properly is probably the most crucial step. You’ve approved your designs and finishes and can’t wait to see what it all is going to REALLY look like. Are the same people that designed and built your cabinets installing them? Some cabinet companies “sub out” their installs to other individuals that you’ve never met and have never seen your cabinets before the morning they arrive at your home. Are you comparing a sub-out install to an employee install? Will your project manager be there to oversee the crew? Will the installers even speak your language? It might be a wash price wise, but you can bet that if your cabinet price has installation as a separate line item, your cabinet install is being subbed-out to the lowest bidder. Having the people that know your cabinets inside and out install them not only saves you time, it produces a better end result. Isn’t that what you’re looking for?