I wrote the blog the other day about our new Cabinet Design Service and I realized there were some things I wanted to talk about in more detail, such as how cabinet makers cut corners to save money and lower their pricing. These methods I plan on talking about reduce the quality of the final product. That's not to say there's anything wrong with getting a lower quality cabinet; I just think it's important to know what you're buying upfront. No one wants a nasty surprise due to unrealistic expectations.
The most obvious sign of a lower quality product is the material the cabinets are made from and their thickness. Prefabricated cabinet boxes imported to the US are becoming more and more popular with customers and cabinet makers. Low prices are the major reason these boxes are In demand. However, the standard thickness of these boxes and doors is roughly 1/2". Doors and drawer fronts made so thinly are highly susceptible to warping and damage. Thinner boxes are also more susceptible to damage and have less support strength after they've been installed. The industry standard for custom cabinet makers is much different in the US; but more and more often, they're bidding against prefabricated cabinetry. Many of them incorporate these mass produced boxes for clients who want them, so this is an area where it's important to be clear on what you want. Letting a bidder know you want prefab cabinetry in the beginning helps you get bids that are accurate. You compare apples to apples and not apples to oranges.
As I mentioned in my last entry, drawer banks are another area where cabinet makers will deflate their bids. There are two types of bidders. The first type looks at the space and attempts to design an aesthetically pleasing layout that is functional and meets the needs of the client. The second will attempt to do the same while simultaneously looking for ways to cut corners. They might make cabinets bigger to decrease the number of boxes, make drawers bigger to decrease the number of drawers or replace drawer banks with shelved cabinets.
Cost is the major motivating factor in building today, and it's important for a cabinet maker to keep costs down while still providing a quality product. However, there are problems with cutting out drawers and making wide cabinet boxes. When a drawer box is made wider to cut back on the number of banks in a room, it increases the weight on the drawer slides. If the slides aren't designed to handle the weight, they will wear out more quickly. Doors that are wider will also be more difficult to open. A way to judge a good width of an upper cabinet is to stand directly in front of the counter as you normally would, reach out and open an upper cabinet door. If the door swings open without having to step back to accommodate it, then it's a good width. Another test is to measure the actual door width with a tape measure. Anywhere up to 24" is an acceptable width, though let me say 24" is kinda pushing it.
Another danger you face with wide doors is the ability of the hinge to support it. Cabinet doors are usually made with 2 1/2" joints. The door's weight combined with the strength of the hinge determines its life. If the opening is between 21" and 24" wide, it's time to start thinking about a two door cabinet. If weight is put on a door that is too wide, the joint can split apart. The door is also likely to wear out quickly. Any stress placed on a hinge that is supporting too much weight will eventually cause it to slack. That includes everyday use.
Using a Cabinet Design Service is a way to avoid some of this cost cutting and making sure you're bids reflect the layout the way you want it. When you sit down with a cabinet designer and create the layout for your home, you have a specific list showing potential bidders exactly what you want pricing for. They know how many drawers, the sizes of cabinet boxes, molding and finish selections... It's the smartest way to get the best price possible without losing any of the quality you desire.
Goodwin Mill And Cabinet offer a Cabinet Design Service and over the next little while, we'll discuss more reasons why this service can help you make an informed decision and get the most quality for the least amount of money. Visit Goodwin Mill And Cabinet on the web today.