Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I recently sat down with Chris Goodwin, the cabinet designer for Goodwin Mill & Cabinet for a chat about a new service they're offering. It's calling the Cabinet Design Service; and here's a little background on what it is, why it's being offered and how it can benefit you.

There are a couple of ways Chris designs a cabinet layout. If he's working directly with a customer, they sit down and design the layout specifically for their home. If he's asked to bid a job from a set of plans, he looks at the floor plan and designs a layout that is functional for that space.

The Cabinet Design Service is exactly what it sounds like. It's a design of all the cabinetry for your home. Everything from Laundry Rooms to bathrooms, Libraries to Kitchens. You work with a designer like Chris to create the cabinet layouts for each area and specify the details like number of drawers, shelving, type of hardware and and finish.

One of the biggest obstacles in bidding is how different cabinet companies bid jobs. Some guys will design a cabinet layout aimed at producing the lowest possible price. This is accomplished by leaving out drawer banks and making single door cabinets that are wide. It's also accomplished by creating a design that uses same size boxes to mass produce a job.

When cabinet makers use single door boxes that are too wide, there's a greater strain on the top hinge of the door. The average door only gives 2 1/2 " at the joint where the hinge rests. Too much weight hanging from that small a center decreases the door life significantly. Where a pair of doors could last the life of the cabinet, (with good care and no accidents), a single wide door will need replacing in three to four years. It's also more difficult to open a wide door. There's also the problem of not having enough usable space. Drawer banks are the most expensive cabinets in a home. Not only are they some of the most used pieces of cabinetry, they are also the first pieces to go when a designer is "trimming the fat" from a layout to cut cost. The final problem is making sure the designer is creating cabinets to fit the space of your house, rather than fitting prefab cabinets into what space is available.

And here's the "WHY IT'S BEING OFFERED" answer. The Cabinet Design Service is a solution because it levels the playing field by comparing prices from apples to apples. For a small design fee, you create your layout and then collect bids that meet your specification. As you submit the design to various cabinet contractors, they won't have the option of deflating their bids by leaving out drawer banks or using oversize doors. They will have to meet your specifications.

Well, the obvious answer is financial. With each company bidding the exact same work, you get to see who really is offering the lowest price. And then there's the unintended benefits. One is you won't get back ten bids with ten different designs to choose from. You've already made that decision. Another is the knowledge you've got a design that fits your life, your taste and ultimately your home.

Of course, Goodwin Mill & Cabinet will want to be bid your job and in the event you choose them to build the cabinets, the design fee is subtracted from the initial deposit. So you get the design work for FREE!

In the end, you get to make an informed decision, minimize wasted time and get the best possible price for your work. What are you waiting for? Come design your cabinets today!

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