Monday, January 26, 2015


Do a Google search for cabinet makers in Southern Utah and you'll get a dozen or so hits.  Websites to visit.  And one of the first things you'll read in every single introduction is a commitment to the highest quality.  Now that can be confusing and disappointing all at the same time.

Obviously, not every cabinet maker is going to use the same materials.  And not every one will treat your job the same as the other guy.  So how can they claim to offer or provide the highest quality when comparatively speaking, their work doesn't measure up?

I've been thinking a lot about that recently and there are a number of factors you have to take into consideration as you compare companies in this industry.

The first is the Standard Quality of the area.  (And this is a big one).

This may or may not come as a surprise to you, but Southern Utah is a unique place.  If you've shopped for a home in Nevada or even Northern Utah you know how different the industry can be.

The language used by the salesman and the language used in a pamphlet may liven you up and make you think you're getting an amazing deal...  But it's a lot like holding silver in one hand and stainless steel in the other.  You can tell the difference in quality when you can compare them.

Many of these big chain builders use a cheaper cabinet they can either mass produce or order in.  When they get the finalized space, they design a cabinet layout using the sizes and shapes available to them.  They design your space to fit their cabinets.

The Quality Standard in Southern Utah is abnormally much higher.  Although there are cabinet makers who offer lower end quality to their customers for whom price is the most important factor, but thanks to the huge amount of custom building and the Parade of Homes...  The standard is a custom design.   Which means, the cabinet makers take your space and design custom cabinetry to fit it.  It also means the buyer has a lot of latitude in the cabinets that actually go in the home.  And a huge amount of say in the look and style of the cabinetry.

By itself, a commitment to quality in Southern Utah, is a commitment to maintain the area standard.

Granted, there are cabinet makers who maintain a commitment to high quality and then don't deliver the goods.  Those kinda guys crop up, hang around for a couple years undercutting everyone else in price...  But eventually, because their work is below standard, they build a bad reputation and eventually fall by the wayside.  That's something you need to watch out for.

And then there is a personal standard that comes into play.  Each cabinet maker develops a style, if you will...  We've talked in the past about ways cabinet makers will make certain adjustments to cabinet layouts in order to lower their bids.  Tricks like eliminating Drawer Banks, or taking a larger cabinet and reducing two doors to one.  These tricks may help make one bid seem better than another, but it also speaks to the character of the cabinet maker himself.

Even though a cabinet maker may use all the right materials, build a custom cabinet and follow the design specifications given to him by the customer, there are still ways he can compromise his product.  He could use inferior hardware or take shortcuts in production to save time and money.  The drawer boxes could be built from inferior quality material compared to the box.  But it won't be noticed in the context of the drawer front and the box itself.

Making a decision...  Choosing a cabinet maker is no simple task.  Especially if you're planning on building your own home as an owner/builder.  

So what else do you look for when you consider a cabinet maker?

One of the best ways to find a cabinet maker you feel confident with is to check out their work.  Ask to visit current jobs and spend some time walking through a newly installed kitchen or bathroom.  Open doors and drawers.  Pay attention to the layout and see how functional it feels to you.  Observe the detail of the design.  Is it vital?  Fresh?  New?  Exciting?

Another way to choose a cabinet shop is their willingness to work with unusual mediums.  Maybe you suggest a less popular, more difficult wood like Oak.  A company who isn't afraid of a challenge will take up a challenge of a different wood species.  

Bring some interesting ideas to the table.  Think of something unusual and ask the designer if it's possible to build that piece.  An innovative company will consider the possibility of doing something interesting and new.

Even though major design magazines might suggest trends in cabinet making and design, we've found over the years design trends in Southern Utah seem to have a life of their own.  Visiting home shows and checking out open houses of new models will give you some idea what's happening locally.  That doesn't mean you should ignore national trends.  Especially if you like them.  But it's a good indicator if a company is staying current with local design trends.

The true test of a cabinet maker in Southern Utah is innovation, style and the ability to incorporate a client's vision to create a truly unique custom cabinetry set.

The quality is something you can expect.  So look for the more interesting aspects of a company to determine their ability to do your job.

Of course, Goodwin Mill And Cabinet, LLC is exactly the kind of company you're looking for.  On this matter, I'm certain.  But don't take my word for it, put us to the test and see how we measure up.

There's no harm in setting up an appointment today.  And no harm in getting a bid on your job.  Make sure you get the latest in style, innovation and technology.  That's just what you get when you choose Goodwin as your cabinet maker!

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