Tag Archives: painted cabinets

The Tailored Kitchen

Most people think that kitchen cabinets are expensive. Though it is true in a lot of ways, there are other approaches to make it more affordable. But what really makes a kitchen cost more than others? Here are some pointers to consider and to discuss with your designer the best way to minimize the cost but still add value to your kitchen.

  1. Quality – There are 2 areas to look out for:   a}  Cabinet box construction and  b} Drawer box construction. Manufacturers offer different grades in building the boxes. I always recommend using ½” to ¾” thick plywood box with a wood print melamine on the inside. This is typically 10% more than particle board boxes because it holds up better, during installation and with use over time.  When choosing a type of drawer construction, first understand what your needs are. If your kitchen has 20 drawers, it can take a huge impact on cost. I always use ½” – ¾” thk solid wood dovetailed joint with under mount full extension guides and soft close mechanism.  Majority of manufacturers offer this as a standard but you may choose to downgrade to stapled plywood box or laminate box for a more cost efficient approach.
  2. Door Style – Cabinet doors are built in 3 styles: recessed, raised and slab. Recessed panels are generally used on transitional and contemporary kitchens while raised panels are widely used on traditional kitchens. The more detailed, the pricier it can get. The most cost efficient way to do a kitchen is a recessed panel, also known as a shaker door. This style is very versatile. It can be used on any style kitchen – traditional, contemporary or transitional.  Slab drawers are typically used in contemporary or modern kitchen.  It gives a clean and sleek look.  It also offers the application of exotic veneers to create an organic modern feel.
  3. Finish – Stain vs Paint. Finishes dictate the look of your kitchen. It can also lend a huge impact on the cost. Stain finishes are typically included in the cabinet cost. However once you add glazing to highlight details on the door, or adding rub-thru and distressing to give it an antique look, price can go up from 15% (glazing) to 30% (distressing) of the base price. Paint is a multi-step application and is generally an upcharge. White, beige and soft greys have been dominating the market for the past 4 years and they are here to stay. If you are planning to keep with the trend, prepare to pay 10% more for paint finishes.
  4. Accessories – Internal conveniences are best to consider at the early stage of planning but it is important to understand that there are other accessories like tray dividers, cutlery dividers and spice shelves that you can purchase from a big box stores later in the process. One of the most important accessories I always include is roll out trays. Just like drawers, roll out trays offer ease of access and allows for flexibility in organizing. This is something that is custom fitted into your cabinets and best to include with your purchase.
  5. Embellishments – The little details set your kitchen apart from the cookie-cutter. But adding accent moldings, appliance panels and custom carvings are often the tipping point of the scale. These add-ons have a tremendous impact on the cost. With embellishments, you can really get that French country look that you’ve been dreaming of. Without these, it can look plain boring and uninteresting. So you need to have an inner conversation on how far you really want to go with your kitchen.
  6. Delivery – Now that you have spent thousands of dollars for your cabinets, it is very important to get your cabinets in good order, without any scratches or damages. Most cabinet dealers hire a third-party logistics for delivery.   It can cost from $250 – $600, sometimes more for difficult access like stairs, elevators etc. A great way to keep the funds in your pocket is to ask your dealer to have the manufacturer to “home deliver” the goods to you.  The average cost for home delivery is $150 and mostly offered by out-of-state manufacturers. The downside to home delivery is it may not be available in your area where semi trucks are prohibited. You also need to stand by your phone to confirm that you can accept delivery at a certain time window. Home deliveries are often “curb side”, so be prepared to have a furniture dolly in hand.

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