Monday, August 24, 2009

How to get an "Apples for Apples" Cabinet Quote

How do you know you are getting an equal comparison quote from your cabinetmaker.  Many cabinet makers use different materials, different grades in material, and various guides and hinges, plus or minus a few other things it takes to make up an accurate estimate.  I am going to give you a list of all the items you will need in order to get an accurate quote from a cabinet maker. With this list you will make sure when you are pricing your cabinets that the quotes are indeed comparable. 

1.  Firstly, decide the wood species you want to use.  Make sure the cabinetmaker is using a high grade of lumber and plywood.

2.  Secondly, find out what the cabinet boxes are made out of.  Are they made with maple melamine?  Is the grade on the melamine high?  These things make a difference, because then you can find out if the materials your cabinetmaker is using are reliable. 

3.  This may sound like a dumb question but I am going to tell you to ask it.  Do the cabinets have backs?  If the cabinet maker makes the cabinets with out backs RUN don't walk in the other direction.

4.  Fourthly, what type of hardware does the cabinet maker use?  What brand name is his pitching.  Take his expertise, because the hardware he works with the best is what he will recommend.  With hardware I mean, hinges for the doors and guides for the drawers.  I would also make sure the guides are full exstention because then you can have full access to everything in your drawer.  Also make sure you have fully adjustable hinges on your doors.  They all need to be able to adjust up, down, and side to side. 

5.  What type of door style do you like?  Make sure you pick one out because this could mean the cabinet maker is guessing what type of door style you want and that can cost you money.  Always remember, the door is the most expensive part of the cabinet. 

6.  Are the cabinets finished by your cabinetmaker?  Is that included in the bid or is it separate?  Make sure of that before your final decision.  When your cabinets are finished in the shop you don't have to deal with a painter spraying laquer in your home.  A lot of cabinetmakers have cabinet finishers outsource their work so make sure you have contact with the finisher.  Is it the color you want?  Make sure you get a sample.  Also, find out how many coats of stain they put on your cabinets and if they use a sealer on the top coat. 

Well I hope I didn't overwhelm you, but if you need an accurate estimate, these are the questions to ask each of the cabinetmakers that quote your job. 

April Morse-The girlfriend on your side



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