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What Should I Know About Cabinets?

Monday, July 6th, 2020 by Susan Raisanen


At our monthly Remodeling seminars, people are always surprised to learn that by just changing the door style of a cabinet and everything else staying the same, the price of cabinetry can vary into the tens of thousands of dollars! Cabinetry features, function, quality, and style all affect the pricing, and our goal is to help guide you to what it is that is important to you.

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The kitchen and bathroom are two of the most active areas of your home. Cabinets are being opened and closed many times a day, and end up getting a lot of use, and so it is really important that you know exactly what you're getting before you make the final decision. This is intended to give you questions to ask yourself and/or your designer when picking out a cabinet that is good for you.

  • What's your budget? This will determine whether you get stock cabinets (from Home Depot, Lowe's, Ikea, or elsewhere), semi-custom cabinetry or custom cabinetry.
  • What's your timeline? Stock cabinets are usually readily available. Semi-custom cabinets usually have a 6 to 8 week ordering period, and sometimes even longer. Custom cabinetry is usually for those who have a much longer timeline.
  • What type of wood and color are you wanting? Painted or stained?
  • What door style do you want? Will they all be the same, or will there be any glass or other materials?
  • Will you be using hardware, cabinet pulls, and knobs? Color and style?
  • Which cabinets currently work well for you?
  • Which particular cabinets do you dislike, and why?
  • Will there be any person using them that has known disabilities or limited mobility?
  • Do you want the cabinet style to match the rest of the house and/or the other cabinetry in another room?
  • What are the sizes of your appliances? How deep are the appliances compared to the cabinetry?
  • Are there any known disabilities that we need to pay attention to?
  • What is the size of your sink? 
  • Will you be keeping the same layout as you have now, or will the layout change?
  • How high do you want the cabinets to reach toward the ceiling? Will it go to the ceiling, or will you put a top trim piece?
  • Do you have a walk-in pantry, or will you need pantry cabinets?
  • Will your microwave and/or other appliances be built into a lower cabinet, upper cabinet or placed on the counter?
  • Where will the vents be?
  • Where will the outlets be? 
  • What kind of storage are you looking for each cabinet? Will you be wanting cabinets with organizers built-in?
  • What kinds of drawers do you need? How heavy will the load be in each?
  • Will you be wanting under cabinet lighting? 
  • Where is your work area? Where do you need better overhead lights?
  • How many people are typically in the kitchen at any given time?
  • Do you need any dropped (lower level) counter space?
  • What type of hood do you prefer?  Wood, stainless steel, etc...
  • Do you eat in your kitchen?
  • Do you need cabinet space for trash/recycling?

When your designer is asking you all kinds of questions, it is for a good reason. They are there to help you get what you need and want, and what will serve your purposes best. Before having a designer out to your home, we suggest you prioritize your list of Wants and Needs. 

To browse through a cabinet comparison guide, click here. 

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Related Categories: Kitchen ideas, Cabinets, Bathroom Design

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