Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hello, kitchen cabinets

June 2007: Kitchen, view from entry door

Now: Kitchen, view from entry door

Lesson: Old house kitchen=custom=$$$.

I thought I had been blessed with a larger than average kitchen for an older home at 11 1/2 by 13 feet. But my floor plan was more unusual than I expected.

The south wall bumps out one foot in two locations, as if you could mount a king-size Murphy bed on the wall. To get variety in cabinet sizes, I had to go up in price.

As much as I dig Menards, their kitchen staff was stumped and cobbled together what looked like something from a hideous college rental.

Cabinets Factory Outlet Plus designs on the spot and did a great job quickly at a decent price. However, I got the best price and design from Leah at Consolidated Kitchens and Baths.

The cabinets cost $3,100, about $1,000 more than I initially budgeted for a modest Menards line. What I got in return was good design with a lot of forethought.

There is no extra charge for the design service. During the planning stages, you can take computer sketches home, but you have to put down a deposit to get the plans with detailed measurements (about $300).

Leah works there because she loves to design kitchens. It turns out that she has flipped a few houses of her own. She was both style- and price-conscious.

Little things along the way told me a designer was the way to go. Like accounting for a protruding window sill in a cabinet door's path -- seems silly, but it was something I know I would have missed.

The designer comes to the home to do the final measure, which is a nice touch rather than having some peon do it.
  • Take careful measurements of the floor plan, including ceiling height, with you on your first trip. Let the designer know about any price parameters.
  • At CKF, you consult with a designer then make a followup appointment to see the plans.
  • The odd thing: The store has no prices on anything, so you're kind of floating blind, but be honest if cost is an issue and they will guide you.
  • CKF carries gorgeous stone and Corian countertops, but a tiny choice for laminate countertops if the budget is tight. Cabinet Factory Outlet Plus carries a wide line of laminates.
  • Bargains: Consolidated Kitchens has a bargain room in back -- a great place to shop for a bath vanity. Cabinet Factory Outlet has unfinished cabinets in stock and bargain countertops.

1 comment:

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