alternative to ikea for budget cabinets

ardcpJanuary 1, 2014

although i love the idea of ikea, the nearest one is 3 hours away. my husband and i don't have the time to drive there and back with 2 kids nor do i have the patience or knowledge to assemble cabinets. the idea of ikea appeals to me only because it is a cabinet that won't fall apart in a couple of years at a rock bottom price.
what others brands should i be looking at for decent(not fancy) cabinets at a budget price point. my house is a very moderate house in an area where even $500,000 house don't have kitchens as nice as the most budget minded gw have put in so i really cant go overboard as it is my plan to sell in the next 5-10 years.
i have a l shaped kitchen with 20 cabinets right now. of course, i want drawers on the bottom which increases cost but no cabinet over the refrigerator(I've been told that is pricey) and no glass in any uppers. i have a generic range with micro over and plan to keep it that way. the only thing i would like to move is flip the dishwasher from one side of the sink to the other for flow.
all ideas much appreciated.

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It seems like a few cabinet lines have been putting out less expensive lines - maybe to compete with IKEA? Kompy just posted about Shiloh's version ASPECT and a very helpful price comparison to IKEA.

We used Waypoint which is a less expensive division of American Woodmark. Our cabinets were about 40% more expensive than IKEA but about 40-50% less than other lines we priced (Bertch, Crystal, custom and another I can't remember).

I designed my layout on the IKEA planner and then ended up pricing out a couple other companies. We've only had our cabinets for a few months so I can't speak to the durability yet. We do like that they are made in the USA and have a warranty comparable to other lines.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kompy's thread

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 1:34PM
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i did see kompys thread and requested dealer info but no response yet so they may not be in my area.
where did you order your waypoint from? i liked the look of american woodmark at HD but was scared by bad reviews of box stores in general. i think lowes has a version as well. do they look and feel decent after install? i have 15 year old builder grade aristocraft cabs that are now falling apart but have sufficed since we built the house. i am not looked for custom cabinets, just sufficiently sturdy boxes with drawers.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 2:16PM
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We are going with Barker Cabinets. They are RTA cabinets so if you are dead set against that you can stop reading now, lol. We are on a budget but I wanted to get the best quality cabinetry I could get for that budget. Barker make a full plywood cabinet, solid doors...really high quality. They are an all American made product including all the plywood, solid wood and hardware. The assembly videos look super simple. For our small-ish kitchen, 15x11 with a 36 inch wide, floor to ceiling pantry, 42-inch uppers (14 inches deep), over the fridge cabinet, all drawers on the bottom except a trash cabinet, a farm sink base and lazy Susan's in two corners along with all the end panels, the crown, toe kicks, fillers, light rail, everything needed, in a natural cherry it was right around $11,000.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 2:21PM
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So far so good, but it's only been about 7 months. We got them through a local KD. All of our cabinets, crown, scribe, filler, etc was around 12K. Plywood, dovetail, soft close painted maple. We didn't do any expensive glass front or too many fancy cabs but we have a lot of them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Threegraces' reveal

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 4:52PM
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Medallion Silverline seems to be very reasonably priced

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 5:08PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Aristokraft these days is better than the Aristokraft of old and since what you have stood 15 years, the newer stuff could last longer.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 5:31PM
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You know, this idea that you can't put in a nice kitchen in your area because you want to sell in 5-10 years just doesn't make sense to me. Yes, if you spend a lot and want to recoup it all, that's one thing. But if you don't plan to overprice your house, a nicer kitchen will distinguish your house and make it easier to sell. And it you're going to be there for 5-10 years, then you'll enjoy it for 5 to 10 years.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 6:21PM
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You posted that "Kompy just posted about Shiloh's version ASPECT and a very helpful price comparison to IKEA." I am now wondering what the Aspect cabinet price would be. I got prices on Shiloh's Inset but I will have stiles in each door unless I do more cabinets and will then really increase the price so now I am back to thinking about Full Overlay Frameless Cabinets again. I hope there is a display soon of this cabinet so I can decide what I want. Thank your for this tread!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 8:17PM
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We put in kraftmaid cabinets from lowes. With sales and promos they were not really that much more than ikea. We went with a stained maple full overlay shaker style. They had a few door choices that would have been even less expensive. You could also go 3/4 overlay to save. I like that kraftmaid is all full extension and soft close. So far I'm very happy with them.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 8:55PM
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Was surprised to find greatest price difference was often within cabinet companies vs between then. Some have 15+ different price categories, depending on the wood, door style & finish.

Can easily save more than 50% by going with lowest category door, keeping same level of box construction.

For example, I just got Shiloh inset & Fieldstone cabinet quotes - for less than an Aristokraft cabinet quote.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 11:48PM
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I realize you're looking for cabinet advice, not layout, but I don't know anything useful about cabinets and one thing jumped out at me in your layout because I have nearly the same one.

Is your sketch the old or new? You said you were switching your dishwasher which is what we did, but we moved it from the left side of the sink to the right. With the DW on the left side whenever it was open it blocked access to almost every cabinet you would want to store dishes in. I hated it and moving the DW to the right of the sink was one of our non-negotiables.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 8:16AM
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As people noted above, a large amount of variation will come just within a cabinet line, depending on how many features you select. LiveWireOak did a great illustration how a basic pair of cabinets can quadruple in price. Of course, the brand of cabinet will make a difference, but also your choice of dealers (and their markup) and any current promotions from the manufacturer. Local smaller dealers can be very competitive with the big boxes.

There is another thread that does a basic comparison of white shaker cabinet quotes for the same configuration. I'll see if I can find it.

BTW, my old American Woodmark cabinets did not last. The first drawer failed (due to poor hinge design) in two years of light use. It was replaced under warranty but other things did begin to fail after the warranty expired.

Here is a link that might be useful: LWO Cabinet Example

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 11:34AM
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and here's Kompy's old thread on Ikea Akurum vs. others for white painted shaker. (type of finish can alter these comparisons)

Scroll down to Jakuval's post on: Sun, May 13, 12 at 17:55

Here is a link that might be useful: white shaker comparison

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 11:52AM
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cevamal - i have the dw to the left of the sink now and hate it! yes it blocks the lazy susan and the oven plus with the dishwasher door down, it leaves a small space to squeeze in to unload dishes for cabs above to the left. we debated about putting a peninsula in but i don't have room for a peninsula and switching the dw so switching dw wins. if your layout is like mine, do you have any other tips? i want to keep the layout close to same for cost and it works( mostly) i want to elongate the sink counter by 12" so it stops just before the slider, elongate cabs on the opposite frig wall and do cabs to ceiling for storage. any suggestions?

chrissyb2411- you were happy with your lowes experience? i think kraftmaid could be an option if i choose a lower priced door style and lowes is very easy to work with although the kd there pushes schuler which is beautiful but a little over what i want to spend

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 12:23PM
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I have shenandoah from Lowes. American Woodmarks cousin. We got about 8 different estimates and found shenandoah gave us the value we were looking for. Very happy one year later.

We went in with the exact already done. KD at lowes was very helpful with other stuff. We installed ourselves.

In a rental we put in off the shelf cabinets from lowes and they have held up very well.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 1:49PM
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debrak2008 - glad to know you are happy with them! and you had no issues with going through lowes? our lowes kd is nice but pushes schuler hard so i never got a quote for shenendoah. how are the drawer glides? i want lots of drawers so the sturdiness of the glides is key.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 2:44PM
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@ ardcp - Just FYI, Schuler is Elkay - Medallion, which I found priced best at Menards.

Maybe get a quote @ Menards and ask the Lowes KD to beat it? :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: schuler - medallion - elkay

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 2:53PM
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They all have their favorite brands I was told. If that KD won't quote shenadoah just ask for someone else. I went in a few years ago and met with one KD who pushed diamond. When I went back I decided to use a different KD. The other one saw me but who cares. I wanted a no nonsence person and that was what I got. Hang around the dept. when they are busy and eavesdrop.

One thing I am thankful for was that the KD suggested he price out cherry instead of maple with a glaze. It was much cheaper and more of the color we wanted. He knew this was all diy and offered suggestions like not to buy the shenadoah beadboard for the sides of the island cabinet but to buy it in the lumber department and paint it black. Stuff like that.

The drawers are fine. In my 3 drawer 36" cabinet I have one drawer with a 12 person dish set. 12 plates, bowls, etc. They are corelle so not too heavy but still there is a lot in that drawer. Another drawer has heavy casserole dishes. All my bases are drawer except for a flat pan cabinet, the sink, and the corner. I did not get the lazy susan as I just don't like them. The lazy susan would have been pricy but I think they are in most cabinet lines.

We do not baby are cabinets and they have been fine.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 3:00PM
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Another option with the HD, Lowes, Menards lines is to be sure that they are pricing them with the budget options. I had gotten quote from another local store (same line as Lowes) but once I asked him to price it with MDF sides, a simpler crown, simpler trim, no lazy susan -- the price was $2000 less.
But, it was still even less to have them built and I got pull out shelves in the pantry, more cabinet space (due to frameless construction), all bottom drawers and a spice pull out to boot.

Will you really be saving so much time shopping around than if you just did the preliminary work on the Ikea website, then took the day to go there to order? Plus, you can feed the family cheaply in their cafeteria.
But, you did say that you don't want to assemble them. Never mind!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 3:22PM
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mdln- unfortunately we don't have menards here. i was thinking of going to a kitchen place that sells medallion to see if it prices any lower than schuler.
debrak2008- your kd sounds awesome! i could try another lowes to see if there is one more like yours. so for you the cherry was less than the maple? that makes no sense to me but how awesome for you. we originally wanted cherry but decided it was too pricey so i will check that out in the shenendoah line.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 3:35PM
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If you want a budget line that's above Aristokraft, but lower than a mid grade line like Kraftmaid or Diamond, check out Kemper Echo (Same as Diamond Vibe). It takes the most popular door styles from the Kemper line and downgrades the construction a bit and keeps the options to a minimum. That streamlining can make the price a lot less if you don't start adding options back into the design. It's perfectly sturdy and passes all KCMA tests.

This is Echo in cherry.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 4:03PM
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thanks livewireoak! that is a gorgeous display.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 4:09PM
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The issue was the the darkest maple was lighter than what we wanted. Adding a glaze made it look a little darker. I casually mentioned this to the KD (that we really wanted a darker stain) he immediately had me look at the cherry.

Basically "extras" are pricey. Glaze is an extra.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 4:17PM
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ardcp: glad to hear it! I figured I was looking at an "after" sketch but we hated the original DW location so much that I had to say something JIC!

We took out walls and put in an island so I don't know that I'll have anything to add. Here's my blog, though, with before and during pics in case it helps. If the soapstone EVER GETS HERE (ordered a month ago yesterday) then eventually I'll have "after" pics!

Here is a link that might be useful: our kitchen

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 5:29PM
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I would look at Green Demolitions. Your layout is pretty simple, so you could probably find one that fits your space on their website.They get high quality cabinetry with the countertops and appliances too for a lot less than ordering new cabinets.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 2:02PM
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