Design by a "friend" and Armstrong cabinets

skeylargoJanuary 27, 2013

My kitchen is being designed by a "friend" that has a kitchen/bath business and I am starting to question some of the recommendations he made. I am not thrilled with his plan so far as it seems like he did not pay attention to some details like the depth of the fridge and accessibility to it. I am not comfortable with the plan so I am thinking going to maybe Lowes to get help with the layout to feel more comfortable and to also check the prices of cabinets.

The cabinets he is recommending are Armstrong - I did not want Chinese made and he said Armstrong is a decent quality with a good price point. I did not find postings about that brand on GW - plenty posting on flooring but not cabinets. Are they good cabinets?

I posted the plan here

I thought I would just go with my friend's recommendations since he said he will give me a discounted price but now I'm thinking I should check other places to make sure that I am making right decision - or am I over analyzing it already. I want a nice functional kitchen for a decent price but also want to stay "friends" with my KD.

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Definitely do what you need to do to put your mind at ease. If the kitchen goes wrong you won't end up being friends with your KD anyway. If they are understanding and you decide to go with someone else at this point then you MIGHT be able to salvage the friendship (although my experience on this is that it's never the same again).

It can't hurt to talk to some other places, get some more ideas, etc. Maybe you might be able to work new ideas into the plan your friend has created.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 3:06PM
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Here is the link to your thread. It will made it easier for people to find it.

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen layout thread

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 3:30PM
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Can someone PLEASE let me know about the Armstrong cabinets? I know there are limited choices in colors and finishes but I really would like to know what is the consensus on quality of those cabinets. I am early enough in decision making that I can change it to pretty much anything.

Thank you

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 5:54PM
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Sophie Wheeler

They are builder grade. Fine if you are on a limited budget. But there are better options out there for the same money.

If I were you, I'd tell the friend that I preferred to maintain the friendship by NOT working with her as you have heard nothing but horror stores about the problems that can ensure. "Your friendship is more valuable to me than the deal that you can get me, and I'd rather have it than the deal."

Then find someone more qualified and who "gets" your space better. And who offers better cabinet lines.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 6:02PM
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Thank you holysprings. That's what I've suspected about the quality since no one seem to even mention it here. I do not need or want the upscale cabinets but I want them to last since this is going to be our first and preferably last kitchen remodel.
What are other cabinet options for the same money?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 8:33PM
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skeylargo, it has been suggested here many times not to use friends for this type of work.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 8:54PM
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Fori is not pleased

Ikea cabinets are pretty inexpensive and have really nice drawer hardware. Try pricing them out. They do have limited styles and sizes, but creative people have done amazing things with them. ( is a good info source for that.)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 9:43PM
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Below is a recent thread on cabinetry. Armstrong doesn't even make the list, though I'm not qualified to opine on why.

An acquaintance of mine is a KD, the wife of my husband's teammate. (My almost-50-DH still plays lacrosse!) She really could have used the business, but I was a coward perhaps -- I didn't walk, I ran. I really didn't need baggage attached to my reno.

Good luck with your kitchen!

Here is a link that might be useful: Cabinet price/quality

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 9:47PM
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I still might have him finish the plan after I do my own research and tweak the plan to the way I like it and just have him incorporate what I want. I think he is pretty good KD, most of the plan I think is OK, it's just the stupid fridge location (there is just no good place for it in my kitchen :-) ). He also carries Timberlake and Kemper which I think would not be much more than Armstrong and I can compare his prices with HD and Lowes brands. He carries higher lines also but I don't think I need anything higher than that. He did say that he would give me cabinets pretty much at his cost so I have to at least compare the prices. One thing I definitely would not have him do is to actually be the GC on the job. He did my friend's kitchen and I was not impressed with the process and the main sub he uses.
Thank you for the links to previous cabinet discussions on price and quality - it was very helpful - I need to process it now and get my head around it.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:19AM
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