Deciding between cabinet quotes

AndresrrFebruary 20, 2014

Well, we have decided to tear out our old laminate cabinets and tile countertops and update our kitchen. We had several people come over and give us estimates and have worked it down to two; one slightly more expensive than the other.

One is a quote for custom cabinets using hard maple, solid wood doors, boxes in 3/4 plywood, and plywood center panels. The other quote is for stock cabinets in birch, solid wood doors, boxes in 1/2 plywood, and mdf center panels. These, of course, are just the highlights. I am not able verify every single detail yet.

The cabinets will be painted in white.

The stock birch quote is 2k lower than custom. Budget does matter but both are withing our range. I have investigated both companies and they receive high marks and have no issues with the BBB.

So, is this a slam dunk for the stock cabs? From the spec, the custom cabs appear to be a bit nicer but will it matter, especially with painted cabs? Does having young children, who bangs things around make a difference?

What say everyone?

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Cindy103d

My two cents - I've only had my painted cabinets for a few months and we are two senior adults with no children ever visiting and are very careful in the kitchen, yet still we have a few dings in the paint. After just a few months, I've already decided I'd never have painted lower cabinets with kids around. The dings make me very sad.....

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Trebruchet

Andressr:

It's just sad that either company isn't capable of closing a sale. Apparently they can prospect, measure, design, and quote, but when it comes to getting a signature and deposit, they fall short.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:38AM
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crl_

With a painted finish, factory is tougher than site painted or shop painted. When you say custom, is it a local shop who will paint in their shop or is it a big manufacturer?

Are the layouts identical? Usually one advantage of custom is less wasted space.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:23AM
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kompy

Agree with CRL, factory paint will hold up better. I have a 12 yr old son and a ton of his friends over all the time. My P&F custom factory finish is perfect a year later.

What is the brand of the 'stock' cabinets? I would at least do a semi-custom painted. The thickness of the paint they apply will also make a difference in durability. BTW, Medallion recently increased their thickness, I believe. Or maybe it was KraftMaid. But anyway, I think the semi-custom line will be substantially better than an Aristokraft or Merillat painted finish.

Maybe the brand you priced IS semi-custom....and you just don't have the lingo down right.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:44AM
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kompy

Ps. Also, a baked on enamel paint is better than what a lot of companies do, which is a pigmented stain. However, one rep told me that their pigmented stain was 'technically' a paint due to the high percentage of pigment.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:48AM
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Andresrr

Thanks everyone. And some of you are right, I probably do not have all the lingo down correctly. In terms of the companies, the custom is a local shop that will paint in their shop. We visited last week to take a look around and ask more questions about the product.

The stock quote was from another smaller company that seems to do everything in-house. I would guess they import from Asia but their online reviews, personal reviews, and prices are very good. When looking at the cabinets, I did notice the paint was incredibly even. I asked whether these were machine painted and they said yes. Was not sure how else to really ask the question.

I only went in once, and at that time was only interested in the countertops (because we figured we would go with the custom cabs). Their cabinets are a "house brand" it what I am told. We will go in again over the weekend to more closely inspect the cabs to make sure they fit the bill.

In our situation, I would certainly imagine that custom would open more options, But to this point, I am not sure how many more. We have a basic U shaped kitchen that will not change too much.

In terms of stock or semi-custom, I am not sure what to call this company. They have cabinets in "stock", but will work with us to install the cabinets we want? Pull outs, drawers, cabinets, etc. Is that stock I don't know??

Going back to the paint, that is something my wife and I discussed. The paint on the "stock" cabs is perfect. The paint on the custom would not look the same but that is not necessarily a bad thing (or a good thing). But it sounds like the factory paint might actually hold up better?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:54PM
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dianne47

I always choose the vendor that keeps $$ in the LOCAL economy. And I would absolutely positively avoid imported cabinets of any kind.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:07PM
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jellytoast

" .. It's just sad that either company isn't capable of closing a sale. Apparently they can prospect, measure, design, and quote, but when it comes to getting a signature and deposit, they fall short."

Trebruechet, I don't understand what you mean by this. Why is it sad? Personally, I hate it when I feel like someone is trying to "sell" me something, and when they push to close the sale, I hate it even more. I like to make a decision when I'm ready to make a decision, and that usually means after I've thought about it for a bit without the pressure of a salesperson breathing down my neck, and after I've done a fair amount of investigating and research.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:01PM
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kompy

jellytoast, I am a KD and I'm not your typical 'salesperson'. I agree with you....and maybe I'd be a much richer person if I did try to "sell" and use "selling tactics", but I don't. I know my product, educate my customer and try to make it fun and as painless for my clients as possible. I give respect and hope for respect in return.. This does get me sales too because people appreciate my 'no sales pressure' atmosphere. But I'm sure I lose a lot more for not being more aggressive. I just can't be that way.

So many times, i meet a couple and I get that "wall" right up front. They are skeptical and leery. Usually, by the time they leave, they are hugging me. :-) That's how I like to be.

I remember when I was 20 (family biz) and my mom told me I needed to get in to sales. It petrified me. She said, "just be yourself and know your product and you'll do just fine!" That was 30 years ago and she and my dad are both gone now :-( But that has stuck with me through my career and it's still how I am.

Kompy

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:33PM
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Trebruchet

"Trebruechet, I don't understand what you mean by this. Why is it sad? Personally, I hate it when I feel like someone is trying to "sell" me something, and when they push to close the sale, I hate it even more. I like to make a decision when I'm ready to make a decision, and that usually means after I've thought about it for a bit without the pressure of a salesperson breathing down my neck, and after I've done a fair amount of investigating and research."

jellytoast:

I've been in sales my entire career and I can promise you that virtually none of my clients have felt pressure to buy. If they do, you're doing it wrong. 98% are very grateful that I have the skills and training to help in their decision making.

"I need to think about it." is actually a cry for help. It really means "I don't have enough information to make a decision." A skilled salesperson provides the information in a way that makes decision making easier.

Sales skills and experience is no different than knowing how to polish an edge on a countertop. Fortunately, there aren't unfair stereotypes raging about edge polishers.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 4:09PM
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jellytoast

Tre, with all due respect, when I say, "I need to think about it," I am not crying for help. I am stating a fact: I need to think about it. A high pressure salesman, IMHO, doesn't hear me stating a fact, but rather thinks he sees an opening to "sell." I take that as my cue to walk away. Perhaps they are doing it wrong.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 4:30PM
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