Frustration with builder's cabinetmaker-Do we just give up?
We are under contract to purchase a spec home that we're able to modify to meet our needs. Our current home is under contract and we should be closing on both homes in mid-May. The whole process has been a whirl wind and we've been busy over the past three weeks making decisions on countertops, appliances, lighting, tile, and paint colors to name a few.
The house is located in a 55+ development. There are 27 houses in our phase of the development with five in various stages of construction (including ours) and the rest already occupied. Another phase has just been approved and construction has begun on several of those.
Our one stumbling block has been the kitchen. After going through a kitchen remodel in our current home 5 years ago, I have a good idea of what I like and what quality I expect in a kitchen. The builder has a cabinetmaker that he has contracted with to build the kitchen and bathroom vanities for the development. I have seen several of the kitchens and they just are not my style nor was I impressed with the quality. When we seriously started looking at this development I asked if we could look at other options. We were told sure, but only one house has gone with something different. It just so happens that that one house was done by the kitchen designer we used for our current house.
As I saw it we had three options to explore: (1) contact our previous KD and see if she could give me a sweetheart deal to come somewhere close to the allowance the builder was providing, (2) contact a custom cabinetmaker, and (3) use the builder's cabinetmaker and hope for the best.
Our current kitchen is natural cherry shaker Plain & Fancy inset cabinets. For the new kitchen I wanted to go with painted cabs, preferably inset, but would consider full overlay depending on the pricing.
Our KD priced out full overlay cabs a bit higher than the allowance. Installation was not included.
I contacted the cabinetmaker that a fellow GW member from NH used. We went and visited his shop and were very impressed with his work. He priced out at our allowance including installation for inset cabs. The only issue with him was timing as we've been told that installation needs to occur in mid-April.
While we were dealing with the above two options, we asked to also meet with the builder's guy. After one cancelled appointment, one snow storm, one total miscommunication where we went to his shop and he came to the house (1 hour apart), we finally met with him 10 days ago. I had previously provided a layout (as I had done with the other two). We spent 2 hours in a very cold house under construction going over everything. Three days later we visited his shop and spent another 2 hours basically looking at his equipment. Have I mentioned that this cabinetmaker is in his 80's and draws everything out on 8.5"x11" paper in pencil? Today my DH was in the vicinity of his shop for a medical appointment so stopped by. Since we had yet to receive a quote (even after numerous request by numerous people) he thought he'd ask again. All my DH was told is, this is going to be expensive. We've found out through our realtor that this cabinetmaker does not like doing inset cabs (he calls them 'built-in') nor does he like painted cabinets. I'm guessing that is one reason why he is dragging his feet with a price...either he thinks we'll say, oh, just build them they way you want to, or we'll walk away.
We have emailed our realtor tonight indicating that we need a price by Friday, otherwise we need to look at other options. I so want to use the other cabinetmaker we met with, but I'm afraid that at this point we've lost that opportunity due to timing.
Sorry to rant, but we are at our breaking point. DH has heart issues and this is not helping matters. I'm having nightmares of walking into a kitchen with stained cabinets with partial overlay raised panel doors.
Time for a glass of wine.