Kitchen Contract / Warranty

frogsterMarch 5, 2013


We are down to the contract with the cabinet company, which is also going to do the installation of our semi-custom cabinet. Most of the cabinets are painted. We would love input on what is appropriate in a kitchen cabinet contract and what things we should look out for. Most importantly, we are concerned with the warranty, which I have copied below. We are not sure all of the exclusions and permitted variances are reasonable, but would love input from others on this topic.

Thanks in advance for the help,

Except as described below, we warrant our products against defects in material or workmanship to the original purchaser for as long as you own the products and they remain at the original site.

Cabinet Company will repair or replace, as we may determine, any such defective part or parts which may prove defective under normal home use. This warranty does not cover cabinets which arc misused, abused, mishandled, improperly installed, improperly stored, changed, modified or arc subjected to extreme temperatures or extreme moisture levels. This warranty is not valid for products used for any purpose other than the purpose for which they were originally intended.
This warranty does not cover the cost of installation, removal, subsequent damage or transportation of the defective part, regardless of whether the work was performed by a contractor, service company or you. In addition, electrical and plumbing expenses incurred during replacement of defective materials are not covered by this warranty.

Color: Variations of color and grain pattern are a natural characteristic of wood and are not considered defects by the cabinet manufacturing industry. Color changes also may result from exposure to sunlight, smoke, moisture, household cleaners and other environmental elements, which are a part of the aging process. These material variations and changes are not covered by this warranty.

Joints: Seasonable changes in temperature and humidity naturally cause wood to expand and contract, this could result in joint separation. Cabinet Company warrants against excessive joint separation after the cabinetry has been stored or installed for one year allowing for a seasonal temperature and humidity cycle. The cabinetry will be stored and/or installed in a climate controlled environment with a constant relative humidity level of 45% to 60%. Frame joints and door miter joints of .031 (1/32") are not considered excessive joint separation, but normal expansion and contraction to seasonal changes. This is most noticeable on cabinetry with a painted finish.

Doors and Panels: Single panel doors less than 23 3/4" wide and 48" high carry a guarantee against warpage of no more than 1/4 inch. Multi-panel doors less than 23 3/4"wide and 62 3/4" high carry a guarantee against warpage of no more than 1/4 inch. Doors warped more than 1/4 inch will be replaced at no charge to customer. This information applies to all door styles, wainscot panels, and appliance panels unless so noted. One annual cycle must be allowed before warranty replacement will be considered. In most cases the door will return to its normal flat position after going through a complete heating cycle.

Unfinished cabinets: No guarantee is included on any cabinets or doors produced unfinished by Cabinet Company or those finished by a third party.

Hardware: Cabinet Company will replace defective hardware with the original style if it is still available. If it not available a substitution to match the original style as closely as possible.

Drawer Slides and Hinges: All drawer slides and hinges are covered by a 5 year limited warranty. If the drawer slide fails to operate satisfactorily under normal use, they may be returned for replacement at no charge. This does not include removal or installation, only material.

This warranty is our commitment to you that you will have many years of enjoyable use of your Cabinet Company Custom Cabinetry. Should you need to make a claim under this warranty, please contact Cabinet Company.

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Sophie Wheeler

It's a standard warranty that most cabinet manufacturers provide. You'd get that anywhere. As long as you don't clean them with harsh ammonia or acid based products (no Windex or vinegar) and you keep them in a climate controlled environment, they should be fine. Yes, climate controlled environment. Air conditioning in the summer and a humidifier in winter. Most wood flooring companies require that as well. And furniture makers. Wood absorbs and releases moisture from summer to winter. That causes expansion and contraction at all of the joints. You can't stop that as it's natural, but you can minimize that by keeping the environment relatively stable.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 7:31AM
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"The cabinetry will be stored and/or installed in a climate controlled environment with a constant relative humidity level of 45% to 60%."

This is interesting. Our whole house humidifier humidistat goes only to just above 45% I think. At times of course the house is naturally higher, even in the winter (weeks of rainy days). Good to know the details though. I've worked hard this winter with hvac on whole house humidity.

This post was edited by SparklingWater on Tue, Mar 5, 13 at 12:05

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 7:56AM
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Thanks for the responses! Is it normal for a warranty to not cover reinstallation when the initial contract covered installation? Is it normal to limit hinges and drawer slides to five years? And, are the tolerances that they are suggesting normal?


    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:46AM
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No cabinet manufacturer warranty covers any labor. Ever. The install labor warranty is a totally separate warranty, and is usually for one year only. Are you sure that these aren't locally made site built cabinets? The warranty reads like the manufacturer is also the installer, which is never the case unless it's a local maker. 5 years on the hardware is pretty chintzy. Darn chintzy. They must not use very good hardware at all. Here's a copy of the warranty for my mid-grade semi-custom line, Kemper. You can see it's warranted for as long as the original purchaser owns their home, hardware included.

Effective August 1, 2001, Kemper Cabinetry warrants the original consumer purchaser for as long as they own their home that the Kemper Cabinetry products will be free from defects in material and workmanship under normal use. This warranty is only applicable to products used in residential applications within the United States and is not transferable to subsequent owners.
Should defects in material or workmanship exist during the applicable warranty period in any Kemper Cabinetry product, Kemper Cabinetry will elect at its discretion to either repair or replace the defective material or component, free of charge. This warranty covers only parts and materials of the products supplied by Kemper Cabinetry. Not covered under this warranty are counter tops, appliances, plumbing fixtures, etc. or the costs, including labor, to remove and reinstall materials and related components such as fittings, appliances, etc.
This warranty shall become void if the cabinets are in any way modified, improperly installed or damaged prior to or during the installation. Furthermore, this warranty will not apply to cabinets damaged by misuse, neglect, abuse, acts of God, exposure to moisture, exposure to extreme temperatures or the effects of normal wear and tear.
Natural woods may vary in color, characteristics and exhibit subtle changes as they age. For example, white painted face frames may eventually have visible cracking around the joint area and cabinet colors may darken or lighten over time. Sunlight, smoke, household cleaners and other environmental conditions may also affect the color match over time. These variations are considered to be the nature of the material in relation to their environmental exposure and are not covered under this warranty.
Kemper Cabinetry reserves the right to alter design, specifications and material without obligation to make similar changes to products previously manufactured.
The repair(s) or replacements(s) are contingent upon the current product offerings of styles and construction options within the Kemper Cabinetry products at the time of the warranty claim. If a warranty claim is filed after a Kemper Cabinetry product becomes obsolete; Kemper Cabinetry reserves the right to honor the warranty in one of the following fashions:
To replace the affected component with a new component of the same style.
To replace the affected component and any other component(s) in the residential application to achieve a uniform appearance with a similar and comparable product style of the originally purchased style.
If components are replaced, Kemper Cabinetry cannot guarantee that the finish of these replacements will exactly match the finish and appearance of the components in the residential application. This is due to the changes that occur during the woods' natural aging process, affecting its color and grain.
This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may have other rights, which vary from state to state. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you.

In addition, if you order a painted finish, you are required to sign the specs for paint.

Congratulations on your selection of Kemper cabinetry in Black, Cloud, Coconut, Dover, Pearl, Storm, or White painted finish.
Because of its unique characteristics, this finish is quite different from other cabinetry finishes you may be familiar with. Your
satisfaction is important to Kemper, and we want you to fully understand the characteristics that make painted finishes so
It is important to realize that the beauty of wood cabinetry comes from the natural qualities of wood itself. Kemper utilizes only
select solid hardwoods and hardwood veneers. The beauty of these genuine woods lies in the variation of the grain. The textures
of those natural grain patterns often remain visible with paint finish and should be accepted as inherent characteristics when
selecting painted cabinetry.
On wood products, normal movement is typical due to changes in climatic conditions; this will cause hairline cracks at stile and rail
and panel joints. This hairline cracking is a normal characteristic of painted finishes and will not be considered a reason for product
replacement. When ordering painted maple 5-piece styles, the door’s center panel will be constructed of MDF material. Over time,
there may be a slight color shift in the paint finish due to the continued exposure to natural and artificial light sources. We mention
these characteristics because neither Kemper nor your Kemper dealer can be responsible for these conditions and variations.
Accordingly, we ask that the following agreement be signed for Paint Finish orders.
I have read the foregoing and find the characteristic variations of wood with painted finish are desirable.
As such, I agree not to hold Kemper and/or the Kemper dealer listed below responsible in the event that these characteristics are
later found by me to be less desirable than I had expected.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 12:06PM
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Re: Painted cabinets and manufacturer warranty

Most but not all high volume painted cabinet manufacturers use POC, post catalytic opaque conversion varnish. It's highly durable to household chemicals, UV light and typical kitchen wear and tear. It is nearly impossible to fix in the field, i.e., your home.

Other manufacturers of painted cabinets use layering technique with pre-catalytic opaque varnish, amongst other methodologies. Major pro-it typically can be site finished (in your home). Major con- much less durable.

Make sure you are comfortable with which manufacturer's process you choose. Of course, there's always the DIY painting of new natural wood cabinets, which a good number of GW members have chosen for color control, hand brushing technique and future touch up and even cost control. Benjamin Moore Aura paint comes to mind as does Muralo (NJ) due to superb leveling of the paint on cabinet wood. Wood workers love these paints.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 1:28PM
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Live wire - lots of factory made cabs are installed by the dealer that sells them and that is sometimes that's a factory owned showroom. This is especially true in large metro areas.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 10:54PM
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t is nearly impossible to fix in the field, i.e., your home.
A trained professional can field repair it, typical DIY er can't.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 7:43AM
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Thanks everyone. So, it seems like I have one strong view that the hardware warranty is too short. Anyone think that it is okay? And, what about the tolerances? They are specifying them, where others just leave it up for future discussion, so maybe that is good?


    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 8:57PM
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