Cost of cabinet installation?

eks6426March 3, 2010

I had custom cabinets made. Originally, my husband and I were going to do the install so that was not figured into the price. Now, some other things have come up that takes our time, so we're considering letting the cabinet shop folks do the install.

We asked for a price and it came back high to us. But we don't have much for comparison.

We have 8 lowers and 7 uppers plus a shallow can storage type cabinet. Crown that will go on the cabinets plus the rest of the way around the room and light rail. The cabinet shop gave us a price of $1,600. That comes out to about $100 per cabinet. Does that sound high or normal?

I am in the medium size city in the not generally a high rent district. Average home pricing is under $100K here.

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I'm sure more knowledgeable folks with chime in (and I'll be listening) but I've been heard about 10% of the cabinet cost from several vendors. When I first started looking at cabinets Home Depot was advertising installation at $79/box which I don't think included crown, etc. I'm in Texas.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 11:27AM
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Ten percent of the cabinet costs is about right from my experience so far, and I'm in NYC.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 1:18PM
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I'm in NJ. Some of the quotes we got came as high as $150 per cabinet including crown and knobs/handles. For a while last year, HD was advertising $99 per cabinet.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 1:51PM
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You are probably better off having the people who built them do the installation - that way if there are any problems or issues they'll be able to fix them for you.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 2:04PM
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Lowe's told me 4-5k for a 9x14 L.. Um, yeah, I'll find someone else is what I said.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 2:04PM
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Circus Peanut

I'd say about $1600 for that size sounds about right (slightly top end) for my area (Maine). Definitely consider sticking with your manufacturers for the install -- they will know what to do if any glitches come up, and might well be more flexible with any potential mismeasurements etc, which could save you $$ in the long run.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 2:22PM
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weissman has a point--all else being equal, it's nice when a contractor has no one to point fingers at except himself.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 2:25PM
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Most of y'all are estimating way too low for a good quality experienced cabinet installer. My "average" kitchen install labor is around $2500-$3500. It's not just the attaching the boxes to the walls. It's the molding being done correctly and looking good. It's getting everything level in all 3 dimensions and making that look good too. It's time consuming and tricky. ALl it takes is one look at all of the issues that Plumeriavine has posted to see what a bad install can look like. Any Joe Schmoe can do a bad install and make wonderful cabinets look like crap. It takes talent to install budget cabinets and make them look like top end. It can be done---with the right installer. When you have even better quality cabinets to begin with, the install looks even better!

BTW, those $79 a box cabinet installs that you see the box stores advertising don't include a single stick of molding or any side panel installation or any corbels or anything beyond pretty much just attaching the cabinets to the wall and putting on the toekick. A good kitchen install is SO much more than that!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 2:35PM
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hmmmm... sounds like I am getting a bargain at $500 for my install.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 2:43PM
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I am paying $2000 for my GC to install them and I think it is worth every penny. Turns out my kitchen floor is very unlevel and his guys are making sure the cabinets look as good installed as they did out of the box.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 2:49PM
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I agree with live wire oak, installing cabinets is much more that hanging a box on a wall. Installed properly, inexpensive cabinets can look great and high end cabinets can look spectacular.

The cost of cabinets will vary greatly depending on the quality of the cabinets, the wood, the door style, the finish, the internal accessories and the external embellishments (ie decorator end panels, stacked crown, carved mouldings, columns etc.). Most of those things do not impact the time it takes to install the cabinets so it is not realistic to expect the price of installation to be a percentage of the cabinet price.

In Northern California it is realistic to expect to pay $2500 - $3500 for installation of an average size kitchen with crown moulding and other trim work.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 6:04PM
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Well, it sounds like the cabinet guys install pricing might be a little high for my area, but not much. The advice I'm reading is that it is worth it to pay for them to do it. Right?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 10:38PM
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I'm in Northern California, just had about 16 cabinets installed for $1500. Home Depot wanted nearly twice that much, after they added in all the little extras, like putting down paper to protect the floor etc.. If I were you, I'd get another bid, and if it's close to the cabinet makers bid, I'd go with the cabinet maker.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 2:50PM
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$100 per cabinet sounds very reasonable to me. Usually I would say that if there is light rail, crown molding or any scribing or other issues I'd say it sounds too cheap. Since the cabinet maker himself is giving you estimate I'd say go for it, he is being very fair for the scope of work (light rail, crown).

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 3:13PM
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Are you and DH experienced DIY'ers? Is this the sort of thing you could do EASILY? If not, I think you should have the shop do it. It seams a reasonable price and if there are any issues, you have someone to go back to. My time and lack of expertise would make the $1,600 seem cheap in comparison. But I have no idea how to do that kind of work. I do know that if its not done properly, it will cost so much more for the pain in the butt factor alone. Just my .02, YMMMV.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 5:16PM
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My husband and I are very good DIY people, but we are not finish carpenters. On this project, we did all the demo, all the electric, plumbing, gas lines, ceiling repair, venting, painting etc. We did not do window install or flooring install.

Generally, we are not afraid to try anything, but my concern at this point is that the final look could turn out bad. I know the devil is in the details.

We are considering seeing if we can do the base cabinets and then have them do the uppers which has the crown/light rail etc. But not sure how much they would cut their price for that.

Still on a kitchen remodel that is already over budget, $1600 is a lot of cash. At this point, I'd be using one of the zero interest credit card offers that landed in my box. I just paid off our other credit card debt before this project so I hate to go back down that path again....

Cabinet guys said they can do it next week. If hubby & I do it, it will probably be at least 2 weekends worth of work. We can't really do much during the week because we both work full time AND I go to school 2 nights a week and have to do homework on the other nights.

So,it comes down to "can we get it right ourselves" and "how long do we want to wait?" If I pay the $1600, I can probably be cooking in my new kitchen before the first day of spring. If we do it ourselves, realistically, it'll be Easter.

Tough decisions.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:18AM
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I am in central Florida. We got our quote from lowes. It was around $18k for the cabs and $2k for the install (18 foot long galley kitchen, uppers only on one side). We were told if we used their installers there would be no sales taz.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:38AM
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"We are considering seeing if we can do the base cabinets and then have them do the uppers which has the crown/light rail etc."

Uppers go in first.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 10:35AM
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"Uppers go in first."

Not necessarily. I installed my cabinets alongside an experienced pro he goes lowers first. He has a good reason for it but i forget. He uses a small lift/jack to move the uppers in place. So if you're hiring a pro for the uppers the lowers installed shouldn't be a deal breaker.

$100 per cabinet is on the high side. Home depot charges about that and thats after they pay the actual contractor and also make some money off the top.

Someone said 10% of the cabinet cost. By that logic cherry cabinets should cost more to install than oak and thats not the case.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 10:43AM
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With all you've done on the job so far you should be able to handle the cabinet install yourselves. Respect it, but don't be afraid of it. Try the DIY books or You Tube for coaching. I've fixed 6 appliances in my house all using the web for advice.
Is the floor basically level? If not, cutting a cabinet's base to install it level on a floor that's out 2 ways can be a real challenge. Also, the crown requires a compound miter, and unless you've done that and have the right equipment???
Those are the 2 areas i'd watch out for the most.
Consider hiring a skilled guy to be on the job and work as his helper. I did a roof that way years ago and it worked great.
All previous posts are right in one way or another, but a "per box" price is something I'd be concerned about. Kitchens are a lot of things, but simple is usually not one of them.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 12:25PM
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