Strategy for meeting with potential KD

MAchanteuseMarch 18, 2014

Back story: We are doing a large reno/addition in our house, including the kitchen. We've met with a few design places and gotten three quotes. These numbers are just for the cabinets themselves.

(1) Plain & Fancy, ~$21K
(2) Brookhaven, ~$20K
(3) Signature, ~$31K

#3 is out based on price (and they can't get the Cambria we want). #1 is not the door style I like the best, but the KD and contractor there are excellent and we've been very impressed with them. For #2 I only have the quote and an initial drawing of the space - I haven't met with him yet to see what he has for specifics. But that door style is my favorite.

At our last meeting with our architect he recommended a KD who is a friend of his. I checked out her site and her kitchens look beautiful. Although we weren't going to get any more quotes, I thought it was worth at least meeting with her. That's going to happen next week.

I know that she works with Grabill cabinets and she found out from the factory that they can match the Brookhaven door we like. I have a feeling that her price isn't going to beat the Brookhaven quote, so I was going to tell her that we want to spend around $20K and see what she says. DH thinks we should just let her quote it and see what she comes up with.

Probably we're going with the Brookhaven, but I guess it's possible we won't have as positive an impression about that designer and we'd be willing to pay more to get exactly what we wanted with the custom Grabill design. So would you give this new KD a price or not?

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I always prefer to hear the number up front, as well as the "must have" and "like to haves". That let's me see what could possibly be changed to a less expensive choice but not affect the overall design. It also lets me tell someone, "That's a great quote, I couldn't do it for that, you should probably grab it. But be careful that it actually gives you everything that you need in the kitchen." A lot of times that "really good" quote doesn't include correctly finished ends, fillers or extended stiles against walls, scribe and shoe, a desirable crown (the cheapest is usually included), light rail, and many other things that DO affect the overall price upwards once they are added. So, be very careful that the quotes don't go up by 20% (average) once all of the finishing touches are really added. And ask the high quote if they did include all of those needed "parts and pieces".

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 2:51PM
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Imagine you and your husband walk into a car dealership and announce you want to buy a car. You think you should tell the salesperson a price range, but your husband thinks you should just let the salesperson come up with something. Can you see the incredible amount of time your husband's strategy is going to waste, for both of you and the salesperson, by having to reject the used Yugo and the Corvette convertible?

Let's say he finds you a used vehicle in your price range, but you can get the same car off Craigslist for several hundred dollars less. Does the dealer's 50-year community reputation have any value to you? I'm sure the Craigslist guy didn't give the car a 50 point inspection beforehand and isn't going to be around for 5 minutes, let alone 50 years.

Change your priorities from low price to best value and you won't be one of the folks on here complaining about their architect/KD/contractor/fabricator/installer.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 7:09AM
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I purchased a used car from a long standing car dealership in a nice community that forged my signature on a warranty after selling me an invalid extended one (they then couldn't honor when it was needed). They also lied about the car's history of never being in an accident.

Price is not a good gauge of quality or integrity.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:12AM
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You have an idea of how much what you want will cost now. I think it makes sense to provide a budget amount. They will probably ask as they need something to work with. The sky is the limit.

If you give them a range, they will spend it. They probably also have a percentage over a budget amount they know people are usually willing to spend. So you might want to be firm or a little low.

You need to be working off of an apple to apple design to compare pricing. But maybe you want to see if they come up with something better.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Wed, Mar 19, 14 at 15:59

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:29AM
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Thanks for the advice. We are definitely not looking for lowest price but best value - and that's a good tip to make sure the upgrades we might want or need aren't going to blow that number sky-high.

If the new KD is amazing and we can get exactly what we want for a price that makes sense, then that is worth considering. If Grabill making exactly what we want as a custom design is going to come in at $40K, then that's not going to happen when we have a backup that really impressed us for a lot less money. I know it takes time to figure out a layout and all the special cabinets and drawers, and I don't want to misrepresent what we can afford and make her waste her time.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 9:38PM
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