KD wants 75% down payment to order cabinets

tamlifApril 25, 2013

Is this normal? It sounds pretty high to me. Just 75% of the cost of the cabinets. Not for any of the other work.

What is a normal schedule of payments most people have had experience with?

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Some want full payment in advance. But if anything goes wrong, the best leverage the buyer has is the remaining payment.

I paid 30% in front, 30% on delivery and 30% when installed and finished. And because I didn't pay too much up front I didn't get stuck when cabinets were mismeasured, the paper was stapled to the exterior of unfinished pieces, some didn't fit, and the installation had issues, etc.

If graduated payment is a deal breaker, and you haven't worked with this company before, then I would look/go elsewhere.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:49PM
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agree with rococogurl!

would have to be a very compelling reason to give that much up front.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:57PM
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We put 80% down. Didn't really think anything of it.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:08PM
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Hey rococo -- sounds like you got a 10% discount! ;-)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:39PM
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We put 40% down on ordering, 40% on delivery and will pay the rest when the job is finished. Personally, I think 75% is high, but that is just my opinion.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:44PM
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I don't have a KD. I paid 25% to my custom cabinet maker to get on his schedule. I'll pay 40% when construction starts *the end of June), and the balance when the project is completed. This guy has been in business in our small town for 25 years, and I have heard nothing but good things about him (including from a good friend who had work done). I had no qualms about the payment schedule, based on his excellent reputation.

I'm buying all my own accessories (sink, faucet, range hood, etc), so my payments are based just on cabinet + countertop fabrication and install.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:48PM
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We paid 50% upon ordering the custom cabinets, and then the remaining 50% upon delivery of the cabinets. But that was just for the cabinets, nothing else. Installation and all other items is being done by my contractor.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:56PM
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We did 50% upon ordering and 50% upon delivery. In retrospect I would've tried to hold some back for after installation but cabs and GC are different so not really fair to make cab company wait. I also would've unpacked ALL boxes right away. He drawer fronts were wrong style and fillers didn't match the cabs. Delays now in waiting for those. (Plus 2 cabs were out of square--replacements going in today) and one had a crack) other than that, they are gorge. But I could've saved myself a lot of time and effort.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:14PM
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Plenty of places require 100% down if they don't provide installation. All of the box stores require 100%. If a cabinet company provides installation, then 50%. is common 75% is a not as common, but not unheard of.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:23PM
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@attofarad -- only in my mind LOL. Let me rephrase: 1/3, 1/3, 1/3.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:23PM
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For just cabinets- no installation- some ask for half, I ask for 60%, some require full payment.

The larger the profit margin involved the easier it is for a dealer to take a smaller deposit and cover most of his cost. Once the cabinet order is finalized the dealer is on the hook for no less than half his cost (not your price). After a few weeks it becomes the total amount, no exceptions. Since it being made to your specifications it is practically impossible to sell for even cost if you for some reason can't pay or change your mind.

While the economy has improved few dealers can afford to eat a cabinet order. That happened to a lot of dealers when the bottom fell out which is when many started requiring payment in full. We also require the balance on "Notification of Delivery" having had clients not ready for the cabinets and asking them to be held (for up to 6 months).

Most often the percentage is not negotiable. Mine is not. I inform clients before a retainer agreement is signed, long before ordering. It is amazing how many do not remember the conversation so we put it in the retainer agreement. If it does not sit well with them they have the time to shop somewhere else.

Once the cabinets are made: dealing with damage or defects you are relying on the cabinet companies warranty.
For mistakes you are relying on the integrity of the KD and dealer. In either case resovling things in a timely manner is a question of the mfg "make after" lead time and the diligence of the KD. If you are not comfortable with the mfg, dealer, or KD then shop somewhere else.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:44PM
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We needed to put 70% down and they did install the cabs.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 6:45PM
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Require 100% down? What leverage would you have if things go wrong that cause dispute?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 7:06PM
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I ordered an extra order cycle ahead in case we needed to reorder anything. With the extra 6 weeks in between, we did 50% of cabinet price on order, 50% at delivery, and will pay install 50% at start and 50% at finish since the cabinet company will install, not GC.

I wouldn't want to pay 100% up front, but if there was a logical reason I would pay more than 50%. Who knows what kind of terms those orders are placed with, if they have to be paid in full at order I could understand having to pay enough to cover all or most of that amount up front, which may be more than 50%.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 7:19PM
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"What leverage would you have if things go wrong that cause dispute?"
A contract, which includes the drawings, be sure to get good ones.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 7:37PM
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We require 100% before ordering. Our margins are VERY low compared to many in the industry, and we pass that savings along to the customer. What that translates to is that we can't afford to eat an order if someone changes their mind and decides to cancel. We'd owe more than we collected if we only got half down. Same with 75% down. We'd still owe the cabinet manufacturer money. They want 100% of theirs within 30 days.

However, we have zero issues correcting any problems with any product. Never have had any issues with that, no matter what the product was. Just today, I had an installer call me about some hidden damage on a refrigerator panel. We got an express reorder done at no charge with no problem. Concealed damage is the manufacturer's issue, and getting replacements like that shouldn't be an issue at all with the manufacturer, no matter what.

As far as the "mistakes" by me, well, our process has so many double checks that that hasn't happened so far. If those failed, you can bet we'd step up though. It's part of who we are as a business, and you either trust that reputation and the contractor who you are dealing with, or you don't. We're all about long term relationships and referrals and you don't have that happen with unhappy clients.

Our process requires that the customer's installer do the initial site measure, and that he do another site measure with the completed design in hand before we order anything. We also go over everything with the customer on screen, cabinet by cabinet, and show them where any issues may be due to compromises between space and function. (An example would be using a filler between a wall and a tall cabinet. If you use the filler, you end up with less storage. If you butt the wall cabinet against the tall one it can be difficult to access, or bang the tall cabinet if it opens in that direction.) Once we've gone over everything, we have everyone sign the design documents and a few other forms. Then we take the 100% and order the cabinets. If someone wants to skip any of those steps because they are in a hurry they have to sign off that they are responsible for any issues.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 8:02PM
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