Need advice on Barker Cabinets

bigds01July 13, 2014

I think Barker may be the way for us to go, HOWEVER, I really need advice. We are going to go with an all white kitchen (have barker paint them),

Price really isn't an issue for us, but from what I can tell Barker seems to make a good product at a good price point. So here is what I need help with--

Should I go with Paint Grade Maple/Maple, Paint Grade Maple/MDF or one of the other wood choices?

Also, if I wanted to get one set of doors with glass is that possible from them if I am placing a huge order ?

One last question, what about having a piece made for a built in fridge? Do they do that?

I have spent a ton of time on their website, but not a lot of info or guidance.

Is there another similar manufacturer I should look for?

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We too are getting ready to order our cabinets from Barker. I have e-mailed all of my questions to Chad and he has been very responsive and answered all of my questions. There is also a forum that you can peruse and find many answers there as well. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:08PM
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Where is the forum?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:11PM
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Here you go bigds01

Here is a link that might be useful: Barker Forums

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:21PM
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Barker offers cabinets "ready" for glass, link below (scroll down the page)

Hopefully someone with more experience will answer on the painting. I think either can be good. Some folks use the MDF center because MDF doesn't expand and contract like solid wood. When expansion/contraction happen some bare wood can be exposed at times.

Here is a link that might be useful: Barker Glass Cabinets

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:04PM
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Placing my order with Barker was the hardest part. I had to write to Chad and ask him some questions to be sure I was doing it right. I was able to order my washer/dryer cabinets by going to the appliance cabinet section and going from there. You could probably go there and find your fridge cabinet. It will probably be two sided with brace type of slats in strategic places for stability. For me ordering the appliance cabinets was hard because it is not listed as a W/D cabinet but eventually I figured it out. I still wasn't sure I ordered the right thing until I got them and it was exactly right thank goodness. I am very happy with the cabinets.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:45AM
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I too have a lot of questions. They are very good a returning emails, but as they answer questions I get more questions. I wish I could just go in, sit down and have a chat. That is the issue with online.

For instance they don't sell glass doors with their regular cupboards, you have to purchase their more expensive paintable wood grade inside cupboards to get the glass doors. I don't want the extra expense because we will not be using clear glass. So then I think do I have to buy the cabinets then buy the doors for glass separately. More expense that way.

I had the same questions on the MDF. My research has shown that MDF is better for paint, however once painted that is it. You can't sand it down and redo it.

I'm trying to talk my husband into taking our August vacation to Oregon. But hitting Portland on one of the two days they are open each week may be hard.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:29PM
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Oh they also have some videos on the built in fridge stuff I believe. Do a youtube search. Their videos are hard to find on their website.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:32PM
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Sophie Wheeler

In person designers can answer all of your questions, plus tweak the layout for optimum functionality.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:34PM
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@mylazydazy, We DID take our vacation and drove from NorCal to visit the Barker showroom. Complete waste of time :o( The showroom was very small and some of the kitchen displays were of cabinets that aren't even offered anymore. The gentleman that "hosted" us wasn't able to answer any of our questions. His response to every question was "just shoot Chad and e-mail". We are however still going to order our cabinets from them as I do believe they are good quality and Chad has indeed answered all of my questions promptly. I do agree that taking all of the responsibility with the designing/ordering is unnerving.....

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:58PM
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I have ordered several doors from them to see which ones I like. They are quality doors. Here is a link to the fridge cabs and enclosures.

It is true that Chad answers emails very quickly. I usually get a response in an hour or two. Not sure how he keeps up. There is also a video on how well the cabs are made. Worth watching!

Here is a link that might be useful: Fridge enclosure pieces and cabinets

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 6:33AM
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wow Xtacie, that is a bit of a long drive for no show room. I have friends about two hours away so it would be a multi purpose visit for me. Plus would be nice to take my husband for a visit as He's only been there once. I grew up along the coast so many memory's there. I hope you got an opportunity to see some of the Oregon coast while you were there.

I finally got all my questions answered. I was not correspsonding with chad but another gentlemen. Very polite but it took a week of emails to finally get to the bottom of how much reveal was on the cabinets. I was led to believe it was 1/4, then 1/8, then luckily chad posted a diagram on the forums showing that it was 1/16. Im sure glad that someone else asked a similar question or I would still been under the belief that it was 1/8 and ordered the wrong size doors for the rest of the kitchen. So yea, great company I think, but you really have to do your own home work. Not like walking into a local company and handing them your measurements and telling them to order up. Definitely a huge learning curve on the diy scale.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 5:04PM
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Mylazydazy, We did the whole vacation up the coast and it was fabulous! We fell in love with Oregon. We planned our arrival inland to correspond to the Barker showroom open days. I would definitely do the vacation again ( in fact we have a long weekend next month and Cannon Beach/Portland is our destination of choice) but I would email Chad before and make sure he's on site....

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 5:29PM
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We did our kitchen w barker too. "Finished" a couple of months ago. Going DIY is stressful. But, all renos are stressful. And keep in mind that sometimes "kitchen designer" designed kitchen have mistakes. Sometimes things are not ordered correctly and sometimes things are just not designed well, etc. I used quotes bc at some places (ahem, local big box stores) the help I got was not really from a designer, just a sales person. I found that the collective design help on the forum and Chad's responsiveness far outperformed what I could have afforded to buy.

Be forgiving of yourself, but be a stickler for detail.

The most stressful part of our design was a custom base cabinet for our speed oven. The first cabinet I assembled was that one. When DH slid the speed oven into it's spot, I cried w relief!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 5:42PM
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I'm at the same place, I'm wanting to order barker cabinets in dover white, but am stuck whether I should get the mdf/alder, or the paint grade maple!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 8:58PM
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Jennifer132, is your speed oven the miele? Having the same apprehension about that cabinet and hoping I can double check measurements with you :0)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:29PM
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"The most stressful part of our design was a custom base cabinet for our speed oven. The first cabinet I assembled was that one. When DH slid the speed oven into it's spot, I cried w relief!"

I feel your pain. I lamented so much trying to do a speed oven above single oven of a different brand, in a floor to ceiling stack that hubby (an engineer) said he'd drop in "for a couple minutes" to help. LOL -- A day and a half later, a computer and calculator we were (pretty) sure we got it right! LOL The problem did NOT lie with Barker, the problem lies with missing information, or contradictory installation instructions by the ovens' manufacturers. Please keep your fingers crossed for us!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:20PM
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Are you installing in a wall cab or a base cabinet? Interior cabinet space requirements likely differ. I actually got the little Smeg speed oven. I looked at the Miele dimensions as well, just in case I got lucky w a deal on that one. But, Smeg was the find. We are happy with it, fwiw. It is installed in a base cabinet. I can walk you through my process:

I studied the installation diagram and product dimensions. I came up with the design that I thought we needed, for the appliance cab and the lower base drawer it sits on. Then I emailed Chad at Barker with the exact model number and installation instructions. I asked for help. And I contacted the US distributor for Smeg. I asked for help. Finally, I analyzed and reconciled the feedback and came up with the cabinet design.

What I ordered, and it fits exactly, was a bit different than what Chad recommended, simply because I got more exact feedback from Smeg. I had a guy at Smeg walk around measuring the appliance cabs the speed oven was installed in at the distributor showroom in NYC. And he took photos for me.

You can post a request for Miele speed oven owners to post cabinet dimensions/info and photos. That might help. Of course you know that cabinet construction dimensions vary. I am happy to help in any way. Let me know.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:58PM
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Athomesewing, exactly!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 6:25PM
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Thanks Jennifer! I just referenced Miele's manual but calling them directly is a much better idea.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:36PM
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