Newbie Kitchen Remodel-Cabinet Guidance Needed!!!

CaitKFAugust 11, 2014

My husband and I just purchased our first home in Central FL a few months ago! We are a growing family with 3 children under the age of 5. It is a complete gut-we have done some of the work ourselves and have contracted the rest out. We have a very tight budget, but have happily made sacrifices and are enjoying every minute of it!!! Granted, we are able to continue living in our current condo so we are not forced to live in the construction zone mess.
Anyways, I am at the point of making a decision regarding kitchen cabinets and I could use a bit of expert help. Here is where I am in the process...please help me finalize a decision.
I have priced many of the cabinets suggested on this forum (Diamond,Shenandoah,Barker,Krafmaid, and a few others) all were above our budget.
I have a quote for River Run of $5,800 (much closer to our budget)
I have a quote from Kitchen Cabinet Kings for $5,200 (Ice White Shaker)
I also have a custom quote (from a local cabinet maker) for $8,500 for our kitchen. Its a pretty "no frills" custom. This quote includes all plywood construction 3/4" frame-less cabinets with installation. No soft close doors or drawers. Painted white with multiple coats (i believe 4) of a clear coat for added finish durability. Matching 5 1/4" crown molding. The cabinet maker gave me an exact cabinet list, which I have posted below. This is what I have been using to price out other brands. If we choose not to have him custom make, he will just as happily install any assembled or RTA's we choose for approx $1,000-$1,500 depending on the cabinet.

Can anyone recommend a painted white assembled or RTA cabinet of comparable quality (or better) and price (or less) to RR? Please comment on the quality of Kitchen Cabinet Kings.

Cabinets Needed:
This list includes base cabinets and panels to construct a 6-7' island as well.

Thanks in advance to everyone!

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If you go to Barker Cabinets, you can plug your list into their shopping cart and determine their price. Theirs will come with soft close. Their cabinet specs are linked right on their front page.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 1:12PM
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Have you seen the thread I have linked below? It has price comparison for many brands based on pricing for one cabinet. This is to give you a rough idea of where the different lines fall. You can then choose a couple of different manufacturers to price out your kitchen layout.
Of all the RTA cabinet brands discussed here, Ikea is very well regarded especially for the value for money. If you happen to not like any of their styles, many online vendors (semihandmade, Scherrs, Barkers) sell doors that will fit Ikea boxes.
I considered a local custom cabinet maker too that was offering a similar product to yours. Frameless, plywood but no soft close or frills. We decided against it because the finish didn't seem that good-gaps in the veneer, drips in mdf etc. If you do decide to go local (or for any manufacturer for that matter), do examine the finish of an installed product.
Btw, if you haven't already posted your layout, do so. The experts on this forum will give you great advice on making the best of your layout. Look for Buehl's layout questionairre in the FAQ's section. It is a great starting point.
Good Luck! 3 kids under 5 and DIY-wow! hats off to you guys.

Here is a link that might be useful: 2014 Kitchen cabinet comparison

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 1:31PM
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Increase your budget then. Cabinets should be approximately 40% of your kitchen redo budget. Which should be 10-20% of your home's value.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 1:41PM
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The Cabinet Joint has been mentioned positively here in the past (conestoga cabinets); I think pricing is comparable to Barker.

The kitchen designer at the store where I priced out Diamond (I think, same brand Lowe's carries?) worked with me to cut the cost -- instead of all plywood, went with MDF for boxes, simpler and less expensive trim, planned to add some features later from Ikea etc. Brought the quote way down but still had all the features that I wanted.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:08PM
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I just had Kitchen Cabinet Kings's cabinets installed. My thoughts:
1. they gave me a design that I like.
2. They arrived quick! Probably within 10 days (how far out is your custom guy? Maybe with your condo that's not as concerning)
3. All plywood, soft closes
4. Cost (big one for us, especially this isn't a forever house)

1. My installer is a retired cabinet builder and while he didn't say they were awful, he didn't say "wow! these are awesome!!" either. He did say quite often "these aren't square" and once "anywhere they could cut corners they did"
2. The crown molding was about 1.5 of an inch from the ceiling. Their design didn't have way to deal with that. That seemed like an obvious thing to me, make the crown molding go clear to the ceiling....Good thing I had a good installer. I contacted KCK and they weren't so friendly, but did send me some moldings to make a stacked molding so I was to the ceiling.
3. The base cabinet shelves they send are like 1/3 of a shelf. I can't tell if I hate this, or it will be handy for tall appliances.

Overall, I think our cabinet guy made them look good. They were pretty good to work with too. Jessica always got right back to me.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:24PM
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Thanks everyone for the quick replies!
...Oh, if increasing the budget was just that simple...
vinuedv-Thanks for the thread-I will read today!
Rae-Spoke with Diamond rep, they are unable to come down any further. They are at $13kish...
KarMar00-Thanks for sharing your Kitchen Cab King experience! Did you have painted cabinets?

Keep the info coming... ;)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:53PM
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diamond was higher for me than schuler or medallion silverline cabinets. please don't take this the wrong way as i too was on a smallish budget and understand your concerns. you have a lot of expensive wants for a budget kitchen. i did away with the crown molding and light rail and that took off about 2k plus install costs ( labor intensive items) also painted vs stained will cost you more in any line. i changed my doors from solid to veneer panel and that took off another $1k plus. soft close doors and drawers are my favorite part of the new cabs; no more banging when the kids shut the doors/drawers.
i was told by a lowes kd that it is cheaper to go with taller cabs than to add crown molding. also islands, built in frig cabinets and pantries will add at least 1k if not more. with a small budget you may want to rethink the pricey add ons that will not effect functionality.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 3:09PM
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Which should be 10-20% of your home's value

That depends what the cost of housing is where you live. There are very few around here that have a kitchen that costs 10-20% of their home's value (because that would be a ridiculously high-end kitchen, the kind very few people have in real life).

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 3:26PM
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I have the "brownstone"

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 3:35PM
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Ikea. Ranked very highly by Consumer Reports (higher than any other budget or mid-range brand) and highest in consumer satisfaction by JD Power. It includes soft-close drawers and door dampers, plus there's a sale right now for 10-20% off based on how much you spend.

We are at about 6K, and that includes about 25 lineal feet of cabinets (upper and lowers) with glass-fronted uppers (stacked!), full-height pantry, loads of pull-outs, and mainly drawers on my lowers. Also includes our countertops (we are doing the butcherblock from ikea, which we have stained and customized quite a bit), decorative panels for all of the visible sides, the integrated dishwasher, and a hood.

This post was edited by GenB on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 16:35

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 4:26PM
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I had previously been adamantly uninterested in going with IKEA. After doing a bit of reading and research though, I am quite surprised by the "fan base" it has. I will be going on Friday to put my hands on the cabinets. in central Florida (very humid) will I need to be concerned with the particle board used in IKEA cabs? Or the white finish peeling from the cab material?

I have not ruled out Kitchen Cabinet Kings or River Run yet.

Thanks everyone for your input...

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 2:33PM
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" in central Florida (very humid) will I need to be concerned with the particle board used in IKEA cabs? "

No. I have 2-year-old IKEA's in my island and they are as nice as the day they were installed in Sarasota,FL. Come and see for yourself if you like.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:09PM
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Beware Medallion does not honor their warranty! We purchased $18,000 of cabinets from them. Not one single cabinet out of the box is good. Open miters on every door & drawer front, cracks all over the place gaps inside the cabinets, and the stacked cabinets don't match up at all. The range hood is cracked and scratched so badly we didn't even take it out of the box all the way. They are only offering us $5,000 credit towards a new set of cabinets. #medallionfailsoncraftmanship

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 11:31AM
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SoJErsyLife (new member yesterday) I've received 4 notifications today with this same post of yours about Medallion. I have never heard of Medallion not honoring a valid warranty issue. What are you not telling us? I wonder why Medallion is offering part..... $5K. If they are truly not honoring something valid...don't accept the money and keep going. Do have pictures to share? If someone doesn't have pics with todays easy pic sharing technology, I would not give your rant the time of day.

Medallion has a great repuation. And as a dealer myself for 14 years, have only had one major warranty on the finish and they replaced an entire kitchen. It did take a while, though....I will give you that.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 1:55PM
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