Custom Cabinet recs for Ohio, Indiana, and Western PA?

dmsohioAugust 3, 2012

Hi all,

I'm in Columbus Ohio and am in a new to me home with no cabinets. Seriously, these people before us took everything.

We are getting by with shelving units and what not, saving up for cabinets and planning every last detail for our kitchen.

I'm looking for a custom cabinet maker in OH, IN, or the Western 1/2 to 2/3 of PA. Dutchwood is a bit far but I'd be willing to drive it if they allowed us to pick up the cabinets and install ourselves.

Do you guys have any suggestions on who to use? Ohio and Indiana I know are flooded with very commercialized Amish. This is NOT what I'm looking for. I don't want cabinets that are marked up through resellers, I want to find a guy (or gal) that primarily get's business through word of mouth. I want to meet the man who will make my cabinets and not need to go through a third party. I am not afraid of inconvenience and will deal with snail mail and driving long distances if that is what it takes to get some quality cabinets.

In a perfect world Deja_Q's guy would live right across the street from me, but it isn't so.

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Dms - I'm up in Delaware County. FYI - None of the local custom guys I interviewed would allow the client to self-install. I don't know how big of a deal that is to you - for me, even though I have built and installed two other kitchens, it was not a deal breaker.

I agree with your evaluation of many of the 'Amish' outfits. Most of the 'Amish' cab guys in Wayne and Holmes counties did not impress me in the least. The 'Amish' portion of the name for many of these guys is just a marketing ploy foisted upon the foolish English living in Franklin and Delaware counties with more money than sense.

One side of my family was Mennonite so it pains me to see that the abovementioned outfits have sold their souls for the almighty dollar.

Anyway, after a long search, I ended up contracting with David T. Smith of Morrow, OH. David is quite a character and will build you whatever you want - but he certainly has his opinions and shares them easily :).

I liked David's method: Sit with him for a preliminary design session and discuss style, colors, wood choices, etc. A few weeks later you go over his design and add/modify as needed - he'll give you a price at that time. The price includes everything - design, build, install and changes (believe me, you'll have plenty). He doesn't nickle and dime you to death based on trim, hardware, drawer inserts, or door style selections. The price is the price - there are precious few upcharges.

David charges a premium price but his work is first rate and it's worth it. He is the easiest tradesman I have ever worked with.

Good Luck, Doc

Here is a link that might be useful: David T. Smith Kitchens

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 3:55PM
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DMS - we were talking with a GC that was using an Amish builder to do his custom cabinets - both the GC and the Amish builder are small businesses. Things fell apart on the GC side, but when we met with the cabinet maker, we were quite pleased with him...and had it been ONLY him, we would have definitely gone forward, but we had some significant differences with the GC that led us to an impasse. Since we had a history with the GC, we would have had to buy through him, and knowing that Amish are strong on their word and alligence, we wouldn't have wanted to put him in a difficult situation.

But, it seems like the Amish person we were talking with does perhaps sell directly to the public if you haven't talked with someone else, I can't say for certain since that wasn't how we found him. But, if you want to give it a shot, he lives in the New Wilmington, PA area. I have his address and you could write to him. Also, he did give me a phone number of a place in town where he can pick up messages, though it doesn't sound as if he would necessarily call you back, just get a message...I'm not certain since we didn't progress to that point.

Regardless, we met with him and we could tell that he was very interested in our job, accommodating some of the different ideas that we had, and took great satisfaction in doing a lovely job with his cabinets.

Again, would have gone with him in a heartbeat had it not been for the GC. BTW, his dad makes furniture as well and you can get tables, chairs, etc. from them if you have a need.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 4:10PM
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We are going with Glick's Custom Kitchens in Howard, PA (near State College). We don't have the cabs yet (installation is Aug. 16), but our KD highly, highly recommended Glick's. We visited their shop to choose finishes, etc. and saw them making the cabinets, so this is the real deal. The quality of their work was just amazing.

They offer every feature that you can get through regular cabinet businesses (rollouts, utensil dividers, etc.) and I think they use a particular company for some of those things (I can't recall which). The main thing is they can do absolutely anything that you want.

They don't do email, they don't have a website, and they only check calls from 11:30am-12pm at the phone they share with neighbors. So there's lots of phone tag. And their bus. hours are 6am-4pm (daylight hours--no electricity).

It might be far for you & I'm not sure if they do any work out of state, but it may be worth asking. Here's some info:

814-625-3587 (leave message for Steve Zook)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 4:28PM
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Pretty sure Dutch Wood will let you install them yourself, I think they've done that for others on here perhaps...

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 4:31PM
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I used Mark Miller, a small Amish cabinet maker near Cleveland, OH. I live in Cincinnati. I can't say enough amazing things about Mark and the cabinets he made... phenomenal and his shop is a true Amish set-up... not commercialized at all - I heard about him through another member on gardenweb. I've attached a link to my kitchen. Please let me know if you need any additional information. Mark came out to measure our space and delivered our cabinets. Our contractor installed. Good luck!

Mark Miller
M.A. Miller, LLC
16790 Pioneer Rd
Middlefield, OH 44062
shop: 440-636-5697
cell: 440-537-2912

Here is a link that might be useful: My kitchen

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 4:46PM
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Thanks everyone for your recs - keep them coming!

Doc - isn't it true that so many of central Ohioans who buy Amish cabinets have more money than sense. The in-laws live in Cincy. Perhaps we will stop by David Smith's show room on the way to check him out. I have a feeling he will be painfully expensive. We will see what the future budget is...oh how I hate the B word...

Who did you use for your counters? Were you happy with the material and the installer?

Self installing isn't a deal breaker, but it is something I'm confident we could do. We bough a fixer upper %30 below market value to make it our own. We are the GC, plumber, electrician, etc.

andreak100 - I can understand not wanting to put the cabinet maker in an awkward situation. Could you email me the New Wilmington gentleman's information? Just click on my username. We have family in the Youngstown area so we could pop on over to PA to see some of his work and meet face to face.

estercita - they are a bit far but so is dutchwood and upstate new york. I may give them a call and see if they allow pick up and self install as I'm sure they wouldn't treck to Ohio. Can you post pictures of your installed cabinets please? I bet you waiting for your cabinets is like a kid waiting for Christmas!

aokat15 - wow talk about kitchen envy. I couldn't help but notice the Pro48 and Wolf range. I will admit those our WAY
out of our reach and even if we could afford it, it would be overimproving for our $225k neighborhood. Our kitchen is currently an L shaped 6.5 foot x 10 foot. We will add a peninsula to make it a U so we won't need as many cabinets as you.

A few questions - are your pendant lights Hudson Valley? If not, what are they?

What stone yard/fabricator did you use for your counters? Were you please with your experience? I would like the super white, but sometimes it can be hard to find that "perfect slab" and am willing to go to Cincy for that if they can deliver up to Columbus.

I notice you have a toe kick. Does Mark Miller offer a non toe kick option? I haven't decided either way, I was just wondering. Does he have a showroom?

And lastly, price. If you are not comfortable emailing me the ball park of what your cabinets cost (and I totally understand) could you give me an idea on where Mark Miller came in relative to your other bids? Hopefully we can swing him if we like his work since our kitchen is TINY!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:22PM
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dmsohio, thanks so much! The wolf and Pro48 were way out of our budget as well, but we got them on floor model sale so that brought them in lower than GE Monogram, Thermador, etc.

Our lights are all Hudson Valley. I bought them online at - great deals and fantastic customer service. The pendants are Pelham, schoolhouse ones are edison, and sconces are sutton.

We bought our "Donna Sandra" slabs from Mont Granite here in Cincinnati, but I believe they have a Columbus location. I was very happily surprised to see that the cost of our selection was slightly less than Soapstone and much less than Calcutta and other marble options. Our fabricator was Zelaya Stoneworks here in Cincinnati - not sure if they go to Columbus...

Which toe-kicks are you referring to? The sink base and island "feet"? If so, those were just an option. If you are referring to the quarter-round along the outside cabinets, those weren't from Mark. We did an addition that started about half-way into our new kitchen space. Our flooring guy said that we needed them due to a transition issue where the addition starts. I was actually upset when I first saw the flooring guy put them on, but I have come to not notice them as much.

Mark does not have a showroom, but you can go out and visit his shop as we did. He has some samples and pictures in his office. Pricing-wise, Mark's cabinets were very affordable compared to other quotes we got. His quote came in well below Showplace, Plain & Fancy, and Crownpoint (10k+ lower); they were slightly less than Shiloh when Shiloh had their 10% off sale - but the Shiloh price did not include a hood or the cabinets between the kitchen and family room (those were part of a design change later in the game). Let me look back through my invoices and I can email you the cost. Good luck!!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 9:23AM
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HI dmsohio! I grew up in Columbus but live in Cincinnati now. We are using Mullet Cabinet in Millersburg, OH. We interviewed 3 custom cabinet makers and chose them based on quality and price. They are a bigger operation than one cabinet maker and his shop so I don't know if that fits your needs but I would recommend you check them out (they have an awesome showroom and you can tour the shop). We are dealing directly with them although they do have a company that represents them here.

The way we went about it was to contact them via email and send our floor plan for a quote. Once we knew they were in the ballpark we then visited with one of their kitchen designers and firmed up the plan. Then someone came down to measure our kitchen. Right now we are waiting on the final drawings. We will then go for a final visit to go over everything with a fine-toothed comb before production starts. We are having them install our cabinets but you can install them yourself. Be aware that you will not have to pay sales tax on your cabinets if they do the installation.

We had been looking at Shiloh, Kraftmaid and Schuler and because of special sizes (custom sized hutch, extra-deep refrigerator side panel, range hood and custom banquette) it made fiscal sense to go with a custom cabinet maker. We were pleasantly surprised that the price was affordable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mullet Cabinet

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:03AM
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We are mostly done with our kitchen, just making the backsplash decision today. We went with Miller Cabinet in Plain City, and are very happy with the result, and the follow up - we chose a rather challenging sink, and they are working with us to accomodate it. Our granite fabricator was Konkus, and we love our granite - it was called Canyon Dawn, from StoneMart or Mont, both off Roberts Rd on the west side - I can't remember which, we looked at so much granite. I will post pictures as soon as I get them off my phone and onto my computer, hopefully tonight. Thinking of using carrara marble subway tile for the backsplash. If you need more detail let me know, I would be happy to share anything I can.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 4:55PM
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Dmsohio - I used Bucks County Soapstone for my sink and the soapstone part of the counters. David fabricated the remainder out of curly maple.

I had soapstone in my previous kitchen and loved it. Still do. I had not had a wooden counter before and am head over heels with it also. (Watermarks do not show!!) I don't cut on it directly but David insists you can and does in his own kitchen. I've been in his kitchen and you can just barely see a few cut marks. Honestly, it may bother the most persnickety of us but it wouldn't bother me.

David contracted with Bucks County who shipped the soapstone to him. He did the install for both soapstone and curly maple counters and I couldn't be happier with the countertops and Joe and John - David's installers.

Contact me by email if you want to see the kitchen in person.

Let us know who decide to use.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:06PM
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Check out shipshewana area for Amish cabs. I don't have a specific recommendation but I believe plenty of cabinet makers.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:39PM
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don't know how close you are to Ft Wayne IN but there's an Amish cabinet maker near there - north of it in the Leo area. Graber cabinets. They've been around for yrs and yrs. There's also a little town out there called Grabill but I think this guy is in Leo. they're right next to each other. I just looked online and it says they're in Grabill.

The Amish do such good work. A number on here have used Amish cabinet makers and had beautiful cabinets done.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:51PM
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Tracy - I would LOVE to see your kitchen pictures. We are in Hilliard just a stones throw away from Plain City. How are Millers prices compared to other cabinet makers you looked at? Do they have a show room of their work?

Doc - I'd love to see your kitchen sometime. I will email you later and maybe we can set something up. We moved into a fixer upper and are making progress and checking rooms off our list. The kitchen is going through a minor reno right now to get us through. We just got an oven after a summer without one. And soon we will get a dishwasher. But the major kitchen reno will take a long time to plan and save up for but I can't wait!

Thanks for all the help everyone. If anyone thinks of more awesome cabinet makers put some names for other midwest / Ohio folks!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 10:38PM
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I've also heard good things about Miller (from Mennonite friends) and plan to check them out.
I also have a lead on a cabinetmaker in the Amish community a bit north of Akron. As I understand it he mostly does work within the community. If that pans out I'll let you know.
We're looking to do a low cost reno in Columbus -- someone will no doubt come through after us and decide the equivalent of another small house needs to be added after a gut reno. That kind of neighborhood. So we're looking for functional for us, not a lot of money, but looks good.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 10:59PM
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