Cabinet lines, remodel - Altogether overwhelming!

aimskitchenSeptember 25, 2012

We've been trying to plan our kitchen remodel for many months now, and have gone back and forth on many details and designs. We were all set to go with one company and KD who'd helped us a lot, when we realized we weren't sure we'd be happy with the quality of the Homecrest cabinetry she was pricing. We then asked for pricing of the same design in Candlelight, and it was a 45% upcharge, which seemed high and and it seemed like a pretty big jump. She's told us Showplace might be an option, but I know nothing about this line, except some negative things I just found in old threads.

We've also looked into Kraftmaid, which is priced about the same as Homecrest but seems it might be better quality, and Bertch Legacy, which I also know little about. We're thinking shaker doors, wood stain and likely a glaze, and I'd love to consider inset but wonder how much of an upcharge this would be - haven't gotten an answer on this yet.

My head is spinning - it's a big investment as you all know and involves living with chaos for some months, and we want to get it right! Input or experience with any of these would be appreciated.

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I've never remodeled with anything except custom cabinets, so can't tell you about any of these lines. But have you considered having cabinets made? I think custom is very affordable and have read here that other people have found they compare with the prices from their KD.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 4:55PM
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I've read that having cabinets made can be as affordable as buying them, but I'm not sure what they're comparing them to or who's making them. The one custom guy I called here quoted twice what Candlelight would charge, for a bit less cabinetry - and that was already nearly double the Homecrest price. If I could find someone who could do it more reasonably, I'd be glad to go that route!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 5:50PM
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I sell Showplace. It should price around Kraftmaid, I think it has a better finish and is more flexible. I've sold. Inset in SWP can be as little as 7% more from full overlay. Read those old posts again and check the sign up dates of the posters.
I've had no issues with the brand and typically sell higher end cabinets. I typically use them in secondary rooms when doing a hi end home. I put them in my dads house. The only downside compared to Kraftmaid is if you want veneer interiors. Remember I'm biased.
Bertch will be higher and then Candlelight.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:15PM
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Forgot to mention- on Showplace- I hate the shelf clips and change them out on every job.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:19PM
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I have Bertch Legacy and Bertch Custom cabinets in my kitchen and I love them. We went with QS oak in a shaker cabinet and they are beautiful. After almost three years of heavy use they still look and perform like they day they were installed.

I wouldn't get too hung up on how others compare and rank cabinet lines. You never know what upgrades, finishes or cabinet levels they were comparing to and I think pricing can vary depending on where you live. Bertch Cabinets are made about an hour from my house so I would think my pricing would be better than someone who lives on the coast and had to have them shipped out.

Try to decide you what your priorities are in the cabinets be it Blum hardware, box construction, glazed finishes or whatever. Only price cabinet lines that meet these needs and then get estimates comparing apples to apples. Don't rely on a generic statement like "They are going to be 20% more." The devil is in the details and while some other kitchen might have been 20% more it doesn't mean yours will be.

If you have a definative layout it shouldn't be hard to do get quotes but if you are still deciding on what goes where then back off the shopping and get your plan finalized.

There is a lot of good info on this forum but it can be overwhelming. It's OK to step away from computer and make choices based on what works best for you.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:48PM
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Thank you for weighing on on Showplace, Jakuvall, and thank you Skydog for telling me about your cabinets. I'd love to see yours if you'd like to share a picture; we'd like the shaker door and are trying to either match or blend nicely with a big antique quartersawn oak buffet we're incorporating.

We finally do have a definite layout and so getting quotes is a bit easier, but believe it or not, it's a challenge to find people who will quote the design we have and not try to think up completely different designs. I'm open to creativity, but at this point in my tiny kitchen, I know I don't want things like the fridge stuck in my cooking run, for instance - I need counter space and have already thought that through.

Thanks for the good thoughts on comparing prices, making sure the details match up. We're getting better at figuring out what's best for us, but at the same time, want to know we're getting quality and are thankful for the input of folks like you!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 7:10PM
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I got a quote from a Crystal dealer that was half again higher than the custom guy I actually found, and I'm in the Bay Area where everything is high. It's worth looking around for a custom guy, so you can cut out the middle man.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:25PM
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Sorry, I can't figure out how to resize this so the picture is huge! Obviously I have some problems with lighting in the photo but it should give you an idea of the cabinets and the wood grain. It's too small of a space to back up and takegood pictures.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:25PM
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I agree with sjerin. I went to Angie's list and the yellow pages and made a list of every cabinet maker within 30 miles and visited almost every one until we found one priced right that built quality cabinets.

They're out there, you just need to spend some time finding them.

Around here, cabinet builders are in a slump and I like to think I'm helping keep a local business going.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:34PM
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My custom guy was a referral from my friend who built a new home. Actually, all three cab guys I talked to - custom and semi-custom - were referrals from people who had done kitchens themselves or had actually seen their work. I found true custom from a Mennonite craftsman to be the best value. Asking everyone you know if they know of a cabmaker is one way to find one, and Angie's List, as marti8a used, is another. I put a glowing review of my cabmaker on Angie's List.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 2:06PM
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jakuvall ... This message is from Showplace.

Regarding your comment: "Forgot to mention- on Showplace- I hate the shelf clips and change them out on every job."

The shelf clips we use fulfill a couple of additional purposes beyond simply supporting the shelf once the cabinet is in the home. They allow us to install all of the shelves that a cabinet is meant to have in our building (which makes sure the cabinet leaves with all the shelves it is supposed to have) and it keeps the shelf safe from damage during the delivery process.

Having said that, we would prefer to hear that you have nothing but "good things" to say about our brand; if a better clip would make that more likely, our product development team would be willing to consider a clip along the lines of what you DO like.

Would you either post a photo, and/or contact us directly at ?

Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 10:24PM
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Look at Candlelight from a different dealer. I live where Candlelight is made and different dealers sell it at different price points.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 10:37PM
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There was a great thread a few months back that gave costs based on a standard size cabinet and another thread that ranked semi-custom lines. I can't find them now, but they were great threads if you can locate them.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 9:03AM
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CabinetMakerSWP- I had plenty of good things to say about SWP. Don't take offense, I could mention a downside to every brand I handle, all more expensive. I am happy selling your product.
These folks are here for information, and want it unbiased. They get the sales pitch when they are out shopping, they don't need it here.
As a dealer I need to sell your product as effectively as I can. For me, as a designer, that means being straight with my clients, managing expectations, and being their advocate. Clients will discover anything they don't like eventually and I want to avoid disappointment so I list pros and cons up front, here and in person. The clients I have appreciate that, I have satisfied clients, and you benefit. Even a small glitch can throw people.

As to the shelf clips-
Anyone comparing the brands listed (as the OP is) could easily see what I see. I indicated that your cabinets fit well in the middle ground here, the clips don't. So I noted that they could be changed, makes them detract less.
Which ones? for me the cost difference is minor so I use the Hafele 282.24.711, but any metal shelf clip would be fine. SWP has been very responsive, I have no doubt they will change them eventually. I've discussed this with my rep and the factory enough that you should be able to figure out who I am from that alone :)

FWIW- I've been hanging around here a long time. It's very useful to see: what people care about, understand, misconstrue, styles choices, mistakes, what they think is important, problems, complaints....
I get a lot out of the forum and figure I can put something back. So I post (in spurts) when I can. I try to be mindful of where I fit here; (mostly)restricting posts to facts, an occastional solution or "this is available from ..." . I do my best to avoid any marketing.

If I might be so bold (and I am)- have someone from development follow this board, all of it, every day. Just read, see what they are thinking, value, want, need, and do. Then evaluate it and use what you can. Occasionally have someone (maybe from tech) post something useful, doesn't need to have anything to do with your brand. If you see a problem-some dealer not doing their job, a misunderstanding, etc. then intervene and solve it- that goes a long way.
You'll end up with a stronger brand, gain credibility, the forum will gain an asset, and maybe eventually my sales might go up :)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:27AM
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May I add that jakuvall's tempered comments have indeed been a great asset here in GW kitchens. Cabinetry purchase is difficult for us, given all the manufacturers. Threads here have built a foundation on cabinet build, sizing, interiors, hardware and doors. So much to weed through and we've had some great helpful thread. jakuvall always demonstrates restraint in comments, so much so that I still can't figure out his/her top choices and I read a lot.

I too don't like any plastic clips when I open any cabinet manufacturers door. Plastic is cheap. Metal is more durable and accepted. With the high cost of cabinetry, it's irking to see plastic clips first thing, at least to me. Sounds like jukuvall has picked up on a common dislike. Another one is visible staples. I don't like staples in cabinetry at all but to see them (and I've read many can be pulled out as they relate to shipping?) is beyond the pale.

Thanks for helping us jukuvall. It's very appreciated and you walk the fine line very professionally.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 11:33AM
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This forum is the greatest resource of any I've found for kitchen remodeler/builders. So cool to have the wealth of experience and info on here!

Ditto plastic clips.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 11:54AM
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I have all the sympathy for you. This was the most nerve wracking portion of the remodel process for me as well. And then you come here and read all of the comments and it can just be information overload! I just have a couple of comments. We priced a couple of different cabinet lines as well as a couple of different custom options. I kept reading that custom can be had for the same price as semi-custom. Maybe it is my location or my desires overpowering my budget, but I just did not find this to be the case in my situation. I ended up going with Kraftmaid and have been very happy with them. The KD was wonderful to work with, we were able to get the layout and features that we wanted within their line, and now that all is installed it is very functional.

I, too , had read the good and bad here regarding different lines. It is human nature tended to fixate on the bad, but there was enough good that I felt comfortable going with Kraftmaid. Now that all is installed (about 9 months now), I am quite pleased with the quality of our Kraftmaid cabinets. Everything arrived on schedule and was what we ordered, except for a few incorrect pulls, but that obviously didn't affect install. We had a couple of doors that we didn't like and they were replaced absolutely no question, no problem. I was very concerned about the finish on the cabinets, which was one of my biggest issues with the custom lines, and am pleased with the factory finish on Kraftmaid. Our GC installed them without difficulty and commented that the quality was nice.

Lurking around here provides so much knowledge, and enabled me to do the best possible kitchen remodel within my limitations. But I had to check myself several times along the way to keep my visions from becoming a bit too grandiose. I didn't remodel with the plans of moving anytime soon, but it is something that had to be in the back of my mind. I live in a standard suburban neighborhood and it just doesn't support all of the wonderful things that many here opted to add. Oh, and I had a budget that I wanted to stick to. In the end, I got a kitchen that I am happy with, one that looks like it "fits" in the neighborhood (although probably one of the nicer ones), and stayed on budget.

So, anyway, just some food for thought. Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 12:07PM
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jakuvall -- We were not offended by your comments and are legitimately interested in improving our products and services. Too bad it is impossible to interpret a "tone of voice" through the written word alone.

We encourage our dealers to be completely candid and forward when presenting our brand to consumers...we do not want to be oversold any more than a homeowner wants to be sold something that doesn't meet their expectations. Thank you for doing just that.

My request for more info and the suggestion to take it off-line was simply to avoid the impression that we are on this site looking to sell.

Finally, we are following this forum and posting responses only when it seems to be meaningful to the conversation and can be applicable to brands other than just our own. Hopefully we are doing that successfully.

Thank you for the post.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Skyedog, I hope you see this message.

First, go here for instructions on how to get emails sent to you ...

To change the size of a picture, open the picture in Photobucket. If you click on the picture, across the very top of the picture you will see File, Edit, Resize, Rotate, Share, etc. Choose Resize to change the size of your pic. After you have saved it, it may take a couple hours to update within photobucket's server. Then it will show up smaller on Gardenweb.

Alternately, while you are posting to the thread, you can specify the size within the posting code with a height command ...
<img src=""; height="300">

gives you ...

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 9:25PM
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