Perceived 'value' - KD's and others words of wisdom?

autumn.4October 16, 2013

So dh says I have analysis paralysis and cannot make a decision and darn it I think he's right! Framing starts next week and the clock is ticking!

New construction - 2,400 sq foot, $280k build (not including property).

My overall dilemma is choosing a solid cabinet that is durable (durability in construction AND painted finish) but a good value. An upgraded kitchen by MY definition in terms of budget and 'extras' is one with full extension soft close doors/drawers and all drawers. That's it for what I want and what would make me happy. Okay - well add one upper with glass that I have had to ditch due to cost but you get the picture. This is not going to be an over the top or near the top fancy space but I still want it to look nice in terms of finish. I will have to use aftermarket drawer inserts, etc. and I am okay with that.

I am struggling choosing a cabinet line. They all offer some sort of upgrade for 'nothing' and it's so hard to compare.

I have priced Shiloh and Medallion - both framed. Both were around $12k for 12 cabinets, including a refrigerator panel and a couple of uppers that are at 18 inches depth. For the Medallion I had to ditch the bead board on the island and make it DIY to get the price down. Does that sound reasonable? The nearest dealers (avoiding big box) are also in very high cost of living areas (compared to my own) and I'm wondering if that is inflating the price at all? They are clearly used to dealing with larger more elaborate spaces but have been very helpful in offering cost cutting strategies.

I am starting to feel guilty about having them tweak layout when I'm not sure my budget will allow me to use them in the end. Excavating went over budget (and over the budget buffer in that area) so I need to stay in check here. So I guess I WANT to use them but I'm not sure it's the smartest choice given our whole house build budget.

I am wondering if I should quote Homecrest or Dynasty or Kemper? If I can get it under $12k for the kitchen without sacrificing quality I'm all for it but I don't know where to start.

The other big question mark is if we go through the lumberyard we will get the builders discount which is 14% - that is huge to me (kitchen plus 2 bathrooms and laundry room adds up) BUT - I don't know any of the brands and the only reviews I've found on them are not good. They are Custom Cupboards and Aristokraft and Riviera and Great Northern. Any of you have experience with them - besides AristoCRAP as I've read. I am going to stop by today and pick up some literature.

Is there another line that I should be checking? I need to make a decision and move on! Framing starts next week and I still feel like I am somewhat at square one. At least I do have a layout.

If you've hung in thus far - thank you! I would greatly appreciate any thoughts.

This post was edited by Autumn.4 on Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 12:21

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$12K for 12 Medallion cabinets sounds high. Medallion cabinets are known for being well built with very good finish (an equally important part of the equation). They are manufactured by Elkay Company, Waconia MN.

Why avoid Lowes if your builder permits them? They sell Schuler Cabinetry, the same face-frame Elkay Medallion product. Currently Lowes is running two cost saving promotions:

Save $400 to $10,000
on Special Order
Kitchen Cabinets

5% off*
or Special Financing**
Choose 5% off every day,* or select 6 months special financing with a $299 minimum purchase** when you use your Lowe's Consumer Credit Card.

Perhaps you are precluded from using a big box store, but the face-frame (there is frameless also) product under Elkay manufacturing is the same, regardless of where sold. Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Lowes Schuler cabinetry:

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 1:35PM
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There was a recent complaint here about the painted finish on Medallion cabinets, with no resolution posted so far.

Have you tried doing a search here for the brands you are considering?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 1:37PM
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Sparkling- I think I am avoiding mostly because we did a small kitchenette in our basement in our last home and the KD left off fillers and we ended up with paper sides which we had NO idea was even offered. I didn't feel the KD there had any knowledge and I am scared to entrust a kitchen to someplace like that? I suppose I could get a different KD and it would be okay.

edit: Medallion KD did say they are running a free sink base special right now .

jellytoast-I did and there are only negatives with Aristokraft. Custom Cupboards there is NOTHING but 2 google reviews that were both negative. :( So I am defininitely leery about using them even with a 14% discount. I wish they carried more lines! I just called and confirmed that they do not.

I am concerned that the places I have priced might be higher priced because they offer more flexiblity but yet I am not really using them to the extent that they offer so maybe I am paying a bit for stuff I am not using. Does that make sense? For example - Shiloh inset at no upcharge but I am not getting inset which I think is inevitably built into the cost somewhere. Does that make sense? Do you agree yes or no?

Plus I sheepishly think I've seen so many beautiful spaces that I am plain and simple just looking out of my budget. I have never had painted cabinets though so I want to be sure they are a nice durable finish so I don't end up regretting it.

I think basically I am scared to screw up such a large investment....extrapolated by a whole build's worth of potential screwups and regrets. It's a good thing I don't do this for a living! LOL!

This post was edited by Autumn.4 on Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 13:58

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 1:54PM
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Yes, jellytoast, I thought of including that link. It seems it's unusual though (11 months and mass peeling), i.e., more an outlier. Hope it gets addressed soon.

Perhaps kompy will advise here, as she has often commented as a seller on Medallion. Or, the OP might use the GW search engine and put in her name to bring up the thread "range of cabinet prices" I think.

OP-HomeCrest and Kemper are similar lines/value. Dynesty Omega is known for quality build and finish (pricier than Medallion).

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 2:00PM
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Hi Autumn,
Just going to throw this out there but I will recommend you call up the people doing my cabinets. I am almost positive they will go out to your area as I've seen one of their parade homes out in SH. I think you will get a lot for your money.

My whole kitchen is coming in at 21K and that is with all drawers, custom knife and silverware inserts, drawer dividers and spice shelves, rollout under the sink, cabinets to the ceiling with stacked uppers/glass inserts, frameless full overlay. It also includes a custom hood, lightrail and crown. Paint grade maple, catalyzed lacquer custom color, soft close full extension blum.

Their website is ok but the homes I've been through are just gorgeous, stunning. let me know if you want the name.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 2:21PM
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Autumn.4, as yourself, I was nervous when I started my remodel.

I did a lot of research on GW and Houzz, measured both rooms myself as well as paid for a KD to measure (as well as got free measurements from contractors).

If you have an idea of your design, introduce it into the measurements and then post and play with it. Mine was pretty much a simple galley kitchen with a work triangle (DW, sink, prep, range on one side, fridge and more prep/baking on the other side and pantry in adjoining room). With help from bfenton and others, (thanks bfenton), I was able to incorporate the lighting and glass cabinets I wanted to accent certain design features.

I purchased InnerMost Frameless Cabinets (42" height, 13" inch width uppers, 24" base), a sister company to Medallion under Elkay. I guess that's why I can attest to the quality of the make and excellent satin paint finish of Elkay's products. Ours are lovely, and clean up easily should something splash. Elkay offers a limited lifetime ownership warranty (I think) but as most cabinet manufacturers, do not cover " normal wear and tear". The cabinets are all soft close drawer and doors, the glass is tempered, there were no in drawer unusual knots or improper finish. We returned nothing out of 24 cabinets including a very tall utility. The order included finished sides, but not integrated sides like some have.

You're right that measurement is key. I'd pay to get that done professionally and by someone who will stick with you if there is a mistake. With a new build, are blue prints available of the space too? My space was enveloped by backer, so you have to take that into account also. And leave more height for a refrigerator: they've grown taller over the years of production.

Here's a photo of one side of our kitchen with Innermost cabinets and crown. If you do crown, go over several selections before deciding. Framed cabinet crown has to fit//work just so.

Good luck. I stand by Elkay products, when measurements are absolutely right.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 2:41PM
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We ended up using Waypoint (American Woodmark) because of our budget. We spent just under 12K for 7 drawer stack lowers (including a huge 36"), 1 super susan, 1 36" sink cab, 4 30" uppers, 3 36" tall cabs we set on the floor for bar-height, 2 full length 84" pantry cabinets, 1 over-fridge cab and 6 upper-uppers.

That also included beadboard for our island and thick 2-piece crown, scribe, etc. This was for painted full-overlay with soft close doors and self-close drawers on all. Someday I will post a reveal.

This post was edited by threegraces on Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 15:34

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 3:33PM
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illini-ummm, yes please! If you don't want to post it here you can email me through my page. I'd love to check them out! Do you know how many cabinets you will have? I believe I have 12.

sparkling-First thank you for the picture! I have surfed this board relentlessly for months - it's my new part time job. :) In doing so I found a lot of favorable reviews for both Shiloh and Medallion in the mid price range. The closest places to me that sell them for Shiloh is not all that close but doable and Medallion is a place on the Lakeshore of Lake Michigan as in million dollar homes. Eek. I also am not sure I love the white paints they offer. I know they have them at Lowes and Menards but I don't trust the whole KD thing there and no way do I trust myself to field measure.

What do you mean by 'enveloped by backer'? I do have construction drawings but the designer didn't really lay out the kitchen. I have posted rough layouts before with suggestions and good ones but none that I really thought we could do in budget. :/

So if you were to use a glass like seeded that was pretty much opaque - would it be a major no-no to not have the inside of the cabinets 'finished'?

I will post a rough sketch I received from one of the KD's. The cabinet I wanted to do glass in was the one down to the counter that is labeled #1. I thought it would look nice and add some interest.

See - yes I will have framed and with crown - I need the KD to figure that out - it's way over my head on where to return the crown blah blah blah - when you need an end panel - which ones should be finished and how. The 2 kd's I've worked with and liked seem to be on top of that and that is what I need.

Kitchen sketch:

Island revision - with seating on 2 sides instead of straight in a row.

Inspiration picture for built ins which will be opposite the range wall. Open concept- this room is 20' wide and ours is 16 1/2 so it is not to scale.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 3:41PM
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threegraces - sorry cross posting. So do you like them? Happy with the quality and finish? Don't be shy - I'd love a pic! ;)

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 3:43PM
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On Aristokraft: I have read the bad reviews too. Have one friend who has 18yr old aristokraft in her kitchen and other then a few hinge adjustments they are in excellent condition. Another friend put in Aristokraft about 3 yrs ago in her kitchen. She loves her cabinets. We put in aristokraft in our master bath two years ago. No issues.

We were going to use them for our kitchen last year but found that Shenandoah from Lowes came in at a lower price. We also would have used American woodmark (HD) but they didn't have the exact style I wanted. We paid $4,200 (included NYS sales tax) for 11 cherry full overlay cabinets.

The other company that I would have gone with if the budget was slightly larger is Candlelight. That estimate came in at $5000.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Autumn, as I have clear glass, the insides were finished. I don't know how to advise you on opaque glass but others should.

Backer board: our prior kitchen was original St. Charles Cabinets with wood doors. Probably put in mid 1970's. The cabinets sat in front of backer board and plaster by 1/2" or so. I only saw it from below as I wasn't there for removal. My point is that extra space between the end of the uppers and lowers needed to be accounted for in design measurements (cabinets need to go as close as possible to the back).

With a new build, you have an empty kitchen space, so no measurement adjustment is needed.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 4:22PM
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debrak-thank you for the first hand on aristokraft. I think we may be doing a lesser grade cab in our bathrooms and laundry as well.

sparkling-ahh, that makes sense. We do have one wall where the fridge and the MW are recessed (18" deep cab there so it is flush from the front) and then the wall jogs back to normal. I am a little concerned about that part and how exact I think it needs to be to pull off. Contemplating having the whole thing recessed and going with 18" depth cupboards all across but I kind of wanted an easy reach in the corner. Maybe I should start a separate thread on opaque glass and interior cabinet finishing.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 5:32PM
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I can only offer that I have Dynasty cabs and love them.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 5:46PM
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joaniepoanie-how were they cost wise???? I am meeting with another place tomorrow that carries them. We'll see what they say.

I think when I see the threads that rank the cabs and I shot for a good mid grade by quoting Shiloh and Medallion...maybe mid grade was really over our budget?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 5:50PM
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here is the link to the website. The stuff they have on there doesn't do them justice. If you call, ask for Allison. She is the cabinetry designer. They are affiliated with my builder under the same family name (Engelsma) but a separate business with a separate website (the family also owns a heating/cooling company in the same building).

As far as the number of cabinets I have it would be hard for me to judge because everything is custom so I don't know how it breaks down. I can tell you I have 15 feet each uppers and lowers on one wall including the range/hood/ovens.

Then 10 feet each uppers/lowers on the fridge wall including the fridge/micro areas.

Then about 9 feet lowers only on each side of the island including the sink/dw. The other side (seating side) currently has storage shelves included with spring mechanism latches (to try to make them invisible without hardware). The seating side storage is the only lowers that aren't drawers. (except trash pullouts which I have two of, one on the working side of the island and one on the short side of the island facing the fridge). so it's quite a bit of cabinetry in the space. I never shopped around but our builder flat out told me I wouldn't find a better price. I had invested a lot of time with Allison and I decided to just go with them and not bother to shop around.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

Here is a link that might be useful: Natural Elements Cabinetry

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 6:11PM
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oh, i should have also linked this, which comes from the builder's website. Better pics of their kitchens

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchens

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 6:33PM
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Autumn...I have a galley kitchen and we put them in adjacent LR as well. They were ordered two years ago September and were on sale. We spent around $11K. My contractor normally installs Merillat which I don't think are very good (builder grade) and the Dynasty with the sale priced out at only $1500 more than Merillat which I think was well worth it. So you can compare here is what I have:

Kitchen Lowers

18" trash pullout/drawer
30" sink base
30" drawer stack
33" drawer stack
12" cabinet/drawer (cookie sheets)


12" spice pullout
Fridge panels and 36" cab above

Laundry room:

36" sink cab
36x36" cab above sink
36" floor to ceiling pantry with pullouts

Hope this helps....good luck!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 7:18PM
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"... well add one upper with glass that I have had to ditch due to cost..."

This jumped out at me. My KD told me to order the door that would hold the glass but to not order the glass shelves or glass insert from her. She told me we could get the glass elsewhere for far, far less than she could. So, that's what we did.

You might want to consider doing the same. Then, order the glass from a glass company. Even if it's too much now, you can live with the "open" door until you save up enough for the glass. The cabinet should come with wood shelves that can be used until you're ready to get the glass.

"...with full extension soft close doors/drawers and all drawers.."

Another place to save - while you should get the full-extension/soft-close drawers, don't get the soft close doors. They can be easily installed after-market and at a fraction of the cost. We were quoted $50/door with the cabinet company but bought the soft-close device for $3/door later. My DH installed them on all 20 or so doors in about an hour.

Aristrokraft...totally agree with you based on long-term ownership - avoid them - at least the builder-grade! We had them and they didn't last more than 3 or 4 years b/f the paint started looking worn and within 5 or 6 years they started falling apart (except the lazy susan - it was solid and 13 years later is was still working smoothly and there were no sagging or other issues - and we stored pots/pans/colanders/serving pieces in it.) On the other cabinets/drawers - hinges had to be replaced, decorative drawer fronts on the sink cab had to be glued back on, drawers started failing, etc.

This post was edited by buehl on Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 20:15

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 8:12PM
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Joanie-thank you for the break down! I need to itemize my sketch, right off I forgot to count the sink base and above fridge as cabinets. My quote still seems high as I don't have many uppers.

Buehl- we did discuss getting glass elsewhere, the $572 charge was for glass and finish interior. I agree in soft close doors. I will ask about that charge as well. I had found your aristocraP thread, among others. :). I don't need to be replacing cabs right away.

Illini-thanks so much! I will be calling them tomorrow. I do wonder if you get a better cost as they are your builder but it is worth a shot.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 8:50PM
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If Joaniepoanie's price range works for you, then I'll complicate things and say I love my Bellmont 1900 series frameless cabinets. They also have a less expensive 1600 series. I paid a little more than Joaniepoanie, but I also had more cabinets, including a wall oven/4 drawer stack and pull out pantry, plus a double angled corner, so I think they are very close. I know it's harder to locate info on frameless cabinet lines, so I thought I'd toss that in.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 8:55PM
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Williamsen, not sure I ever told you we did go with Bellmont 1900 - Terra stone lowers and white Lustro uppers. We won't get them until early December so I can't report yet, but I sure am looking forward to seeing them!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 9:52PM
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williamsem-I will check Bellmont out too, I have seen your kitchen a gagillion times. ;) I haven't heard of them either - I'll see if they serve the mid-west. edit: I just checked and they serve Ohio and Illinois but NOT Michigan. Bummer!

Essentially I wanted to keep the kitchen under $12K and I think I can achieve that. However, I've had 2 baths and a laundry room also quoted and they are killing my budget - even in lesser lines. I need to stay under $16k out the door. So that is where I am thinking I need to get the kitchen lower to compensate for the other rooms which are pretty simple and yet more costly than I had anticipated.

Master: 2 36" vanities and a 24" open shelf in between.
Kids bath: 48" vanity with a linen cabinet tower.
Laundry: 36" sink base, 36" open shelf base for baskets, 2 36" uppers.

For kitchen this is what I had quoted:
Painted perimeter, stained bead boarded island - both shaker style doors.

Shiloh quote: $11,647.90
Medallion Quote: $13,488.00 (they always have a special of some sort running and this price does not reflect it since I'm not sure what the deal will be when I place my order)

Cabinet Lowers (all 3 drawer unless otherwise noted):
27" drawer stack
36" drawer stack
36" drawer stack
18" blind corner - don't like so will change
9" door - to a super susan possibly
33" drawer stack

18" four drawer stack
18" trash pull out
33" sink base
end paneling for island
toe kick

Uppers - 39" tall:
27" to the counter with one drawer
33" - 18" depth
33" - 18" depth
36" - 18" depth above refrigerator

Thanks for all of the help. I feel a little bit better already just being able to 'discuss' it. Dh just wants a choice made, within budget - doesn't really want to talk about it EXCEPT to say he wants framed cabinets and a stainless hood. I could easy go frameless but it's about compromise and the give and take. I have relented on both of those - the rest is up to me!

This post was edited by Autumn.4 on Thu, Oct 17, 13 at 6:16

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 6:14AM
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Sophie Wheeler

OK, there are some weird specs there that can't be real. For instance, there is no such thing as an 18" blind corner. The smallest is a 36" blind corner and that's completely useless for the most part as it's too hard to access. I always use a 48" with some type of access organizer in it.

Also, 18" deep uppers? That's odd, and a big upcharge to change from the standard 12" deep uppers. 18" above a fridge? Standard is 24" deep, and again, when you are doing custom details like that, that's where your money is being spent.

What crown are you choosing? Crown can be as much as 1/3 of the budget if you are doing a stacked crown. There is one line I used that has over 100 choices for crown, and all of them are a different price. Be sure you're picking an economical stack if that's what you are doing. Like a straight filler and a more simple crown.

You've got plenty of places to trim the fat here. Start with any custom depth cabinets. You'll be surprised at how big of a difference that makes.

You should be doing the secondary cabinetry in a lesser name for your baths and laundry. I've used Aristokraft in plenty of bathrooms, and it's held up well. I've even used it in a few kitchen projects that came out just fine and held up fine. It probably would let you achieve your overall budget. BUT, there aren't any choices in it to customize your cabinets. None of that 18" deep possible. But, that's what's getting your price up.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 7:46AM
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holly-Thank you so much for hanging in and helping me out.

I am having the bath/laundry quoted in lesser lines - I actually would prefer the kids bath and laundry in laminate or melamine for easy care. I don't care for thermafoil due to the bumpy feel.

My bad on the refrigerator - it is 24" depth. I had the 18" wall recess stuck in my head.

MW - so what do you suggest for the MW? I have those cabs recessed and bumped to 18" to accommodate the MW. I don't prefer the standard big MW shelf that I have seen in the past. I want the MW to be flush with the other cabinets. Is there another option that would be more cost effective?

The pantry is right behind the fridge wall so I can be very flexible there - that is why I went 18" depth all the way. I thought it would be easier to frame. ??? Here is the wall and the blue arrow points to where the MW would be. It was originally drawn for the fridge and MW width to be recessed only. I can still make changes as framing starts next week.

9 and 18" dimension - I was reading off of the sketch that had revisions also written over top. After closer look - it's a 48" blind cabinet with adjustable shelf (NOT CORNER) - then on the other side it's a 9" then a 33" then the refrigerator. I am having her re-quote with a super susan as I feel like as drawn with the blind it would be a complete waste to me.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 8:42AM
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What brand MW are you using? Is it a built in model? You'll need a 24" deep oven cabinet for that. If you're doing a counter MW, then a shelf is the best and cheapest choice. I'd personally do a standard 24" deep base MW cabinet next to the fridge and standard 24" deep cabinets all on that run. With standard 12" deep cabinets above. That lets you put an $59 MW on that shelf and replace it cheaply when it dies. Built ins are expensive both to house in cabinetry and to replace when they die. They aren't really suited to a budget kitchen.

That jog in the wall framing isn't helping you in cabinet costs at all. It's hurting you. With standard 24" deep cabinets, you can pull them 6" so that whole run has 30" deep cabinets, which keeps the refrigerator from sticking out and gives you more counter space to boot.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 9:26AM
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It's a GE that we already own. It's not a built in - no trim kit. It's on the counter right now here but I do not want to repeat that. It's dimensions are: 21.75" W x 17.6875" D x 12.8125" H

What I don't want is one of those large awkward MW shelves that sticks way out and has a bunch of dead space all around it.

I am not sure what a MW deep base cabinet is. Do you have a pic? I have a meeting today with another place for a quote and I want to be sure I know what I am asking for.

So do NOT recess the wall at all (or rather recess the whole thing or have it framed at the recessed depth so I don't mess up my range wall config) - do it straight across but pull the base cabinets forward 18" - fridge stays back, yes? Then I'd just put a deeper counter on top and voila?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 9:39AM
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soft-close device for $3/door later. My DH installed them on all 20 or so doors in about an hour.

I second this! I installed 19 in under an hour using just my little Dremel stylus and a screwdriver, for about $60. Quiet doors!!!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 11:05AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Base microwave cabinet.

It's just a cubby in a standard 24" base cabinet (usually with a drawer below) where you set a standard cheap microwave. You're doing it as a wall cabinet, which requires all kinds of modifications that cost money.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 11:11AM
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In the brand I use at this price point soft close DOORS adds only $8 per cabinet, so you save a total of $50...the drawer upgrade OTOH is $30 each.
Same brand I checked a base micro- saves about $60 bucks over a wall micro at 18-24" deep and 39 tall with finished interior. Not much-

One thing you can do is with the baths/laundry is:
Replace the open cabinets in the bath with finished sides or skins and just use finished ply shelves from the mfg, put battens under shelves for support- saves a 500 bucks in the line I checked.

I mentioned the other cost cuts in the other thread.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 12:09PM
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Jakuvall-would you mind sharing what line you checked in case they have it where I am headed? If you'd prefer not I respect that. So I must admit I do not know exactly what batten is. I will google it.

So if I follow you for the bath-middle part really is NOT a separate cabinet. Shelves are placed between two cabinets with finished ends?

Torn on MW placement. Still thinking upper height would be more user friendly...but I don't want it to stick out so far it looks off or bad or like an oops.

Thanks again so much. I am hoping for better numbers after this afternoons meeting. I will report back.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 12:36PM
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I finished my new build about 16 months ago (similar size and budget), and I definitely feel your pain! I gather you're in Michigan. We're in SW Ohio.

Our builder suggested we work with a kitchen company that pushed us to Haas cabinets. We'd had them in a previous house and the drawer guides were horrible (plastic for a large deep drawer), so I was negative on them. They also didn't have all the sizes I wanted. I found I could get custom cabinets from an Amish-built line they carried for not much more. My 19 kitchen cabinets came in at about $12,000.

Edit: The Haas cabinets mentioned above were installed 15 years ago. I'm not making a comment on the quality of Haas cabinets today!

Here are a few notes on what we did:

- Went for much cheaper cabinets in the bathrooms. I mean, they are partial overlay, but they look nice and I'm sure they will hold up fine. In the powder room we went for a nice-looking marble-topped vanity that probably cost all of $400.

- Used frameless (saved 10%) full overlay cabinets on the base and island cabinets. We only have 5 upper cabinets because we have an 8' window. I love the light and windows are less expensive than cabinets. Those are inset cabinets because I like the look.

- Put the microwave under the cabinet like Hollysprings showed above. It's not as convenient as eye level, but it's been fine.

- Had the mirror company put the glass in my cabinet.

- Recessed the refrigerator exactly like you did (into our mudroom shelves). It didn't cost any extra to do that and our builder thought that was the best way.

I personally would try to put the glass back in that cabinet. There has to be a cabinet line that will do that for a reasonable cost.

Good luck! It'll be worth it all in the end.

This post was edited by mpagmom on Sat, Nov 9, 13 at 20:13

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 2:41PM
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holly-thanks! I can see how it would be much cheaper and I think I'm okay with it but DH is very tall and I think he may balk. But when I talk $ he will listen. We use it often enough for re-heating and defrosting but I think mostly I do more than anyone.

mpagmom-I really love your kitchen! I love your backsplash. :) I met with another KD just now. We discussed putting it in a base cabinet. I love your glass cab and all that natural light - awesome. I did have them price it with finished interior in hopes that I could get the glass aftermarket and install it. That cabinet faces the great room and I think it would just dress it up - not that we entertain much but at any rate it would make me smile.

jakuvall-thank you again so much for the batten tip. The KD actually brought that up as a cost effective solution to my island too. She said they do it quite frequently. Order trim boards that are the same stain and install them to look like wainscotting which is what I wanted in the first place!

I will be sure to report back with my newest quote $. I believe she is quoting Homecrest, Dynasty and Woodland - which she said if I didn't have to have soft close DOORS they would price competitively as otherwise they are a decent cost add on (drawers are standard though). I think I will survive or do them later if I feel I need them.

Thanks again for walking through this with me. You'd think a new build would be all fun and games - easy peasy but not for this girl!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 3:42PM
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Yes-no cabinet just shelves. Then it depends on how they charge for finished sides-I get them at no charge but added in skins as likely least expensive way, could put a narrow valence or filler across the top of opening-under $50.

I used Showplace for the pricing which overall should be in line with Shiloh pricewise.
FWIW I did a quick take on your list earlier for my own info- assuming a single top molding piece (since there is a way to do that in SWP at no cost) included the baths and laundry white shaker, island cherry shaker with glaze, kitchen white shaker...and came to just over budget at 16.5k-17 (not at my desk) kitchen was 12
right in line with what your seeing.

.. change to partial overlay for laundry and kids bath might make budget. Markups can vary but the midwest tends to be reasonable YMMV

Every brand will price some things better than others. Glass and finished interiors are one are oddly high in some semi custom brands.

Could selectively use soft close drawers if need be.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 4:28PM
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jakuvall-it's worth a lot. I thank you and am so grateful that you took the time to do that. If nothing else I know that the prices I am seeing are reasonable and I have gotten some great cost saving ideas. There is a showplace dealer in town - I may check them tomorrow.

I did quote a partial overlay in the bathrooms - they will look fine and honestly we don't ever hang out in there so I am more than fine with it. The thermofoil they have in Homecrest was smooth but so busy looking - eww. I didn't like the door style at all but I wonder if I should still do it anyhow of the cost savings is enough. We are doing a pedestal in the half bath so that saves. The kids bath and laundry that I had quoted in Homecrest earlier this week came down $900 from Shiloh/Medallion. That is significant. I am hoping to see another significant savings with the kitchen and master.

Re: Shiloh-the last time I met with them I had told them the bath cabinets were out of budget so I'd have to use someone else for that and I haven't heard a peep from them (they were making some layout adjustments/cost changes and supposed to be getting me a couple of door samples) since. I am guessing they don't want just the kitchen but Shiloh is their 'lesser' line so I just can't do the rest with them. At this point I think they are out - I love the soft white with the alder island with black forest glaze. :(

OT: has anyone seen the new stain for Omega/Dynasty called Smokey Hills? They had a display set up with it along with a glaze I think and it was awesome. I'm not sure I wouldn't get sick of it or that it's not trendy but at this point it caught my eye and it was sharp.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 5:09PM
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Thanks for the compliments on my kitchen. I thought long and hard about doing a glass cab like yours to the left of my windows, but ultimately didn't because I have a large dining cabinet about 5 feet away on the same wall. I think it will be lovely so I hope you get to do it! Also factor into the cost of it, though, the cost of lighting it. I used an LED puck light that wasn't inexpensive, but I know there are other ways to do it less expensively.

I just googled the smokey hills finish and I really like it. There was no glaze on the cabinets I saw, and it looked very nice without it. I had Omega/Dynasty cabinets in a previous home and the quality was very good. I believe Buehl has had them for years and loves them.

I would definitely get all soft-close drawers right away in the kitchen. I didn't bother with it in my bathrooms.

I didn't go with white cabinets for my bathrooms and I'm sure that saved money too. I used a very dark stain in the master and a natural maple in the kids' bathrooms. Neither are seen by anyone because one is a jack/jill bathroom and one is in the basement.

Are Ikea cabinets an option for the bathrooms and laundry room? I used them in my basement kitchenette (DIY after the house was done) and they look great. I think my builder would have been OK with using them in the baths.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 8:25AM
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mpagmom-I am not sure of the door front they had on the omega display but it picked up a darker (maybe black?) glaze in the corners and in the beading and it was so crisp and cool looking. I'm not sure where I'd put it though because we are staying less (as in cabinet line) in the baths and I don't think I'd want it in the kitchen. So fun to look at it anyhow! We are GCing ourselves which may be part of my problem. I have no constraints on brands (just structure per DH) so I feel like there are way too many choices.

Soft close for the drawers is not on the bubble but for the doors it is. If it's extra I'm going to forego it but then again I only have like 6 doors or so anyhow. Nickels and dimes, nickels and dimes.

The plan was stained cabs in our bath and then for the kids and the laundry I was going to use a laminate to save. Right now they are being priced with a partial overlay but painted. Good call on that - I may have her give me the cost difference on that too. I found a color I really liked and that kind of swayed me to use the painted but in the end no it really does NOT matter.

The kicker with IKEA or even some of the other more reasonable lines is that they are frameless and DH just will not budge there. I did find out there is a localish Amish cab maker but he only does stain - no painted. Bummer!

My other 'dilemma' is that I don't want a bright white but many of the soft whites seem to have a yellow undertone. I was planning on matching my trim to the cabinets and I definitely do not want a yellow undertone running through the house.

Time will tell how the quote shakes out. I am antsy though. I want to make a decision and move on from this.

Thanks for the reminder on lighting a glass cab also - hadn't even thought of that since it's on the chopping block. Crossing fingers it can stay!

I actually followed your kitchen evolution as one of the house plans we liked parts of also had that walk through kitchen with the angle counter and I did not want it at all. So, I've read your threads extensively and was glad to see in pictures and diagrams just how it turned out. :)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 9:03AM
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Cautiously optimistic but more informed about how to keep costs down. :)

illini-I talked with Kevin (left a message for Allison yesterday and he called me back) today. I sent off my pdf and he is going to give me a rough estimate. I'll let you know what I hear back. Thanks for the tip!

jakuvall-I met with the Showplace KD today. They sound like a great company - more of the same of what you have shared. Employee owned - great QC and the like. I asked for soft close in the kitchen but not in the baths since it's extra. They did offer a couple of door styles I liked (Bradford for the master and Pennington narrow for the kitchen and other baths). The lesser brand they carried I just didn't like so we will see how Showplace shakes out for all of it. How do you feel about the soft cream color? Do you do a fair amount with it? The white is just too white.

So now I feel like I will have quite the options to choose from having quoted Shiloh, Medallion, HomeCrest, Dynasty, Showplace and custom. Framing to start next week BUT rain is in the forecast every single day for the next 8 days.

I'll post back what I receive for cost.

Thank you again to everyone who's helped out.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 3:06PM
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Have you ever looked into small local custom cabinet places? I never thought I could afford custom cabinets but a friend gave me the number of the guy I ended up using.

Dura Supreme cabinets would have been around 19K and my custom cabinets came in under 12K. This is with full extension/soft close drawers and soft close doors (he charged me all of 5 dollars a door, I can't imagine paying 50 per door).

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 3:11PM
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SLTKota-I did check one place initially and he was a real fruit-loop as a designer (sorry for the lack of pc) and his follow up was non-existent. His cabs might be great quality but it was a NO GO vibe from the get go! Another GWer who actually lives in my general area (we surmised - we don't know each other) suggested her cab maker and I am checking them out as well. As I said above - the localish Amish maker that does good work does not do any painted cabs so that was a bummer. Thanks for offering your experience - that is a huge savings and I hope I end up with a similar one! Besides that I think I would like to choose my own paint.

I am so glad I posted. I needed all of this food for thought just to re-group. I had started just pricing places even if they didn't have a door style I *really* liked just to see if my costs were in line. Not a good way to go but I was feeling quite overwhelmed. And DH - he really is a broken record: "Whatever you want (read - I don't want to obsess over this), have them on budget, on time and plywood framed construction."

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 3:44PM
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That's funny that you followed my kitchen - I didn't imagine that anyone did. I was searching for something yesterday and found a stash of all my kitchen designs. There was one that was so similar to the one you have now. I had to ditch it for the humongous window, but I like your design a lot.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 10:51AM
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I just wanted to pipe in because I saw where someone commented on Haas cabinets, saying they had plastic guides. My sister and I just returned from KD where we looked at Haas. He showed us their glides compared to ones I have on my Waypoint cabinets. Haas were much better. They are steel ball-bearing glides. I found the link which shows what their glides are like and just wanted to share because I didn't want someone who might be considering them to be turned off, thinking their guides were plastic.

Here is a link that might be useful: Haas glides

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 6:07PM
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OP returning to update. So push came to huge shove (framing started and kitchen along with it) and I had to just jump.

So here is how it shook out (framed shaker style, white premiter, stained island):
Custom: $17,000 (bummer!)
Shiloh: $12,596
Koch: $13,188
Medallion Silverline: $11,478,
Medallion Sliverline: plywood upgrade: $12,923
Home Crest: $9,333 - so low it kinda scared me?
Showplace: $14,184

Based on KD which I have read and read how important that is plus you can 'hear' it in the KD's posts on here - it was down to Shiloh and Medallion.

Medallion had a promotion which brought the price down a lot and the KD really quoted aggressively. I really also liked her style and she was very helpful/knowledgable. Medallion also has been around a very long time, good reviews - that also weighed heavily.

The Shiloh KD also very helpful/knowledgable. I liked them from the start. They have free glaze although I'm not sure I'll use it. Still thinking on that one. A little unsettled at the recent bad review on GW regarding them. BUT, that was just 1 review and nothing is ever perfect.

In the end - it came down to PAINT color and door style. I like the bevel in the Shiloh lancaster shaker and Medallion's was a straight 90 degrees. I could get over that though. The paint however - for Medallion the White Icing seemed so bright white while the Divinity felt too yellow. That was the clincher. Shiloh has 4 shades of white and I like a couple of them. I am debating between Polar and Soft White.

Side note: I had so much time but felt like I waited until the last minute getting quotes, etc.. So worried about making the wrong decision or paying more than I needed or getting a better cabinet than I really needed....
I ended up not getting the last quote until Sunday (as in 2 days ago - KD super busy) and they started framing yesterday. So I showed up at the job site to see they had framed the kitchen windows (spaced incorrectly from the printe) and had to decide right then and there. Just like that - decision made.

So thank you all for your help thus far with determining where costs are and how/where to cut them. This kitchen quoting business has been quite the process. Now I need to fine tune the design and choose a paint and stain and away we go. Gee that sounds simple doesn't it? ;)

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 12:48PM
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Autumn.4, Congratulations on your decision on the cabinets. Good luck with the rest of your decisions on the other kitchen material choices.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 2:31PM
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ditto, your kitchen will be beautiful!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 2:34PM
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Mountaineergirl, I updated my post above to clarify that I wasn't commenting on the quality of Haas cabinets today. The cabinets I was talking about were installed 15 years ago.

Autumn.4, thanks for the update. Keep us posted!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 8:18PM
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Mpagmom-thankfully Shiloh only charges $170 to prep my 30" upper for glass (finish interior). I am so excited that I can keep it! The other mfr's charged about $800. It's one of those quirky things thy don't have a large upcharge on. Works for me!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 9:20PM
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