Finding an installer for cabinet hardware

BlackAceOctober 23, 2012

Hello. I'm hoping you will have some suggestions on how I might locate a reputable, quality installer for the cabinet hardware in our new kitchen. After looking at the prices for the builder to do this installation, I felt like I could save myself a lot of money by doing it myself.

But now, I'm having non-buyers remorse, since we have so much other stuff to do, and we have about 70 cabs and drawers that need hardware installed. I am hesitant to hire Joe Handyman, as I'm not certain he would replace my door if he messes up. I want someone with some type of actionable guarantee as to the quality of the installation.

We've been homeowners for all of 27 hours, so I've never hired a contractor in my life. Not really sure where to start.

Help? :)

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You might try local cabinet makers, since they probably install hardware on the cabinets they make.

Congrats on your new house!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 5:38PM
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Go to a bakery, buy a box of cookies. Ring your neighbor's doorbell. Introduce yourself, say you are a new homeowner, and get the name of their plumber, electrician, handyman, pool guy, lawn guy, etc.....
And when you sell your house, leave a printed out document with each of those names and numbers, plus any you have accumulated, taped to the refrigerator door. It is what everybody who sells a house should do.
This was done for me in the second home we moved into, along with a map of the perennial beds and pruning instructions. It was the nicest way to move into a house, and it made me feel like I was buying a house that had been truly loved. As we haved moved since, I have always left information packets for the new owners.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 6:03PM
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Maybe I'm not understanding, but are you just saying that you want knobs and pulls on your doors? If so, I did it myself. I did cheat and buy this thing. It made it a whole easier and cheaper.

I just bought one for the drawers. Apparently, there are two. One for knobs and the other for pulls. I already had holes for my knobs, so I needed something for the pulls. Now, it's flimsy plastic, but excellent for making sure that you're in the right place. You'll have to measure to center, put it in the right place, etc.

I was scared at first, but it was a breeeze. I made marks with a pencil. Then slowly drilled a hole. Dropped those babies in and tightened them. Easy as pie. I was pretty proud of myself too! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Hardware template

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 7:47PM
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Kimiko, that was our original plan several months ago, but at that point, we didn't yet know how much else we would have to do, so I'm looking for an extra set of hands.

All of ours are pulls, so 140 holes to drill (slowly) not to mention getting the template in place each time. Based on your experience, how long do you think this would take me? I've only got about 2 hours I can probably commit to it, and I didn't think that would be sufficient.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 7:53PM
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I used blue painters tape on the cabinet doors and a sharpie with a similar template (really easy to center the handle with the template, be sure you sharpie the exact part of the template you are using so you won't change it accidentally) to mark on the tape exactly where I wanted the handle holes to go. My contractor then verified my marks the next day to make sure that I used the template consistently and that the handles fit, and then did the drilling and installing. That way I got the exact location and orientation I wanted, and he doublechecked and did the rest of the work. Shouldn't take you more than 2 hours to do the marking with a template.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:16PM
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Sophie Wheeler

I'm not understanding why you only have two hours???

Knob installation is part of the service that a professional installer provides. Installing cabinets is MUCH more complicated than "just" screwing boxes to a wall. I urge you to reconsider and hire a pro to do the whole job. The place where you bought your cabinets can probably give you some names. Expect to pay 10-20% of the cabinet cost in install labor costs. But, it's NOT a place to "save" money if you don't have the tools and skills to DIY it.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:41PM
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Hollysprings, we have to put our time into painting and some tile, and I have to build all the shelving/storage in the garage so we have places to put stuff when we move in. We are going out of town for almost a month, and then will have a full house for the Thanksgiving holidays, so we don't have much time to get all of the house updates finished, plus moving and getting everything unpacked before we leave for our trip.

The cabinets are already in, we just didn't buy the hardware from the builder due to huge mark up. As I mentioned before, we made the decision to not buy the hardware from them way back in February, long before we knew that our closing would be delayed by 2 months, putting this time crunch on us for the painting and other things. If we had known, I prob would have just paid the builder to do it, but that doesn't help us now.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:03PM
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I am confused. Are you getting brand new cabinets? Knob installation are usually done by cabinet installers, but a lot of time they do charge extra for the labor. If you are getting new cabinets, then hire a pro to do the job of installation and then save some money to install the hardware by yourself. Floor and walls are never perfectly flat, so the installer has to fiddle with plinth.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:09PM
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Let me try to clear up all the confusion. Didn't realize I wasn't clear in my first post. We bought a new construction home yesterday. When we selected our options in January, builder wanted $1000 for 64 door/drawer pulls in kitchen. I found same pulls online for $330 total, and planned to install them myself to just pocket the $700 savings.

Actual construction was delayed by 2 months, which now puts us in a big time crunch with moving and getting everything done before guests come for Thanksgiving, since we will be out of town for almost a month. Thus I'm looking for suggestions on hiring someone to install all the pulls for us, so I can focus on the other things.

Since cabinets came as part of the house, I don't have a store or contractor to go back to to ask, so I'm starting at square one.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:38PM
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I'd join Angie's List (no relation!) and just hire a well-rated carpenter or licensed handyman. Installing them is not that hard, as others have pointed out, so any carpenter would do a fine job.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 11:43PM
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Remember you don't need hardware. If you can't get it done then don't worry about it.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 8:26AM
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In the time it takes you to read through the answers on this thread, find somebody, explain what you want to them, find somebody else (because the first person didn't show up), let that person in the house, watch over that person while they do the work (hoping that they understood the way you wanted it done), could have those babies installed multiple times. It is not a hard job, and if you're able to build shelves for the garage, you are most certainly capable of installing knobs and pulls. Shouldn't take you more than the two hours you have.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 8:32AM
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Since it is new construction, you probably don't have neighbors to ask as I previously posted. As Angie stated you just need a good handyman(woman). I don't know what your community is like, but in mine I could ask for a recommendation at any of the following places: ask the librarian at the library and check the board there, check the board at the Y, call the shop teacher at the middle school and high school, ask at our local hardware store, ask at the local paint store, call a local kitchen designer/decorator, at the local VA/Am Legion Post/Knights of Columbus/Lions Club.
In my opinion, people like to be helpful. When you recommend someone you like, you do two good turns; one for the person you are recommending and one for the recipient of the information. Try asking people in your community.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 8:41AM
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Elraes Miller

I'm with Debrak. Considering all you have on your hands, the hardware is not a 1st need. Take a breather and hang in there until all is currently needed.

Knowing my analytical side, I can relate to your concerns regarding doing this right. I have a small kitchen and used the template, drilled and installed all. But it took more than two hours, kept checking the measurements more than needed.

You could just have someone drill the holes. Then install the hardware yourself. Installing is easy. Actually, drilling the holes is quick too. Marking the location is the time consumer.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 8:44AM
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If you don't have the time to do it right, then wait until you do. We bought the pulls and our custom cabinet maker installed them (included in his price). Even so, one of the holes was drilled wrong, and they are now going to replace the door.
If you decide to do it yourself, remember that the holes need to be drilled straight through, not at an angle. Another reason to wait til you have time.
As stated above, you can open the cabinets without pulls/knobs in the short term. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 9:17AM
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