Choosing quality cabinets? So confused!

mommy2nkOctober 12, 2012

We are in the beginning stages of choosing new cabinets for our kitchen. I have gone to Lowes, Home Depot, Dixieline (still waiting on estimate) and a local design showroom. I also got a quote from a local cabinet maker. I am so confused as to which direction to go. I was thinking I wanted to go with the local design showroom who quoted me on the Bellmont 1600 line (formerly Pacific Crest Industries). It was the lowest priced bid so far but they really talked up this line. When I went to Dixieline today, the kitchen designer didn't even mention the 1600 line. He did mention the Belmont 1900 line, as well as Dynasty by Omega. When I asked him about the 1600 line he said that line was the entry level line. He sells them but more for apartments and such and didn't think it was a good option for a home. I am just so confused! Both sell the product but two different thoughts. Here is the link to that particular line:

Now, Lowes quoted me on Kraftmaid and Home Depot quoted me on Thomasville those both came in about the same price. The custom cabinet guy would give me a better fit for my kitchen but was $6000+ more then our budget. I am still waiting on the Dixieline quote. The style is a Shaker style door, flat drawers in white/creamy white. I really didn't expect it to be so difficult to choose cabinets and when I have two people selling me the same thing but saying to different things, it is making things more difficult. I would really appreciate some input here. We have a budget but I still want beautiful cabinets. Thanks so much!

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Our Bellmont 1600 cabinets are going in now. The quality definitely doesn't seem as good as we thought it would be. We were originally going to get Ikea cabinets but thought we would go a step up and get Bellmont 1600. I will report back in a week or two when the kitchen is complete.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 12:16AM
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I don't necessarily understand what about a cabinet makes it suitable for an apartment but not for a home? I guess if you live in a very posh neighborhood with very nice houses and rental only apartments maybe? 1900 line offers colour matched interiors to some finishes rather than just edge banding and 3\4 vs 5\8 thick materials. 5\8 is acceptable and common for frameless construction here in Canada. 1600 allows the upgrade to ply but I think particleboard is probably preferable for frameless as it offers a more uniform surface for the adherence of the melamine (I'm not clear that clear coated ply is an option for the interior on the 1600 line). I believe Dynasty\Omega has some overlap in door styles\finishes so you can do mostly the lower priced semi-custom and then if you need a bit of customization you can get those cabinets from the more expensive custom line. Not clear if this is true with the Belmont but you should ask. The extra 1\8 in the construction material isn't that big a deal and would probably go unnoticed in a resale situation. Drawers on the 1600 line sound good - not sure why you would need more. Companies with two lines often offer some advantage as the finishing process is the same for the custom and the semi custom so you get the advantage of the higher expectation of the custom product (particularly true on painted finishes). Maybe sales guy is offering you good advice but I would challenge him. The explanation he gave you for upgrading is super lame and seems like an excuse to charge you more not help you make the best decision for your needs. I would also go back to the showroom that quoted you on the 1600 line and tell them what he told you and see what they say. Both should have shown you both lines and discussed the differences so you could decide which you preferred. Your shopping make them earn your business.

Full overlay is frameless without the space advantages so I don't see the advantage of Kraftmaid or Thomasville but I don't know Bellmont - again ask at both places how the finishing compares between products. If your leaning towards one of the showrooms ask to see an installed kitchen before you decide. Don't play games but you are choosing them not vice versa.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 12:20AM
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Lindy, could you comment on what aspects are not the quality you expected? We are in the process of deciding on cabinets and Bellmont is the company we plan on using.

I realize when you report back things might be fine, but I'm interested in what sparked this initial reaction.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 12:46AM
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Lindy1096, how exciting for you! What style did you select? I am looking at the Bevel and the Society (no glaze) in white. I would love to here back once everything is installed.
Caryscott, that whole apartment comment from him really bothered me. Our quote from the showroom on these cabinets is $3000-$4000 less then the Lowes and Home Depot quotes for their brands. That is quite a big difference. They even came to my house, took measurements and sat with me going over design. We didn't even discuss the 1900 because they really felt these were a great value for us. I have a rental and I would go to the local store and buy stock cabinets for that not invest in a line like this. I think that is a great idea about seeing an installed kitchen. I believe my quote included an upgrade to the plywood box. These are all great things to think about. I will talk with them on Monday and go from there.
Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 12:59AM
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Bellmont 1900 is way more expensive than the Bellmont 1600. I ended up going with Dura Supreme (between Bellmont 1600 and Bellmont 1900 in price) because it offers free cut down on cabinets and I needed 33" uppers. Just to give you an idea on the price of the two lines. If I went with Bellmont 1600, it would have cost me $6800, but the same painted finish shaker style cabinets in Bellmont 1900 would have been $11000. The thing about Bellmont is that they are frameless cabinets, which is less common than the framed cabinets. I think frameless looks slightly more attractive because all the drawers line up really tight.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 1:29AM
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What is it the custom guy is providing that makes "a better fit"? The driving force should be the overall layout/details that come together in your particular space. For instance,say you have odd wall dimensions but don't want/need a high budget finished still may need the customization because of sizes-fine-pick a custom line but stay within the basic level of offerings to keep on budget. Or say, you have quite an expensive home,but the kitchen is a long galley -very basic-you can use Ikea,for instance-add detailed counters and great lighting/floor and you get a custom look but without high dollar amt going into cabs. Kitchens with multiple finishes are showing up everywhere-that's an opportunity to do 2 differently priced "sections",possibly helping with the budget.Step back from the sales discussions and figure out-in your space-what exactly do you want the cabinet budget to provide you....has anyone done a plan,or looked at your plan?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 7:09AM
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Lilymila, that is quite a jump in price. I need to see if the over upgrade to that line would make a real difference in the end.
Herbflavor, here is a link to my last post.
It has pictures and basic dimensions of my space. Each of the quotes have shown me a design for the space. They all have come up with basically the same design except the 1600 line (from the showroom quote) offers a bit more for less. The 1600 quoted price gives a little wiggle room for changes too. It is a big decision choosing cabinets, I am want to be informed. I think as far as the custom guy, it was the little details that he would do but he is way over our budget. If I went with him I would have to cut the design back drastically. I am better going with a semi-custom company, now which one?

Thanks so much for your help!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 11:45AM
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Good to be delving into what fits your needs, mommy2nk.

Since Omega/Dynasty is mentioned above and I did look into this line in depth, I found recurrent web complaints about their paint finish deterioration to be quite bothersome and shied away. This is the ideal one should expect from a well known, large custom/semi-custom line: "Companies with two lines often offer some advantage as the finishing process is the same for the custom and the semi custom so you get the advantage of the higher expectation of the custom product (particularly true on painted finishes)".

Interesting comment too: "Full overlay is frameless without the space advantages". Will have to give that some thought.

OP-are you in Canada? Is the Bellmont frameless line different in the US?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 12:28PM
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Sparklingwater, I am in the US. The Bellmont line is made in Washington, I don't think there is any difference from Canada. That was the main advantage the showroom had said about the 1600 line, the finish is just like the 1900. The also felt the finish was nicer then some of the other lines they offered.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 1:21PM
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when they say the finish was "nicer", I would ask exactly what they meant. Really low entry level cabinets have such a poor finish that you can take your hand across and it's not even they mean "nicer" than that? That is not saying much. If you go to a Woodharbor display and look/feel at a furniture finish, you will note your extra money will be providing you with something. In the realm of where you have been exploring price levels and your desire for "beautiful" cabinets, I would probably concentrate on Schulers at Lowes or Thomasville at Home Depot. If the "beautiful look" is paramount, lines like Woodharbor/Woodmode/ have lower price point offerings,within their tier of products...probably competitive with Big Box stores.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 1:47PM
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I am in Southern California, there doesn't seem to be a dealer in my area for that cabinet line.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Some of the main differences between the 1600 and 1900 to my understanding are the following.

-1600 is thinner 5/8 vs 3/4
-1600 has less door styles, color choices, and size options.
-The standard finish in the interior of 1600 is white melamine. If you want to get wood tone interior, then there is an upcharge.
-1600 uses generic hinges and glides, not Blum like the 1900.

What are some of the quotes that you have gotten from different sources? What is your budget for cabinets? Maybe a professional here can give you some suggestion within your budget.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 2:12PM
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for more sleuthing: Scavolini in Lajolla/SanDiego is definitely worth a visit to see quality/efficiency/ style....Dixieline also has Decora which I see is doing inset cabinets....I do see the Pacific Crest has European beech wood species[worth looking at]...maybe your Dixie line people can price out Decora-you'll have a comparison point if they do the Pacific Crest quote for starters. Sometimes these building supply places do a lot of work with a couple brands and therefore get a comfort level with the rep/placing orders/etc, that's okay-but there's a lot of stuff out there.....the cabinet salesman's comfort level isn't necessarily your goal.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 6:01PM
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Hi all. I will try to figure out how to upload a photo on here later today (6yo with flu and 6mo old take up most of my time!). Our kitchen remodel started out with me always hating the kitchen and thinking we could just get Ikea cabinets. For there we met a contractor that told us about a KD he liked but she doesn't like Ikea cabs. We ended up using her (love her design!) and just went with Bellmont cabinets bc she sells them (she is also a rep for Canyon Creek). We just want a functional kitchen and I know we could have looked and looked and looked but just jumped in with the Bellmont cabinets. I am unlike most on this forum I'm sure. I just wanted less decisions and they seemed ok and within our budget. It's also nice that they are made locally (we are in Seattle). I believe our door is Index (Shaker style) and the color is spice. We also upgraded one level for our interior so they are not white. Our door was one of the least expensive but we chose it bc we liked it (we just lucked out that it cost less than other doors). The base cabs are in and some uppers. My husband and I were just looking at them yesterday saying they didn't seem as nice as we expected. Maybe it's just us. What do we really know? Right now they are still adjusting the doors, no hardware, etc.. I will let you know how we feel in a few days. This whole thing is SO stressful! (Sorry for the long rambling post)

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 6:27PM
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Lilymila, I have just received my quote from Dixieline so I have a good idea what I am working with price wise. When we put our budget down on paper we figured about $11,000-$12,000 not including hardware.
I just got of the phone with Home Depot and they made a mistake with the input of my ceiling height and quoted shorter cabinets. They have to rework the quote and he said it will go up in price. It was already $12000, so if that goes up it's out.
For the most part the designs are all the same ie:White Shaker Style,drawers, doors, crown molding, end panels etc.
From Lowes for Kraftmaid: $12,227
Shenandoah: I don't have the exact but it is around $10,000

Showroom I only have the quote on the Bellmont 1600 line: $10,755

Dixieline quote includes (except for the Bellmont Line) a the decorative hood:
Dynasty by Omega $15223 (the highest so far)
Diamond:Montgomery Shaker Door (Veneer center) $11,752
Sumner Shaker Door (solid wood) $13,381
Belmont 1900 line: $12,878
Belmont 1600 line: $9214

I don't know how to breakdown what I am getting but for the most part and each quote has different details but basically here is the breakdown from the mock up design:
Fridge Wall
Cabinet above fridge 2 doors, fridge side panel, microwave cabinet with 2 doors above, 1 large upper cabinet. Two lower cabinet drawers with 2 doors beneath, 3 large drawers maybe 30".
Range wall:
5 upper cabinets with either cabinets to attach range hood or with the Dixieline a decorative wood panel for range hood
Lower has 3 large drawers, either 3 narrow drawers or spice roll out, and then a blind corner cabinet with pull out baskets
Sink/dishwasher side:
Farmhouse sink base, Upper cabinet with 2 doors, lower bank of drawers with either 3 or 4 drawers.
Double trash pull out, and either bank of drawers or 2 doors with drawer..

Each added details here and there but for the most part they are close.
One thing that I like is the Dixieline quote on Diamond which include the matching hood. I would still have to see the price of the hood insert which could change the price drastically. The Dynasty is obviously out of the range. So now it is a matter of choosing between the others. Right now, I am interested in exploring the Diamond and the Shenandoah lines both of which I hardly looked at. I also want to look more at the 1900 line. I was just thinking I am not sure if the Dixieline quote includes tax or not. They are closed tomorrow, so I will have to wait till Monday to ask. I know the showroom one does. Thoughts on the Diamond, and Shenandoah?
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 9:12PM
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For that many cabinets, I think the quotes you got were reasonable. Your kitchen looks just like mine with ugly yellow cabinets, tile counter, except mine is white tile and those big soffits. Its the Southern California builder style.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 1:47AM
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I am trying to follow this thread and I will try to give some input after my tax deadline. I just finished working and browing posts to reply but realize I can't think and need sleep. I am wanting shaker white cabinets for my kitchen and finally I am ready. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 2:30AM
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