Reality check--cabinet prices per linear foot?

techedDecember 31, 2007

I just got the final layout for my cabinets, and it's fantastic. The final cost estimate--not so much. I calculated that I am being proposed nearly $500 a linear foot (yes, that's calculating uppers and lowers separately) for semi-custom cabinets. There are indeed lots of drawers, but there is very little customization, no rollouts or spice racks or anything like that, no pantry cabinets, no furniture legs or corbels or other detailing, no island. The estimate does include the crown molding, light rail, and backing for the 4-ft peninsula. It also includes panels for the DW and frig, 42 inch high uppers, dovetail drawers with full extension and blu motion, and 5-piece drawer heads. The cabinets are maple with cream paint.

I'm not a newbie--this is the 4th kitchen redo I have been involved in and I just finished 3 bathrooms. This amount per linear foot just sounds really, really high to me. I am at the point where I wonder if it wouldn't be worthwhile to pay a little more and get custom cabinets. What's been your experience? Is this a typical price per linear foot for kitchen cabinets?

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it is so varied by the material, brand, upgrades,where you live,that it is hard to say. i paid less (about $370, I thnk), but have few drawers and other upgrades -- and thermofoil, not wood. EXPO, by the way told me to estimate $600/lf for Venecia thermofoil; I assume they assumed a lot of upgrades.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 10:41AM
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This seems extremely high for semi-custom cabinets but again, it depends on where you live. I had my kitchen cabinets installed for about $5800 (or $5600, can't remember) for 56 linear feet. They included molding, toe kicks, end scribes, undercabinet lighting and end panel for the peninsula. It is solid 3/4 inch beech shaker style door front and 3/8 for the box made of plywood. It included spice pull out rack, full extension drawers an lazy susans.
I had estimate up to $250 a linear feet for semi-custom cabinets.
Where do you live?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 11:38AM
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Greetings from "everything is more expensive" NYC. My contractor quoted $1400 per linear foor for custom cabinets. I'll need 15 linear feet (very tiny kitchen). I want custom because it's a quirky space and I want a lot of space-saving, storage-maximizing, bells and whistles.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 11:47AM
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silvia, I'll submit that 3/8" is awfully thin for the cabinet box. You should make sure that any countertop you are installing over it will be adequately supported. My cabinet boxes are twice as thick at 3/4" so no worries on cabinet loading, granite etc. I've heard that even 1/2" is okay for framed cabinets to support most cabinet loading and a stone countertop. However, 3/8" is thinner than even that - you really should make sure about what sort of counter it will support and how much cabinet loading that box will support.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 11:52AM
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Mindstorm- Typing error. It should be 5/8 inch for the side and back of the cabinet box. 3/4 inch plywood was placed over the installed base cabinets before the granite was glued on top.

Thanks for catching it and your concern

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 12:03PM
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Thanks for your responses so far. I am in metro Wash, DC, and yes it's expensive here. But all the kitchens and baths I have redone have been here, so I know it's more expensive than some other areas. I will give some more detail below.

The cabinets are by Shilo, and they are all wood and plywood, no MDF. The custom cabinets my KD offers have a lot of MDF and vinyl coating inside the cabinets. The Shilo offer wood laminate (not vinyl) insides, plywood shelves, etc. I think the boxes are 5/8 or 3/4, can't remember.

The door style is a beaded Shaker (see link), but it is in the more expensive category of their line. The KD provided me with a price book (although they discount it all) and it looks like I would only save $20 or so per cabinet by going with a less expensive cabinet. The current estimate is for a full overlay, which I have decided I do not care for as much as the traditional look. But again, its only about $20 a cabinet more for the full overlay.

I have about 53 feet of cabinets (uppers and lowers separate) with 16 drawers, a trash pullout, and a super lazy susan in one corner.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shilo Cabinet chosen

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 12:55PM
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Cherry wood is expensive. In fact, I think it is the most expensive wood for cabinets. I don't know the pricing in Washington but you may want to do some comparison shopping to see if $500 is about the price to pay for your area and cabinets.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 1:33PM
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Wait- are you doing stained glazed cherry (as in the link) or painted maple (as in the opening post)? I assume that glazed cherry is more expensive, and I hope nobody is painting cherry ! :)

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 2:38PM
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I just received a couple semi custom quotes (using Medallion) AND a custom quote. I am figuring that I have 43 LF some of that area has no upper cabinets. The semi custom prices were coming out at $46,000 and $49,000, they are a glazed cherry and a painted island. There are no pull-outs, except for the garbage bin. The dishwasher and refrigerator are paneled (take approx. $3000 off for that). so, the lowest price comes to about $1000 per LF! (this does NOT include counter-tops). To be fair there is a 5' section of cabinets which is a "baker's pantry" and they broke that price out to be $5000!!!

Now I have a custom cabinet price from the same place. They make their own - and frankly - I don't care for them as much, but because of the savings - that's the way I am going to go. The same kitchen comes to $860. Per LF (or $37000.00). This happens to be our 4th kitchen too, and I am feeling a little ripped off truthfully. I know it can be done for A WHOLE LOT LESS, but we are building with a builder that does things a little different - and hence, we are using his "vendors". The other higher price though came from an independent vendor we picked.

I sat down and the kitchen designer/owner was fair and should me his cost. They put in a 190% mark-up!! Claiming that the installation, shipping and sales tax takes up a big chunk and then the overhead and building another.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 2:56PM
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muscat, I am doing a painted maple. The maple is standard, cherry was a 5% up charge. Painting is a 10% upcharge. All glazing, distressing, etc. are "free."

tinker_2006, the is not MY fourth kitchen--I helped design and install kitchens in my SIL's rental and my BIL's old house. This is my third kitchen where I actually paid for everything! Last one was in 1992, so some sticker shock there, but I used semi custom cabinets in my baths in 2006, so I kinda know what to expect. 190% mark up!!!! Yikes.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 3:45PM
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I got Kraftmaid painted maple with a glaze, all plywood construction, with crown molding and light rail and decorative panels for the island and ends, tons of drawers (dovetail, but not the other upgrades you have), but none of the super pricey frou-frou like corbels and legs. Door was a level 17 (max 19). By my calculation it cost $210/sq ft.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 4:36PM
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I'm not sure the price per linear foot my cabinet maker is charging. However the quoted price of $55K for custom maple glazed cabinets for my entire house (3 baths of which have 27 linear feet of vanities plus the tub surround in the master, 5 linear ft butlers pantry - upper/lower, 12 linear ft in the laundry room less washer/dryer, and the kitchen has about 25 linear ft of uppers/lowers and two islands - 3.5'x5' and the larger is 15' angled with cabinets on both sides.

My quote also includes pull out shelves, full extension drawers, 4or5" crown, furniture base molding, stacked upper glass doors in kitchen, appliance panels, and hardware. There are probably more things but I can't think of them right now.

Is my price fair? I hope so! They've already taken 10% off but DH wants them to throw in dove tail drawers and undermount glides,$2K, for the $55K. So we'll see.

Anyway, he said they normally charge $1000/linear ft for cabs to the ceiling (which I am doing in the kitchen -10' ceilings) and $800 ft otherwise for uppers/lowers. Still seems way high to me.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 5:53PM
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We used Kraftmaid Ginger Glaze in Cherry, and they were expensive, but I can't imagine that much. We live in the same area and it's really important to listen to what people are saying - shop around. It's no more expensive here than anywhere else for kitchen stuff. For our granite, we got varying estimates from the $60's-200 a foot... just crazy. We used Just Cabinets in Frederick - they are supposed to be slightly cheaper than HD or Lowes but you have to bring your own measurements.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 7:14PM
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Silvia - I am curious, at that price what brand cabinets did you get?

Teched - We are just in the very early stages - but looking at Shiloh as well. We like the cabinets - but to make sure we are going to get a fair price, I plan to get quotes from 2 other companies as well for different semi-custom brands and see how everything shakes out

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 7:24PM
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I don't think it is a big company so no brand name. The kitchen designer (also the owner of the cabinet shop) used to work at a cabinet warehouse place for many years. He has good hook ups for inexpensive cabinets. They are like the ikea type because they come in a box and he had to assemble them. No MDF or particle board but plywood.

Very good job in installation and very nice cabinets. I had compliments from EVERYONE that came over. Not so much my giallo veneziano granite or my completely redone living room but my cabinets.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 7:49PM
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As others have said, please check around other pricing. When I thought about re-doing my kitchen, I had quotes of $9k to $13k just for refacing. Also, one general contractor was going to charge me 1k to paint the new doors and drawer front and then $1500 to put the hinges in for me. How ridiculous of a price can this be just for putting hinges on the doors.

The kitchen company I went through charged me just a touch over 1k to install my kitchen cabinets. It took 2 guys two full days to complete it.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 8:09PM
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Has anyone done that--taken another KD's layout or cabinet list and had other cabinet companies "bid"? I read with interest the post about the idea of buying the sink base from one supplier and another cabinet from someone else, etc.

After reading some of the prices here, I wonder if I am just in sticker shock. My quote is for around $27,000, but I think after reading some other posts here and testing out friends' and relatives' kitchens, I may scale back some items--I really do need dovetail drawers, but I don't think I need the full extension or blu motion. I also think I will wait on the integrated panel on the refrigerator until I see them installed. I am definitely giving up the 5 piece drawer heads too.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 1:06PM
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I spoke with a KD at a local design shop who sells Brookhaven/Woodmode. She estimated $550-$600 per linear foot as a rough estimate, but came out at about $60,000 for about 63 linear feet (that would include a large built in fridge and a 6' X 2.5' step-in pantry closet, plus I have planned very few uppers). I guess she was doing magic math, because that price is about 2X her linear foot estimate. She also wanted 90% of the entire project cost (not just cabinets) before the job starts ($5,000 non-refundable "design fee" to be applied to cabinet purchase + 50% of entire project at time of cabinet order + 40% of entire project when cabinets arrive before demo/construction begins, leaving only 10% in reserve for completion). I said no thanks to her terms. I'll be checking out the Omega/Dynasty and Shulers cabs at Expo and Lowes.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 3:06PM
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Teched, I have Shiloh cabinets, and mine worked out to $420 per linear foot. That's cabinets only, not sales tax, installation, hardware, or glass.

Mine are cherry, in the "Square Flat" door style. That style and wood should be cheaper than your painted maple Essex. And I don't have fridge panels. But I got the 5-piece drawer fronts and LOTS of bells and whistles - island legs, two lazy susans, two spice pullouts, lots of drawers (all dovetailed, full extension, and Blumotion), trash pullout, tray dividers, lots of beadboard details, plenty of crown molding and light rail, custom hood enclosure, customized hutch and buffet, etc. I also have two rows of uppers - 15" uppers with glass doors stacked on my regular 36" uppers.

Given that I'm in a less expensive region that you are, your estimate may not be that far off. But you should definitely shop around - with your design - and see if you can find a better deal.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 12:17AM
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Thanks ksfaustin. Have they been installed yet? They seem like great cabinets, but not many people seem to have them. I love the idea of the 2 rows of uppers, but I am afraid to price that out! I have definitely changed my mind about the cabinet style. Once I can get the KD on the phone this morning, I will be changing to a simpler door and ditching the 5-piece miter drawer front. Once I started to look around, I realized that in the painted finish, I really prefer the simpler cabinet fronts. I think that will help save some on the $$$ per linear foot.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 7:51AM
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Just as a datapoint, my kitchen has 56 linear feet of cabinets (counting uppers and lowers seperately) including a tall pantry, a wall oven cabinet, a fridge end panel, and a finished peninsula back. They are frameless cabinets made from quarter sawn red oak, in a simple shaker style and stained finish. They custom sized, including several that were deeper than normal, all-plywood construction, wood veneered interiors, solid wood dovetailed drawers, with pull-outs everywhere. However it does not have any light rail or crown moulding which I felt would detract from the simple clean lines.

The price for the cabinets (not including installation) was $17,200 or so. Which makes them price out at about $310 per linear foot.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 11:19AM
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Well, met with the KD today and discussed some options. She had spoken with the GC (her DH, but she works for another firm), and he had lots of cost saving suggestions. He had her remover the cabinet company's bead board and crown molding from the estimate. He will purchase them from a well-known lumber yard (not HD or Lowes!) that does custom wood work and moldings. That shaved 85% off the cost of those items alone. He had us change the placement of the cabinet with glass doors and suggested we use after-market products for the cutlery and tray dividers. We also changed from a shaker 5-piece door and drawer to a more colonial/traditional look and took advantage of the things our cabinet company does as part of its standard pricing: distressing, sand through, and customized edge profiles on the slab drawer fronts. She has been remarkably quick at getting plans and pricing to us, so I hope I can report back on the progress by the end of the week.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 11:50PM
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I don't get the anti hd/lowes snobbery. Do you think that they get the cabinets from the manufacturer and then rough them up or something? Overpaying for something doesn't make you a better person.

We got amazing cabinets from Lowes, around $11k for 48 linear feet plus a 3x4 island of high end glory. Tall classical crown moulding, castling, all finished end panels for any exposed ends. All solid wood full extension dove tailed drawers. Large glass corner doors with lights inside. Light rail with extra trim. Toe kick floor boards all around for that built in look. Solid cherry, nice doors with roman arches, extra glaze on top of a stain. Lots of pull outs, slide outs, 2 super susans, 2 appliance garages. built in fridge look. Etc etc. $11 grand.

Also, 10% off lowes coupons are easy to find (saved about $1500 with that) and put it on the lowes card for no interest financing for 12 months. Good deal.

Meanwhile, before we were at this show and this builder of custom cabinets was showing off his crap and said this dinky ugly kitchen that looked like my first apartment was $70k, ya right dude, you're overpriced.

We did save money by doing some of the trim ourselves (I wanted a rope inlay in a contrasting color to attach to the crown molding and light rail (black on brown look). So I bought the plain rope moulding myself from lowes, and stained and installed it, rather than pay for the cabinet company's version, same for the rosettes. Also, $11k was the purchase price, our own contractor installed it, I forget what he charged, $3k maybe.

They were also very good on damages. Any scratches/broken bits we reported and they sent out replacements free of charge.

Remember, overpaying for something does not make it better.

Now we have a gorgeous kitchen that looks like it is out of a magazine with cambria countertops and brazilian cherry flooring as well as the nice cabinets. Everyone who sees it gushes with compliments.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 11:48AM
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O my GOOOOD !!!! What a ridiculous prices !

Please try not to be ripped of . Kitchens from Lowe's are semi custom and are not so cheap.Kitchens from EXPO or KD or such companies are very expensive ,because they have 2nd and 3rd parties involved inbetween.
I have my own custom cabinetry company and i charge from 180-220 $ per linear foot for thermofoiled doors kitchen, and i charge from 250-380 $ for wooden doors kitchens ( price depends on material -maple ,cherry ,e.t.c.).,and all cabinets are made from 3/4 plywood boxes ,doors -solid wood,any color (since i have my finishing departament and they can match any any color).,with soft close european glides,dovetail solid wood drawer boxes ,rollout drawers ,e.t.c .Full customized kitchen with corbels ,turnings,details ,onlays , 5-6'' crown moulding would be 400 $ per linear foot. Let's say you have 45 linear feet kitchen-on solid cherry wood fully customized as listed above,the price would be 13000 $.
These are close to reality prices .Dont get ripped off.Thanks.Kevin.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 8:04PM
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Wow, where are you located Kevin. Great pricing!!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 11:11AM
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The main thing about my message ,i know how hard it is to earn money ,dont get ripped of,so this is approximate price range i have given to you ,i opperate only in California,and here is my online showroom and email

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 3:38PM
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I know this is an old thread, but can someone explain how the linear feet are measured? Is it as simple as taking the measurements from the floor plan of lowers and adding it to the uppers. Include all appliances? I'm just trying to make some simple comparisons here, I understand there are a lot of variables after that.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 5:04PM
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Regarding the Lowes/HD snobbery: we've spent a lot of time in the big box stores while building our house. One day we were in Lowes, and wandered by the bathroom cabinet display. Many of the cabinets were in the higher price ranges, but when I looked at them I saw all kinds of flaws: crooked doors, staples sticking out of the particle board, drawers that wouldn't close completely. When I asked a passing sales clerk if all of the cabinets were constructed like those on display, she assured me that the display cabinets were of the same quality as those we would receive if we ordered yes, I've become a bit of a snob about the big box store cabinets!

With the linear foot pricing - I don't think it's a valid price to use in shopping. Any company can give low prices for the boxes, but then charge massive prices for things like doors, drawers, etc. Lowes charged extra for things like frameless cabinets, etc - those were standard from our custom cabinet maker.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 5:38PM
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