I am planning on remodeling my whole kitchen.
I have spoken to many dealers and have narrowed it down to one. The dealer I have been leaning towards deals with Diamond Cabinets Manufacturer.
I was wondering if you have any knowledge regarding Diamond Cabinets, and what is your opinion?
Also, you have mentioned Three cabinet manufacturers, I live in the Los Angeles County, West Hills city. Do you know any dealers who deal with those manufacturers?
Thank you for your time.
I have used Diamond cabinetry many times Nasim. It has been the product I recommend for my clients who do not have the budget for custom.
I can't help you with dealers in the LA area for Wood-Mode, Crystal and Woodharbor. Sorry. Check on the manufacturers' web sites and they will give you a list of local dealers. Then go talk to them, check reviews on Yelp and such, to decide whom to deal with.
Thank you for the fast response. I have one more question:
I am kinda confused between custom made cabinets and cabinets being ordered from a manufacturer. I have been told that if you don't order custom made cabinets that you will end up with fillers in between your cabinets, but if you are sending in your measurements to the manufacturer then I don't see the difference.
Please inform of the actual differences of custom and others.
Thank you once again
Only a very poorly trained kitchen designer would put fillers in between your cabinets Nasim. Fillers almost always should be placed at the end of the cabinets, up against a wall. They perform a valuable function there because, unlike cabinets which should be built and installed square and plumb, walls are often not perfectly plumb, and the filler or extended stile can be scribed to fit the wall.
Let me explain the different types of cabinets to you:
Stock cabinets come in certain sizes (usually 3" increments from 9" to 48" in width). They are usually made ahead of time and stocked by a distributor, in a box, on a shelf, ready for sale. Stock cabinets are also usually made of thinner components to make them less expensive. Thus they often need "center stiles" (a divider that divides the middle of double-door cabinets to strengthen and support the overall box and shelves). Stock cabinets also typically use less expensive hinges and drawer slides.
Semi-custom cabinets are essentially stock cabinets that can be ordered cut down in depth from the standard depths available at an extra charge. They are typically made to order. But in some cases they are essentially stock cabinets, where only the customized pieces in the order are made to order. Semi-custom product lines also typically encompass a greater variety of cabinets and some double-door cabinets available with no center stile (for roll-out shelves and other accessories). They might also make a few standard angled and/or radiused cabinets for use on the end of a run, where conditions are tight. Many manufacturers of custom cabinetry also market a semi-custom line as their budget product (these tend to be better made). Semi-custom cabinets may, or may not be, "lighter construction" like stock cabinets, and also use less expensive hardware components, so this can be a buyer beware issue.
Custom manufactured cabinets can be ordered to any dimensions as long as they do not exceed the limits the manufacturer lists in their catalog, typically 48" wide, and 96" high. Maximum depths vary, depending on the type of cabinet involved. Designers can also order changes in the sizes and heights of doors and drawers, as well as customizing the mounting heights of ovens and other built-in appliances to suit the buyer. They typically use only the highest quality hardware and are made of thicker materials. So they are sturdier.
All customizations in manufactured cabinets carry an up-charge, and manufacturers typically base their standard offerings on basic cabinets very similar to stock cabinet catalogs. However custom manufacturers also offer many MORE cabinet types and accessories than stock cabinets.
I would be remiss if I also didn't mention cabinetmaker custom, local custom, or "true custom", as they like to call it. There the cabinets are designed and made in a local cabinet shop. There are fewer limitations on sizes with local custom. The only definite ones are limitations on the sizes of materials, like sheets of plywood and sizes of the raw wood boards. Cabinetmakers can also do things like matching boards for pattern and color consistency that manufacturers find difficult. They are also free to use both thinner and thicker components, and more or less expensive hardware to meet a budget.
Cabinetmakers also routinely build their cabinets in what they call "runs". This is building what may be an entire wall of base or wall cabinets as one long cabinet. This cuts the cost of face frame material a bit and makes the spaces between doors consistent. Most custom manufacturers will also build a "run" for us, but they up-charge for combining the cabinets.
Most designers, like me, prefer to work with the broader offerings and options that custom cabinets offer. It's just easier to design when we don't have to compromise the design to fit the cabinets offered. This is especially true in remodeled kitchens, where we are often trying to get the most storage and function we can out of the space. We don't customize every cabinet, but instead customize only those that are necessary to meet our design.
As far as cost goes: the prices go up as you progress from stock to custom. Also, the more customization you order, the higher the cost.
Choices of door style, wood and finish also impact your cost. The more elaborate the door style, the more it costs to make. Oak is cheaper and more plentiful than cherry, so cherry costs more. Paints and glazes are more work, so they cost more than standard stains.
Accessories, like spice inserts and recycling bins, also add to the cost of cabinets. Drawer banks cost more than door and drawer base cabinets (unless you add roll-out shelves, then the drawer banks are cheaper). Embellishments, such as crown moulding, corbels, columns, and such; can add a lot or a little, depending on how elaborate they are.
I advise my middle class clients to buy the best cabinet they can afford...up to a point. Beyond that the additional cost becomes aesthetics and not any real improvement in quality or longevity. Compromising quality means that the cabinets may not LAST as long as you need them to. This is a very important consideration if the home is your "forever home". Nobody wants to go through a remodel again just because their cabinets fell apart on them.
The designer is also extremely important in this cost equation. Because a kitchen can be designed for economy or extravagance, and everything in between. A good kitchen designer knows how to hit a budget squarely with the right choice of cabinet manufacturer, door style, wood, accessories and individual cabinets that make up the design. This is why most cabinet dealers/designers carry a range of products to meet the varying needs of their clientele.
Choosing where you buy your cabinets and who your designer will be is also very important because our industry is divided into dealer/designers, and Big Box stores, who service contractors, builders, and the lower end of the consumer market; and those who serve the middle and/or upper end of the market. Generally, you can expect better service, training, and higher quality design at the better showrooms that have a track record and good standing in the community. Of course there are always exceptions to any rule like this, but better trained designers almost always move up to the quality showrooms, or open their own.
I hope I have answered your questions.
Kitschy Kitchens is a blog where I critique the worst of the worst in kitchens. Poor design, an assault on the eyes, wrong colors, wrong materials; they all can be found there. Take an amusing detour to discover what you DON'T want in a kitchen.
Monday, March 15, 2010