Hi Peggy... we are doing a kitchen refresh (keeping the same footprint but replacing the appliances, cabinets and countertops/backsplash)... and plan to replace our current cabinets... we found a local vendor - Kitchen Design Center - see http://www.kitchendesigncenters.net/ ... and we are working w/ them ... they offer semi custom cabinets from the following manufacturers...
"To keep ahead of the market, Kitchen Design Center has expanded it's cabinet lines to include the wonderful cabinets of Showplace Wood Products showplacewood.com, Cardell Cabinetry http://www.cardell.com/ Woodland Cabinetry woodlandcabinetry.com ,Decora decoracabinets.com as well as our full line of Woodharbor Cabinets - RockGlen, Cast Point & Woodharbor woodharbor.com."
They recommended Showplace Wood Products for us and are preparing a proposal "as we speak"... I did some checking on Showplace and got what appears to be some mixed reviews... see http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/bath/msg0110192332481.html... the comments are now somewhat dated so maybe Showplace has improved their product... but the comments gave me some pause for concern...
So I did some more checking and found your blog/post on cabinets... one of the vendors who you like - Wood Harbor - is offered by Kitchen Design Centers although I don 't know if they are more or less expensive than Showplace... or whether or not Showplace is a better choice... apparently they offer lots of options and can produce and almost custom-like "fit"...
We like the folks at Kitchen Design Centers... and they offer some nice "project management" options regarding tear outs/installation of appliances ... and "hawking" the project ... sort of what a general contractor would do for a lot less $...and since we are only doing a refresh and not moving any walls, installing new lights, minimizing any painting or drywall work, no changes to our wood floors, I don't immediately see the benefits of spending thousands of $ for a general contractor if these folks can provide the same services via subcontractors that they work w/ but of course, we would have to purchase cabinets from them to secure these other relatively low-cost services...
But if we aren't getting a good product... or we are paying more for the product to pay for the other services, then maybe we need to rethink this..
So the real question...finally... is what do you know/think of Showplace Wood Products?... and how do they compare to the 3 vendors you "like"?... and should we ask for a second proposal using Wood Harbor instead of Showplace?...
Any advice would be greatly appreciated...Best...Lenny
Congratulations on doing your due diligence before becoming a complainer on GardenWeb!
I do not work with Showplace cabinets at all.
So I can not comment on their quality.
I am familiar with Woodharbor products and highly recommend them as you have seen.
I would ask Kitchen Design Center for some references (3-5) of consumers who purchased a similar kitchen to yours, in Showplace cabinets, RECENTLY.
Then call ALL of them and ask them if you can come out and see their installations.
Ask them if they had any problems such as the ones detailed in the GardenWeb Forums posts.
Ask them if they are satisfied with the services of Kitchen Design Center.
Ask them if everything was delivered on time.
Ask them if anything was missing or damaged.
Look over the installations carefully to see if they meet your standards.
Realize that Kitchen Design Center is NOT likely at all to give you unsatisfied customers' names, so the work is likely to be their best.
If it isn't up to your standards, look elsewhere for your installation work (and perhaps your cabinets as well).
You should always go through this exercise before hiring anyone to do work in your home.
That way you won't be surprised to get substandard work or products.
Installation of cabinetry is pretty subjective.
Usually you get what you pay for.
It takes time and talent to do it well.
The best cabinet installers are usually finish carpenters, the kind who do crown mouldings and wainscoting and such.
Then there is what the installers have to work with - the cabinets.
If they are not manufactured square and true, or warped wood has been used, or there is shipping damage, or the wood is not high enough quality, or, or...
If the cabinets you are looking at (Showplace) aren't up to your standards, you might need to look at something a little higher priced.
Your dealer probably asked you about your budget and recommended accordingly.
Then there is attitude.
Some installers can make almost anything look great, with nary a complaint.
Others expect the manufacturer to almost do their work, and whine at every inconvenience.
Sometimes it's hard for a homeowner to know whether their installer is a whiner or whether the problems with the cabinets are real.
Usually the homeowner takes the installer's word for it because that's who is in their house.
Then there is the dealer:
Most dealers are hard-working and try their best to do a good job.
The fact is that ordering a set of cabinets for your kitchen involves a bunch of decisions, any of which can be forgotten or overlooked and cause problems when it comes time to install them.
Some dealers are, at best, charlatans selling snake oil.
Obviously you want to avoid them.
But you do only one or two kitchens in a lifetime.
That's why it pays to ask for references and actually follow through.
Because you, as a novice, have no other way to judge what you are getting.
Good luck with your project and please let us all know how it goes.
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.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Thursday, December 02, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2010
Firm's Recall Hotline: (866) 725-4407
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908
The First Years® Recalls American Red Cross® Cabinet Swing Locks; Latches Can Fail to Prevent Access by ChildrenWASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.
Name of Product: The First Years American Red Cross Cabinet Swing Locks
Units: About 41,300
Importer: Learning Curve Brands Inc. d/b/a The First Years, of Oak Brook, Ill.
Hazard: The installed latches can break and children could gain access to contents of a cabinet, posing the risk of exposure to hazardous items.
Incidents/Injuries: The First Years has received seven reports of latches breaking. No injuries have been reported.
Description: This recall involves The First Years American Red Cross cabinet swing locks with item number Y7181. The latches are mounted on cabinets or drawers to help prevent young children from gaining access and were sold two per blister card. An America Red Cross logo and "cabinet swing lock" is printed on the package. "American Red Cross" is molded onto the front of the lock. A date code is printed on the bottom of the back of the package and on the back side of each latch just above the connection point.
Sold at: Toys R Us, Babies R Us and other retail stores nationwide and on the Internet from September 2008 through September 2010 for about $4 per pair.
Manufactured in: China
Remedy: Consumers should immediately remove the latches from cabinets, record the date code on the back of each latch and contact The First Years to obtain a $5 coupon toward the purchase of another Learning Curve product. When removing the latches, consumers should take special care to store hazardous items out of reach of children.
Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact The First Years toll-free at (866) 725-4407 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's website at www.recalls.thefirstyears.com
Just read an article in USA Today's GreenHouse blog about a coming program to test and improve energy efficiency in American homes:
"With the new Home Energy Score, consumers will find out how their home compares with others and how much money they could save by adding insulation, sealing air leaks or doing other upgrades. Nine U.S. communities will test the score, similar to a miles-per-gallon label for cars, before it's rolled out nationally next summer."
"Consumers will be able to seek up to $25,000 in federally insured, PowerSaver loans at or below market rates. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development expects up to 24,000 households will qualify for loans averaging $12,500 during the two-year pilot program, which starts early next year."
I'm hopeful that the SF Bay Area will be one of the nine U.S. communities in the pilot starting next year. I received the news from Recurve, of San Francisco. So maybe we will be selected.