How to Choose the Right Custom Cabinetry Company

Image of partially finished custom cabinetry manufactured by Authentic Designs & Remodeling, Inc . in San Diego

A top quality custom cabinetry company gives you the opportunity to get the exact cabinet replacements you envision in terms of size, color and style. Designing, manufacturing, and installing custom cabinets requires specialized skills. Finding the right custom cabinetry company is essential to getting the results you desire. Here are five steps to choosing the right cabinetry company:

  1. Know What You Want – Do your research and know what you want before contacting a custom cabinetry company. The more details you can provide, the faster you will be able to determine with a phone call or email if the company is a potential fit for your cabinetry project.
  2. Know What You Have – What types of woods and wood cabinets have been used in other rooms of you home? Become familiar with their finishes and colors so that you can describe them to the cabinet company representative.
  3. Ask the Right Questions – Longevity is important in the custom cabinetry business. In an email or while on the phone with the cabinetry representative, ask how many years the company has been in business, how many custom cabinetry projects have been completed, and if they have worked in your area before. Asking just those three questions alone should provide you with responses that will excite you or make you skeptical.
  4. Verify Licensing and Bonding – Just because a custom cabinetry maker is licensed and bonded does not guarantee your specific project will be completed in budget, on time, and with the quality you expect. Without these two credentials, however, you run a very real risk of receiving inferior work and even being victim of a scam.
  5. Request Before and After Photos – most custom cabinetry companies will provide before and after shots of their work on a website. Ask your contact about specific photos in their portfolio and listen to the case study stories. Be concerned about the steps a customer takes during the design, materials purchasing, woodworking process and implementation phases of the project. Was the customer kept up-to-date? Was the customer welcome to review the work as it was being created? One of the most important keys to a successful cabinetry manufacturing outcome is including the customer in the process!
  6. Read Reviews – If a cabinetry company has one or two reviews (or none), you have the right to be skeptical if those reviews are real or not. Cabinetry companies with 10 or more reviews likely have a high percentage of those reviews produced by real customers. Try to read between the lines of those reviews to gain a comfort level for the cabinetmaker.
  7. Call References – Request a list of customer references and call them. Don’t feel like you’re intruding. When a job is done well, a remodeling client is almost always excited to talk to prospective clients to give their positive review of the company that performed the cabinetry work. Don’t expect to get a lot of negative feedback from a customer where the cabinetry company provided you with the contact information for that reference. After all, no company in any industry would provide bad references on purpose to a prospective customer. But, you can definitely read between the lines when talking to references.
  8. Know Your Contact – Find out if the person you are talking to or conversing by email with is a salesman, broker, or an actual person who is involved with the cabinet making process. The more knowledgeable the face of the company, the better ideas they will be able to provide you with.
  9. Request an In-Home Visit – One of the rare opportunities we provide at Authentic Designs & Remodeling, Inc., is that our lead contractor AND our cabinetry designer will come to your house to meet with you in person. We’ve found this is the very best way for a homeowner to become comfortable with us and confident in our capabilities and process. Other companies might send out a contractor or a designer. You can view a complete list of our
    custom cabinetry services >>
  10. Visit the Shop – It is very important for you to make the time to visit the cabinetmaker’s shop before you entrust them with your project. Look over their facility and visually assess whether they have the capacity to create your desired project. If you require custom cabinetry for a 10,000 square foot home and your cabinetmaker possesses only 500 square feet of working space, chances are he is in over his head.

Once you are satisfied that your cabinetmaker is reliable, capable of producing quality work, and you have received your drawings, you are ready to sign a contract. The California State licensing board states that a deposit of not more than $1000 or 10% of the estimated project cost (whichever is less) should be handed over at the time of signing the contract. Be sure to discuss payment schedules upfront. Certain companies will require a full payment before the final delivery. At this time, you have the option of visiting the shop to see the finished product before you make the final payment.

There are many possibilities when it comes to custom cabinets related to wood types, finishes, sizes and colors. Cabinets can be installed to virtually any and every room in your house including kitchens or bathrooms. Take the additional time to choose wisely when you research, interview and ultimately hire your custom cabinetry company.

by Dean Jones in Custom Cabinetry | 0 comments

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