Choosing the Right Cabinetmaker

So, you've decided to do the remodel that you've been dreaming about all of
these years. Whether it's your kitchen or bathroom, choosing the right cabinetmaker can make all the difference.

Where do you start? First, you need to do your homework.

  • Make a list of features that are important for you to have in your new kitchen or bathroom, such as color, styles and organizational systems that will fit within your lifestyle and budget. This will help your cabinetmaker to understand the style you want to create. A good cabinetmaker will help with ideas of style, finish, organization, etc., and with their expertise will design your kitchen or bathroom to your specifications that fits best within the perimeter of your space. Make sure they know the significant features you are looking for so they can lead you in the right direction. Be open to your cabinetmaker's ideas, as they are the professional.
  • Finding a reputable cabinetmaker is essential. You should get at least 2-3 estimates before choosing your cabinetmaker. Even if you like the first cabinetmaker you interview, it's a good idea to keep an open mind to other ideas that another cabinetmaker might have that you may not have thought of.
  • Start by asking friends, family and co-workers for referrals. Those are the people that will give you the most honest answers. Ask many questions, such as how the timeline was from start to finish, did their project run on schedule, did their cabinetmaker leave the area clean after each day, did their cabinetmaker complete the project on time? It's also a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau for ratings on cabinetmakers that you are considering.
  • A good cabinetmaker will have a portfolio of their work for you to view, and some will have previous kitchens and bathrooms that their customers are willing to let you see in person.
  • It is imperative that your cabinetmaker is a good listener. This will avoid a lot of potential problems and miscommunication.
  • Every detail needs to be put in writing in a contract, including customer approved drawings of the project (This is a must). Any changes made by you, your cabinetmaker, or sub-contractors during the project also need to be written in the contract and approved by you. If a cabinetmaker does not want to provide a contract with drawings, and put every detail in writing, this is not the right cabinetmaker for you.
  • During your remodel, you may need 1 or more sub-contractors for your project, such as an electrician, plumber, painter, flooring/tile setter and a countertop fabricator. If you do need more then 1 sub-contractor, you may want to think about hiring a general contractor to oversee the scheduling of your project. You will want to discuss this with your cabinet maker in detail, as some cabinetmakers are general contractors themselves and can organize your project from start to finish.

Remodeling your kitchen or bathroom can be a major undertaking that can be stressful and exciting all at once. Take your time in designing your project, choosing your cabinetmaker and making the many decisions that come along with a remodel. Unforeseen things can occur during a remodel that may throw your timeline off and can get a bit more stressful then you anticipated. So, take a deep breath, stay calm and keep focused on the end result, which is your dream come true. It will be worth it in the end. 

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