Cabinets are Like Burgers

Fast food, an upscale chain, or your local Bistro? Wait… What? Yep, think of it this way, you drive through your local fast food restaurant. You are hungry and you know what you are getting. The pros are fast services (they are premade) & inexpensive prices. The cons are a limited menu, questionable nutrition and (many would say) palatability. You can ask for a burger without the pickle, but in the end you are going to have to remove the pickle yourself.

Then you have some upscale hamburger chains. These are the places that offer 15 different choices of burgers and you can usually customize your order (I’ll have the California burger without the onions). Here you have to wait because they have to cook your order. The burgers are more expensive but the ingredients are fresh.

The third option is visiting your local Bistro where Chef Raul has agreed to serve hamburgers on his menu. However, he has perfected what is quite possibly the most delicious hamburger you have ever tasted in your life! How did he do that? He’s not telling it’s a secret recipe. You won’t be able to repeat this at home. You also just paid $50.00 for a hamburger.

All 3 versions have their market and most people will visit each establishment at least once in their lives. Some people live on fast food, some prefer upscale chains and some treat themselves to Raul’s special recipe.

Cabinets are the same: Contractor Grade = Fast Food.

 In order the keep costs down on these cabinets sacrifices have to be made. This is easier to do with a limited menu. The wood quality, finishes and hardware will have to be sacrificed too. There are few custom options on a builder grade cabinet and because of this they do not usually stand the test of time and do not always make the most efficient use of the space available. These cabinets aren’t really a good long term investment, but many homeowners choose this route because they are in a starter home or plan on selling or renting in the near future.

  • Faster Service (Many are premade or quickly made).
  • Limited Choices (cabinet sizes, woods, door styles and finishes).
  • Less Expensive (cheaper hardware, lower grade of lumber)
  • Lower Quality of Construction

Custom and Semi-Custom Cabinet Company = Upscale Chain

These are the cabinet companies that are large enough to have a distributorship. Your local kitchen showroom is usually a distributor for 2 or 3 different cabinet companies. This allows them to be able to offer the consumer a full service of design options, wood species, door styles and finishes available. What this means for the homeowner is more options in style and price range and you can usually find what you want.

Custom Cabinet and Furniture Builders = Chef Raul

High end custom cabinet and furniture builders will give you the highest quality of materials and craftsmanship that is available on the market. They have the ability to give you whatever you want in trims, custom finishes, sizes…etc. These kitchens are put together by craftsmen who are the best in their trade. Consequently, the cabinets are more expensive because much more has gone into their construction.

Now that should be some food for thought.