The Process

This page is meant to give you an understanding of the complete cabinetry design and ordering process from start to finish.

Initial Design Stage
Our initial meeting is for you to get to know me and pick my brain a little and get some idea whether you would be comfortable working with me. If you have an architect or builder that you have been working with, this may be a good time for all of us to get together and review his designs. Sometimes I am just given a set of plans and specifications to bid from. Other times, you may want more input from me, and you may want me to draw a set of plans for you. No doubt you have been thinking about your new kitchen for some time, and I will ask you to share your ideas and insights. I will share with you my feedback and offer options and more possibilities. Many times, clients have magazine pictures, sometimes many of them. This is very helpful. This way I can get a clear idea of what you have in mind. Sometimes, the pictures that you find aren't exactly what you have in mind, but sort of. That's OK. It's a great place to start the creativity flowing.
Many times on larger projects, there are just too many details to discuss in one sitting, we can just schedule another appointment to continue. In the mean time, I get a chance to get together any samples that you would like to see. Sometimes, a third meeting is necessary. I will try to be as flexible and prompt as possible so that we can meet on your schedule, work out all the details, and proceed toward the goal of a beautiful kitchen and a happy client/cabinetmaker relationship.

Pricing Stage
Now I take all the information and write up a proposal for you, complete with pricing. All the information will be in an easy to understand format, and pricing will be "broken out" by area or room. Also, if you desire several different options, these will be priced separately as well. When I figure a bid for you, I calculate every piece of hardwood and every hardware item, and arrive at an exact dollar amount for your project. I do not do "ball-park" estimates. Any changes that you make are figured in the exact same way, and you either pay the additional or get a credit, whichever is the case.
It doesn't take long to figure pricing for a project. I can complete a proposal in a day or two. Then I schedule a meeting with you to present it to you, or fax it to you, or both.
Now it is decision time. Sometimes, a client will take time to let other bidders prices roll in for comparison. Decisions are then made based on a combination of factors: Obviously, pricing is one of the big factors. Another biggie is how you get along with an individual and how capable you consider him to be. If you have experienced any problems getting together with a merchant, don't expect the situation to get better, you may be setting yourself up for big disappointment. I know builders that take the bids and throw out the lowest and the highest ones and accept the one in the middle. There is no clear-cut "right way" to come to a decision, I think that "gut instinct" plays a part, too. I believe that there is such a thing as "too much information". Though it doesn't make sense, trying to get bids from too many companies tends to muddy the waters and cause confusion.
Once you have made your decision, and notified the cabinetmaker, (which, I hope, is me), then we get together and finalize the sale with signed documents and a deposit check. It is the deposit that puts your project on the boards and "gets you in line". Normally, as with any tradesman, the sooner you can arrive at a decision and get in line, the better for you. I require a 50% deposit/first draw, and the terms for remaining monies are stated in the proposal contract. At this point I also take accurate measurements of the space. The drywall in the kitchen does not have to be in place for me to take measurements. Often, I measure as soon as rough framing is in place so that by the time your kitchen is ready for cabinets, the cabinets are complete and ready for installation. I verify locations for all related rough plumbing and electrical receptacles so that if anything is not in the right place, there is still time to move it. At this point we also talk scheduling.

Scheduling Stage
This isn't a long section, but it is an important one. If you are working with a builder we will involve him here and he will tell me when he wants cabinet delivery. There are many factors involved, and only he knows them all. If he wants some cabinets sooner then others, this would be a good time to discuss that.

Design Drawing Stage
Now I take all the information and generate the design drawings. I do this even if you've got architectural drawings because we need a design to work from that has exact dimensioning for the space. During this phase, any layout or detail conflicts become apparent and are corrected. It takes a day or two to work up the design drawings, and then I get these to you so that you can see exactly what your new kitchen will look like and make any final changes. I supply floor plans and elevations of each wall of cabinetry, as well as 3D perspectives of any area. I charge a nominal fee for this service, which I credit back to you if you decide to let me build your cabinets.

Cabinet Construction Stage
Now I buy all the materials needed to build your project and begin construction. All of the cabinets are typically built in my shop, then delivered to the site and installed. If certain areas of the house are ready for cabinets before others, these may come first. Delivery day is a good day.

Installation Stage
Now comes the exciting part, both for you and for me. This is the time when all of the cabinet pieces come together to make impressive and beautiful rooms in your home. Depending on the scope of the project, it may take one day to several weeks for me to complete the installation. Many kitchens take about a week and a half to complete. Although this phase can't be rushed, my goal is to get your kitchen to a point where the counter fabricators can come in and measure for counters. Then we proceed with the installation until complete. It will take your counter fabricators a few weeks to make your countertops at their shop, and this is the time for the cabinet finisher to come in and finish the cabinetry.

Final Adjustment Stage
After the cabinet finisher is done and the countertops have been installed, I am called in to drill for and install the cabinet door pulls, put on door bumpers, install the adjustable shelves, and make any necessary adjustments. Provided you have all the door pulls that you've selected on site, this normally can be done in a day. My goal, in the end, is to make you a completely satisfied client. I will do whatever is necessary to make my part of your project proceed as smoothly as possible. I know that tradesmen are notorious for being unreliable, and I believe that that is no way to run a successful business. I want you as a repeat customer, and I want you to pass my name to your neighbors and friends. Providing good service for you is the way for me to make my business grow! If I have neglected to address any information on this page that you still have questions about, please check my FAQs page or please contact me and ask. I check my email regularly, and I am available by phone. For further information concerning the entire kitchen remodeling project and the various phases, go to my Kitchen Remodeling page.

Contact Information:
phone: (512) 496-9932