Designing Your New Cabinets

The Design Process is the most critical phase in the custom cabinet process. This is where you attempt to show and explain what you want in your new cabinets while we attempt to understand your desires, while at the same time making sure that what you want will work into the space you have and into the style you’ve requested. During this phase it is important to remember that 1) we cannot read your mind, so be very specific and detailed (show us pictures of what you want if possible), and 2) though we know that your new kitchen or bath is very important to you, we are usually working on many homes at the same time and it’s quite possible we may miss or forget something you say. By fully understanding the Design process, you can help insure that your new Custom Cabinets will be exactly as you expected.

The first step in the process is the Initial Consultation.  This can be either at your new home or at our office and showroom.  If you are in the very early stages of construction a meeting at our office is your best bet.  On the other hand, if your home is at the plumbing and/or electrical stage, a meeting at the new home would be best.  In either case, come prepared to supply us with all the information you have pertaining to your cabinets.  Things to bring include: 1) your house plans, 2) pictures of cabinets you like, 3) catalogs of specific design features (doors, hardware, trim, etc.), and 4) your appliance information (model numbers of oven, cook top, refrigerator, etc. as well as the actual width, height, and depth of any audio or visual equipment you may want us to build around).  Armed with this information and the actual wall dimensions of your home we will draw up what we call your Jobsite Drawing, a room-by-room floor plan of the cabinet walls with notes based on your input.

Step two is to make the initial Design Drawings.  We give the Jobsite Drawing based on our Initial Consultation to our Designers who create a digital representation of your cabinets using our dedicated cabinet design software.  Special care is taken to insure that everything you’ve requested is practical and possible within the confines of your new home.  If something you’ve requested is not possible, or if our experience indicates your request is not practical (for instance, the combination of appliances you requested may put the microwave too high off the floor), we will adjust the drawings accordingly and note on the drawings why we did so.  When the Design Drawings are completed we will send them to you (or your builder) along with a PRT sheet (Please Read This) that notes specific questions we have and with  our price for building the cabinets based on our design drawings.

The next step if that you must Review the Design Drawings.  Check to make sure everything you requested is incorporated into the drawings. Pay special attention to cabinet heights and depths, shelf spacing, the finish material for each cabinet, door style, and specialty items you may have requested.

For instance, if you wanted the bookcases in your study to be a certain depth in order to accommodate some extra deep books, make sure we drew them that way.  Even if you don’t like the way something looks, let us know so we can change it. If you are having difficulty understanding the drawings, be sure to let us know.  We’ll be glad to go over them with you on the phone or meet with you to explain them.  Make notes of any discrepancies you discover and call, fax, or e-mail those to us referencing the room number and cabinet number of each.

After studying the notes from your Review Process, we will write up a Change Order and adjust the cabinet drawings accordingly.  When the changes are complete, we send, for your approval, the list of changes we made along with new drawings of the affected cabinets and our new price for the cabinets based on the current design drawings.  In many cases your requested changes will affect adjacent cabinets.  For instance, making a certain drawer stack wider to accommodate your needs may make the adjacent opening too small to accommodate a previously requested trash pull-out.  We try to point these out, but in some cases we miss them, so look for any inadvertent changes when you receive the new drawings.

The Change Order process can move very quickly or may be quite drawn out depending on how quickly and thoroughly you review the drawings and on our work load. In most cases, one Change Order is all that’s needed. A few things to remember about change orders:

  1. They slow down the design process, so be as complete as possible with each Change Order
  2. We do not charge for changes as long as they are not excessive, i.e. you do not change back and forth because you cannot visualize or you cannot make up your mind.
  3. Lumber and plywood prices change frequently and these changes will be reflected in the price of your cabinets until you give us the final approval to construct the cabinets based on the most current design drawings.

Once you have made all necessary changes and you are completely satisfied with the drawings, we will ask you to ‘sign off’ on the drawings, giving us Approval to begin the construction process.  After you have given us approval, we enter your job into the construction queue, print the Final Drawings, and purchase any specialty materials to build your cabinets.  There will be a charge for any changes made after this point.