Let's Order Kitchen Cabinets!

Today's the day! When you're ready to order kitchen cabinets, you've entered the final frontier of kitchen design.

Ready to see your kitchen drawing come to life?

Take it to your favorite home center or kitchen showroom! Bring your notebook with clippings and notes, too.

Already got your eye on a cabinet style?

Look again at all the kitchen cabinet door styles before you sit down with the designer to order kitchen cabinets.

Last-minute epiphanies can happen!

OR if you have a magazine clipping in your notebook that epitomizes the look you want, show it to the designer. 9 times out of 10 he or she will find you a cabinet style to match!

Do NOT take in a front-view sketch of your kitchen. Meaningless to the designer. He (or she) needs solid facts, all the measurements you took and the appliance sizes you've chosen.

When a home center designer sees your well-crafted kitchen drawing, it'll save him - and you - time finalizing your design. You've already made a lot of the most important decisions!

NOTE: If you didn't complete your design in Kitchen Design Basics, bring complete room measurements and exact sizes of all your appliances, as described in Kitchen Drawing.

And while you're there to order kitchen cabinets...

...choose your countertop!

If you haven't already found your dream countertop, let the kitchen designer explain the pros and cons of each countertop material. Countertops need to "go with" your cabinetry and the rest of your overall look.

Go ahead and pick out your cabinet hardware, too! Ask the designer for ideas if you don't know which to choose. He puts these things together all day every day.

You and your designer

What if for some reason you aren't hitting it off with the person waiting on you?

This is too important a decision-making process - not to mention the expense! - to not get the best help possible.

Most of these guys and gals are a great kitchen design help...BUT if you aren't comfortable, I recommend going somewhere else, returning later on, or asking to speak with a different designer.

Here's why:

You need to feel you can trust your designer. You don't have to LOVE the guy, but a good rapport will bring out the best creativity - in both of you!

You'll make some last-minute creative decisions before you actually order kitchen cabinets...changes, additions, ideas.

You won't feel as good about the decisions you make if you think the designer is disinterested...just an order-taker.

A good designer makes suggestions that will really improve and enhance your kitchen design. HOWEVER - don't be "talked into" anything you're not sure of.



Quality vs. cost

One decision you'll be asked to make on the spot when you order kitchen cabinets is cabinet quality:

  • Standard cabinet construction uses high-quality density furniture board for the "box"...with solid wood drawers, face frames, shelves and doors (unless you choose a door style that isn't wood).
  • You can upgrade in a variety of ways such as using solid wood cabinet boxes on open ends.
  • Then there's the top quality cabinet - everything is wood, including the box which is plywood. This can add up to 20% to the cost.

Not sure which to choose? Get prices on all qualities. The money each costs can tell you if it's worth it to go for better quality.

Once your decisions are made, the designer will print out a full front view of your design.

FINALLY! You can see what your new kitchen will look like!

Then he'll ask, "Shall I go ahead and order these cabinets for you?"

STOP!

It's easy to fall in love with the plan right off the bat. If you're sure, buy.

However, it's okay to say,"Let me take the plans home and think about it." And then do just that...but don't wait six months to return, prices do change and never for the better!

You can shop around at other home centers or kitchen showrooms if you like, before you actually order kitchen cabinets...but don't let indecision spoil your dream - go for it!



Budget blues?

Kitchen cabinets are not cheap - certainly not a whole roomful of them! If you fall off your chair when you're handed the quote, ask the designer for suggestions to cut costs.

I recommend looking for savings that don't change the overall design - try these first:

  • Watch for store flyers in the mail advertising 10-15% off.
  • Ditto "6 months same as cash" offers for store credit cards.
  • Price a lower grade cabinet construction.
  • Go with less expensive hardware. Off-the-rack hardware is usually cheaper than the hardware on display in the kitchen cabinet department.
  • Consider granite tile instead of a granite slab for your countertop.
  • Shop for less expensive flooring.
  • Look for light fixtures at a lower price.

If that's not enough to bring the price down, consider using simpler cabinets rather than ones with fancy perks. Ask the designer to suggest options for this.



Before you order kitchen cabinets

Think about your remodeling time frame!

  • Are you going to do any of the work yourself or hire it out?
  • Who will do the demolition of your old kitchen?
  • Who will install the cabinets?
  • Do you need to have plumbing and/or wiring reworked? Walls removed or patched? New flooring laid?
  • How much time do you need to have all the prep work done?
  • Are the pros you need to hire available now? Do you know in what order to bring them in?
  • Ask how long it will take for the cabinets to come in.
  • Ask how long the store will hold the cabinets for you after they've come in.

If you're clueless about all of the above, tell your home center kitchen designer. If you want the home center to do all the work for you, they'll coordinate the whole project!

Or get referrals from friends for professionals they've used and liked. Then you can come back, when the prep work is underway and you have a realistic time frame, and place your cabinet order.

Another option is to hire a kitchen designer! Why, after all your hard work designing your own kitchen, would you want to do that? Kitchen designers - good ones, that is - can help you hire dependable pros to do the work, schedule everything, and also help tweak your design with options you may not have thought of.

YOU DID IT! Get ready to see your dreams come true!

Kitchen Design Planning

Kitchen Drawing

Kitchen Cabinet Sizes

Kitchen Design Basics


Back to Design MY Kitchen

Return to Home Page from Order Kitchen Cabinets

Thinking of remodeling?

Keep a notebook or scrapbook of notes, clippings and ideas.

Kitchen magazines are expensive - look through them in the grocery checkout line. If you see pix of a kitchen you really like, buy that magazine.

Stop in at home centers and pick up any free cabinet manufacturers' catalogs.