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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do European-style cabinets compare in price with typical face-frame cabinets?
A: Generally, European-style cabinets cost a little more.
Q: What are "European-style" cabinets?
Also called "frameless" cabinets, they do not have a faceframe front for the cabinet door hinges to mount on and waste space. European cabinets use fully concealed hinges that allow the cabinet doors to be mounted with very little gap between each door, thus giving a flush and clean look.
Another benefit to this design is that access to the cabinet interiors is maximized. There are no faceframe members to hinder access into the cabinets and waste space. When you open the cabinet doors, every bit of space inside is visible. Functionally, more usable space is available, and, esthetically, a cleaner appearance is achieved.
European-style frameless cabinetry fits any decor, and would be appropriate for any area of your home. Based on the type of cabinet door fronts that are chosen, your kitchen can take on any kind of look, from a traditional decor with hardwood cabinets, raised-panel doors and decorative mouldings, to a more modern contemporary appearance with flush doors made with hardwoods and domestic or exotic veneers, high pressure laminates or even metals. Many kitchens that you see in design magazines feature European-style cabinets, it may take close inspection to recognize them.
It pays to remember... "the pain of poor quality and service is remembered long after the joy of a low price is forgotten!"
Q: What types of hardwoods do you use for your cabinetry?
A: I have a large selection of domestic and imported hardwoods available to me, and I'll use any hardwood that you desire. Typical woods include hard maple, cherry, white oak, red oak, birch, ash, knotty pine, clear pine, and walnut. I like to use woods that are lighter in color because they tend to give a more open and spacious appearance to your kitchen. That said, American walnut is just gorgeous and fun to work with. Cherry has been very popular lately, and it is one of my personal favorites, along with rift-sawn white oak.
Q: I don't know what style of cabinet door to choose. What do you offer and what would look good in my home?
A: For many years, a very popular door style has been the raised panel door, whether square or arched. These days, the trend has been toward a look a little less "traditional" in style. People are choosing a door fronts more clean and up-to-date and less ornate. The most popular door styles I supply fall into two categories: the flat panel door, and the flat slab door. The flat panel door is much like the raised panel door but with a flat center panel instead of the raised panel. A variation of the flat panel door is the "shaker style" flat panel, in which all of the edges are left square. The other really popular door style is the flat slab door. This is a very clean and uncluttered look. The wood grain is oriented vertically, and all the doors and drawer fronts from one particular cabinet group are cut from a single piece so that the wood grain continues from front to front. Very cool.
Q: I don't like the look of white melamine on the inside of some frameless cabinets I've seen, is that the only choice when it comes to Euro cabinets?
A: Definitely not. Although I will use melamine for your cabinet interiors if you request it, I typically use hard maple for my cabinet interiors, whether the cabinets are to be painted or to receive a stain and lacquer finish. Hardwood plywoods are durable, strong, smooth to the touch, and easy on the eyes. I like to steer away from using products such as particle board, which can give off formaldehyde fumes and can self-destruct if allowed to get wet. It is true that they are inexpensive, but I think the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages.
Q: Speaking of finishing, do you offer finishing for your cabinets?
A: I do not. Typically, the finishing will be accomplished by the painters on site after the cabinets are installed, mouldings are applied, and adjacent trimwork is installed. That way, any scribing of the cabinets to fit walls and ceilings and any nail holes in the mouldings can be filled and sanded on bare wood instead of on a pre-finished product that has to be "touched-up". I do know other tradesmen such as cabinet finishers and countertop fabricators that I can highly recommend.
Q: I really like the convenience of adjustable shelving in the cabinets, does that cost extra?
A: Actually, adjustable shelving is less expensive to produce. Normally, all interior shelving in my cabinets is adjustable unless there are reasons for a shelf to be fixed. It should be noted that any adjustable shelf that is too long will sag over time. I like to limit my adjustable shelves to a maximum length of 36". If a longer span is desired there are ways to make beefier shelves.
Q: Do you offer other cabinet convenience items such as lazy susans or roll-out interior drawers?
A: Yes, any configuration in any amount of convenience hardware can be included. I will give you options to choose from and make recommendations for each cabinet area.
Q: On my current set of cabinets, the first thing to break was one of the drawers. How do you construct your drawers to keep this from happening?
A: Because the drawer boxes often undergo hard use, I use the strongest drawer joinery available. The drawer box corners of all the drawers are dovetailed. The same goes for the roll-out interior drawers. They are built using either Baltic birch or solid maple. The drawer glides are Blum Tandem all-metal fully-concealed full-extension glides with a 100 lb. capacity rating and very smooth action. I suggest a clear natural finish on all the drawer boxes to highlight their natural beauty.
Q: What type of information do you need from me in order to get started with my project?
A: I need a finished design and I need to know what relevant appliances and fixtures you have picked out. If you give me the name of your appliance salesperson, I'll ask him to email me the information I need. I also need to know what type of floor and what type of countertop you have chosen.
Q: I don't have an architect or my architect would rather defer to a specialist, how can I get a finished design for my kitchen?
A: I do kitchen layout design as well. If you'd like, I will help you arrive at a beautiful and functional layout for your kitchen. I will produce the floorplan, cabinet elevations and perspective drawings that you will need for your contractor to bid from and ultimately, to work from. Often, one or two meetings together is all it takes. I strive to be prompt, professional, and easy to get along with. My aim is to make this a good experience for us both.
Q: Tell me a little more about your design services.
A: I offer several levels of kitchen design service. The first is a complete floor plan and set of elevation drawings of your kitchen, (as well as any other cabinetry areas). These are cabinetry specific drawings so that you can see how the finished cabinetry will look and make any changes before production. I can produce these in two or three days and I charge a nominal fee for this service, which I credit back to you if you let me build your cabinets.
Another level of service is a more complete set of kitchen design drawings that will include all the things your contractor needs in order to give you an accurate bid, and ultimately to work from. In addition to the cabinetry, this will include items like surface finishes such as walls, floors, counters and backsplashes. It will include appliance and fixture specifications and electrical switches, plugs, and lighting. This type of design work I charge for and will, of course, need quite a bit of interaction with you in order to get all the information required.
Design service #1 needs to occur anytime before the cabinet construction gets underway, however design service #2 needs to be completed before making contact with general contractors to bid your project.
Q: I have a kitchen design from a large home center and I am considering buying my cabinets from them. I would really like to have a custom cabinetmaker build my cabinets instead, but I don't know that I can afford it. Would you be interested in bidding my project from these drawings?
A: More than a few times, people have brought me such drawings. I would show them some of my work, pass on some useful information, give them a list of references and bid their project. Most times, I would offer suggestions and changes to their design and price those as options. I really don't know how my prices compare with the prices from the home center, but I do know this: every project I've bid this way I've gotten.
Q: I would like to see some of your work, is that possible?
A: Yes, absolutely. I would just need to make arrangements with one of my past clients. I respect their privacy, and I would need to coordinate with their schedule, however, they have been very happy to show their new kitchen for my prospective clients. I keep a current list of references that I will supply to you as well.
Q: I've decided I want to use you to build my cabinets. When should I get you started?
A: Ideally, you'd want your cabinets to be built and ready for installation by the time your general contractor has your kitchen ready. This means that under most circumstances, you'd want to get me started as soon as possible in order to avoid delays. It takes me a certain amount of time to produce a project and that amount of time has many variables, such as current work load, etc. It generally takes me four to six weeks to complete a medium sized kitchen, not including the installation.
Q: Are you insured?
A: Of course.
Q: What else do I need to know as I contemplate my kitchen remodel?
A: I've added a page devoted to information for home owners wanting to tackle a kitchen makeover. Go to my kitchen remodel page.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: Checks, cash, precious metals.