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5 Biggest Mistakes We See People Make with Their Cabinetry

It happens. You’re excited about your project, you want to save money and get it done in the quickest time frame possible. However, cabinetry is a big investment for your home and will be around for many years to come. Our advice is to take the time to plan, hire the right people for each phase of your project and avoid some common mistakes.

Below are the 5 mistakes we see the most:

1. Tearing out your existing kitchen before you have a design/plan

Before you start, you should consider the following:

● Do you want your appliances to stay in the same place?

● Do you want your sink / plumbing to stay in the same place?

● How long can you live without a kitchen before a new one can be installed?

If you tear out too early, it’s easy to become impatient and end up settling for something due to time constraints and inconvenience.

2. Hiring a “one-stop-shop”

We often get asked if we can “do it all” – cabinets, countertops, hardware, flooring, electrical, etc. While it may seem like a convenience to have one company provide all of these services, it’s not always the best route. It’s like going to your family doctor for all your medical needs instead of seeking a specialist for your heart. Can your doctor diagnose the issue? Sure, but are you getting the best treatment if he’s not a heart specialist?

At Sullivan’s, we are “specialists” in cabinetry, and we have great relationships with other “specialists” for the other items that we can refer you to.

3. Trying to keep your existing countertops and only replace your cabinetry

This is actually much more complicated than it may seem. We often have customers who replace their cabinets and keep their countertops, only to come back to us a few years later and tear everything out to start from scratch. Here are some things to consider if you’re wanting to keep your existing countertops:

Layout: If you’re not happy with how your current layout functions for you, replacing only the cabinetry will not change the functionality.

Appliances: By keeping your countertops, you either have to keep all of your appliances or find new appliances that fit in the same spaces.

Sink/Faucet: Your sink and faucet must stay in the same place.

4. Not having realistic budgets or expectations

The cost of your cabinetry can vary greatly depending on many factors.

Woods can vary significantly in price. Woods like red oak, poplar, alder and maple tend to cost less than woods like cherry, walnut and special cuts of white oak.

Other factors that can affect cost include the design, the material used for the internal construction of your cabinetry, the type of hinges and drawer guides, and the final finish of your cabinetry. A one-step finish process (such as just painting your cabinets) will be less expensive than a multiple step finish process (distressing, stain and glaze).

Like a realistic budget, you should also have realistic expectations for your time frame. Our average time frame for unfinished cabinets is typically 3-4 weeks from the date of a signed contract and approved design. For prefinished cabinets, our average time frame is 6-8 weeks. However, the size and complexity of your job may extend that time frame.

It’s important to discuss both your budget and time expectations with your designer up front.

5. Not getting your contract in writing

We have clients come to us in the middle of a remodel where they are unhappy with their current contractors and need help. Too often, their designs and pricing are not in writing, so the homeowner has no recourse. Always get a copy of your contract and your drawings once you’ve approved your project and put down a deposit.

We'll help you avoid all these mistakes and more! Contact us to get started on your project.


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