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Pricing on kitchen install

Kristin M
6 years ago
As new homeowners we are pretty clueless on a lot of the expenses. We had to rush into choosing a contractor for the kitchen project. He is charging us 7k to remove the old kitchen cabinets (intact) and install the new ones. He wouldn't give a breakdown on the "package deal" and as extra costs come up he is adding them on at the end (plumbing, electric, refinishing our drywall basement ceiling, drywall replacement where the backsplash was ripped out). Does this sound outrageously expensive, because it does to us. We live in a smaller city in MI and that's a crazy amount of money here. But we do live in one of the nicest neighborhoods in the area and I think a lot of contractors try to get as much as they can get. The kitchen is a little bigger than most, but nothing outrageous. Attached is a proposed plan to give you an idea of the size. Can anyone share their own pricing for cabinet installation?!!

Comments (101)

  • Kristin M
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Not sure if picture attached above
  • D DN
    6 years ago
    I would love to see the price list they gave you (per cabinet)--that seems incredibly high for Aspect. They must be charging you a huge mark-up!!
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  • poshky
    6 years ago

    After looking at the layout, if it was Shiloh it wouldn't shock me but what do I know! You have more cabinets than I thought. It will be a beautiful kitchen. I know that they told me that 1 pantry was $4,000, then the refrigerator pantry was another $2,500. That seems crazy I know that was my first quote. That wasn't even any other cabinets. I guess it also depends on what kind of cabinets you asked for. I ran into this problem too. They thought I wanted inset and those were the most expensive they said because you have to get the upgrades for the cabinets to fit or work right. I may not be using the right terms, but thats what they said. I ended up like I said with the eclipse style and the price is already included with all the upgrades because thats the way they come. They ended up the same price anyway, but I did go with less pantries. I just had a closet pantry built instead. Good Luck!

  • Kristin M
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Thanks ladies for the info! I stupidly told them a while ago we were also looking at mid continent with another dealer, which I think are similar to Aspect, and when they asked me for their price I said around 20k. So I'm wondering if that's why they're bumping the price of the Aspect to 20k. Or maybe they want us to go with Shiloh and that's why they aren't making the difference in price huge!

    I don't have a list of prices for each cabinet, but I'm counting roughly 21 cabinets. One of them is the sink cabinet and one is a pull out trash bin. Around maybe 5 cabinets have pull outs, the others are shelves. One cabinet only with a glass door. And there's the pantry too which is pretty big, with I think 3 or maybe 4 pull outs. Is that a lot more cabinets than you guys have?
  • PRO
    Harmoni Designs + Build
    6 years ago
    Kristin,
    You really ought to get the entire remodel quote put in writing as soon as possible if you haven't already. The general contractor should put everything in a quote including plumbing, electrical, etc. He might not want to break out cost, which is common with many GCs. He's likely marking the subcontractor quotes up and don't want you to see his numbers.

    Not having everything clearly in writing screams trouble down the road (arguments at best). The fact that you rushed into hiring this guy just to get started was his first chance to easily over charge you. Not saying he is, but you really should have taken your time. Get things in writing now and proceed with confidence you aren't getting taken for a ride. If he won't write it up, now's the time to move on.
  • Kristin M
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Thanks Harmoni. My husband hasn't been happy with him from the start because he asked for a price breakdown and he told him there was no breakdown, it's a "package deal." We insisted and he put together a contract with what's included. Can we demand a price breakdown for electric and plumbing, or at least get exact figures? We asked and he kept saying "oh it won't be much just a few hundred here and there" but that's not in writing anywhere. I'm sure if we ask him again he'll say he doesn't know until the guys get here and do the actual work. He's been the most frustrating one to work with out of ALL the guys we've hired.
  • PRO
    Sinjin Studios Premier Remodeling LLC
    6 years ago

    As a gc I agree with Harmoni. Proposals (not general estimates) should include products, sizes, samples, colors, modifications, scope of project and even where to put the pets during the work. That way the gc will know what will make you happy when the projects is completed.

  • D DN
    6 years ago
    We have 18 cabinets plus the range hood. 15 of those cabinets--the perimeter--are Aspect. We have a 96" tall pantry cabinet and a spice rack. 4 of the perimeter cabinets are glass front with finished interiors. What finish and door did you select?
  • Kristin M
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Thanks Sinjin and Dawn. Currently we are priced for the Oxford full overlay cabinets. They are painted maple - I think we will go with the Polar color, and possible glazing which apparently is free. "Free." Lol. This price also includes the crown molding and the range hood with a 500 CFM blower
  • D DN
    6 years ago
    Ask for a print out showing every single cabinet and it's price. That will keep them honest and will also let you cut items you feel are just too expensive. And you can even go to other Aspect dealers and do price checks. I would be shocked if my Aspect dealer's prices match yours.
  • Kristin M
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Thanks, yes I absolutely will ask for a detailed print out. I'm sure they are the only dealer around but we can drive to the Detroit area and get some pricing there and see if it's comparable. Did you even get the full kitchen priced out with just Shiloh cabinets? Also. Is your pantry the single door to the left of fridge? And lastly, is your island microwave built in and is it a drawer? :)
  • D DN
    6 years ago
    We have Oxford too. Your choice of maple is driving up the price as is the full overlay. Painted cabinets are always more expensive than stained cabinets--that accounts for a couple thousand dollars. I can't imagine using maple if you are just going to paint over it. And consider whether full overlay is required for this door style. What drawer did you choose? The sculpted or the 5-piece? Your drawer selection could also kick up the price.
  • PRO
    BK Renovations, LLC
    6 years ago
    Kristen, if the $7k is just for labor to demo old and install new cabinets that does sound a bit high based on your photo. A lot depends however on the amount of and detailing of trim and style/quality of cabinets. If the $7k includes cabinets & materials however it does not sound out of line.
  • D DN
    6 years ago
    The pantry is to the left of the fridge, yes. But it has 2 doors like yours--an upper and a lower. Mine is one half of the size of yours it appears. Our microwave is a regular one with a trim kit. Fits perfectly (and looks really good actually) in the Shiloh microwave cabinet which has spacious drawer at the bottom.
  • PRO
    Harmoni Designs + Build
    6 years ago

    Kristin,

    Good to hear that you have a written quote for the majority of the work. Of course you can ask for a written firm quote for the electrical and plumbing work or anything else that's not included for that matter. A few hundred can quickly become a lot more, especially if they think they are on a time and materials basis. That will for sure slow them down and cost you more. If they are not willing to give you a written quote, then say you will hire someone else to do the work. It's your house, so you decide who does the work, but have it in writing to protect yourself.

  • Kristin M
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    BK - yes the 7k is just for removal and install! Doesn't include any cabinets. But it does also include the removal of a sliding door to the sunroom and adding new framing to it. Harmoni - I will have my husband get a more specific quote for that work. Or we may even bring in our own electrician and plumber if this guy is being too difficult to work with.

    Dawn - good point, I forgot the full overlay adds cost! So you didn't go with maple? What's a more cost effective option and is the maple any better or just more expensive for no real good reason? Are your cabinets stained? I imagine ours would be painted to achieve the white color. And yes our pantry is pretty huge so maybe that adds to it - it's 36 inches across with double doors and another set of cabinets above.
  • D DN
    6 years ago
    We used poplar instead of maple in Aspect. (In Shiloh we used maple only because poplar wasn't offered.) We didn't think that the Oxford door style required full overlay--the kitchen design center had Aspect maple full overlay on display in the Oxford door style so that helped with our decision. We didn't use the 5 piece Oxford drawer--we used the Oxford sculpted drawer so that cut down costs. We bought fancy drawer pulls instead :). We chose a gray wood stain that allows the wood grain to show through, which we really like. It's called Shadow and we chose the black glaze. I promise the glaze is free! It sounds like they uncharged you in every way they could.
  • D DN
    6 years ago
    **upcharged
  • Kristin M
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Yup, they sure did!! lol they just kept showing me "nice" options and I kept saying yup I want it, not realizing how much the little stuff adds up!! I will definitely ask for a quote without the full overlay, to see how much extra that is!!! I did go for the 5 piece drawers, but I'll have to look more closely at the other options to see what I think. The glaze is free, they told me so. I just have to decide if I want it. And if we want white cabinets, obviously that means we have to paint them, right? No way to stain that.

    Anyway thanks so much you have been very helpful - nice to see someone who just went through this with the exact same company!! I never realized all this little stuff added up so much, so I'll be a lot more careful to only choose what I really want now! THANKS!! :-D
  • D DN
    6 years ago
    Yes you definitely should make a list of things you must have and dump everything else. Don't worry, my first quote with a different cabinet company where I put in everything I wanted was around $30,000 before countertops or install. You can add many things later if you find out that you truly regret cutting something important--the roll out shelves, the garbage bins, even the soft close hinges that I apparently need.

    If you feel like you aren't getting great service, my Shiloh/Aspect dealer is incredibly helpful and has done transactions with me over email and phone for my butler's pantry and laundry room.
  • PRO
    Hal Braswell Consulting
    6 years ago
    Not familiar with the brand of cabinets you are looking at but here are some cost saving options. These options were available with my RTA cabinets (all plywood, maple frames and doors, Blumotion full extension soft close glides and Blum 6-way adjustable hinges). I would think these options would be available with yours.

    1) paint grade hard maple frames and doors more expensive than birch but less expensive than stain grade maple.

    2) drawers made of birch instead of maple was huge cost saver; drawer fronts made of paint grade hard maple.

    3) rollout trays made of birch instead of maple was another huge saver.

    Our twin 34" wide pantries, 24" deep and 84" tall, have 3/4" sides, 1/2" back and are plywood with maple face frames and doors. 10 total rollout trays, Blumotion soft close full extension glides. Vertical spacing can be adjusted between trays WITHOUT TOOLS. Cost about $2,900.
  • Kristin M
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Thanks Dawn, maybe I will contact them for pricing once we have the plan finalized if we don't feel we're getting a fair deal. Can you give me their name?

    Hal, thanks for the very detailed breakdown - that helps a lot!! The original kitchen had a pantry closet that we ripped out because we wanted to move the fridge in its place. I knew the built in pantry was going to cost us some money, but who knew it would be a pretty penny! It'll look nice when all is said and done though!
  • PRO
    Hal Braswell Consulting
    6 years ago
    There is no way I would go with poplar, it is a very soft wood. Birch is better, maple better still, and cherry is usually considered the best of the mainstream woods.

    But I would never paint cherry, which is typically stained.

    Maple works well painted or stained. It is somewhat harder than birch on the wood hardness scale but my experience is in real life maple holds up better than birch and is worth the cost.

    Birch works well painted or stained. People buying nicer/more expensive homes generally expect maple/cherry/exotic wood cabinets.

    Poplar is soft but paints well.
  • Kristin M
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Thanks Hal for your opinion. We took our very solid maple cabinets from the kitchen so we just figured we would replace them with the same. Aren't we so rational? hahahah!
  • D DN
    6 years ago
    I was a bit concerned about the alleged softness of poplar which I had read about in my research. My general contractor is a big dumb animal and not particularly careful with anything. The result--once poplar goes through the processes to become a finished cabinet it's not soft at all. My nightmare of my contractor damaging my alleged "soft" poplar cabinets just didn't happen at all. In fact, my husband and I like poplar enough we just built our laundry room countertops with it. Again, we take care of our stuff--clean it, maintain it, and don't have a house full of wild kids to tear up our stuff. So that drives our decisions, no doubt.

    The concern about "people expecting" maple or whatever--once you paint it, those imaginary people some are concerned about can't tell what kind of wood it is anyway.
  • PRO
    Hal Braswell Consulting
    6 years ago
    Per the Janka wood hardness scale,
    here are the ratings for several species:

    Poplar 540
    Cherry 950
    Yellow Birch 1260
    Hard Maple 1450

    Poplar on steroids is still poplar and not as hard as maple.

    Maple or cherry cabinets are a strong selling point for houses. I have yet to see a realtor tout poplar cabinets as a selling point, certainly none of my family or friends who are realtors.
  • Tina
    6 years ago
    Hal ..... For curiosity sake what is hardness level of oak.
  • D DN
    6 years ago
    I'm not disputing that in its raw form, poplar is a soft wood--but after its a cabinet it's not the same.

    And have you read this entire thread? If so, you've seen my kitchen so stop acting like I live in a heap of crap just because I dared to use poplar. I'm not selling my home--I designed it for me. I don't ascribe to this throw away society where I need a new home every 5 years. My home is 150 and going strong.
  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    6 years ago

    Making poplar into cabinets doesn't magically make it harder. The paint can and will chip with the wood is dented by impact. In an old home where you want a lived in look, that's probably a plus. If you are a newer adult household that is not hard on things, it may not matter much. If you are a household with active kids, it matters. It matters a lot.

  • D DN
    6 years ago
    I don't know what a "newer adult household" means. I take it to mean that we are newly married and don't have kids yet. I can't have kids. I have an auto-immune disease that prevents it. My husband and I have been married for 15 years. I've chosen to love him, the practice of law, and my dogs instead of going to the end of the earth to become a mother.
  • PRO
    Hal Braswell Consulting
    6 years ago
    Janka ratings

    White Oak 1360
    Red Oak 1290
  • Tina
    6 years ago
    Tks Hal for the info.
  • PRO
    Harmoni Designs + Build
    6 years ago

    Poplar is a good wood choice for painting. In fact, it's probably the most used wood species for painted baseboards and door casings in quality homes and even in commercial construction. If it can hold up to the abuse at door casings, then it should be fine for painted cabinets with a quality paint finish as well. I'm not taking about the paint you would purchase at the hardware store though.

  • Kristin M
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Dawn, I was able to get a breakdown of the pricing for the Shiloh cabinets. We are getting them at list price minus a 43.9% discount. How does that compare to what you were given?

    Some prices that REALLY jump out at me BEFORE discount:

    - range hood (42 inch wood) $3,500
    - Broan 500 CFM blower $1,760
    - Oxford drawers upcharge $2,570
    - dove drawers blumotion FE guide?? $4,865

    These prices have a 43.9% discount on top of them, but they still seem very high to me and I'm not sure what the double drawer charge is about ?
  • D DN
    6 years ago
    If there's a discount on top of the prices you stated, the vent hood is a good deal. The exhaust fan isn't. Go to your local appliance shop. I imagine the reason you have a double charge for the drawer is 1 charge for the 5 piece drawer upgrade and 2nd charge for the full extension upgrade. Every upgrade is a separate charge.
  • Kristin M
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Thanks! I agree about the fan, we will definitely look into getting our own. I didn't realize there was an upcharge for full extension - I thought they were standard on the Shiloh! I'll have to ask about that! Does 44% off list price sound good? I know some people claim they won't accept anything below 50% off list on other cabinet brands, but when we asked for an additional discount they wouldn't budge.
  • D DN
    6 years ago
    I honestly don't know. Our kitchen designer didn't present the prices like that (a huge up charge with a certain percentage off).
  • Kristin M
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Ok thanks for your input though!
  • D DN
    6 years ago
    Just looked up the full extension--it is optional (ie extra $$) on standard and full overlay cabinets.
  • Kristin M
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Oh ok thanks! I wonder if it's worth it? Probably? Also, do you just look it up on their website?
  • D DN
    6 years ago
    Yeah it's on the Shiloh website as "optional". I'm not sold on full extension. I can only tell on the skinny drawers--like those for flatware and such. For the large drawers such as those for pots/pans they are so big that I can't tell a difference. You should take a look at a design center to see if it's worth the extra $$. That's what it comes down to now--which dollars are worth the trade in upgrades to the cabinets.
  • Eric Furrer
    5 years ago

    I charge an hourly rate for custom installs. $30 and hour, but that can change depending on complexity and liability of the job. I am licensed, bonded and insured. I know alot of finish carpenters that charge up to $45-$50 an hour.

  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    5 years ago

    And you're losing money and don't know it at $30 an hour unless you drive a 30 year old Yugo, own no tools, and don't plan on buying any, or any other type of investment back in the business. The absolute cheapest guy I use figures $600 a day is about the minimum needed for overhead, gas, and groceries.

  • Eric Furrer
    5 years ago
    I know I'm on the low end. But I'm just getting started on my own. My prices will go up.
  • RubyRoses
    5 years ago
    I redid the kitchen in my last house..designed it myself and shopped like crazy. my husband and I did most labor..demo, wall painting, breakfast bar, floor laying. we used our custom cabinet maker for install of cabinets and countertops.. $500.00 for 2 guys most of day. 800.00 for drywall labor. 150.00 for plumbing labor.
  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    5 years ago

    Eric, you're not on the low end, you are on the poverty and starving end. Seriously. You do not know how to figure out what to charge if you charge that little. Conversely, you do need to be worth 1K a day if you want to charge that. My one contractor who does charge that IS worth it. No, he doesn't gross 250K a year, because he'd rather go fishing, and there is that pesky business of overhead. He might net 70K a year, and get in all the fishing he wants. But when we have the big home show, and almost every cabinet in it has extended stiles to be scribed to the wall and a 4 piece stacked crown, he's the one you want for the job.

    You're charging gopher rates that say you aren't worth even that. If you don't have the confidence to charge what you are really worth and need to charge to make a NOT dirty word ''profit'' without apologizing, then you need to do something else.

  • Eric Furrer
    5 years ago
    Yes $30 an hour for a licensed contractor is hand to mouth living. Half of my wage goes toward expenses. I don't plan on staying at this rate, my prices are absolutely going up this year.
  • smileythecat
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    The original question is 7k to much? I'm starting a reno and 7k would feel awfully good right now. I think its very reasonable but be aware, and you are.

  • bunnyllg
    5 years ago
    I spent 10k for installation of a large kitchen, laundry room, mud room and master bath. This was a new build so no cabinets removed and we purchased the cabinets from the company that did the installation. All Plain and Fancy and Candlelight so did not skimp. 7K seems a bit steep, but there is no price too high on a job well done.
  • Jessie Harrison
    5 years ago

    Don't worry you aren't alone in this! My husband, I are working on building our second home and we still are struggling with expenses and planning. We are working right now to get our kitchen figured out. These a lot we would like to do with it, we just don't know how to fit it all. It would be nice to get ourselves a scribe. Do you have any tips on what we should try? http://www.simplescribe.com/product/simple-scribe/