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High-end Kitchen Cabinet Sticker Shock, April 2016

Richard Russell
April 16, 2016

This is my first comment, as I am a newbie. It took a long period of surfing, digging, browsing, etc. to find any kind of useful, timely discussion regarding kitchen cabinets, particularly the high end, which I have come to believe is intentionally, and quite unnecessarily, steeped in price mystery.

As part of a large remodeling project, we are re-doing a "medium-sized' kitchen. Knowing it's a 1910 Denver Square might give you an indication of the size. For the kitchen and walk-in pantry combined, it's about 30 Linear Feet. The style is not complicated: an inset-door, simple Shaker.

We were taken to our KD by our architect, whom we do not know more than professionally, but who we trust. We like this KD very much, but her first quote was so stiff ($50K--no installation, no glass, no hardware, plus $3800 shipping!) that we then felt we needed much more information about cabinet pricing in order to proceed further. The quote exceeded our architectural allowance by 60%--a budget-buster, right out of the gate!

Research on the internet seems to imply that fully custom cabinetry is in the range of $1000-$1400 per linear foot. Our initial quote was $1800/LF! The cabinets are from a similar-quality, Wood-Mode competitor, and we like our door sample a great deal, so we are highly disposed to buy them, but not at that price.

We then investigated whether semi-custom made more budget sense, and we have been investigating the Greenfield line. Another KD has been doing a bang-up job for us with that, but really, the final price is only 10-12% less than the custom job, so it's hard to get terribly excited about, particularly since semi-custom is referenced in the $600-$700/LF range.

Getting accurate information about high-end cabinet prices is, IMO, unnecessarily difficult. While I appreciate the KD comments at Houzz, the comment about the impossibility of general price info, due to the wide variability in specs, is self-serving. Any intelligent customer already understands that more "stuff" costs more money. As someone else pointed out, this is all about value, not price. Affluent customers do not like to feel that they are sheep to be sheared--quite the contrary. They are usually high-achieving people who owe their success to intelligence and drive, and can smell BS a mile away. It seems to me that a successful KD would have asked for the architectural allowance first, then crafted a plan to give the customer maximum bang for the buck, perhaps at three different price points.

I would appreciate any comments on the above issues.

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