Cardell Cabinets-The good, the bad, the ugly????

We have been shopping for cabinets to remodel our kitchen and this has been an ongoing battle. We started with Lowe's and likes the Kraftmaid and Diamond but they were a little pricey and the door and designs in our price range were pretty lame. We checked Home Depot and same thing. Then we started looking around and stumbled across a local supplier that carries the Cardell line of kitchen cabinets.
http://www.cardellkitchens.com /
We found a unique design we liked with a rope pattern in the door design, raised door styles and all wood construction. Nice solid looking drawer slides and everything seemed good. Got the pricing and in line with the Kraftmaid stuff but a better design. We tried to finalize the deal but after several trips all we were getting was a hand written paper without even the company letterhead in the sheet. We requested something more definitive but didn't get much help. We were told we'd get a spread sheet with everything detailed but that was two weeks ago and no word. Hate thinking we have to chaise these people down to buy stuff from them.
When we got the quotes from Lowe's it was all detailed out with full descriptions, drawings, terms, conditions, and everything clearly defined. We're a little hessitant on dropping around $8K off a hand written sheet that has a bunch of numbers on it that we don't have anything to reference to, and with a bunch of prices hand written beside them. We're worried if something comes in wrong we'd have little recourse to get it fixed.
Is this a normal method of buying kitchen cabinets? Off hand written sketches?
And has anyone had good/bad experiences with Cardell? It seems like a good product line but the ordering methodology seems a little risky. Do you think it could just be this one dealer? There is another dealer only about 10 miles away (actually closer to our home) but when we attempted to email then from their website we got the email returned as an invalid address which didn't give us a wamr fuzzy feeling about them either.
Any and all help would greatly appreciated!
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No experience with Cardell Cabinets out there? Hmmm, what does that say :O/
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infiniteMPG wrote:

Very little other than they're not a Merillat (sp?) or similar.
I'd not heard of them so didn't answer first go-round but looked at their site this time -- not enough info there (nothing but pictures, basically) to tell anything at all about construction, materials, hardware, warranties, etc.
As for the other part of the story, I wouldn't deal w/ that distributor for any product unless it were someone I knew personally that I could trust implicitly to follow through and that's how they do business. I know several that the description superficially fits--one is absolute top-notch and first choice; the rest are as scatter-brained in their work and the rest as is their estimating/pricing/design.
If there's another distributor and you're still interested in the product and it's only 10 miles why haven't you visited them already is the only question I'd ask.
--
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I attempted to email in a request and the email bounced. I attempted to send it as a fax and the fax failed. So I called them today and their phone is disconnected. So forget them.
And the dealer with the hand written quote I did notice that they had FOR SALE signs on their cabinet displays.... what does that say???
I wrote Cardell direct and they said the dealer who is offline has moved (but their website is still up) but they gave me the name of another place local (a stone's throw from my work) and I called them, they gave me email address to send request to and were very professional on the phone. Feel more comfortable already :O)
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Looks like I'm going to clean up the order with the first guy and go for it. Got word back from the new vendor and they want almost $12,000 for what the original guy is charging me under $7,000 for. Wow.....
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infiniteMPG wrote:

I assume this includes installation? Have you seen actual samples of each's work?
--
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No installation. This is just assembled cabinets. But really top notch looking stuff. Raised doors with curved cabinet face edges and a rope molding in the cut trim of the door faces. This is the entire kitchen, base units, drawers, wall cabinets, angled end cabinets, a desk drawer for a little nook area with a leg and a wall cabinet above it, top trim molding with rope inset, and light kit molding for under the wall cabinets. Dumped the utility cabinet as we're going to build one in the kitchen instead. That unit itself was almost $1,000 and we figured we'd just frame one in and sheet rock it and make it like we want it and save a ton of $$$.
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Ordered the cabinets today. Just at $7,000 including delivery and taxes. All plywood construction (no fiberboard) and a sweet inlaid rope pattern on the cabinet faces and the molding. After getting a quote from a retail store only two blocks away from this place that mainly deals with contractors that was nearly DOUBLE the cost for the EXACT SAME PRODUCT from the EXACT SAME manufacturer we can see where retail places make their money.... OUCH!!!!
I'll pop note in around a month from now to let everyone know how things turned out.
Thanks for all the input, Scott
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on 6/12/2008 5:08 PM infiniteMPG said the following:

expensive stuff.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
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Hey..how about Direct Buy (NOT) " $ 62,000 in cabinets for ONLY $ 38,000"
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
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And $23,999 in membership fees and dues netting you a whopping $1 in savings.... :O)
Almost fell for DirectBuy but then I sobered up... :O)
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replying to infiniteMPG, LivingTheDreamInSA wrote:

I know this is an old thread, but I just had Cardell cabinets installed through my builder, and was very impressed with the quality. They arrived on time. Cabinet bases are solid, all shelves are adjustable, doors and drawer fronts are very thick with dovetail construction (unlike the Kentmoore cabinets this builder used previously) and glides are smooth. We have standard drawer glides in the kitchen, which are plastic and not my favorite but they function well and are nearly full-extension. Our bathrooms are metal full-extension glides with soft-close drawers and I'm thrilled with them. The crown moulding used in our job is rather ornate for a standard moulding, and I paid for glazing and they glazed the crown too. Glazing, however, is not what I thought it would be; more of painting a color along all the grooves, not a true glaze. It looks good though.
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WBrooks had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Cardell-Cabinets-The-good-the-bad-the-ugly-312358-.htm :
infiniteMPG wrote:

------------------------------------- We have a like product that will be quite a bit less than Cardell and is all wood with solid Maple doors and frames. Check us out at http://www.directcabinetrysupply.com/ I can design your kitchen with ease and give you and exact quote in proper format. All I need is you wall measurements and ceiling height. If I can be of assistance please let me know.
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