: In any event, as I'm trying to work with local companies, my problem is
: comparing apples to apples with the different lines they carry. Some do
: carry the KraftMaid and Merrilat. Others have Aristocraft, Brandom,
: CustomCraft, UltraCraft, Shiloh, and Medallion. I don't know any thing
: about these lines (not that I know anything about the others either),
: or how to compare them. I can't seem to locate anything on most of
: them. Also if, a company doesn't carry the standard big guns like
: KraftMaid etc., does that mean anything?
Ask what the warranty is against warpage and other problems that can
beset cabinets. Cabinets aren't very complicated. There's a box
part, which is what you put dishes etc. into, and a face
part, which is what you see when the cabinets are closed. And drawers,
if you want those. Each of these is built pretty simply. Question:
do you want to rip everything out and replace it, or
just redo the fronts, which can be a lot cheaper?
: I just want a decent cabinet, not top of the line. The kids are grown, : so
no-one is running into them, slamming or swinging from them.
And the : way I see it, my cheap builder-supplied ones
have held up fine for 10 : years (they're just ugly as heck),
And in 10 years you might want a different style anyway, so I
think your decision to go midrange is a good one. (I think
that's true for a lot of things, including furniture).
:so anything I get should be a lot
:better. But I still don't want to get poor quality.
: Can anyone help me in comparing the quotes when they come in, and
: quality, what to look for etc.
Here's a few:
a) what are the cabinets made of? Plywood is very good, chipboard
is more fragile and more prone to water damage.
b) What are the faceframes and doors made from? If they're painted or
laminated it doesn't matter much, if they're exposed wood
c) What grade of hardware, especially hinges and drawer
slides, do they use? Both should look substantial. Drawers should be
supported by fairly beefy supports -- really thin ones tend to bind and break
d) Are the drawers dovetailed, or nailed/stampled? The former is much more
solid and durable.
A lot will depend on the style you choose. Laminated cabinets, sort
of minimalist in style, will be very durable. Fancier ones, with moldings,
you need to care more about the component types (real wood, MDF,
plywood, chipboard, etc.).
-- Andy Barss