What are reasonable expectations for cabinet craftsmanship?

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On 11/5/2011 10:08 PM, Sam Takoy wrote:

Judging from the two photographs, that particular work is indeed substandard and would not live up to the standard of quality expected for your stated price.
Was a contract involved?
Even if not, don't go off half cocked ... document the entire installation with photographs of every single instance where you do not feel you received fair value.
Send them, along with a letter to the contractor, by registered mail, cc'ing your attorney (even you don't yet have one), outlining, and requesting a meeting onsite to discuss what you perceive as problem areas.
Regarding the price you paid ... there are damn few, even here, who are qualified to make a judgement in that regard, particularly based on a couple of photographs ... opinions don't count, so don't take them into account.
I can guarantee that most do not have a clue as to what a "custom kitchen" costs, on average, these days. The price you stated is on the low end of a "Tier 1" custom job in most areas of the country.
To assist you with whether you deserve some peace of mind for what you paid, use the link below, inputting the specifications of what you actually got in all the different categories:
http://www.finehomebuilding.com/pages/calculators/kitchen-cabinets-countertops /
As a home builder, and cabinetmaker with quite a few kitchens under his belt, I can assure you that the results of that particular calculator will be in line with most areas of the US, and will give you an _accurate_ estimation of what your kitchen should have cost you.
This exercise will also be of benefit to your legal adviser should you eventually require one.
Let us know how it goes ...
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On Sun, 06 Nov 2011 11:49:54 -0600, Swingman wrote:

Interesting site. Thanks. Quite the price gap between tier 1 and tier 2. I didn't see any reference to the type of wood. Would tier 1 include exotics or would that further raise the price?
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The results is an average price for cabinets and countertops, installed and finished. It would certainly go higher with high priced material.
Note that the calculated price also would normally EXCLUDE things like demolition, electrical, plumbing, venting, engineering (wall removal, etc), and specialty items, lighting, factory pullouts, lazy susans, etc.
For reference, the last few years the average kitchen remodel in the US has been estimated at $35K, and that is no where near Tier 1 specs, IME.
Not all cabinet jobs are created equal, and unless you've personally experienced a top quality, custom, shop built, kitchen cabinet job, you really can't appreciate the difference between one and _any_ factory made solution.
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Sam Takoy wrote:

Wretched looking holes in that second pic and looks like the oak hasn't seen any paste filler before the finish step. Cabinetmakers are supposed to "finish" the wood - and this was stained handyman style without filling the pores.
I don't see anything that here that's a step up from the cheapest Home Depot cabinet.
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