We are getting custom made cabinets at about $1200/linear foot.
Plywood cabinets with stained oak faces. Mission style with inset
1. The first picture shows the gap between two cabinet doors that
close towards each other:
I think that the gap is too big. Or should I expect a 1/4" gap?
2. The second picture shows the gap between the box and the face. It's
on the left of the picture:
There are some strange nail-looking things in that gap as if it was
intentional. But I'm not sure what its purpose might be.
Thank you in advance for all the input!
I'd be (politely at first) inviting the owner of the cabinet company
over for a look-see. Looks like sub-standard work to me, especially the
second picture. Those shelf-peg holes aren't even deburred, and they
didn't draw the face frame up to the box during assembly- that is a glue
biscuit showing in the gap. They MAY be able to do a field repair, but
if the side panel is out of square, the base cabinet may need to be rebuilt.
We are very satisfied with the KraftMaid cabinets we bought 10 years ago.
We had them installed by people supervised by the contractor in charge of
our remodeling. We paid $8250 for all the cabinets in a small kitchen
makeover. I would to really have to go and measure everything to see how
much cabinet that is, and of course, today's prices will be different.
I'll post a picture in abpw of one of the top cabinets.
I would expect 1/8", or so. You can't adjust the doors? Modern hardware
makes this easy. If they didn't use decent hardware, you got taken.
The gap should be adjustable, too. The job they did on the shelf pin holes is
crappy, too. I like the wood, but those pin holes should *not* be split out.
It looks like the plywood delaminated when they drilled it (with a dull
nail?). Very bad!
I went through the same crap with mine a few years back more at the $20K
Most of the broken units and wrong size units were replaced. They don't take
things back. The $50 to build a cabinet isn't worth the shipping to the
manufacturer. (Kitchen Craft - Winnipeg area)
This is all stuff the installer fixes/hides on the job and gets no credit
for the "irregularities". Some of he people advising you are manufacturers
and installers. They may not know the difference in process with mass
Next time I will install them myself. Would have save some legal fees and a
lot of time and headaches. I will find out this winter.
Good luck with any of that.
"Sam Takoy" wrote in message
Thank you for all the responses so far. I'm disappointed in the
quality but feel relieved that it's not just me being unreasonable.
I'll post an update.
On Sun, 06 Nov 2011 07:49:40 -0800, Sam Takoy wrote:
If you can't get a full refund on that mess you should take them to
court. And even if it were a perfect job, the price is way too high.
Where are you located? Maybe someone here could put you in touch with a
reputable custom cabinet maker. Even if only to serve as an expert
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
Man, did *THAT* shop make out! I wouldn't pay $1200 per running foot for
cabinets if Jesus Christ himself were making them. But you did so regarding
1. DOOR GAP
Way too much. If the doors were solid wood instead of frame and panel which
they appear to be, 1/8" - even less - should be plenty especially if the
door edges where they meet were beveled inward slightly as they should be.
You need a gap between the doors for two reasons: the first is so that the
doors will open...the distance from the hinge pivot point to the back edge
of the door at the opening is greater than it is to the front of the opening
(that is the reason for a bevel on the opening edge - to reduce the radius
thereby reducing the gap needed). The second is to accomodate seasonal
expansion/contraction of the wood in the doors. If the doors are solid
wood, that seasonal change is much greater then for doors that are made of a
frame with a panel inset into the frame (as yours appear to be). With frame
and panel, the gap between doors can be quite small...I live in Central
Florida (wet summers, dry winters) and the gap between frame & panel doors
of a cabinet I made for our screen porch is less than 1/16.
BTW, what *IS* the panel? And what are the two vertical, black bars over
The existing gap can be mitigated in several ways...
a) adjustment of hinges (if possible) to move doors
b) a central vertical stile in the cabinet for the foors to close
against. That changes the cabinet interior from one space into two
c) rabbeting the backs of both doors along the full length of the
opening edge and insetting a piece in one for the other to close against.
You still have a gap but there is wood behind it. Doing this means that the
door without the inset has to be opened in order to open the other.
2. GAP BETWEEN FRAME & BOX
Totally unacceptable regardless of price. A sloppy, "I don't care a rat's
There should be NO gap there...the frame should be tight against the box.
The holes for shelf pins are butchered...the ply veneer has been torn and I
can think of no way to fix it other than ripping out a 1/2 - 3/4" dado,
insetting a piece of wood flush with the ply surface and then drilling new
Sam, it sucks to get taken in by those so-called cabinet makers, so I
feel your pain.
The word 'substandard' is a compliment for that work. Don't even let
them fix that mess, get you money back, one way or another.
1/16" or less.
Would look much better if the doors were rabbeted to
mesh with each other, but that's an extra step that
not many cabinetmakers would offer standard.
Biscuits, look to be #20s. You should have no open joint.
Plywood looks to be cheap Home Depot birch face, paper
thin veneer. For $1200 / ft, you should have gotten better
Shelf pin holes are ragged, probably from deburring
with a worn drill. Details are crucial to good finish.
Finish itself is poor. Brush-on poly, should have
been at least steel wooled and waxed. Grain filler
would have made it look 500% better. If you like
an open-grained finish, oil would have looked better.
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
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:
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 ...
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?
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
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
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