A long time ago, all cabinets were built and installed to order, often by master craftsmen. These days, most cabinets are built in factories and sold as stock cabinets. These prefabricated, “Ready to Install” cabinets can range in quality from very good to not very good at all. As a rule, you will hopefully get what you pay for. Then there are custom cabinets.
Everyone’s idea of the definition of custom is different. Some contractors offer what they call custom cabinets, and don’t get me wrong, they can be very nice, but are more likely semi-custom. It is common for customers to be able to choose from a few stock cabinet boxes, and to choose the door and drawer style, the type of wood, and the hardware they would like to have installed on those boxes. Again, we are not saying that this isn’t a good option. It may be just what that customer needs. The cabinets can be very nice, and could possibly be more affordable. That is sometimes not the case, as the contractor is marking them up, and then charging for installation. That is simply not our definition of truly custom cabinetry.
A fully custom kitchen (or cabinetry/furniture for another room) should be built to fit exactly where it is intended to go. That means that if the customer has a crazy angle, or log walls, or unusually high or low ceilings, the cabinets should be made to fit those spaces. Cabinets can be coped around logs, built on angles, or built in any way it takes to meet the customer’s needs. If the cabinet maker is the same person who measured the space, helped design the layout, is building the cabinets, and will install them, everything should fit exactly right.
Frequently, our customers come to us and ask questions such as, “Can we also have a tall pantry cabinet, or a hutch?” Our response is always that you can have almost anything you want. You should have what you want because you are paying for it. No one should limit you to certain choices, just because it is easier for him or her, or because there is a limit to what he or she can purchase.
We build our boxes, drawers and pullouts, face frames, doors & drawer fronts, and Lazy Susans, in house, to make sure they are as close to perfect as is possible. That means they can be any size and shape you want.
This Douglas Fir and Mahogany kitchen was designed and built over the course of a year. It was a meticulous process, where the owner worked side-by-side with Scott and Lesley to get every detail just right. The owners made the Mexican tile flooring, and built the gorgeous home themselves. It is nestled in the Red Sandstone Cliffs of Lander, Wyoming.
Another really cool thing about hiring a custom cabinetmaker is that you can have your cabinets at any height you want. Are you taller or shorter than average? Having your cabinets at a more appropriate height means less stress on your back, and greater comfort over the years.
Some people choose to have hidden drawers in the toe kicks of the cabinets, or hidden panels in the sides. Some want glass shelving and lights, or built-in under-cabinet lighting, yet others don’t. Some want crown molding. If a more rustic look is desired, Scott builds beautiful live-edged Beetle-Kill Pine crown. He can even build the doors with interchangeable panels for different seasons, or so that the owner can change up the look from time to time.
We normally build all of our cabinets with ¾” Maple melamine boxes, and ¼” Maple melamine, full-height backs. All drawer boxes and pullouts are dovetailed. They are built of Maple boards with Maple melamine bottoms for strength and easy cleaning. Our cabinets are strong enough to hold granite, without needing reinforcement. Scott will help you design the style of your doors and drawer fronts, so that they are exactly what you want. If you would rather have all plywood boxes, that is possible too.
If corbels are desired, depending on the style you want, he will either build them, order them from a specialty catalog, or have them fabricated locally.
Soft-closing, adjustable hinges and undermounted, soft-closing slides are standard, but if someone really likes the old-fashioned type, they can be used.
Finally, we install our own work. Scott is meticulous. When he is finished installing your cabinetry, it will be sealed, cleaned, and ready to use.
Really, in our shop, custom means custom. We want our customers to love their cabinets. We want them to enjoy them for generations with their families. We believe our customers should have truly custom-designed and built-to-last (with the customer in mind), and installed woodwork.