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Cabinet Grades and the Home Builder

July 6, 2011   |   Kim G. Badger   |   0 Comments

We must recognize that many home builders and renovators are constructing for middle income America and not for the rich and famous. This usually means selecting the kitchen and bathroom cabinets from a big box store. While there is much emphasis on the design choices, the quality of the cabinets is an often overlooked aspect of the overall plan.

What about  Economy Grade Cabinets?

There are pre-manufactured cabinets available that are economy grade and the price will reflect their economy grade status. Most economy grade cabinets are knock-down also known as, “KD”. They are purchased in a box, flat and not assembled. You load them in the back of a vehicle, take them home and assemble them.  Try to steer your customers away from this buying by price syndrome. One of the best ways to do that is establish a budget and go to the store with them. Show them the differences in the different price ranges of cabinets and let them decide which cabinet they feel they can afford.

Mid-Grade Cabinets, the Standard Choice

In most cases there are pre-manufactured cabinets available at the big box stores in a variety of finishes and styles and require nothing more than a sit down with the store representative and a few field dimensions to determine what sizes are needed to utilize the available space. These cabinets are generally made to the custom grade specification or very close to and are the most common cabinets chosen by reputable home builders and owners. While these cabinets have a decent lifespan for the money, they often do not provide the options, sizes and finishes that may best suit your customer.

Are Premium Grade Cabinets Worth the Price?

There are premium grades available in big box stores and any customer willing to pay that kind of money can probably afford custom millwork in their home. Something to think about when considering premium grade pre-made cabinets is that custom cabinets can be manufactured with lots of goodies and a look and finish that may complement the customers home better than the box store variety. In addition even the premium grade cabinet selection is size limited where as cabinets from a mill work shop can be made to any size, within the limitations of common sense and the available materials of today.

If your customer can afford custom millwork then read the previous post, Understanding AWI Cabinet Grades. This article discusses the cabinet grades available when getting quotes from millwork manufacturers and has links to other useful resources. Custom cabinet grades are similar to the above grades but when ordering from a millwork manufacturer it essential to know the minimum specification you are receiving with each grade of cabinet.

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Category: Cabinetry, Home Builders, Industry Articles

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