Custom Cabinetry Design and Fabrication
From the first contact with a customer on a new project, through the design, construction layouts, and then on to the fabrication, each of these steps are performed by me personally. I am hands on from start to finish. This is rare in todays world of high volume and prefabrication, but it is the business model and service that I provide.
The positive aspect is that everything is custom, and the customers develop only one relationship throughout the project, and that is with me. The negative side to this, is that custom design and built projects are labor intensive, and when one person is providing all the labor for each step, the process is not a quick turn around proposition, so planning ahead and patience is required, and there are some things that must be done by other professional contractors onsite.
Over the years of installing cabinets built by others, I noticed construction methods that I liked and disliked. These details helped me formulate the style that I have developed as my standard for the cabinetry, that I now build for others today.
My designs start with old school methods of paper, pencils and customer conversations. This evolves into more precise Autocad drawings which become the basis for the construction drawings. Once enough of the design has been communicated on paper, it is cost estimated to the customer, and if it is within the budget, a contract is signed and then the construction layouts begin and fabrication soon follows. This process from start to completion in the shop ready for delivery varies, but a good average time frame to consider in you project schedule is about three months overall.
My cabinet construction is custom so there are not limits to what we can dream up and build for your project. The cabinet cases are prefinished maple plywood, including the backs. I will not build with melamine or use 1/4″ backs that are stapled on, as others do. This provides a solid surface across the entire cabinet back for attachment to the wall, so the installer is not limited to a small nailer at just the top of a cabinet to support the loads of a heavy cabinet.
The cabinet case not only gets its rigidity from a solid back to help keep it square, but also from what is applied to the front. A frameless cabinet may be attractive to a shop that doesn’t have a carpenter and is just an assembler of sheet goods cut from computer aided machinery, but there is no rigidity to the front face of that method of cabinetry construction. I will only build a cabinet with a face frame. Door and drawer fronts can overlay the front frame frame with minimal spacing between, if the design requires a cleaner more modern look, or they can be inset for a more traditional design. Each, give the front face of the case the rigidity the box needs to hold its shape, which in turn will help keep the doors and drawers in alignment with each other over time.
Drawers are all solid maple, dovetailed, and pre finished. Other hardwoods are available as required.
Blum soft close hardware is the standard for hinges and slides. I will not cut corners on materials, to save a few dollars. There is only one standard for my shop and it is top quality form start to finish. Coming soon will be a set of my standard vanity designed, yet still custom built vanities, similar to those shown here, which will be available for sale through the online store. These standard units will be sold unfinished, and may have some pre-finishing options or modifications for a custom fit in your project. Look for these in early 2023
With rare exceptions, as in the case with small single free standing pieces, or vanities, I no longer pre-finish large multi-piece cabinetry projects in the shop, prior to deliveries. Having built and prefinished before deliveries and installations, and have experienced just about all possible materials and methods, I feel the best possible outcome of a cabinetry project is to be finished on site and after they are installed.
Cabinet installations are an entirely separate and vital part of the project as with the application of the finishes. This phase of the project is best performed with experienced finish carpenters accustom to making cabinet hardware adjustments that may be required after field installations. Cutting and applying moldings, and being prepared to work onsite with the required mobile equipment, licenses and most importantly insurance, should not be overlooked as protection for your home and cabinetry investment when planning your project.
DYI for the installation or finishing stages is possible, and may be attractive as a cost saving measure, but falling short of completing it yourself, can be more costly when bringing in professional help later, both financially and to your delayed schedule as you wait on the help to come.
If you have a custom cabinetry project, and want a well thought out design, where the designer will personally also be the builder, and feel that the construction and project management methods described here may be a fit for your project, then I would like to hear from you about the project you are considering