Something for everyone - Page 2
Most building stores price their kitchen cabinets by the linear foot, which is a good starting point, but basically applies to a simple box cabinet with one shelf. The cost increases substantially with each option selected. For example, a linear foot of Home Depot's Thomasville D-style Wyndham Maple cabinetry is priced at less than $200, while Mary Stewart's favourite cabinet - a 12-inch, pull-out mini pantry in the same line - rings in at about $750, an amount that would be more typical for a linear foot of custom-made cabinetry.
Custom cabinets are built to exact specifications. They take longer to make and generally cost more than special-order cabinets. "But the products are not comparable in quality," says T.J. Hanrahan, the owner of Hanrahan & Sons, a high-end custom furniture and cabinet shop in Ferguson's Cove near Halifax. The cabinets made by Hanrahan's company are designed for each customer and handmade by skilled cabinetmakers. "The advantage is that we can design and make kitchens that you can't get from a home building store," says Hanrahan. Another advantage is that all of Hanrahan's cabinets are made from wood. "We don't believe that MDF or particle board have any place in kitchen cabinets," he says, "at least not if you want them to last."
Crown Kitchens in Port Williams, NS, also makes custom kitchen cabinets and furniture from solid wood. "Our cabinets will last a lifetime or longer," says owner and cabinetmaker Greg MacDow. For this reason, MacDow advises his customers to be cautious of passing fads, although he is enthusiastic about the recent popularity of freestanding like Welsh Dressers or sideboards, a trend that T.J.Hanrahan describes as "furniture for the kitchen."
Whether fitted or unfitted, new cabinets present a new way to organize, but as with all cabinet shuffles, this new organization comes at a cost. It's possible to save money by leaving existing walls and plumbing, and opting for shelves instead of upper cabinets with doors. Another way to cut costs is to avoid unnecessary accessories.
"Only buy cabinets that you need," advises Hanrahan, "and don't fill spaces with cabinets that you really are not going to use."