What Questions Should I Ask My Cabinet Maker?

Cabinet Maker ToolsMuch like any other contractor you would have working for you in your home, you want to make sure you feel comfortable with the work that your cabinet maker is going to do before you sign a contract. It is important that you feel confident that the job is going to be professionally done and that you will be happy with the results.

Any good contractor will be happy to answer any questions you have before he begins a job and a cabinet maker is no different.

Here are a few questions that you should ask:

  1. What materials do you use when making cabinets?

Cabinets come in a variety of materials from man-made to genuine wood. Choosing your cabinet material is a huge choice and will make a big impact on the finished look of your kitchen.

  1. How do you assemble the cabinets?

Some methods of assembly are better than others. Stapled cases will fall apart over time and face nails on face frames will leave small, ugly holes. Glue and pocket screws are the best method for assembling cabinets.

  1. What finishes will be used and where will the finishes be applied?

Some cabinet makers apply finishes in the shop and others do it on site. In the shop is preferred as you do not like to have the fumes of the spray in your home. We recommend a pre-catalyzed lacquer sprayed in-shop.

  1. How will the slide out shelves and drawers be constructed?

Dovetail drawers are recommended. Shelving should not be made from MDF as it is not a structural material.

  1. What kind of hardware will you use?

For cabinets and drawers that open and close smoothly and easily, we recommend under mount soft close.  Cold rolled steel hardware is more durable and of better quality than cast pewter hardware.

  1. What material will be used to construct the doors and what style will they be?

As discussed earlier, cabinet doors are usually either constructed of solid wood or MDF. If you prefer a stained finish, they will have to be wood and if you prefer a painted finish, MDF is your best option.

Styles of cabinet door include raised panel or Shaker style with insert or overlay frames.

  1. Are you willing to provide the shop drawings before you being constructing the cabinets?

A good contractor will want to make sure that you are completely comfortable with every aspect of the job before he begins. Drawings provided should be detailed enough to give you a clear understanding of what the final product will be like. If you have questions, ask – and keep asking until you are satisfied that you understand.

  1. What accessories will be included behind the doors?

Accessories that may be included are trash bins, number of shelves and slide out drawers.

  1. How long will the entire job take?

Constructing and installing quality cabinetry takes time, but you don’t want your house disrupted with construction work for an unreasonable amount of time. Make sure you ask this important question before signing a contract.

  1. Does the cabinet maker also do the installation?

Kitchen cabinetry can be a big investment so it is best if it is done with someone who has experience. You should also ask if the cabinet maker installs the knobs and pulls.

When you are fully satisfied that all of your questions have been answered, you should feel confident that you are on your way to the kitchen of your dreams. If the contractor is not willing to answer your questions, then it’s a clear sign to go elsewhere.

Frequently Asked Question