Choosing cabinets was, I think, the most difficult single decision on the entire house. It was grueling. Not just for me, but probably for the cabinet makers as well. With budget overruns in engineering, footings, lumber, electrical, and plumbing (oh, yes, you'll hear about all that later), cabinets (unfortunately!) was one of the few places we could pull money from to cover costs. But it's also one of the most enduring parts of your home and one you want to be high quality with style that can take you through a couple of decades.
Add to that those complications the fact that craftsman style homes traditionally have lots of built-in cabinetry, and we knew we were in for a challenge to get what the home needed and keep within the cabinetry budget. We found the solution to our cabinet dilemma.
The Cabinet Winner Is…
After literally months of planning, researching, and designing — followed by more months of talking to cabinet builders and evaluating not only their work but their responsiveness and willingness to accommodate to an almost obsessive attention to detail — we received multiple bids to compare.
When it was all said and done, we chose Chateau Classic Cabinetry, only a few miles away. Working with Stephen Benson, we are confident that we will get just the cabinets we have hoped. He worked tirelessly to get the plans just right, was friendly and helpful, and went round in circles with us to get the cost where we needed it.
When the work is completed, I'll post pictures and a review of the end result. You may also download the cabinet drawings. (Note that the main kitchen sink area should be bumped out a few inches, but that does not show up on the drawings.)
I'd like to give a shout out to the other great cabinet makers that gave us bids. Each one of them gave us some helpful ideas either with cabinet suggestions or through viewing their portfolios. If you need cabinets, they'd be worth considering.
Other Cabinet Companies We Considered
The Natural Finish Custom Woodwork
This family operation produces drop-dead gorgeous work. Some of the best workwork I've seen. Take a look at their curved cabinetry, for example. They also are very innovative in design. The Natural Finish folks are cabinet makers who actually pay attention to how people use cabinets and have designed all sorts of innovative solutions to cabinet problems. Sandra was also very thoughtful and connected me to other quality subcontractors in related fields.
The Finish Guys
Greg Pyne of the Finish Guys was actually our second choice. We have seen some of his work and it's really beautiful, quality stuff. He is easy to work with and very conscientious of price. Give him a call if you need something done. His number is 801.830.1191. From what I've seen even a small project will be handled with professionalism and care. Greg was recommended by our general contractor.
Being small business owners, we love working with other small business owners. We got a bid from Todd and he was open to unusual ideas and materials. He can be reached at 801.830.6398. Todd was recommended by our general contractor.
Carlos Cabinets & Millwork
Carlos Gianfelice has done some beautiful work and is personable as well. His cabinet shop is based in Spanish Fork. He can be reached at 801.787.2808. Carols was recommended by our general contractor.
Anderson Cabinets and Countertops
Roy Anderson was very helpful in bidding very high quality products, all plywood, and other special things we were looking for. His prices were reasonable, too. You can reach Roy at Anderson Cabinets and Countertops at 801.796.7522.
Another family run business, James Chidester of Wooden Things, LLC, was responsive, positive, and helpful. He was one of the quickest to respond to our request and I suspect such responsiveness carries over into his work.
North Davis Cabinet
Jason Bodily of North Davis Cabinetry also provided us with a bid. They also offer countertops, mantels, flooring, and custom closets.
Parr Cabinet Outlet
After hearing a radio ad for Parr, I particularly sought them out two different times at a home show. The impression I got was that their personalized version of stock cabinets would save us money. Everyone I spoke to at Parr Cabinet Outlet was professional and personable. They did offer us plywood cabinet boxes, but in the end their prices still weren't competitive. Note that their cabinet prices do not include delivery and installation.
If you are a member of Costco, you've probably seen the kiosks as you walk out advertising cabinets, carpet, blinds, counters, and other home products. Because we generally like Costco, I called and made an appointment. That connected me to Pacific Cabinets.
Even after meeting with them, I'm not exactly sure what they offer. We wanted custom cabinets but were willing to look at stock cabinets for some areas if there was a significant cost savings. When I asked specifically what they offered, I was told they could get me “anything you want.” But when the bid arrived, there were things they did not offer and the prices weren't competitive.
Wow. And not in a good way. I was really torn when discussing the bid with Mountain Cabinetry. Two men came out to meet with us, owner Gary Sheffiled and his nephew (I believe), Tyson Widdison. Tyson was friendly, cordial, and very willing to look at some of the ideas and constraints we had (such as using plywood instead of MDF around sinks and water areas). Of all the folks we talked to, he was most open to unusual material ideas and came back with some ideas after doing some follow-up research of his own.
On the other hand, Gary was arrogant and belittling. He repeatedly rolled his eyes, made audible disgruntled sounds, and acted like we were stupid. At one point I even said, “Look, I'm not going to argue with you about my cabinets.” The entire presentation from his corner of the table had the tone of “Hey, I'm the professional here. I've been doing this for decades. You don't know what you're talking about. If you don't listen to me, you're an idiot.”
He came to our home with drawings — that did not match the ones I had drawn. Understand, he did not draw out what we asked for and then brought alternate ideas to see what we thought. He ignored my drawings and only presented the layout he thought would be better. To his credit, I did like one of his ideas for the kitchen island enough that I modified the kitchen to accommodate it. He's not without skill and expertise, but his bedside manner was so atrocious that I could not imagine working with him on any kind of extended project.
While I'm absolutely willing to concede that I'm no cabinetry expert, I do know something about running a business. And that's never the appropriate way to treat a potential customer. If you consider Mountain Cabinets, go straight to Tyson. He's a great guy.
Choose Your Cabinets
If you're building or remodeling, get multiple bids on your cabinets. The quality, personalities, flexibilities, and price can vary wildly. Find the company that fits you and your project.
I can't wait to see the gorgeous cabinets Chateau is crafting for us. They are under production this week!