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Once you make the decision to purchase new custom kitchen cabinets for your home, one of your first questions will probably be, “How long will it take to get my cabinets?” I understand that you want cabinets of the highest possible quality, and just as importantly, to be able to plan around a construction timeline. In San Francisco, some remodels drag on for years while the property owner waits for contractors to become available.

Here are the most important factors that influence how long it takes to get from the exciting decision to upgrade your cabinets to the moment you get to enjoy placing items inside them.  The better these factors are managed, the sooner you’ll have your beautiful new cabinets or other custom furniture.

A detailed cabinet design is the key to success

Research your options and preferences thoroughly before bringing the woodworker on board. If you give your woodworker the information he asks for right away, and in the right format, your cabinets will be finished sooner. Your custom woodworker speaks the language of drawings. We need measurements, angles, and depth, not concepts. Your cabinet maker needs to have the drawings in hand before a single piece can be built.

Many homeowners choose to work with a professional designer. A designer can help you rethink a space, as well as choose colors, materials and lighting. A good interior designer can create, read and edit blueprints. This is important. Not everyone can visualize the details on the drawings. But you’ll need to review and approve them. Your designer plays a very important role in this process.

Some homeowners prefer to work directly with the custom cabinet maker and forego the services of a designer. My draftsperson and I can create your drawings. As the builder, my input is most valuable on the “how,” not the “what,” so this option is best for homeowners who know exactly what they want.

Architectural drawing of a kitchen

You’re hiring a woodworker, not a factory

A master craftsman needs more time to create your cabinets. Mass-produced cabinets are put together more quickly because standard-sized pieces are cut by machines and assembled by hourly workers who may not be skilled carpentry experts. All of this happens in large facilities where multiple items can be fabricated at once.

In an independent custom cabinet shop where every piece is carefully cut and constructed by a master craftsman, jobs take a little longer. My clients receive a cabinetry product that is so well-made, it can last a lifetime or more. I cannot mass-order or mass-cut the pieces for your cabinets because there is no such thing as a standard size in my shop. Every set I build is made precisely for the home where it is destined to live. I use no fillers or spacers.

This is a one-man shop, with occasional assistance from other master craftsmen, depending on the project. Every job receives the fullest attention, ensuring the best possible quality for each piece I create. Every detail of your cabinets will exemplify artisan craftsmanship.

Plan carefully to avoid changes

Changes made after work has started push the timeline out and costs up. The best way to minimize delays and keep costs down is to spend more time on planning. Carefully review the plans and make all necessary decisions before work begins.

In any remodel, some factors are outside our control

Factors not in our control can have an effect on any job’s timeline.

For example, my finishing facility is a covered open-air hangar in southern California. Where I live, most days are sunny, but occasional rain can slow my progress because higher humidity and/or lower temperatures can slow the curing process.

Another common delay is the domino effect caused by one contractor running late on part of the job. For example, most clients want their floor installed before their cabinets. My timeline, therefore, might be affected by your floor contractor.

I always hope that uncontrollable delays will be minimal, but the truth is that no matter which contractor you choose to work with, you should expect at least a little bit of the unexpected.

Custom cabinet timeline

No cabinet or piece of custom wood furniture can surpass the quality produced in my shop. Because I want each client to be happy and to reach completion in the shortest possible time, I limit the number of full kitchens I agree to build each year. I do not take on more than four full kitchens in any 12-month period, and I do not book my shop beyond 18 months out.

Custom kitchen cabinets require more time than mass-produced cabinets, and when I build them, you’ll have an heirloom to pass on. Your custom cabinets will be durable, a work of art from a true artist.

Contact me today for a free quote on your project.

One-man cabinet shop