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Updated 1/7/2021

Custom woodwork built by a master can last a lifetime and beyond. The goal, to create a space that makes you happy and comfortable, can be reached in many different ways:

  • A cozy reading nook next to your bay window
  • A restored, solid wood, historic mantle around your fireplace
  • Creating more storage space in an urban home
  • The perfect configuration of custom kitchen cabinets
  • You fill in the blank _________________

We offer custom built cabinets and semi custom cabinets in San Francisco, southern California, and nationwide. We also offer custom millwork, wood windows for historic homes, and handcrafted wood furniture.

Instead of stock cabinetry like you might find at a big box store, which only offers a predetermined menu of stock cabinet choices, custom cabinets are built for a perfect fit and for longevity.

The key to the success of any new cabinet project is to know what to expect. To that end, any project that completely satisfies the customer’s expectations depends on excellent communication. As simple as that sounds, getting everyone involved to speak the same language can be a challenge. 

Here are a few tips that can improve communication on your custom cabinets or woodwork project:

Pricing: compare apples to apples on custom kitchen bids

Getting bids on your San Francisco custom kitchen or custom cabinets in southern California? If you plan to solicit bids from more than one cabinet maker, be sure you are comparing apples to apples on your kitchen cabinet remodel ideas. 

Ask for specific details about what’s included in the price. At a minimum, find out what materials and hardware will be used for your custom cabinets or semi custom cabinet project, as well as whether installation and sales tax are included in the bid. Does the cabinet shop use particle board or plywood? Will the interiors be made of melamine? 

Also get details about cabinet construction. Will your builder provide a frameless cabinet or framed cabinets, and do you have a preference for one or the other? Planning out every detail is the way to get the best kitchen cabinet deals.

Design: any custom cabinet project needs a plan

The only way to know exactly what your new dream kitchen will look like is to start with a detailed kitchen design. This goes for every custom cabinet design project, not just a kitchen renovation. The details matter.

For your next remodel or custom furniture order (including built-ins, freestanding pieces and new kitchen cabinet doors), plan it thoroughly before starting. Changes and indecision drive costs up and drag the timeline out. Planning ahead of time can also really help you get everyone on the same page with your kitchen renovation ideas.

For some homeowners, this means working with a professional designer. An interior designer has a passion for planning wonderful spaces. A good designer can help you create a plan you love. Those plans communicate to the builder exactly what you want, both in terms of your custom cabinets and in terms of the design of the entire room’s space. You might go through one or more rounds of drawing revisions, communicating with your designer and custom cabinet maker, to ensure that every detail is the way you want it. 

Attention: your understanding and review are critical

As the homeowner, your role is to stay invested in the process. You should carefully review the drawings and reply in a timely manner with any changes or questions. 

Always speak up if there is something you don’t understand completely. Don’t be afraid to ask the woodworker or designer to go over every single detail on the drawing and explain what it means. Once the drawings are approved, changes inevitably cause delays and added cost.

Communication: keep your contractors informed

Once your project is underway, your woodworker depends on organizational efficiency as much as any other contractor to provide you with your custom cabinetry or other woodwork. There is a process that helps you get the best results from your kitchen remodel and custom cabinets. For example, your floor should be done before your custom kitchen cabinets are installed. 

Some homeowners let a general contractor handle project management and contractor communication. Hiring a general contractor is not required. Just know that if you don’t, you’ll be in the project manager’s role. 

Patience: relish the excitement 

Most people are ready for their remodel to be done before it is done. Hang in there and try not to lose patience when the end (and your dream home) is in sight. Designing your own kitchen and adding custom kitchen cabinets are great ways to improve your home and your quality of life. A temporary inconvenience is worth gaining an artisan piece of furniture that can last more than a lifetime, bringing beauty and warmth into your home.

Contact us today for a free quote.