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Cabinet Selection Struggle

I'm building a new house and am blown away by the cost of the cabinets I'm looking at. I have been presented with choices from Fieldstone and Plain & Fancy. The cabinets and tops are more than twice the price of my first house! I would like to find a line of cabinets that are quality (I certainly don't want cheap) but not necessarily the top of the line. I probably don't have an adequate appreciation of what makes these two lines so expensive. Can anyone help me with my thought process. Thanks in advance.

Re: Cabinet Selection Struggle

I would recommend getting a bid from a local cabinet shop. If it is anything like our area, I think you will be surprised how competitive the cost is and how much better the construction of the cabinets are (plywood carcases vs particle board).

Re: Cabinet Selection Struggle

You are right to be looking at manufactured cabinets.

Manufactured cabinets almost all offer catalyzed conversion varnish finishes...The reason to buy them.
Such finishes are far more impervious to the wear and tear and abuse that kitchen cabinets take, day in and day out.
Most local cabinet shops use lacquer finishes.
I would ONLY consider cabinets finished with catalyzed varnish.

Fieldstone and Plain & Fancy are higher-end cabinet lines, though not ultra-high-end.
I was a Fieldstone Dealer from 1987-1996 (though it's not what it was then).
I have the old Fieldsone in my own (1989) kitchen and it still looks and performs like new.

Most cabinet dealers/designers carry products in the low, middle, and high end, ideally with about 25% price separation between the lines.

You need to either confide your budget for cabinets to your cabinet dealer/designer (if you feel you can trust him/her with that information), or do your own research to figure out which products you can afford.

Giving the dealer your budget is definitely the easiest way to go. Then they can tell you which products they offer that will come in within your budget and you can select from those products.

If you can't or won't confide in the dealer, I have a formula on my web site for comparing cabinet prices from line to line and dealer to dealer (I no longer sell cabinets and created the formula for my design clients).
It takes a little work and relies on the dealers to cooperate, but it works very well.
And it DOESN'T require the dealer/designer to design anything for you or spend a lot of time on you.

You can find it at:

Mike McGuinness
Re: Cabinet Selection Struggle
Mike McGuinness

You can still get a lower priced cabinet without sacrificing quality. There are some really nice stock cabinet lines out there that will still offer some of the same features that the expensive lines do. While I am sure someone will shoot this idea down, you can also look into RTA Kitchen Cabinets. The quality is significantly better than years past and a lot of them are even offering dovetailed drawers, plywood cabinet box, etc... If you are looking for a magazine cover kitchen, this isn't the way to go, but it can certainly cut your budget by several thousand dollars. Especially if you assemble them yourself.

I use them for a lot of the rehabs that I do, and we are even starting to use them in our new construction condos. There are hundreds of companies out there (some better than others). If you are interested in comparing costs and quality there is a good company out of Philadelphia that I use- RTA Cabinet Store

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