The Devil Is In The Details

This is one of the best examples for the a need for good planing, good drawings and detailed specifications. In rehabilitating the existing cabinets or remodeling the whole kitchen, details are critical. And its easy to come up with a long list of very important "details" for a set of cabinets. For example, if you wanted to have a drawer cabinet next to the stove:

  • Who is going to design the kitchen and this cabinet? Spending some money on an independent and professional design is often a good idea. Kitchen cabinet contractors may offer free design services but those designs may be limited to their line of products. Are you good at color selection?
  • Will this drawer unit be on the right or left of the stove? How wide? Standard height counter-tops?
  • Full extension drawer glides? (If you ask me, yes! you want to have access to the entire drawer not just the front 2/3).

    Full extension glides get me to all of my tools!
  • How many drawers? How high each drawer?
  • Built-in bins for flour? spices?
  • Built in drawer dividers or a size of drawer that can accommodate store-bought dividers?
  • Pull-out bread-board? (There are some very good and stable ones but most never get used).
  • Flip-up mixer shelf? (Good for a heavy mixer but this maybe another fancy feature that doesn't get used very often).
  • What kind of wood, interior and exterior surfaces?
  • How will any existing cabinet interiors be rehabilitated?
  • Can the existing cabinet be adapted to the desired new counter-tops? (Tile, Granite, Concrete...)
  • Child proofing hardware?
  • Access and features for wheelchairs? arthritic hands?...

The list goes on. The key to all of this is that the planing for a drawer unit and all the other parts of the project must be early and on paper. There needs to be a drawing and a set of notes (specifications) that provides the customer and the contractor a clear picture of the desired end product.

And in the case of a do-it-yourself project, drawings and specifications maybe even more important. Contractors may not need some of these notes, the amateur needs many more. For example, the amateur may not think about the wiring for the stove and how it might interfere with that drawer cabinet.

And the cost of the drawer unit can jump from affordable to outrageous. If you do the painting its a few dollars in prep. material, paint and a good brush. A high end lacquered application by a specialty contractor could cost hundreds of dollars for just one cabinet. And that's only one "detail". Multiply that by all the other details and the cost of the kitchen remodel can jump by many factors.