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  • Picking / Constrcuting Cabinets, DIY, Pre-Assembled or RTA?

    Hey guys,

    So I'm doing a kitchen renovation and I'm deciding what to do with the cabinets. What's the best route to go?

    I'm deciding between making the cabinets myself, going with Pre-Assembled Cabinets, or maybe buying RTA Cabinets? Or maybe I should do a bit of both? Buy the doors (I might be thinking of MDF doors) and make the rest of the cabinets?

    If I do go with Pre-Assembled cabinets, I've found two local companies that I might use, one is called SPAM and the other one is called SPAM . If I do go this route what should I be looking for, what should I watch for?

    Thanks!

    James
    Last edited by ToUtahNow; 04-13-2010, 01:23 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Picking / Constrcuting Cabinets, DIY, Pre-Assembled or RTA?

    I would stay away from the the guy with the mullet on the Marcor website

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    • #3
      Re: Picking / Constrcuting Cabinets, DIY, Pre-Assembled or RTA?

      I make my own. It gives you a lot of flexibility in the design as well as you can add nice custom features and touches.

      If I wanted basic cabinets I would buy something like Kraftmaid though. They do a good job on basic cabinets and have a large selection of types/sizes. Building the boxes isn't too bad, but the finishing is a grind when you're talking 20+boxes. And it's a lot of drawers to dovetail. Even if you buy the doors, you typically have to finish sand them, stain and clear coat... it gets to be a drag. Like I said, only worth it IMO if you want something special/custom.

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      • #4
        Re: Picking / Constrcuting Cabinets, DIY, Pre-Assembled or RTA?

        It all depends on what you want in your kitchen. Are you happy with standard cabinets or do you want custom cabinets? Are you going to stain or paint? How many cabinets do you need? The first thing you ought to do is get one or both companies out to give you an estimate for the job, then figure out what it will cost you to do it yourself. You need more information before you can really make this decision.

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        • #5
          Re: Picking / Constrcuting Cabinets, DIY, Pre-Assembled or RTA?

          The problem with pre-assembled or RTA cabinets is that it is very difficult to say
          "Gee honey, if only I had a (insert expensive tool here) I could finish the job much faster."

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          • #6
            Re: Picking / Constrcuting Cabinets, DIY, Pre-Assembled or RTA?

            I always make my own cabinets. From the carcass to the face frame (unless they're frameless), doors & drawers (raised or solid panel), toe-kick, and filler strips.

            For stained cabinets I use cabinet grade plywood (it is most stable) for the carcass and solid wood for the rest. (Oak, Cherry, Maple, Hickory, etc.)

            For painted cabinets I use cabinet grade poplar for the carcass and MDO for the doors & drawer fronts (raised or solid panel). Both take paint very well and are very stable for cabinet use.

            Building the carcass in place allows for a custom fit and placement, and makes it easier to scribe to the walls.
            Dimensional Carpentry & Custom Woodworking
            Historic Renovations, Restoration, & Custom Log Homes


            I Beat The Competition Hammersdown!

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            • #7
              Re: Picking / Constructing Cabinets, DIY, Pre-Assembled or RTA?

              on custom cabinets you can build to the space, with out fillers, and double side walls, and if your working in a small area, it can give one a little more storage space, an or if you have some Odd situation one can build around it, and still keep ever thing looking good, with out a lot of dead space,

              I saw a system a few years ago in a book, and have not tried it yet but on my own I plan on building and rebuilding here soon the idea was if the floor is unleveled and in difficult shape as you may find in a 100 year old home, it was to build a toe kick platform that was level and built onto the floor, then build the lower cabinets with out the toe kick and then set them onto this level toe kick platform, eliminating the need off shimming ever box or part of the cabinets when installing, and if the house moves again the cabinets remain together in a unit and not each one floating and breaking up the counter top, and gaps in the boxes,
              (like to day were having sustained winds of 40+ mph and gusts up to 60+ and they have calmed down some from during the night, needless to say the doors will fit a little different by tomorrow. a few years ago we had a day of nearly 80 mph winds and went into the barn and in the center where the work area is I have some suspend Infrared heaters hanging down from the ceiling, they were swinging on there chains nearly a foot back and forth, and the building is pywooded inside, (it is also 40 foot tall at the peak), but building moves and move a lot depending on the conditions)
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