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Forum topic by sandhill posted 05-16-2009 06:17 AM 3270 views 1 time favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3918 days

05-16-2009 06:17 AM

I’m sure we have all danced around this subject before but how about coming right out and Quoting numbers. Here are some of the answers I got when trying to get someone to quote a Kitchen. By the way none of these quotes were for installed kitchens.

Cabinet shop #1
Q. How much will my kitchen cost for Kraft-Maid?
A. Well 28 linier feet at 121.00 per Linier foot $4,743.00 to $9,500.
Q. Is that with counter top or without?
A. Oh with a counter $7,743 to $16,000.
Q. What type of handles do I get?
A. None handles are extra as are the 3 options of draw glides…

Cabinet shop #2
Q. How much will my kitchen cost for oh say Kraft-Maid?
A. Can’t give you a price until we come out and measure. The fee is $75.00
Q. I have a drawing with me can you give me a ball park number?
A. We don’t do kitchens below $24,000 if that helps
Ok by!

Cabinet shop #3
Q. How much will my kitchen cost for oh say Kraft-Maid?
A. Well 28 linier feet at 171.00 per Linier foot $4,788.00 to $19,995.00.
Q. Is that with counter top or without?
A. The counter is free if you use Formica $7,743 to $16,000. If you want natural or some other surface its $50 to $110 per Sq Ft

So here’s my question.

How much do you think you can build a kitchen with Blum hardware, pre-finished maple plywood boxes one side, painted face frame, doors & draw fronts. Leave out the counter material. I am really curious as to how much I would save building it all myself.

36 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3571 days

#1 posted 05-16-2009 06:32 AM

Hey There Sandhill
I get calls almost every day wanting to know if I can build cabinets for less than Lowe’s,Home depot and I say
yes and they want an estimate but then I say I could but I don’t. I then say I teach a class were you can learn to build your own. then they say will that save me money instead of buying lowes hd I say no material will cost more than that. then they say why would I want to do that. then I say oh so you see my point then, good by.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10477 posts in 3423 days

#2 posted 05-16-2009 06:34 AM

LOML and I completed a kitchen remodel using quartersawn white oak (Shipped to AZ from MN) Blum undermount self closing drawer glides, Blum 35mm hinges, knobs and pulls that resemble oak leaves from Van Dykes Restorers. We used granite 12X12 tiles for the top and backsplash. For 26 lf. including a new refrigerator, dishwasher and deep porcelain sink we spent less than 7K.
Probably could have bought from Lowes or HD cheaper and faster but certainly not the quality of materials or workmanship.
So, you bet, you can save a bundle…..for the good stuff.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3918 days

#3 posted 05-16-2009 09:29 AM

I guess I dont get your point Jim “Yes you can build for less but not save money”. Im not talking about you doing the job for them or anyone else. I am saying you do it for yourself how much can you build a box for? In my part of the world I can turn out one for about $30.

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3933 days

#4 posted 05-16-2009 11:26 AM

Sandhill, I built the cabinets in my kitchen (about the size you’re talking) about 5 years ago with oak plywood and sold oak facing and doors. It was my first real project and I spent about $1,500 in lumber (from Home Depot) and about $400 in tools. If you’ve got the time, you can do it yourself for less out of pocket.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 3351 days

#5 posted 05-16-2009 01:22 PM

Yeah, not to mention the pride boost it’ll give you. If you got the time to do it,then go ahead, it’ll be the conversation whenever company is over. It boils down to time. One guy building and fnishing takes some time. I mean the price might work out even,but the quality will far exceed Home Cheapo. And you can show us your progress here on LJ’s

Do you guys have a Kitchen cabinet outlet around? I just installed her kitchen from them. I think the cab total for about 15 cabs, wall and base, counter included (formica) all less than $5,000.Nopt to bad with raised panel doors. Thats pretty hard to compete with

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4213 days

#6 posted 05-16-2009 02:27 PM

Talking about cabinets is like talking about cars. When discussing price, you can’t compare a Ford Focus to a Corvette ZR-1. And you can’t compare a Kraft-Maid kitchen to shop-built cabinets made of birch ply.

The short answer to your question is that I’m sure you could save money by building yourself. But how much value do you put on your time? If you do it because you love the woodworking, I’d say go for it. But if you’re only doing it to save the money, it is probably not worth the trouble and headaches.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Steelmum's profile


355 posts in 3957 days

#7 posted 05-16-2009 02:44 PM

I used to work for KraftMaid. When I updated the kitchen in my old house I put in Kraftmaid cabinets. When I update the kitchen in this house I will be building them myself. The difference is my confidence level and I want to. No, it will not save me money, they will be built how I want them to be built.

-- Berta in NC

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3661 days

#8 posted 05-16-2009 03:22 PM

Factory to custom is no match in terms of quality and construction. That is ofcourse if one can build nice cabinets consistently, install them correctly and lay down a nice finish. While basic box construction is not complicated by any means, building an entire kitchen takes repeatability and alot of shop space. Look at your shop and see if you can be productive with an entire kitchen sitting on the floor. You can build in sections, but it makes finishing a pain and drags things on forever. Also keep in mind the number of doors/drawers needing to be built, sanded and finished. The unfortunate reality is that unless you have alot of time, a good shop set-up and desire to do it, it won’t be worth the headache. Also if you are not an able finisher, all your hard work will look haphazard. Hopefully I am not raining on your parade, but I am a one man shop and have built many kitchens in the past. I try to avoid them just because they are ALOT of work for one man.

To answer your question, I see no more than $5000 in materials to do your kitchen. This would include prefinish 2S ply, Blum clip top hinges, Blum motion for drawers, precut dovetail drawer boxes and soft maple hardwood (that is my wood of choice for PG).

You can find factory cabinets built to these exact specs if you shop around.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4119 days

#9 posted 05-17-2009 01:16 AM

If your labor is free, estimating isn’t rocket science: You can count the number of slides and hinges you’ll need, that’s easy to put a price on. You know what construction technique you’ll be using for cabinets, so you can figure out in advance how much wood you’ll need. I’m building mine from ApplePly, so coming home from the lumber yard with too much can be expensive…

It’s good planning to do drawings and put all this stuff in a spreadsheet, especially because this will give you leverage when She Who Must Be Obeyed says “I thought we were going to do the cabinet this way…”. But once you do that you’ll know to the penny the check you’ll be writing to the lumber yard.

And it’s worth finding the place the high end cabinet guys shop at rather than buying at Home Despot, you’ll easily save the difference in waste ‘cause your plywood and veneers will delaminate a lot less.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3918 days

#10 posted 05-17-2009 02:25 AM

Here in Florida its hard to find a supplier. I did find one but they will not sell to me without a lic. Others try to take advantage and get more money out of you, but will sell to you at a higher price for the privilege of buying at a contractor supplier. I have lived in 5 states and Florida is by far the most difficult to get supplies in for a reasonable price. For example I buy my hardwoods from MD to NC because I save 25% and make the trip 3 – 5 times a year anyway. I am thinking of borrowing my neighbors trailer and hall a couple hundred sheets of plywood back with me, selling some to cover my costs. I had one dealer here try to charge me $110.00 for a 4’ X 8’ X 3/4” sheet for maple unfinished two years ago which is what started me buying my wood up north. Also had a “Cabinet supply” I use the term lightly. try to charge me $6.00 for one Blum hinge which I bought on line for $2.45. I guess these experiences are what prompted me to see what others are getting supplies for.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18266 posts in 3670 days

#11 posted 05-17-2009 06:14 AM

Price structure for contractors supplies and materials varies widely based on the volume you use. The guy that buys conduit in bales of 10,000 feet gets a lot better price than the guy buying it in bundles of 100 feet; probably close to half.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4119 days

#12 posted 05-17-2009 06:38 AM

Out here in Northern California there are plenty of smaller contractors who’d be quite happy to tag your order on to theirs so that they get their volume up. The guy who did our floors indicated that he was happy to help us buy from Higgins, though we’ve found Mount Storm nicer and easier to deal with.

And for the right plywood $110 a sheet is a bargain (I think we’re paying about $125 for the 3/4” maple veneer ApplePly we’re using, still doesn’t really count in the face of forty bucks a drawer for slides), but I’m guessing that wasn’t void free with lots and lots of plys… We have gone with the pre-finished 1/2” for the drawers, but we still hit that with something in the 300 grit range and another coat of poly ‘cause we like a matte finish.

For hinges and hardware, yeah, that’s a commodity, shop around. We’ve gotten the Blum slides online (from Woodworker’s Hardware), we’ve bought hinges from Mount Storm.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3918 days

#13 posted 05-17-2009 06:57 AM

Two years ago I was able to get the Maple ply A1 I think it was for $55.00 a sheet unfinished from McDaniel’s in WV. That’s a good idea to give the refinished a coat of Polly I think the pre-finished stuff is to glossy anyway.
It looks as though the consensus is you will not save any money but you can get a better cabinet.
OK then I will save and total all my receipts photograph each segment as I build each one and install it.
I picked up a quote from a kitchen guy that knows I am building my own kitchen He said to come to him if I get snagged. If I do, I will, but I am sure it will go fine. He came in at $13,600.00 for 28 LF with no counters and 19’ of top cabinets. The cabinets are birch painted off white the draws are dove tail joints with soft close hinges, no handles. I have a budget of 11K with counter tops and appliances for me to DIM (Do It Myself) I think I should save at least 5 maybe 7 thousand Not counting the floor . Based on local labor rates to lay 20” ceramic tile I saved $3,600.00 doing it myself. I have done the whole house in tile it looks good, cleans easy and stays cool in the summer so I am happy with that so far.

View dhg's profile


197 posts in 3706 days

#14 posted 05-17-2009 02:13 PM

Sandhill, you will definatly get a better cabinet building them yourself. with little extras that you can put in like roll out shelves and other custom upgrades for your house that you want that you wouldn’t get anywhere else.

I’m just finishing a 18 cabinet kitchen job and before I ordered anything, I used a cabinet program called Cabinet Planner that you draw up the layout of the cabinets and it will calculate the materials that you need plus cut diagrams of all the parts. Print labels for all the parts to keep them organized. You can customize the program to your cabinet style. The program was fantastic to use. saved alot on guessing how much material to order.

Have fun,


-- Talent on Loan from God - Rush Limbaugh

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3869 days

#15 posted 05-17-2009 03:44 PM

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bid jobs only to be told, “Oh, I can get them cheaper at Lowes.” Several times those people have called back later to say that their bid from Lowes didn’t include installation, crown, toe kick, filler strips, end panels, etc, etc. and any upgrades they wanted were outrageously expensive. In the end they wound up paying more than my bid for cheap-o cabinets.

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