Asked on Jan 28, 2013

Next step to building a home - cabinets

Lori Gay
by Lori Gay
We are meeting with the cabinet makers on Wed to discuss kitchen and bathroom cabinets. ONe of the things I want to ensure is that all lower cabinets have pull out drawers or shelves as we want to grow old(er) in this home and with bad backs, bending gets tougher every year. :) I heard recycling and garbage in one cabinet is good... anything you are dying to tell me before I meet with the makers would be great to hear.
  14 answers
  • Quality of construction would be top of my list - dovetails instead of just face stapling, etc... Full pull slides are very nice though that can get pricey... At least 1/2 ply for drawer bottoms... ask to see mockup's... thats all I got at the moment, oh and you may also wish to check out KornerKing if you are going to have any corner cabinets

  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Jan 28, 2013
    Just a few off the top of my head.. full extension drawers (lets you use ALL of it ;) double pull out trash can (love Revashelf 5349-18DM series) one for trash, one for recycling -fits in an 18" base cabinet skip pull out trays and go for deep drawers (3 drawers in one base). Pull outs are past time .. unless you use them in a pantry. otherwise they are the same price and you have to 1) open doors behind 90 degrees and then 2) pull out the tray. doors get banged up.. 2 steps. Plus.. drawers have deeper sides to contain more stuff :) tray dividers -- if you have wall ovens, put them above, its an excellent use of the deeper cavity that is typically hard to reach soft close hinges - no brainer :) ask for brand name drawer guides. the imports on the market are 1/2 price but wow what a pain... I had so many service calls that I decided to avoid them at all possible cause (love Blum tandem) if you are getting painted cabinets -- do not paint the interiors, they dont hold up as well as a clear coat on birch plywood, or a solid melamine

  • I would check into a CAPS certified contractor. NAHB located in GA Check out their web site for someone near you. What a CAPS contractor can provide is expert advice on how to make your home suitable for aging in place. As an example you have seen handles on doors instead of round knobs? That is the result of aging adults not being able to hold onto the round knob so not all they need to do is push down to open the door. Lighting is very important for aging adults. Also counter colors are important. As we get older it is harder for use to see things. And in a kitchen with germs and all a solid color counter is easier for us folks to check to see if its clean or not. The pattern granite etc hides all sorts of stains, crumbs etc. Making a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Also look into elevated appliances. A properly placed dish washer makes it easy to load and unload when you do not have to bend over. So moving it upwards makes perfect sense. In addition, Microwave draws are great. As you get older you do not want to be reaching up over a stove to take out that hot cereal or liquid. Do not forget about the stove. While when we were younger and had small kids we wanted our oven and stove knobs in the back. Now were older it is much safer and easier for use to use those in the front of the appliance. Also be sure when they design the sink cabinet it can be reconfigured for someone who perhaps in the future will require a wheel chair. So proper plumbing under the sink and design into the cabinet will make the change easier and faster if your prepared for that type of a change. The one thing everyone must understand. A properly designed kitchen, or bath and even a house can be done in such a way, you would not even realize it was for someone who is getting older. Years ago baths were a big issue. People thought the aging adult bath looked to much like a hospital room. These days that could not be further from the truth. So check out the like provided and look around the site. It will provide you with all sorts of better understanding of just what a CAPS professional can do for you! So it is not all about pull outs and cabinets. Although the design of them plays a big part of the whole process. Good luck and keep us posted.

  • Don't let the one on the car lot with the sexy paint job and the cool rims get your heart racing. Spend the money and get quality, functional, well-built cabinets...they are worth every penny. I am talking about the cabinets themselves. That special finish or glaze that you are crazy over may require much more time to apply that can easily increase the cost by 25-40%. It isn't hard to think you are buying a high quality unit when in fact you have purchased a low-end cabinet with a high-end finish. So what's my point? Concentrate on the quality/cost of the cabinets themselves before paying extra for the upgraded finishes. Tim

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jan 29, 2013
    A tall skinny unit for cutting boards and or large cookies sheets etc.

  • Hamtil Construction LLC Hamtil Construction LLC on Jan 30, 2013
    There are so many add ons that you can put into cabinets! Offerings vary from manufacturer and then there are aftermarket items like rev a shelf. Some that come to mind for your situation might be a toe kick release for the trash base, a "mixer lift", and possibly a microwave shelf to lower it down to an easier to manage height. Just some thoughts along the lines of aging in place. You are really going to benefit from a good designer who can address the particular needs of your situation, and who has a good understanding of the products. Quality really does vary greatly in cabinetry. I am an advocate as well for spending the money to buy a well constructed product.

  • Lori Gay Lori Gay on Jan 30, 2013
    Thank you all so much. Today we meet with the cabinet maker to discuss. I am bringing all your ideas with me. Stay tuned for the next homework I get :)

  • Had a similiar comments as did Hamtil Construction LLC, I would recommend his solution. Happy Cabinet Installs!

  • Nest Home Improvement Nest Home Improvement on Jan 30, 2013
    Lori, At the design phase, be sure to note where your hvac ducts are currently located (either floor for base cabinets or ceiling for wall cabinets). So the designer can work that into your plan. Happy shopping! Chuck Nest=home improvement simplified!

  • Lori Gay Lori Gay on Jan 31, 2013
    Thank you for all the suggestions about cabinets. We got loads of answers. Now I have another question about finish. I want a white kitchen... do you suggest thermofoil or painted cabinets? I had no idea there were so many different kinds of everything. I did select a super pretty quartz for my kitchen countertops.

  • Overall & in general I would say painted means more upkeep while thermafoil is easier to keep clean. With that said I would go with a solid stain or painted wood cabinet over thermafoil as most thermafoil cabs are made of particleboard & once water gets under it - its all over in many cases. With that and as Paul brought out - quality varies & a decent thermafoil style will stomp a poorly made solid / plywood cabinet - go with what you like & will meet your needs not only now but in the future

  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Jan 31, 2013
    Thermafoil? I wouldnt do it. I have been in the kitchen/bath cabinet business over 24yrs .. and factories claim they got it right every year. They have a life span, like anything ... but at least with wood (or even painted wood) you can refinish/repaint! I just moved into a home with 10yr old cabinets -- the foil has come loose in several areas. ARGH! hate the stuff. Its "cheap", for good reason.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Feb 01, 2013
    I too would avoid Thermofoil, once de-laminated your are pretty much out of luck for any type of repair.

  • Hamtil Construction LLC Hamtil Construction LLC on Feb 02, 2013
    Definitely painted. You usually pay a little more vs. a stained finish, but you will have lots more color options, and in the end, a better looking kitchen. If you are looking around at different manufacturers, there are varying price increases for painted finishes, and even with glazes. For instance, we work some with Shiloh and Sequoia cabinets, and they offer a free glaze, where other lines would have an upcharge. So, that is a point to consider when weighing what lines you like. In another example of comparison, we also use Brookhaven and Wood Mode cabinetry, who offers full extension, maple dovetail drawers, and slow close doors and drawers as a standard, where another line might be an upcharge.