Cheap Cabinets, No Thanks! I'll Take Inexpensive Cabinets Please.

Horror stories of kitchen remodeling add a new twist - cheap cabinets. If you want cheap cabinets, be prepared to pay big money in your near future..
Everett Lakoduk
Everett Lakoduk
July 11, 2010 - PRLog -- You've heard of kitchen horror stories, where someone's dream kitchen derailed. The villains of these nightmares have usually been an evil contractor, sometimes a designer or tile setter. The historic 'thriller' went like this: Day one, a massive overpayment that is dwarfed only by more massive promises and "trust me's". Midway through, (which should be completion day) your contractor is down to one day a week, divided into 1 hour segments designed to cause maximum personal disruption to your life. Completion day crawls by and hopes you once had for your dream kitchen are now a distant and sad thought. But what went wrong?

You hired a professional designer, one with some skin in the game, meaning that they probably provided quality cabinets and installed them...what's that? The cabinets were installed by your less expensive contractor? Oops. Moving on, your contractor is licensed and insured...well, he gave you a license number that turns out to be, well, who know, it's not him! There too many nuances to this story to trouble you with, but here's a new one: Cheap cabinets.

Cheap cabinets should not be confused with inexpensive cabinets. In the sad story above, your hapless victim at least bought quality. That means after the "heebie jeebies" of their contractor wears off, they will have - mostly - a nice kitchen for years to come. Enter the newest hazard to your dream kitchen cheap cabinets.

What makes a cabinet cheap, and not just inexpensive? There are a few main points; 1) The finish. Unless the finish is a 'conversion varnish' one that will 'crosslink and catalyze' you do not want it in your kitchen - it simply will not hold up to the abuse of a kitchen environment. 2) Joinery. How a cabinet is fastened together means as much as the materials that are present. If the cabinet is wood, the joinery can be weaker, if its particle board then the joinery has to be engineered meaning; cams, dowels and glue. 3) Out gassing. Cabinets made in the United States, Canada and EU must meet strict guidelines for formaldehyde and other chemicals in their materials - you simply can't buy even inexpensive cabinets made in these countries that have hazardous levels, and many have NONE. 4) Sustainability. The woods used in all of these countries are harvested from sustainable forests - Canada being a leader in this matter. Virtually all of the woods used in cheap cabinets from developing countries are the product of desperate deforestation and very poor economy of use of these materials. There is simply little or no thought given to the engineering of these materials.

Which brings us full circle to inexpensive cabinets, what does an inexpensive cabinet have that a cheap cabinet does not? The primary difference is longevity. An inexpensive - and an expensive cabinet for that matter - should outlast your desire to look at it. The finish should perform for years and years. As your home settles and life happens, your cabinets should retain their structural integrity allowing your doors to swing freely and close without scraping and dragging. Your drawers should slide in and out effortlessly and accurately on glides that stay securely fastened under a load for many many years. In short, once your cabinets are installed they should be a faithful servant that tirelessly does their job and look good doing it for the rest of your life, if you want. They should not shortly become a new twist in a contemporary nightmare, becoming a poltergeist locked beneath thousands of dollars worth of custom granite.

After 20 year of experience designing and installing kitchen, I have found two cabinet lines that meet all of the requirements of an inexpensive cabinet; Columbia Cabinets and Omega Cabinets. I’m sure there are others too, but since I require a furniture kitchen design these two lines meet all of the needs of my clients. They are affordable cabinets and they are richly designable.

Sweet dreams!

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Everett Lakoduk is owner of Kitchen Enthusiast in Los Gatos California located in the south silicon valley of San Jose. He is a kitchen designer and licensed contractor since 1984 and has designed and remodeled hundreds of kitchens – ALL of them successes. You are invited to see our cheap cabinets (NOT) our inexpensive cabinets and our affordable cabinets
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Tags:Cheap Cabinets, Inexpensive Cabinets, Affordable Cabinets, Affordable Kitchen Cabinets
Industry:Consumer, Deals, Home
Location:San Jose - California - United States
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