By Roger Hirschman, Owner
You did it! You’ve put together the perfect kitchen
design, the perfect door style, and the perfect wood species - perfect
everything. You have everything ready to
go. The only thing that you are missing
is someone to install your new kitchen cabinets.
You now have two options:
Do it yourself or hire someone.
Let’s explore why you would install your kitchen cabinets
You’re a professional craftsman and you have the skills.
All the little lines on a tape measure do not confuse or confound you.
You already have all the proper tools. If you do not have the correct tools, buy
them. They will pay for themselves in
saved emergency room fees.
Saving money. Free
is always good. How much will you actually
save? Ask your dealer, they should give
you a free Install estimate. Moldings, islands, paneling, etc. will add to the install
cost but might be a great value when you factor in your aggravation.
So you are going to do it yourself or with help from your
Budweiser Buddies. Remember that you have already invested significant money in
those cabinets. Don’t get in over your
head. Work with your dealer. They have years of experience. They know the issues you might
encounter. It’s truly doubtful that the design
you are studying is going to translate perfectly into an installed
kitchen. This is especially true if you
bought cabinets but still have the old ones in place (typical). Once those old cabinets are out of the
kitchen it can be a series of interesting challenges. Ask for help.
Option two—hire a professional:
First off, check references. An ad in the paper or a business card under
your windshield wiper is not a reference.
They may be great at dry wall, but that does not mean they know how to
install cabinets. A sign on the side of
their pick-up truck saying that they do kitchens is not a measure of skill
level. Also, installing one or two kitchens a year does not make them an
Two red alerts: Make sure that your
contractor has insurance—especially workman’s comp. If he gets hurt on your
property you might be liable for his
medical bills and lost wages for the rest of his life. The rules on who needs
what coverage are very complicated. Unless you are an attorney simplify your
life and just make sure he has insurance.
Second, we have all seen Oprah shows
where the contractor just took off with the homeowner’s up-front money. While
it is no guarantee, if your contractor works out of a brick and mortar building
the chances of him leaving with your cash is probably less.
The best way to protect your investment is to work with
your dealer/designer. This process happens
three ways, both to your advantage:
1. You have already hired your contractor, and he has
sent you to his cabinet shop to purchase your cabinets.
2. You have already bought cabinets from a shop, and they
suggest a contractor to you.
3. Or, best scenario of all, your
cabinet dealer has their own team of installers.
In these cases everyone who is going to touch your
cabinets has a vested interest in making sure your kitchen is perfect. So
starting with the kitchen designer, to the cabinet manufacturer, through the
kitchen install crew, everyone is on the same team - your team. They
will work together, solve problems, and get the job done professionally and in
a timely manner.
you decide to tackle your cabinet install yourself, ask for guidance. Your designer
has partnered in hundreds of kitchen projects, and can offer you a wealth of
information and practical instruction.
If you choose to hire a professional installer, talk to
your dealer/designer. Once again, they have been part of the team on hundreds
of kitchen projects, and will be able to recommend skilled professionals. And
don’t forget to ask if your dealer employs an install crew. Nobody will have
installed more kitchens than a professional kitchen install team!
by Roger Hirschman
Labels: cabinet install, Cabinets 101, install, Kitchen Design, professional installers