Monday, June 29

Understanding Cabinet Pricing

I want to start this post out by saying that I wish the cabinet industry would stop the insanity. They all post this starting at price for a 10×10 kitchen, and all consumers see is the price. First of all, no one actually has a 10×10 kitchen (and if you do I apologize), and second of all, no one actually buys that "Starting At" kitchen.

Lets get the basics and the common sense out of the way. When they say a 10×10 kitchen is "Starting at $6,495" they are saying the same thing as Ford saying a Focus starts at $6,495". Yes, you can buy at that price but guess what, no automatic door locks, no A/C, manual windows (whats that?), no power steering, you get the picture right? Who wants that car? Manual windows?  Do kids these days even know how to operate a manual window?

So lets get back to cabinets. First and foremost,  that 10×10 price, ignore it, forget it even exists. Even if your kitchen is 10×10, you still need to ignore it. It is even less realistic than that Ford Focus we were talking about. I like you focus on the actual linear footage. This is the price per foot of a specific door style from any specific manufacturer.

Lets say we are going to have a 12×15 kitchen with a 6' island, cabinets on both sides. This is 39 linear feet of cabinets.  (Double the size of that 10×10 kitchen, but falls in the more realistic average of 175-200 s.f. kitchen). From my experience, I am going to say the low to medium end door at Home Depot and Lowes is somewhere around $200/linear foot. So 39 x 200 = $7800. That's not too bad right? Again, this is that stripped down Ford Focus we were talking about. You want to add a that Greige paint you fell in love with? Add 12-15% ($1,170) and you definitely want All Plywood Construction, add another 12-15%, now your at over $10,000 and we haven't even begun to add moldings, glass doors, roll out trays, a waste basket or two, and those super huge pot and pan drawers you have been dreaming about. My general rule of thumb, is to DOUBLE or even TRIPLE that linear foot pricing.

That's right, to get most of the common upgrades your going to want to double, so $15,600 is a more realistic price to that same $6,495 kitchen.  If you want to go all out, with upgrades, accessories, and finishes, you should triple the figure. It all depends. There is no way to say "How much does a kitchen cost?" Everyone's wish list and taste is different, even if they have the exact same kitchen layout. I have never designed the same kitchen twice. Well, I have had two neighbors with the exact same floor plan pick out the exact same cabinet and the price was still several thousand different. Why? The wishlist and what each one wanted was different.  I designed two kitchens for a builder for the same floor plan, still went two totally different directions on style and the price was equally drastically different. 

So like I said. There is no answer to the age old question, "How much does a kitchen cost" question. But there is a good way to you to take matters into your own hands, and estimate.  A way for you to look at different cabinet companies and get a better feel at if you can afford to upgrade. Stop looking at the 10×10 number however, and start looking at the linear footage pricing instead. You will be less likely to set yourself up for extreme sticker shock later, and save the time of your kitchen designer and cabinet maker.