There are many cabinet suppliers in Calgary, and many different types of cabinets. It is important to understand the variables that affect the price of your cabinetry, as this will help you to identify what options are right for you, as well as compare “apples to apples” when comparing quotes from different suppliers.
There are five general areas that will affect the price of your cabinets:
Look at what materials are being used. Are the cabinet boxes made from melamine or a more expensive plywood? Are the drawer boxes metal, melamine, or solid wood? Are the doors made of wood or are they covered with a melamine or vinyl?In the case of wood, you will find that more common species such as oak and maple will cost less than woods such as cherry or walnut, or more exotic species like wenge or zebrawood. Melamine or vinyl doors are often cheaper, and there are some some amazing materials available today, that mimic the look and feel of wood.
Second, look at the cabinet construction. A face-frame cabinet will generally cost more than a frameless, European-style cabinet. Also look at how the cabinet is put together. Are the parts joined using dowels and glue? Or is the cabinet screwed together? How are the drawer boxes built? A dovetailed drawer box, for example, will cost you more than one that is constructed using butt joints.
Thirdly, look at the hardware that is being used, specifically the drawer slides and hinges. The least expensive drawer slide is a metal side-mounted one with little plastic wheels. Compare this to the higher end under mounted steel slides. Many cabinet suppliers now also offer a slow-closing feature on both their hinges and slides, which causes the door or drawer to close slowly, rather than slamming shut. This is a nice feature, but it will cost you more.
When evaluating the hardware, also look at any storage accessories that are being included, such as pullout garbages, pantries, etc. What are they made of? Do they have a soft-close feature? Storage accessories vary widely in construction and price.
Another variable that will affect the price of your cabinets is the door style. A flat panel door usually has a solid wood frame with a 1/4″ veneer centre panel, whereas a raised panel door has a solid wood panel, thereby making is more expensive.
A slab door (which is completely flat) is often the least expensive, but this depends on how it is made and what materials are used. Ask what the core of the door is made of – is it particle board or MDF? How are the edges finished? Does the door have a very thin veneer edge, or a solid wood edge? In the case of a vinyl door, you should look at the weight of the vinyl being used. Be aware that a glossy vinyl costs more than a matte.
The final element to look at is the finish. In the case of a wood door, a clear finish is generally the least costly, whereas a stain will cost more – generally the darker the colour, the more expensive the finish. If you are interested in an antiqued finish, be prepared to pay substantially more, as this is usually done by hand. Be sure to look at the insides of the cabinets also – check if open shelves and glass door cabinets have the same finish on the inside as on the outside, or if they are a similar-coloured melamine.
My point here is not to tell you which materials, construction, hardware, etc. are better. Rather, you should look at the nature of your project and decide which options are most important to you. Are you building your dream kitchen, or are you looking for inexpensive cabinets for your laundry room? When working with a limited budget, what upgrades are you willing to pay more for? Are solid wood drawers important to you, or would you rather spend that money on the antiqued finish you love?
A custom cabinet supplier will be able to combine these variables according to your needs, and a good designer or salesperson will be able to suggest the options that best meet your needs and budget.
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