The problem with asking your cabinet professional for a “Ballpark Estimate”.

Actual question I’ve received over the phone (paraphrased): Can you give me a ballpark price on my kitchen? I’m a single guy, it’s a small 1500 sq ft house, I’m not picky.

Understandably one of the most frustrating things for a consumer is not getting a straight answer on price. At least 20 times a month I am asked for a ballpark figure on kitchen cabinets. I am here to tell you why that isn’t easy and to suggest you run from the cabinet “professional” that offers pricing this way, as there are services of kitchen cabinet refurbishment that help in this area.

I’ll start by breaking down options. We carry 5 lines of cabinets. In those five lines we offer the following: 219 door styles, 46 different wood species/materials (i.e. metal, glass, foil) in over 7,000 skus. In each of these skus you have anywhere from 3-10 construction options (e.g. plywood, engineered, interior finish, etc.), as well as anywhere between 12 to well over 100 other options including drawer material, guides, special dimensions, extended face frames, matching interior, and much more. On top of all of that, some of our lines offer full custom products that require engineering and special pricing by the manufacturer. All of these options will have an impact on pricing. These are just product options! You also have to take into consideration the layout and configuration of the kitchen; not to mention decorative moldings and accessories. Do you see why giving a ballpark figure isn’t so easy? Even if we are provided with every detail needed and precise measurements, it still takes time to generate a price. Not even a person of extreme mathematical and memory ability possesses the skills it would require to store and calculate a rough estimate in their heads with the options we provide to our customers.

The next and most unfortunate part of the problem is the companies that use less than honest tactics in selling cabinetry. The “tactic” usually comes in the form of 10×10 or linear foot kitchen pricing advertised at a particular price. You’ve seen them in storefront windows: “New kitchen for $999.00.” In all the years I’ve worked in cabinetry I have never seen the 10×10 kitchen, used to figure these prices, in the real world. This low advertised price is for a strategically planned 10×10 space to create the absolute most cost efficient way to configure and use cabinets to complete a functional kitchen. However, your actual 10×10 kitchen space is almost definitely not this strategically designed and advertised kitchen. The lack of proper configuration also applies to linear foot pricing. These tactics are a prime example of the classic bait and switch.
I remember as a 16 year old boy visiting a car dealership because their ad in the newspaper for a pickup truck that was in my price range. When I got there I was sad to hear that it sold but I was told they had 3 or 4 others that were “similar.” Every option that was still available was $1-$2 thousand more than the one I came for. When I asked, the salesperson explained how that truck model had no a/c, radio, etc. (this is in Phoenix, AZ, by the way, no A/C?!?!?). I left and a month later saw the identical ad for the identical truck in the same newspaper. Do you see where I am going with this?

My suggestion, at a minimum, is to give your cabinet professional an idea of style, color, and wood species and have them price your space with accurate or approximate measurements. If they are worth working with they will do this for you. Keep your distance from the salesperson that is okay with throwing out a price over the phone or in person based on your general explanation of the project. They are doing this just to get you in the door; when you arrive, your price will go up from there. I promise it is always the better decision to wait a day or two for accurate pricing than to base your remodel around bad pricing. It is Elite Kitchen Cabinetry’s practice to price your ideal space in the exact finishes you want and with the cabinet configuration that fits your space. In most cases this means our price is more than our competitor’s initial price, but usually less than their final. Whether you’re working with us or someone else, this advice will help you save money and hold on to your sanity.

I hope this helps. Contact us if you’re interested in one of our many options of cabinetry.