ordering cabinets

Guess what? We've made a decision and we are ordering kitchen cabinets today! I'm so excited and relieved to be moving forward on this piece of the puzzle.

Before I get to the finishes, I'll tell you a little about the cabinet shopping process. Brace yourself—this could be a long story.

The first guy (we'll call him Dude) I happened upon by accident as we were shopping for doors. I didn't know this place had a cabinet shop, but they told us their cabinet guy loved to visit the actual kitchens and help make the plan from scratch, so we made an appointment for him to come visit when the door guy came to make his measurements. When the Dude called me on the phone to schedule, the first thing he said to me was "I've been doing kitchens for 20 years and I'm really good." O.K. then. Well.

During his visit he did some measuring and came up with a preliminary design. We discussed a few things at the time, and then later I visited the cabinet shop with my mom to revise it some more. It was apparent to both of us then that he was a bit stubborn and didn't listen all that well. And he insisted he needed to make another visit to our house to measure again. (What? We live 55 miles out! Why didn't he measure correctly the first time?)

Instead I offered to measure for him, and I sent a nice little detailed drawing to him. The next time I heard from him he said "I got your measurements and its not gonna work." He told me that he really needed to come out again. But the next week he reported that he needed to spend a week at the hospital (?) and cancelled our appointment. Legitimate excuse, of course. But I took the opportunity to spend time making my own drawings so I could shop around.

My next appointment was with Mr. Big Box Store. I made an appointment with him, and when I arrived for my appointment he told me he was in the middle of a big expensive kitchen order and didn't really have time to meet with me. Humph. I had traveled 55 miles to be there, so I insisted we meet as planned, and he did go ahead and draw up a plan with me. His price was good but not significantly cheaper. I found out later it was the last day of a 10% off promotion that he didn't feel the need to tell me about.

My 3rd appointment was with a gentleman I'll just call Nice Guy at a local shop. Our appointment went smoothly, he helped me refine a few details on my plan, and educated me in the process. I left with a written quote (unlike with the other two) and a detailed plan. 

Seems like an obvious decision, right?

A twist—the Dude advertised a 20% off promotion. That is too significant to ignore. So I waited for Dude to call me, then gave up and finally called him. Then I waited several more days for him to finally meet with me. I was tired of waiting by then but I waited several more days to get his final price. Which was good. Very good.

Meanwhile, Mr. Big Box called and said they would be having a 15% off promotion. He also Big Box would chew up any Small Box and would beat any price. Sorry, Dude, but I want to keep Small Box in business. For one, I already knew the Dude would beat his price significantly, and he had better cabinets. For another, Mr. Big Box informed me he had lost our plan. Two hours with him unsaved and down the tube. I wasn't about to spend 2 more hours with him, so I ruled Mr. Big Box out.

When I got tired of waiting for the Dude to set his final price, I decided to take what I knew back to Nice Guy to see if he would drop his price at all. He did... just a little...but not enough. The Dude still beat his price by over $2000. So now you see, this made the decision very difficult. What would you do?

Ultimately, we have made the decision to go Mr. Nice Guy. For timely service (confidence that he will get our order right) and better style and color options. In the end there were too many compromises with the Dude and this is a piece of the kitchen where regrets are NOT GOOD. Not to mention the fact that the Dude insisted on measuring again before he would order. Who knows how long that would take.

So, in summary, shopping around is exhausting and you might as well go to Mr. Nice Guy in the first place. If you are in the market for some cabinets and would like me to dish the dirt on who these people really are, I send you a private message.

So sorry if I lost you back there. The fun stuff is up next!