I did a previous post on Eco Cabinets, what to look for, various companies and where to get them. Now that my Handyman demo’d the kitchen without any cabinets on order, I have to do something very fast! What a shock to the budget! Armed with my listing of dealers who carry Eco Cabinetry- I sallied forth to order cabinets and here is my story:
I went to Kitchen Idea Center to look at Crystal Cabinets- (Green Core Collection) one of the few mass eco friendly cabinets. Frank (while heavily chomping away at his gum) at Kitchen Idea Center pretty much insisted I look at Omega who have ‘earned their certification in the groundbreaking Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) administered by the KCMA (Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturer’s Association). ‘ What this means, is the cabinets do not qualify for any LEEDS’s credits, they still contain formaldehyde (reduced) and now can make some type of environmental statement.
Neither Crystal Cabinets or Omega are members of the Green Building Council or have LEEDS credits. (just for the record)
(Chomp, Chomp) Frank gave some good ideas on kitchen design (Pop, Pop), but it appeared that once he found out I was not going to have him do the installation and the countertops,(Snap, Snap) he was not interested in helping me, even less so, when he had to help me get off the ground from sticker shock! (Chomp, Chomp) After picking me up (Pop, Pop) he then suggested I might be happy with some lower end products. I think Frank needs to take a lesson in not pre-judging the customer. I didn’t say I wasn’t going to spend the money. But I really hate when people look in my pocketbook and make judgements. (Knock, Knock- Frank – Sales Lesson #1- Never Prejudge the Customer)
- Crystal Cabinetry is going to run you over $400.00 (+) a linear foot. My kitchen according to Frank is 21 Linear Ft or about $8400. That does not include hardware, installation, full pull out of the drawers, countertops and all the little extras. Estimated cost with installation ($12,000)
- Omega Cabinetry less expensive might run $300.00 (+) a linear ft. or $6300 plus all the extras.
- Delivery is 6-8 weeks.
Breathe Easy Cabinetry – which does qualify for LEEDS credits and is a member of the Green Building Council. Unfortunately there are no Breathe Easy dealer in California is probably even more expensive.
Next Stop: Online
Craigslist- Actually, I stop here everyday! I have missed out on many cabinets, for various reasons, 1.) I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do in the kitchen. 2.) I couldn’t make myself support those who were in foreclosure and selling off any assets. 3.) I didn’t want to do the demo 4.) I didn’t want to remake the cabinets to fit. 5.) Didn’t want to drive to go look at cabinets.
Amazon- Nothing much here either- although will most likely go there for the hardware. Good pricing
Ebay: It‘s just too much for me- too confusing and I hated wading through every door handle.
Overstock.com– their prices were the worst- I thought so 5 years ago and think so again.
Going through my dealer database is CabinetOne, located right down the street. I would give you the address, but they are not there, and now they are not listed on Crystal Cabinets website. She is a kitchen designer, (charges $250 to design the kitchen) having some good ideas as well, but haven’t heard from her, so don’t recommend. She did think I could get my kitchen fully redesigned for $15,000.
Home Depot- Eco Options- 3 of their cabinets are certified by KMCA for ESP. They did the layout (N/C) came up with 22 Linear Ft, and a minimum price of $6500 (+) plus shipping, plus installation, plus hardware, plus, plus) Of course they wouldn’t give me the plans, but big deal, when you have a small kitchen and can’t move any walls, there is only so much you can do.
- Delivery is 6 weeks
I am now experiencing EFS (Eco Frustration Syndrome)
Artistic Freedom Designs – Makes bamboo cabinets from Smith and Fong FSC Certified bamboo. They are going on vacation and will call me upon return. Called again and no response. Guess they are too busy to help.
I ran across this blog woodnet or something and saw a response from a cabinetmaker in Vista, Woodistry. His name is Joe- His website is very informative, he teaches classes at Palomar College, He uses Plyboo (FSC) and is organic, so understands the need for Zero VOCs. Go to his blog and you will die by some of the design ideas- Great blog. So I called him -Can I get custom cabinets made with FSC certified wood, reclaimed wood, no Formaldehyde, Zero VOC’s and more?
Joe is the nicest man, and he did a ton of investigative work to try to find product to fit all my criteria. As an example , Lane Vance Stanton Lumber is supposed to carry FSC wood- (Right- they just Greenwash their environmental stewardship) basically they don’t carry it in stock they have ship it, which does not lead to the’ buy local and don’t ship’ philosophy. To top it off, poor man, he’s making all these calls to his suppliers for products to fit my criteria, and none of them are calling him back in a timely manner.
For what I want, 100% FSC wood, (no plywood or particle board) full extension drawers ($32.00/drawer extra) good hardware ($1000) the cost with installation will be over $11,000. Which is a great price and in line with all the other quotes – plus I would be supporting my local economy
But, I’m not going to put in $11,000 + cabinets in a house I am going to sell next year. It doesn’t make fiscal sense, there is no ROI. This guy is great, I tell him, he says, I wouldn’t do it either and comes back with another quote, that uses plywood, dowel construction instead of dovetail and a few other cost savings. Price is now $6200 without installation. This is about the best price you could ever get, much better than box store, kitchen design center.
Joe also tells me to go look at cabinets at Million Dollar homes, which i will do today.
- Delivery about 6 weeks
I take my Handyman to Ikea. I was going to do Ikea from the very beginning (2007) and decided I didn’t really like their environmental policy and the kitchen cabinet people were rude or unknowledgeable when asked a question. Here is the thing, they are not members of the KMCA, Green Building Council, have no LEEDS credits and their online policy is very ambiguous. This interview with Anders Berglund, doesn’t say too much. But Green People rave about IKEA. That said- we went to IKEA and my handyman is impressed with the quality. Some products are in stock – maybe I can get a kitchen sooner than later!!!They have formaldehyde although in lower quantities but if it is in lower quantities, same as ESP, why would I pay over $6,000 when I could get a complete kitchen for under $2,000?
Still don’t have the answer- and don’t know what I’m going to do yet, except do as Joe from Woodisty suggests- go look at Million Dollar Homes kitchen cabinets.
I will say this, no matter if I go with Joe or not- If this was going to be my Home, no questions would have been asked, I would have hired Joe in a heartbeat. He’s honest, he understands the Green concept, he measures, he asks the right questions, and I believe anyone would get great quality customer service from him.
Now I have to go to Open Houses,