Today is the day that you are going to meet with a contractor to discuss remodeling your kitchen cabinets. Just like any other contractor you’ve had doing work in your home, you want to sit down with a knowledgeable and experienced cabinet maker who is going to make you feel comfortable with your decision before your sign any contract. You’ll want to have the confidence that the job will be done in a professional manner with hands-on experienced staff so you’ll be happy with the results and glad you choose this particular company.

Before you set up your face-to-face meeting, there are a number of questions that you should prepare in advance. By doing so, you will gain the exact answers you require to make an informed decision. You will also want to see pictures of a variety of current completed projects including references from their customer list.

This is a big and expensive endeavor you are about to embark upon. Don’t leave anything to chance; get your questions answered and follow-up with reference calls. Cabinets have infinite options and design possibilities and are the most expensive part of your new kitchen; therefore, prepare yourself in advance so that there are no surprises down the road.

Since it’s always wise to know what you are talking about, here is a list of definitions for you to review regarding the components of cabinets. These will help you with your questions further along on the page.

  • Box – The actual carcass of your cabinets.
  • Face Frames – Face frames attach to the front of boxes. The cabinet doors attach to these face frames.
  • Doors & Drawer Fronts – The main visible aspect of the cabinets.
  • Toe Kicks – The space under the cabinet that allows room for your toes as you stand at the cabinets.
  • Hinges & Slides – The necessary hardware used to operate your doors and drawers.
  • Knobs & Pulls – Door knobs and drawer pulls are important because of the look of the cabinet and their functionality.
  • Finish – The coatings that protect your investment.

Here are the 10 questions to Ask Your Cabinet Maker during your meeting.

1. What materials will you use in making the cabinets?

Solid wood core plywood for the boxes and solid hardwood for the face frames are a must for longevity.

2. How are the cabinets being assembled?

Glued and pocket screwed for strength and pocket screws for face frames.

3. What are the finishes? And will the cabinets be finished on site or in shop?

Shop-finished cabinets are preferred because of toxic sprays and chemicals. A shop sprayed pre-catalyzed lacquer is the best finish. Cabinets with glass doors or no doors should be stained and finished inside to match the outsides.

4. How are the drawers and slide-out shelves made?

Dovetailed drawers are the standard of strength. Solid wood sides are best.

5. What hardware will you use?

Under mount soft-close are the best. With good hardware, you will find that doors and drawers open and close with ease every time.

6. What style will my doors be?

Raised panel and Shaker doors? Inset or overlay frames?

7. Will you provide the design, shop drawings and get as detailed as you want.

This is a super important question so be certain you completely understand every aspect of the drawings.

8. What accessories are behind the doors?

This includes the number of shelves, slide out drawers, trash bins, and many other items.

9. How long will the cabinets take to make and install?

10. Is the installation included?

Also, ask if the knobs and pulls will be installed as well.

11. Can I visit the production facilities to become familiar with the process? 

You should be welcomed to see how they work and the environment in which the work is done.

The Finished Product: 

Once you have familiarized yourself with all of the terms and asked all of your questions to your satisfaction, relax, enjoy the process and get excited about your beautiful new cabinets!

More helpful carpentry blogs can be found here with useful tips and tricks.