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Buying Your Cabinetry Factory Direct

Home Owners, Realtors, RE Investors, House Flippers and Remodelers all sooner or later are faced with the problem of replacing worn out or out of date cabinetry. Choices of species of wood, type of construction materials, door styles and finishes become major decisions when beginning a new project. Of course price is always a major consideration as well as manufacture time and delivery in a timely fashion is usually of paramount importance when making many of these critical decisions. Therefore we have put together some basic tools and information to help you in making some of those decisions. Understanding some of the basics of how cabinetry is made and installed will make your job planning a whole lot easier than running around everywhere trying to learn the ins and outs as you go.

History of Modern Cabinetry

In Western Europe and North America prior to the 17th century, fine furniture, as we know it today was extremely rare and most people did not need it and for the most part could not afford it. Most people made do with simple but serviceable pieces that they could craft themselves from local materials and for all intents and

purposes constructed with crude and archaic tools. With the proliferation and expansion of electricity throughout Europe and the United States after World War II woodworking became a popular hobby among the middle classes and those who were more serious and skilled amateurs in this field began to turn out pieces of furniture which could rival the work of professional cabinet makers. Many of these professional cabinet shops soon became factories and the custom built cabinet soon became a factory built semi-custom cabinet built according to a set of standards established by all the manufacturers that belonged to various groups and associations. (NOTE) All Brandom and Armstrong Cabinetry carries the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturing association (KCMA) certified cabinet seal, and meets or exceeds the recommended minimum construction and performance standards for kitchen cabinets outlined in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) specification number A161.1-1995 and paragraph 611-1.1, HUD Minimum Property Standards - Housing 4910.1" 9-8-86.

Old German cabinet.

Cabinetry Styles
Everyone has heard of this style or that style, the Shaker style or Early American and most of us usually buy cabinetry according to the decorative motif of the type of home they live in or that accommodates their lifestyle choices. If you

live in a Ranch style home you would more than likely choose an Early American Colonial or a Rustic style of cabinet. Very seldom would one find French provincial or a Scandinavian style cabinet in this home style! Lets take a quick look at some of the most popular styles. Scandinavian This style of design is typified by clean horizontal and vertical lines. Compared to other designs there is a distinct absence of ornamentation. While Scandinavian design is easy to identify, it is much more about the materials than the design. Scandinavian design often makes use of form-pressed wood, plastics, anodized or enameled aluminum or pressed steel. French Provincial Although very ornate the French Provincial design style is often stained or painted which conceals the wood leaving corners, edges and bevels often painted with a gold leave or some other kind of gilding. Flat surfaces often have artwork such as landscapes painted directly on them. Originally most furniture of this style was constructed from Beech wood. When used as firewood, Beech wood is excellent selection since it is easily split and will burn for many hours with bright but calm flames. Chips of beech wood are used in the brewing of Budweiser beer as a fining agent. Beech logs are burned to dry the malts used in some German smoked beers, giving the beers their typical flavor. Beech is also used to smoke some cheeses. Its rarely used in cabinetry due to its softness and rarity. Early American Colonial Early American chairs and tables, which emphasizes both form and materials, are often constructed with turned spindles and chair backs that are often constructed by steaming the wood in order to bend it into the right shape. Deciduous hardwood trees such as Cherry or Walnut tend to be the craftsmans choice for this beautifully designed furniture and cabinetry. Rustic The rustic style of design sometimes called "log furniture" or "log cabin" is the least finished. Design is very utilitarian yet seeks to feature not only the materials used but in as much as possible, how they existed in their natural state. For example a table top may have what is considered a "live edge" that allows you to see the original contours of the tree that it came from. It also often uses whole logs or branches including the bark of the tree. Rustic furniture is often made from Pine, Cedar, Fir and Spruce.

Mission Style Mission Design is characterized by straight, thick horizontal and vertical lines and flat panels. The most common material used in Mission furniture is oak. For early mission cabinetmakers, the material of choice was white oak, which they often darkened through a process known as "fuming". Hardware is often visible on the outside of the pieces and made of black iron. It is a style that became popular in the early 20th century. Oriental Also known as Asian Design, this style of furniture is characterized by its use of materials such as bamboo and rattan. Red is a frequent color choice along with landscape art and Chinese or other Asian language characters on the pieces. Shaker Shaker furniture design is focused on function and symmetry. Because it is so influenced by an egalitarian religious community and tradition it is rooted in the needs of the community versus the creative expression of the designer. Like Early American and Colonial design, Shaker craftsmen often chose fruit tree woods for their designs. Pieces reflect a very efficient use of materials due to the rarity of these species of woods.

Types of cabinetry There are basically two major types of cabinetry, the frameless or face frame.

A frameless cabinet

A cabinet with a face frame Your choice of cabinetry type might be built-in or it might be free-standing. The built-in cabinet normally is a custom made product, built on site, specifically for a particular situation and it is fixed into position, on a floor, against a wall, or framed in an opening. Size of cabinets can vary widely to meet the specific needs of its particular specification. For example most modern kitchens are examples of built-in or semi-custom cabinetry installed to meet the customers needs. On the other hand Freestanding cabinets are more commonly available as off-the-shelf items and can be moved from place to place if required. Cabinets may have a face frame or may be of frameless construction (also known as European or euro-style). Face frame cabinets have a supporting frame attached to the front of the cabinet box. This face frame is usually 1 inches in width and is mounted on the cabinet frame with the cabinet door attached to this face frame. By contrast, the frameless cabinet has no such supporting front face frame; the cabinet doors are attached directly to the sides of the cabinet box. The boxs side, bottom and top panels are usually 5/8 to 3/4 inches thick, with the door overlaying all but 1/16 inch of the box edge. Modern cabinetry is often frameless and is typically constructed from man-made sheet materials, such as plywood, chipboard or Medium-density fiberboard (MDF). The visible surfaces of these materials are usually clad in a timber veneer, plastic laminate, or other material. They may also be painted.

Standard Overlay (SO) versus Full Overlay (FO)

Framed cabinets can have several different looks depending on the way the doors are hinged to the face frame. Full Overlay (FO) styles have doors that cover almost all of the cabinet front. There is a face frame but very little of it is exposed.

Standard overlay (SO) styles have doors that overlay the face frame 1/2". Doors and drawer fronts typically measure 1" larger in height and width than the door or drawer opening. The 1" is split 1/2" on each side and 1/2" at the top and bottom. CAUTION: Full overlay door styles conceal all but 3/16" of the front styles and 1/2": front top and bottom rails, therefore extra attention must be given to clearances, such as corners, appliances, walls and ceilings. When two adjoining FO cabinets with square outer profile, such as the Shaker door style, are installed the opposing doors may interfere with each other when they are both opened. When Full overlay cabinets are mounted next to a wall; A filler should be used to provide room for the door to fully open. The filler should be sized to allow for molding and other objects that may be mounted to the wall.

Cabinet components

Enclosed cabinet base with a kick space

Scrolled base

Bracket feet

Cabinets which rest on the floor are supported by some kind of base. This base could be a fully enclosed base (i.e. a plinth), a scrolled based, bracket feet or it could be a set of legs. Kitchen cabinets, or any cabinet generally at which a person may stand, usually have a fully enclosed base in which the front edge has been set back 75 mm or so to provide room for toes, known as the kick space. A scrolled base is similar to the fully enclosed base but it has areas of the base material removed, often with a decorative pattern, leaving feet on which the cabinet stands. Bracket feet are separate feet, usually attached in each corner and occasionally for larger pieces in the middle of the cabinet.

Wall Cabinets
As with all factory manufactured cabinets certain standards are utilized. Standard widths for wall cabinets are normally made in 3 increments starting at 9 up to 48. Wall cabinets heights begin at 12 up to 60. Most wall cabinets come in standard 12 depths; however altered depths of 15 and 18 are available.

A cabinet usually has at least one compartment. Compartments may be open, as in open shelving; they may be enclosed by one or more doors; or they may contain one or more drawers. Some cabinets contain secret compartments, access to which is generally not obvious. Modern cabinets employ many more complicated means (relative to a simple shelf) of making browsing lower cabinets more efficient and comfortable. The Lazy Susan, a shelf which rotates around a central axis, allowing items stored at the back of the cabinet to be brought to the front by rotating the shelf. These are usually used in corner cabinets, which are larger and deeper and have a greater "dead space" at the back than other cabinets.

Cabinet insert hardware

Another recent development in cabinet inserts or hardware, often taking the place of the Lazy Susan, particularly in base cabinets is the blind corner cabinet pull out unit. These units pull out and turn, making the attached shelving unit slide into the open area of the cabinet door, thus making the shelves accessible to the user. These units vary greatly in design and cost, but are very practical in making what was once dead space usable.

Other insert hardware is continuously being designed and includes such items as mixer shelves that pull out of a base cabinet and spring into a locked position at counter height. This hardware makes lifting these somewhat heavy mixers and mechanically helping with the process of positioning the unit for use. More and more components are being designed to enable specialized hardware to be used in standard cabinet carcasses. Items such as built in Spice Racks, garbage can pull outs, cutlery trays and roll out trays are just a few of the many options that are available.

Most cabinets incorporate a top of some sort. In many cases, the top is merely to enclose the compartments within and serves no other purpose - as in a wall hung cupboard for example. In other cabinets, such as base cabinets, the top also serves as a work surface - a kitchen countertop for example.

The Field Drawing

There is an old adage especially used in the life insurance industry that goes as such; people dont plan to fail, they simply fail to plan. This is a good saying when it comes to remodeling or renovating an old kitchen! The most important part of your planning is getting the right measurements of the area affected. A simple mistake of a quarter of an inch could create a huge problem when trying to install a bank of cabinets. Careful attention must be taken when measuring, not only the distance from wall to wall, floor to ceiling, size of each cabinet required, distance from a wall to the center of a window or a door. Height and location of plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets and switches and so on are essential when putting together a plan. The more precise and detailed your drawing is the better your project will turn out with the minimum of problems you will have during installation. If you are just getting started try to use paper which is on a girded piece of paper. Grids in 1 foot increments work best when planning your kitchen. Always start by getting exact measurements of the room where you will be working. Start in the corner of the room preferably where the corner base cabinet is going to be located. Be especially careful to note the location of furr downs or soffits, unusual corners or protrusions such as bay windows, exterior window shelves, built in pantries and so on. Make sure to note special specifications such as wall cabinet heights, tall cabinets, specialty items such as spice racks or garbage can pullouts. If its not on your order more than likely it wont get shipped.

Your Computer Generated 20/20 Floor Plan

Alright you got the appointment and have met with and discussed the customers project. You have discussed the customers needs, taken measurements and have tentatively made a second appointment to meet with and discuss the final plans for the customers new kitchen. So lets take about what you will take back to the customer to close the deal with. The first thing we will do is convert your field drawing into a computer generated 20/20 floor plan of the new project. Here is an example of what your plan should look like to the customer.

20/20 Plan Elevations and Computer Generated Renderings

You have the new floor plan which will allow the customer to see how the kitchen is laid out from above, but if the customer cant visualize how the kitchen is going to look when completed you probably wont be able to close the deal. So in addition to the floor plan we will include elevations so the customer can get a visual look where each cabinet is located on that particular wall. The elevation will identify each cabinet and give the customer exact measurements,

The elevations are great to see and make sure that you have all your cabinets in the right location and they are the correct cabinets, but the customer will want to see how they will look visually from various locations in the room. Usually its the elevations that close the deal. This single item might well be the best sales aide that you have.

Literature, Brochures and Sales Aides

As with any product that is for sale you will need Product Knowledge in order to make a sale. Advertizing in its many forms, Radio, TV, print, etc. will be needed to provide to your customer. Today the computer, the IPad, the smart phone are the most popular means of transmitting verbal and visual information to your customers. Printed brochures and catalogs are also available. You will need some of those as well to give your customer. Order those in advance as sometimes the time it takes to order and ship could be a problem. To keep everything on track with the customer provide website links so the customer can see it all right now! Below are some of the links you will want to provide to your customer: Kitchens Now! - Brandon Cabinets - Brandom Cabinets Catalog Brandom Cabinets Classic Brochure

Armstrong Cabinets - Armstrong Cabinets Product Guide Armstrong Cabinets Catalog and Specifications Wilsonart - Wilsonart High Definition - Lowes 20/20 Kitchen Designer Euro Kitchen Hoods - Whirlpool Online Catalog -

We are available daily from 9AM to 9PM to assist you. Call us at 214-664-3900 E-mail us at or