How to Choose a Cabinet Installer

It's best to use the same company to measure, build and install your kitchen cabinetry

The options are seemingly endless when you're shopping for cabinetry for a kitchen or bathroom remodel. Manufacturers sell cabinets through a retail network including building supply stores, kitchen and bath retailers and home improvement centers, such as Lowes and Home Depot.

It's advisable to enlist the same company to measure, design, purchase and install cabinetry, whether you buy through a big box store or a custom cabinet maker. "The most important thing is to allow the same person or company who designs the cabinets to also install them," says California-based builder Ben Davies. "If you don't and mistakes are made, installation costs quickly go way up. If you come across a cabinet maker who does not install, go with another company."

"Measurements are so important. Just an inch is enough to throw off the fit," says home improvement center specialist Wanda Edwards Lee. "It's important and convenient to let your retailer take the measurements, design the plan and handle the install. This ensures you won't be responsible for any measurement or other oversights."

Once ordered, the turnaround time for kitchen cabinetry can be anywhere from one day to several months. Semi-custom orders take around six weeks to arrive and stock cabinetry delivery time is minimal, often with same day delivery. Plan on eight weeks or more for custom cabinetry. After the shipment arrives, ensure cabinets match the bill of sale.

"Installation methods vary from installer to installer but walls should be straight and primed, floors flat and everything square," Davies says. Cabinet doors and drawers should be removed before installation and appliances to be installed should be on-site, in case any adjustments are necessary.

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