As with any great recipe, the ingredients and the cook’s experience are the keys to success and that is so true with a custom kitchen. Experience is obvious, the more time spent designing and renovating custom kitchens the better you will be. However, the ingredients or the products are tougher to determine. You can’t smell a faucet to see if it has gone bad, so what do you do? Of course, my suggestion is to hire an experienced kitchen design store so you can see, feel and experience custom kitchen products.
So, what are the key ingredients (products) in a custom kitchen and how do you ensure they are the best for your project? Most custom kitchens involve custom kitchen cabinets, plumbing, appliances and custom countertops.
There are many custom cabinet companies. Custom cabinetry can be made in small cabinet shops or in huge companies with many brand name cabinets. There are no “best” places, just best for certain situations. For example, if I wanted a high gloss painted cabinet, I would not purchase the cabinets from a smaller cabinet shop because they lack the equipment or technology to successfully create this very difficult paint finish. I would go to a larger cabinet company that would have the space and the capital funds for this specialized equipment. Custom cabinets are designed for your space. An experienced kitchen designer can help you narrow your choices and help you determine the best place to get the custom kitchen cabinets for your project.
Everyone has seen name brand plumbing in the big box stores (Kohler for example) and it costs so much less. That is because the brand names you get from the big box stores are not the same as the brand names a kitchen designer will have available. The big box stores sell a cheaper-made product that will not last as long. Your kitchen designer can also tell you which name brands will have the best customer service for any issues you might have in the future.
Appliances are tough. They are so expensive, but no one makes much money on them. Many kitchen designers refuse to even sell appliances for this reason. The difference between two refrigerators can mean that the entire kitchen design has to change, even if they appear to be the same size. That is because they will need different space around the doors to open 90 degrees so you can get the vegetable bins out or the refrigerator needs to be further from the wall to allow for venting hot air.
Countertop material or style is only part of what is important. Often the most important element of a custom countertop is who makes it. Custom fabricators need to be experienced so they know all the tricks of the trade. I have learned that you should never do an inside corner at a right angle, it needs to be slightly rounded or sometime in the future the countertop will crack. This was new information to me, given by the countertop expert with 18 years of experience. Fabricators also need to use the latest technology so your countertop will fit correctly. Digital and measuring is better than just measuring. Double checking is your friend. Finally, you want a company that will fix what is wrong. If their pricing is low, that means that you are on your own if there is a problem.
You need the right ingredients to create a truly awesome custom kitchen. Throwing everything out and starting over with a custom kitchen is so much more painful than with any other recipe.
Contact us if you have any questions or want to learn more about custom kitchen products that are key ingredients to your successful kitchen renovation. Please contact Teknika Kitchens and Baths for kitchen designs in Chestertown at 410-778-2036 or visit our website.