Author Topic: Cabinets: What's cheaper? homemade ply boxes or off-the-shelf premade?  (Read 10740 times)

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Offline Erin

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I have built-ins planned all over our house (yeah, I know.  Undoubtedly we'll actually end up with less than half of them.  lol)  Not to mention our kitchen cabinets.

So I'm wondering:  What's the cheaper option for the quality we want?  I'm not after fancy hickory or walnut cabinetry.  Pine would make me just as happy.  But I sure don't want those cheap cardboard-bottomed cabinets you can get, either!

I'm considering 1.  completely home made.  2.  Homemade cabinets with fancier, store-bought doors and drawer fronts.  or 3.  Completely store bought. 

the latter is probably the easiest from a construction stand point.  But like everyone else, we're doing this on a shoestring budget and I can build a basic box!

Thoughts?
The wise woman builds her own house... Proverbs 14:1

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Cabinets: What's cheaper? homemade ply boxes or off-the-shelf premade?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2008, 10:13:48 AM »
Hi Erin.  Glad to see you are working on the project.

I'm not a pro builder like PEG, so to me it was worth it to go to HD or Lowes and get some of the prebuilt but we ordered from the catalog first time and got a bit better ones.  First I remember were American Woodmark -- second for rental I don't remember but they also were pretty nice - and they were in stock at Lowes I think.

I couldn't build them as fast as I could buy for the money, but if you have lots of time it could be a different story.  It was cheaper for me to work my real job and earn money than all the time building them would take, then installation was less than a day I think.
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Offline MikeT

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Re: Cabinets: What's cheaper? homemade ply boxes or off-the-shelf premade?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2008, 06:57:51 PM »
IKEA sells the carcasses for sections of their cabinets separately from the facing.  The carcasses are pretty inexpensive.  They get you when you choose the facing.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/departments/kitchen/12317/

Offline davidj

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Re: Cabinets: What's cheaper? homemade ply boxes or off-the-shelf premade?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2008, 06:03:46 AM »
The kitchen in my city house has Ikea cabinets and I've been pretty happy with them, especially given how cheap they were - I think they came in at half the price of the low-end, custom-ordered (not custom built) Home Depot equivalents.  The only place where they reveal their roots is the tall doors, which are the same thickness as the smaller doors and hence are a bit flexible - no problems, but it just feels a bit cheap.  And the clip-on kick boards come off, but that's easy to fix with a block of wood and some glue.  Their pricing on the actual cabinets is a real bargain, as MikeT pointed out (it's the same cabinet pricing for all styles, so it has to be cheap enough to be covered by the price of their cheapest door style).

Scherrs does online ordering of doors (and cabinets too) in various styles and woods.  I think they'll even drill the holes for the "euro-style" hinges.  They seemed pretty efficient when I ordered a couple of doors for a closet (unfortunately the efficiency didn't carry through to me - the doors are still sitting waiting to be installed!).

Once I get around to doing the kitchen for the cabin I think I'm gonna go Ikea cabinet frames with Scherr's facing.  If you do this, remember to get the plain panels to cover the sides of the end cabinets (if you don't want to see large areas of the Ikea melanine).  Also, the Ikea drawers were (are?) funky metal ones where the front is part of the structure - you might needs Scherr's drawers too.

Offline FrankInWI

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Re: Cabinets: What's cheaper? homemade ply boxes or off-the-shelf premade?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2008, 03:18:37 PM »
that site "Scherers" is fantastic.  I have missing drawers at home and I was perplexed on how to replace them.  Got that figured out now. Thanks
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Cabinets: What's cheaper? homemade ply boxes or off-the-shelf premade?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2008, 03:28:16 PM »
My drawers were missing too, Frank, but I found that Sassy thought it was time to wash them and failed to tell me... d* [crz]

[idea] Maybe I should get a second pair....
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline Okie_Bob

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Re: Cabinets: What's cheaper? homemade ply boxes or off-the-shelf premade?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 01:45:34 PM »
I don't have it with me but, I got a little, very inexpensive booklet off the net with exact directions on building cabinets. Maybe Google and you can find it too. Makes it look very easy if you have some good equipment like a good table saw etc. Cost would be minimal but, could be very time consuming. Depends on how valuable you consider your time. Like Glenn said, he'd rather work at his real job and pay for store bought cabinets. Given plently of free time and an empty pocket, I'd definately try making my own. The booklet I'm referring to is at the lake and I won't be able to get a look at it till the weekend and next week to get you the name. Sorry.
Okie Bob

Offline Jens

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Re: Cabinets: What's cheaper? homemade ply boxes or off-the-shelf premade?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2008, 06:27:37 PM »
If you pick up a decent book on building cabinets, and have reasonable skills/patience, cabinet building is pretty easy.  Make up your boxes of 3/4 ply, 1/4" back (make sure that the boxes are square), set them on a pre-built and leveled base, screw em together.  You can run them frameless, or apply the faceframe to them before install.  I like to screw all the boxes together, then build one big faceframe to cover the whole thing.  It gives it more of an old timey look, but be very careful that the boxes are square and level, or the faceframe may not fit correctly.  If you plan for a reveal between the inside of box and ff, you can fudge it a little.  You can buy factory built doors, easier than building yourself, or if you have a router, tablesaw, pocket hole kit or biscuit joiner give it a try.  Plenty of good literature out there.  Here are some cabinets I built for a rental we were in.  cost about $700, 3 days of time.  Boxes all cut with skillsaw and a straight edge, doors double (stacked one on top of other) biscuit joined.  I didnt have a cope and stick set to make them like the pros.  photos are too big, so here is the link   
http://s219.photobucket.com/albums/cc93/hobbiest/furniture%20and%20cabinets/

talking about the pine and whit paneled ones here.  did a lower and four upper cabinet refacing too within that budget.

Glen, if you can add thos photos here, be my guest, otherwise go ahead and use photobucket.
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Cabinets: What's cheaper? homemade ply boxes or off-the-shelf premade?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2008, 07:23:56 PM »
I resized a few with Gadwin Printscreen.  Thanks for taking the time to post them.   More at the above link.






"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline Erin

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Re: Cabinets: What's cheaper? homemade ply boxes or off-the-shelf premade?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2008, 07:03:17 PM »
hobbiest, that's what I have in mind...
Bob--I've downloaded a similar booklet, I think.  It was about $6.99 and five or six pages.  Showed a one-wall kitchen. 
The wise woman builds her own house... Proverbs 14:1

Offline Okie_Bob

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Re: Cabinets: What's cheaper? homemade ply boxes or off-the-shelf premade?
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2008, 07:50:14 AM »
Sorry Erin, I was going to look over the weekend but, honestly, forgot all about it.
But, you may have found the same one I have. Seems it was a few more pages than yours but, not
much. Also had info on European vs typical cabinets. Suspect there are a number of other resourses
that would make building your own a pretty doable deal.
Okie Bob

Offline CREATIVE1

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Re: Cabinets: What's cheaper? homemade ply boxes or off-the-shelf premade?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2008, 05:17:53 AM »
I found some gorgeous solid cherry/walnut inset/carved wood pull cabinets--enough for two kitchens--at the Habitat Store.  $700 total.  Since we're rebuilding one kitchen and remodeling another, I measured all the cabinets, came home, got out my grid paper, and laid eveything out to make sure it worked.  These custom cabinets would've cost a fortune--a full pantry, pull out cutting boards, lots of drawers---you just wouldn't believe what I got.  Weighed so much the movers almost couldn't move it.  The first two walked away from the job.

I've also included a link to Sing Log Homes and their honeycomb furniture.  I got some great ideas from this site, but the link I wanted isn't there anymore.  His kitchens had one wall of floor to ceiling storage, with everything else base storage and open shelving.  I'm doing exactly that with my new kitchen. 

Here's the link:

http://singloghomes.com/gal/thumbnails.php?album=8

Offline Jens

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Re: Cabinets: What's cheaper? homemade ply boxes or off-the-shelf premade?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2008, 06:16:35 AM »
Check with kitchen stores that have full displays.  The change out their displays from time to time, and their old ones will be sold at a discounted price, with countertops and all.  A friend of mine got a full $4000 kitchen for $900.
just spent a few days building a website, and didn't know that it could be so physically taxing to sit and do nothing all day!