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Custom, Semi-Custom, Stock Cabinets

What is the difference between Custom,  Semi-custom  and Stock cabinets?

If you’ve already renovated a kitchen or are just beginning the process, you know how overwhelming the details can be.  One of the many things to consider is whether or not you want to purchase custom or semi-custom cabinets and what the differences are. This blog will primarily focus on the differences between stock, semi-custom, and custom kitchen cabinets.

The first thing to know when noting differences between stock, semi-custom, and custom cabinets is that the terms refer to the type of production methods used to make the cabinets, and not to the quality of the cabinets. If you want more information about the quality of  materials and construction methods, then you can find that in this blog. (stacey will link)

Stock Cabinets

Stock Cabinets by Wellborn

Stock cabinets are readymade, pre-manufactured cabinets, meaning they’re mass-produced in a factory and ready to ship when ordered. They’re sold in modular units, and no customization is available. What you see is what you get! The advantages of stock cabinets are affordability and a quick delivery time. However, you usually have a limited selection of styles, shapes, colors, wood types, etc. Delivery time is typically 1 to 3 weeks from the time of your order.

We recommend using stock cabinets if:

  1. You are looking for a low cost solution to your cabinetry needs.
  2. You can save money by installing them yourself.
  3. Stock cabinetry is the quickest solution if time is a factor.

The disadvantages of Stock Cabinetry:

  1. Finish & color selections are limited.
  2. There are standard height dimensions for base, wall, vanity and tall cabinets. Stock cabinets cannot be modified.
  3. Generally stock cabinets will last 5 – 10 years.

Standard Width: Start at 9″ with 3″ increments to 48″

Standard Depth: 12″ for wall cabinets, 24″ for oven, base, and utility cabinets.

More information about Wellborn Cabinets

Semi-Custom Cabinets

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Semi-Custom Cabinets by Dura Supreme

Semi-custom cabinets are basically stock cabinets with extra detailing options. The basic cabinet sizes still apply, but consumers have the option to change certain dimensions, like resizing the cabinet drawers and door fronts, or increasing/decreasing the cabinet depth. The advantages of semi-custom cabinets is that you get the feeling you have some individual input into the design (however limited) without the cost of full-on custom cabinets. Sometimes that’s all you need to get great cabinets without the expense of a custom job. Semi-custom truly is the best of both worlds. Delivery time is typically 3 to 8 weeks from the time of your order.

We recommend using Semi-Custom cabinets if:

  1. Semi-custom cabinets offer a great balance between stock & custom cabinetry.  A budget friendly choice for a simple upgrade to your home.  
  2. Incorporate stock options with modifications and customization to feel as if you are involved in the design phase.
  3. Quick lead times can make the process move along faster.

The disadvantages of Semi- Cabinets:

  1. Hardware: better quality hinges and slides are available as an upgrade only.
  2. Construction:  Although made to the client’s size requirements, semi-custom cabinets are predetermined sizes and often fillers are used to fill areas which can limit your storage options.
  3. Semi cabinetry typically will last in the home / office 10 – 20 years.

Standard Width: Start at 9″ with 1″ increments to 48″

Standard Depth: Can be reduced or increased according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

More information about Dura Supreme Cabinets

Custom Cabinets

Custom Cabinets by Walker Woodworking

Custom cabinets are built to your specifications, so they can be pretty much anything you want! When designing custom cabinets, we start with your floorplan and window and door locations. We then determine what your appliance preferences are and then we custom design your cabinets around that incorporating all your accessory and storage ideas.   Because of this, custom cabinets are expensive, labor-intensive, and usually take a few weeks or months to complete. Custom cabinets are built by skilled carpenters, and manufactured on a build-to-order basis.

We recommend using Custom cabinets if:

  1. You are building a new home or if your floor plan is more complex and requires customization by not using standard sizes.  Custom cabinets are built to fit.
  2. Custom cabinets allow the consumer complete freedom in the design, style  and construction of the cabinetry. You don’t have to settle for average, you can add all the bells and whistles!
  3. Custom cabinetry is built to last a lifetime.

The disadvantages of Custom Cabinets:

  1. Timing: generally custom cabinets take the longest.  The design and construction phase are more detailed.  All work is done by skilled craftsman, therefore the production takes longer.
  2. Huge cost difference: No doubt custom is the most expensive of the three, but the value received will be well worth it!
  3. I wish I could come with another negative but I can’t. If you plan on living in your home for a long time and quality is very important, then custom is for you!

Standard Width: Customizable

Standard Depth: Customizable

The Biggest Difference is PRICE

As you may have guessed, the more options you have with customization, the higher the overall price will be. Another advantage to having more custom options is that you are usually able to get a lot more storage gadgets such as spice pullouts and drawer organizers. Rev-A-Shelf has an endless supply of items that can be added into custom cabinets and semi-custom cabinets. The ability to build custom hoods can also add a unique complement to your overall design. Some Kitchen and bath dealers (like us)  have the ability to provide semi-custom cabinets while being able to offer custom built pieces such as a hood or hutch as enhancements to your order of kitchen cabinets.

The possibilities are endless, you just need a creative designer to make it happen. Afterall, your kitchen is the heart of the home, where you and your family spend lots of time, and you’ll want it to be functional, durable, and beautiful!

Call us today and see how we can design a great kitchen at the price-point that is right for you. 

What kind of cabinets do you have in your kitchen? Share your experiences and recommendations! Was this information helpful? Share your comments.

 

Custom laundry room

WSJ Laundry-Closet

The story behind our 5 minutes of fame with the Wall Street Journal.

The famous laundry-closet

We were pleasantly surprised recently when The Wall Street Journal contacted Walker Woodworking and spoke to Travis Walker about a particular laundry room.  The laundry-closet is one of many featured rooms on the Walker Woodworking profile site at Houzz.com and is how the Wall Street Journal found Walker Woodworking.

This particular laundry room closet combination has had over 454,787 impressions and over 5,193 adds to idea-books on Houzz in just the last year. Houzz is a website and online community about architecture, interior design and decorating, landscape design and home improvements.

With permission of the homeowner, we gave the WSJ the homeowner’s information and she was contacted for an interview. Shortly after being contacted, a photo shoot was scheduled at the home.

WSJ photographer getting photos of laundry-closet.

WSJ photographer getting photos of laundry-closet.

It’s not every day you can say your home was photographed and videoed by The Wall Street Journal, but that is exactly what happened to Mrs. Ellie Cartner.  At Walker Woodworking we are equally excited to say our cabinets have been featured in The Wall Street Journal.

We want to thank Mrs. Cartner and her family for allowing us and the WSJ into her home.

Click here to view our Houzz profile.

Click here to see the article from The Wall Street Journal – be sure to click the photo to see the video.

We also have this home featured on our website. Click here to see the photo gallery.

 

 

Today’s Laundry Rooms

Laundry rooms today are a HUGE deal to homeowners.  They are becoming the central work station for all members of the household.  

Design and function are important in the beginnings stages of new construction or a remodel.  With the many functions you can have in a laundry room, taking advantage of space is a MUST. Organized clean up can save you time.

Today the options are endless on the items that can be built into a custom laundry room:

  •    Docking drawers for technology devices, phones, tablets, etc.
  •    Desk area with mail sorters and dividers for family members.
  •    Built in message center with chalkboards or bulletin boards.
  •    Cabinetry positioned at a comfortable folding height.
  •    Built in storage bins for laundry sorters.
  •    Hanging rods for dedicates to dry, as well as pull out drying drawers with screens for sweaters and such.
  •    Pet centers are also being incorporated into the laundry rooms, with storage bins for food, beds, and feeding areas.
  •    Personal lockers for each family member to store book bags, coats & shoes.
  •    Craft supply storage, rods for wrapping paper & ribbon.

The possibilities are endless, especially with custom cabinetry. Good design and planning should start prior to construction to make the most out of your space, this will also save you time and money.

Wash, dry & repeat!  Laundry is a never ending thing in any house, so why not enjoy the command center of your home, with useful amenities, and beautiful cabinetry!

Thanks for taking time to read about our 5 minutes of fame, it was certainly an honor for us at Walker Woodworking. Jan Blanton – Walker Woodworking

Sam & Kim Kitchen Remodel

Sam & Kim’s Kitchen Remodel

In 2015, Sam and Kim decided to move back to Sam’s former home and update the kitchen. Enlisting the help of Walker Woodworking and Tony Brooks of Beam Edwards & Brooks, this kitchen remodel became an amazing transformation from an enclosed kitchen to an open floor plan. Follow this link to see the complete before & after photo gallery.

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Walker Woodworking Before & After

Returning Home

Sam’s family moved into this house in 1962 as its first owners. Over the years the home was remodeled several times. Multiple additions included adding a master bedroom, enclosing the carport to build a playroom, and adding a sunroom. Sam along with his brother Al and his sister Andrea grew up there. Many children through the years considered it their home while Sam’s mom ran a daycare until the mid 80’s.

Growing up in the home the formal living room was used only on special occasions or to take family photo. The 7 grandchildren considered this their second home and have fond memories of playing and being loved there.

After Sam’s mother’s death, his father continued to live in the house and host weekly Sunday Dinner for the family. After his dad’s death the house was vacant except for grandchildren sometimes living there.

Planning & Design:

In working with Tony Brooks, a plan was formed to open up the formal living room and convert to an open floor plan. The playroom was converted to a den for use during construction.

After a desire for the open floor plan was determined they met at Walker Woodworking with kitchen and bath designer, Brandon Fitzmorris, to complete the kitchen design. Brandon was able to plan out the space for optimized cooking and storage. Since this will be their forever home, they wanted to make the space as functional as possible. One of the design challenges was to achieve seating at the peninsula while still maintaining the feel of an open floor plan. We were able to accomplish this through team work with the general contractor by incorporating a pass through to the living room.

The process:

Demo – Demolition started and cabinets came out. Site prep was done by adding a protective floor covering to prevent damage and a dust barrier to the existing living space.

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Before demo started

 

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This double door was made into a single pocket door to add wall space for the kitchen area.

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Walls that needed new sheet-rock & finish work after cabinets were removed.

Construction – A wall was removed and carpet from the living room came out. Hardwood was added to the kitchen and den and matched up to the existing hardwood in the living room, a treasure hidden beneath the carpet. The end result was seamless, there is nothing left of the previous wall separating the formal living room from the kitchen.

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Kitchen wall and living room after the wall was removed and the header added.

Plumbing & Electrical – The next part of the process was to update plumbing & electrical. By using our preplanned CAD drawings, the subcontractors were able to quickly and efficiently make the necessary changes to the updated kitchen layout.

 

Sheetrock & Primary Painting – Sheetrock repair and primary painting is definitely an expectation with an extensive remodel like this one.  The wall that needed to be removed was a load bearing wall. We had to build a header across the room and sheetrock that area.

 

Cabinet Install – Usually a 2 day process for a kitchen similar to this one. Our trucks show up full of cabinets, already assembled including the decorative hardware. One of the things that we do differently than most companies is to apply the toe kicks after the floors are finished. In most cases this eliminates the need for shoe-moulding.  This will give the cabinets more of a finished furniture style.

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Walker Woodworking – Cabinetry Install

Counter-tops – Typically counter-tops are ready for the template after the cabinets are installed. Once the template has been done, it will typically take 1 to 2 weeks before the tops are ready to install. Each fabricator is different. Granite can be installed in a kitchen like this usually in half a day.

 

Appliances – In most situations appliances will go in after the counter-tops.  Every project is unique and having professionals that realize the importance of when certain things should happen is important for a smooth remodel. This will also help to ensure that cabinets, flooring and counter-tops are not damaged  during the process.

 

The Finishing Touches – The last few things that need to be done include the tile back splash, final coat of paint, and the final sanding & finishing of the floors.

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Be sure you see all of the before & after photo’s in our Before & After Photo Gallery.

“Both Tony and the team at Walker Woodworking  held our hand through the process, which at some times was emotional because of the changes being made to the family home. The end result was more than we could have ever dreamed possible.The remodel was completed in time for us to continue family traditions of Thanksgiving & Christmas in the home.” ~ Kim Davis

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The open space was once a wall that extended the entire length of the room.

Kitchen-remodel-after-with-family-in-kitchen

These guys can still see whats going on the living room.

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This home will be enjoyed for many years & future generations to come.

We would like to thank Sam & Kim for allowing us to share their story. Follow this link to see the complete before & after photo gallery.

Newgrass Brewery & Walker Woodworking

Newgrass Brewing Company opened their doors in August of 2015. We were very proud to be apart of the project. Here is a timeline of our part of the project. We have updated this post with pictures from recent visits. We hope you will enjoy reading.

Spring of 2015 ~ The History.

We are so excited to be involved in this complete renovation in historic uptown Shelby, NC.  The renovation of the historic 1909 structure will preserve Shelby’s heritage for years to come.  The interior of the building will showcase heart pine reclaimed from Dover Textiles Mill.

Dover Wood 4

Photo by Walker Woodworking Staff – All Rights Reserved.

Dover Mill was the workplace of many people in Shelby, NC including the grandmother, and father of Travis Walker. There is a piece of history in every board from the mill, as there will be new history made at the Newrgass Brewing Co. The reclaimed wood from the floors of Dover Mill have been milled into the NEW floors and walls at the Newgrass Brewing Co. in Shelby, NC.

 

Dover Wood 3

Photo by Walker Woodworking Staff – All Rights Reserved.

(The original piece of wood was 3 1/2 in thick and 8 1/2 in wide. Each Dover piece now makes 5 pieces for the floors/walls at Newgrass.)

The ground floor will house the brewing area, highlighted behind glass walls.  The brewery will feature a stage area where local and regional artists will be able to perform. The stage floor and walls are made from reclaimed wood. In addition to the main floor the brewery will have a mezzanine level for additional seating, and the third level will host private parties and events. The building has an elevator (original to the Hudson’s store) which is also flanked by the reclaimed wood.

 

 

 

 

While machining the reclaimed lumber from Dover Mill, our metal detector found a 36 caliber musket ball from around the early 1800’s. It’s before they started putting tin in with the lead.  This created excitement around here at Walker Woodworking, and at Newgrass so much so that talk of naming a brew after the musket ball may seen on the future tap list.

Musket Ball

Photo by Walker Woodworking Staff – All Rights Reserved.

It has certainly been rewarding and exciting here at Walker Woodworking, to see all of this come together and help in the preserving process of this building.  The historic character of the Newgrass brewery as well as the transplanted history of the Dover Mill reclaimed wood will definitely be worth a visit in uptown Shelby, NC.

Newgrass is expecting to OPEN for business in August 2015,  just in time for the American Legion World Series Events including the 7th Inning Stretch.

Follow both Newgrass Brewery and Walker Woodworking on Facebook to stay updated with news and events.

Visit the Newgrass Brewery website to see what they are serving.

 

The Opening ~ August 2015

The final 3 things Newgrass needed before opening up was Flight Paddles and some Chalk Boards. As things were winding down for construction crews, employees at Newgrass were getting ready for an unannounced opening day, the last week was spent for them moving-in and for us – getting the flight paddles finished up and making and hanging the chalk boards. Since this is not something we do everyday, it was certainly a change of pace, and we enjoyed the excitement of seeing this local business open their doors with much success!

 

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Flight Paddles we made and branded. These are used to serve four 4oz samples of beer.

 

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Opening Day! What a great turnout for an opening that was not even announced.

 

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Chalk board – shaped like a guitar pick. What a neat idea, this is for the stage area.

 

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Darin Aldridge & Friends ~ Blue Grass Music

 

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We also made the huge Chalk Board on the back wall. This pictures was made 2 weeks after the opening.

We wish the best to Newgrass Brewing Co. for much success for many years to come in Uptown Shelby, thank you for allowing Walker Woodworking to be apart of your project!

Farm House Renovation

A Farm House Renovation Project

A farm house of almost 200 years has been renovated with a new look and new technology; however, the character of the home remains unharmed.

A young couple took on a three-year project to completely renovate an old farmhouse, bringing new life to the aging piece of history.  Walker Woodworking was excited to be a part of their renovation.  The couple focused on handmade American products when selecting details for their home, and the cabinetry was no different.

Although most of the original house remained intact, Jason & Erin Metcalf had dreams of adding a kitchen to their 1840 circa farm house.  The original home did not come equipped with a kitchen.

Throughout the years, different owners had made some upgrades to the home that included adding a small kitchen. The first step of the renovation the Metcalf’s made was to remove the part of the house that had been added on. They then began construction for their own detailed additions while leaving the original part of the home intact.

As with any remodel, the design phase can be most difficult due to the fact that you are working  around existing beams and structures that must stay intact. The original structure of the home had no nails or screws but had been constructed using wooden peg joints, the Metcalf’s wanted those beams to be exposed where possible. The kitchen area was greatly affected by the exposed beams since they were load bearing and would be right in the middle of the kitchen.Metcalf beam

The Walker Woodworking team took on the design challenge while working closely with the Metcalf’s to achieve their desire to have a state of the art kitchen that would display beauty, originality and function in their updated farm house. Other challenges existed in the actual construction  and installation of the cabinetry due to uneven walls,  and flooring, The beams located in the kitchen were also out of square which made it difficult to place cabinetry right next to them.

After the architectural portion of the project was completed, the cabinetry, appliances and other finishing touches were integrated into the almost 200 year-old home to achieve a modernized kitchen.IMG_4607

The overall cabinet designs feature a classic white color with streamlined door styles. The blending of clean lines, square posts, and a simple square hood design all add to the clean farmhouse look.  Mullioned antique glass doors to display dishes, and open shelves were a couple of customized features in this kitchen. Other design elements that were added help transition the old with new, including:  Quartzite counter-tops, slate and glass tile, a farm sink, and metallic casting pendant lamps.IMG_4579

Visit the Farm House Portfolio to see more pictures from this project.

For more pictures and information on the overall project you may visit the Metcalf’s personal blog page.

Do you have a kitchen that needs updating or a unique project such as remodeling on old farm house? Let Walker Woodworking help you make that dream a reality! Contact us today, our estimates are always free.

 

Why do quality products matter?

Why do quality products matter?

We recently showed our product at the Fall Kitchen and Bath show in Charlotte, as a result we have been estimating a lot of new jobs.  As we meet our new potential customers we not only try to ‘show off’ our work but also provide some consumer education about what our cabinets are made of.  As you can imagine this can get very detailed and for those who are not construction minded, it is easy to get cluttered by details that you may not be accustomed to taking about every day.

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Sagging Shelves – Do your research before purchasing.

What amazes me the most is how many people don’t really bother to take this information seriously, or do their homework when shopping for cabinetry.  When you are building a new home or remodeling, the choices you make and the money you invest in your cabinets, counter-tops, and appliances are decisions you will have to live with for a long time.  Thus my point, exterior beauty should match interior integrity. As you can see in the photo, the shelves are sagging due to poor quality of material.

When a couple is building their first house, spending and extra 10% to 15% for their cabinets is just not worth it to them.  As I try to determine the reason for this I think that it comes down to a lack of experience.  Kitchen are so important in our everyday loves; they are the hub of the home.  However, until you have had a kitchen that wasn’t functional or cabinets that were not sturdy or user friendly you probably have never taken the time to really consider how much the cabinets and appliances in your kitchen impact your life.

Of course I could use this post to tell you why we have the best product and what makes our product the very best money can buy.  I could also tell you haw important it is to have a kitchen designer to help you plan your space and design your kitchen but I would be ‘Tooting my own horn’. What I will do , is give you some resources and let you do your own ‘fact checking’ and you can decide for yourself if you would spend 10% to 15% to get a quality cabinet versus one that may look like quality on the outside but is actually like the picture illustrates on the inside (see above).

What materials are used in the construction of the cabinets you plan to Purchase?

What type of material is used to make the cabinets?  It’s important to know if your cabinets are made of plywood, Import plywood or particle board.  In the example used in the pictures above, even something as simple as shelves matter.  3/4″ domestic plywood is the very best and most expensive material you can use for cabinet construction.  Here are some sources that can elaborate, as you can note form my illustrations there are definite differences!

Domestic plywood is much less likely to expand or shrink based on moisture in the environment, and the alternating construction creates a board that is much stronger and less prone to shrinkage.  Also the glues used in the making of domestic plywood, is a formaldehyde  free soy based product, which is green and FSC-certified.

Import Chinese plywood is not regulated in any way.  Starting with the forestry practices and the chemicals they use in their glues, to the treatment of the labor there is no real regulation.  Their 5 ply panel is weak and falls apart in a few years or upon getting wet.  Formaldehyde weakens any glue and they use plenty of these dangerous toxins when manufacturing their plywood.  For our company it is not solely a matter of cost but ethics that has eliminated this product as an option for us. 

What is particle board?  Particle board is a manufactured wood product.  It is built from compressed shredded wood scraps and recycled wood, held together with a type of resin.  It is cheaper and denser than plywood, but is not very strong or resistant to moisture.  It also does not take paint or stain well.  To the untrained eye, cabinet components made from veneered particle board may look like a fine hardwood piece, but fall short of that standard.

All cabinet companies use different materials from different sources.  Just ask your supplier and you should be able to get the information from them, we use 3/4″ plywood supplied by Columbia Forest from Marion, NC  Please contact Walker Woodworking for more information.

Consumers of course will have different opinions about what they prefer, just like buying a car.  We realize information available to consumers is limited and we want to be able to provide you with the most up to date information so you can make good decisions about the cabinetry you plan to purchase.  We welcome any feedback.  Did you like this post?  As a consumer what are you interested in?

Look for the next part in our series; You get what you pay for!  We will focus on How Cabinets are Built.  We also have lots of information and design ideas on our website.

Image Information: Picture 1 was taken at a home that we installed in 2002.  Picture 2 was taken at a home that cabinets were installed in 2009 by one of our competitors.  Please contact Stacey Walker for more detailed information.

Contributors Brandon Fitzmorris & Travis Walker

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