Installing a new kitchen or bathroom, or getting furniture custom built is a significant expense. However, a well-designed and constructed kitchen, bathroom or piece of furniture adds value to your property and will provide you with years of pleasurable use. It is therefore important that the design is suited to your needs. Equally you want to be sure that you are receiving value for money.
Unfortunately, in Western Australia cabinet making, as with many other building trades, is not regulated and individuals can easily set themselves up as cabinet makers and all too often the customer suffers the consequence of poor workmanship. In addition, the end products can look very similar leading consumers to believe that price is the only significant variable when choosing between cabinet makers. However significant variation in construction methods and components exist and of course these factors can impact greatly on the quality of the end product.
It is always wise to get two to three quotes for your project, but bear in mind that reputable cabinet makers quoting the same work, to the same specifications will generally be within plus or minus 5% on their quotes. If a quote is significantly lower than others it will pay to exercise caution and find out if the cabinet maker is quoting to the same specifications. Some of the more ‘unscrupulous’ cabinet makers will deliberately omit items in their quote and once you have signed a contract will add these as extras or variations.
Similarly, some consumers see ‘flat packs’ as a good alternative to custom built cabinetry. But as with custom built there are differences in quality and functionality between products and while flat packs provide a useful option in some circumstances, they do have their limitations (see below for more about this). The proof of the ‘differences’ mentioned above is reflected in the large number people who contact the Cabinet Makers Association because they are experiencing problems with their cabinet maker.