Designing, building and installing
      custom cabinetry for over 60 years



Serving New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania

 

   

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the difference between custom cabinetry and pre-manufactured cabinetry?
  2. Isn't custom cabinetry much more expensive?
  3. What information should I gather before meeting with a cabinetmaker?
  4. Why is it important to use real wood?
  5. What skills does a cabinetmaker have?
  6. What are "fits" and why are they important?

What is the difference between custom cabinetry and pre-manufactured cabinetry?

Home centers offer mass-produced cabinets in limited sizes, forcing the designer to try and fit them into the space using filler strips to complete the layout. Many times the only part of the cabinetry that is real wood are the cabinet doors — with vinyl-covered particle board everywhere else. The key difference to remember is that "custom cabinetry" frees your design choices from standardized limitations, offering much more flexibility in design. (Read more about the types of materials we use in Our Standards.)

The biggest difference, though, is that with a cabinetmaker you get three experts in one: a designer (one who is experienced with solving space and architectural problems); a skilled craftsman; and an experienced and meticulous installer. A cabinetmaker will visit your home and discuss your needs and the numerous options you have; the final product will be of high-quality and extremely durable; and because the same person has been on the project from start to finish, the cabinetry will be installed correctly and fit perfectly in the space. (For more information see our section on Why Custom?)

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Isn't custom cabinetry much more expensive?

Not necessarily. When all the separate aspects of pre-fab cabinetry are added up (meeting with the sales rep, verifying the order, supervising the delivery and installation, coordinating other sub-contractors, the cost of additional contractors, and paying for optional items needed to complete the job), the total cost is often close to what a custom cabinetmaker would charge — without the quality and durability you would have gotten from custom work. The client (whose time is also valuable) ends up spending a lot more time managing their project, incurring costs that would have been included in a custom cabinetry proposal. Koran's Custom Cabinetry is a licensed contractor.

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What information should I gather before meeting with a cabinetmaker?

It is always advisable to do your homework ahead of time. Put together a folder of ideas, pictures, pages from magazines, "dreams" for some day, sketches or a specific design by an architect or designer. Being prepared saves you and the cabinetmaker time and kicks the creative process into gear.

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Why is it important to use real wood?

In a word — durability. There is a depth and beauty that only real wood displays when lacquer hits it. As we say, "the finish just 'pops' and comes alive." Your real wood cabinets will retain this "life" for years and stand up to the punishment of everyday use. And in areas that are subjected to moisture, such as kitchens and baths, particle board will literally crumble if it gets wet — and can be a major source of mold in your home!

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What skills does a cabinetmaker have?

A respect for "hands-on" techniques that express creativity is at the heart of cabinetmaking. Cabinetmakers share that respect with people who also appreciate utility and beauty in their personal environment.

The background of a good cabinetmaker includes a thorough knowledge of the materials used in cabinet construction and home construction in general. Over time a good cabinetmaker not only perfects his woodworking skills but develops good communication skills and is able to understand his client's needs, and can articulate and execute solutions. Being able to understand the demands of the cabinetry business in today's economy and to offer affordable, realistic answers to design problems is what a client should expect from their cabinetmaker.

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What are "fits" and why are they important?

"Fits" is the word used to describe the tolerance allowed between cabinet and cabinet, or between the cabinet and a wall, ceiling or floor. Ideally, they should be as tight as they can possibly be to make an installation look seamless. The tighter the fit the better the installation; tight fits simply mean the installer used as much care and skill as he realistically can.

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