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21k for kitchen cabinets (not including installation) reasonable?

Scott S
2 months ago

We have been working with a designer who has been really patient and worked with us to get a really good design. I want to get advice on what's a reasonable price for KraftMade Vantage kitchen cabinets excluding install?


We've been quoted ~21k for the cabinets excluding install, which are mostly maple, except the island which is evercore+white paint. The kitchen layout has an L of cabinets that is 13' and 16' with only lower cabinets except for one overhead cabinet of 36" and a refrigerator cabinet and wall over cabinet. There's an island about 6' long. There's also a lower cabinet run on another wall of 10' (that is only 12" deep).


Do you think that the price is reasonable? Should we negotiate? How much wiggle room? We have two pulls and one appliance pop-up drawer. I'm not sure how much those exotic options cost, as nothing about pricing is transparent.


I also don't have a separate price for the design. What would be a reasonable price for the design, if we wanted to buy it from her and get it priced somewhere else? We have probably been a bit on the more time consuming side, working many revisions.


For what its worth, we are in upstate NY (about 3hrs from NYC).


Thank you!

Comments (74)

  • darbuka
    2 months ago

    This plan is awful. wall ovens and fridge in walkway into kitchen. Corner sink…with drawer stack in between it and the dishwasher. Awkward, and inconvenient. Island is a barrier to get from one side to the other. More upper cabinetry, would allow for more storage, and to put the microwave on a shelf….like this:

    You need a new plan! If that’s the best your KD can come up with, then you need a new KD.

    To answer your question…$21k is low…even for 3 hrs north of NYC. I’m on LI, but my brother lives in Troy, so I’m familiar with what 3 hours north means.

    Scott S thanked darbuka
  • M Miller
    2 months ago

    Has the OP said where they are? Costs are of course regional, but in my area, $21k is extraordinarily low for all that cabinetry, island, wall oven and refrigerator housing. It would be double in my area.

    The wall ovens and fridge placement is the most egregious of your plan IMO. But the layout is overall poor, and you have plenty of space for a good layout.

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  • Tish
    2 months ago

    Way too cheap and way too terrible to pull the trigger on that. You need a much better designer to start with. Not the beginner, with all the beginner mistakes.

  • darbuka
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @M Miller, the OP gave a general location as, ”Upstate NY. 3 hours from NYC.” Which could mean the Capital District (Albany-Schenectady-Troy), Saratoga, which are north of NYC, or perhaps somewhere in Western NY.

  • bry911
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    The OP noted that the cabinets were Kraftmaid Vantage. If posters are going to take issue with the quality of cabinets they really need specific feedback on the quality of Kraftmaid Vantage and not just generalizations about the overall quality of inexpensive cabinets.

    I don't have any problem with the finish or materials in Kraftmaid cabinets and those are where the failures are most likely to occur. I mean they are not a premium brand but it is certainly a decent quality brand for the money.

  • Travestine
    2 months ago

    Post your measured layout, and you will get some suggestions. Move on from this designer and that design.

  • Scott S
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thank you for all the comments.


    As suggested, I’m posting some pictures of our current kitchen.


    I also want to provide some explanation for certain design points that have been highlighted.


    We decided on the corner sink because it would put the two dishwashers right next to the sink. We want two dishwashers because they will be useful for having company over. The sink will be 33”x22”.


    Regarding the refrigerator and oven, Seems like that corner was the best place for the refrigerator. Since we already had that wall that projects out beyond the countertop due to a staircase behind it, we figured we might as well pull the oven and refrigerator depth out so we can put a full-size refrigerator there rather than a smaller counter depth which has less storage space and costs more.


    We do have a pretty big pantry at the entry of the kitchen that is not shown the design.


    I do like the suggestion to increase the island depth and get rid of the back wall of 12” cabinets.


    Regarding having a drawer between the sink and the dishwasher, I think that’s a standard recommendation, so you don’t trip over the dishwasher right behind you.


    Regarding aisle width, I recall it’s 43” at narrowest, but I’ll double check.







  • PRO
    DeWayne
    2 months ago

    You would be better off with a peninsula out from the window area, if you want seating in the room. Otherwise, you don't have room for that.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago

    If you TRULY want help with this?

    You grab your tape measure, draw every wall and window in with every single foot and inch.

    You show what is behind that fridge wall such as a dining room. Kitchens, especially OLD kitchens often mean you don't get every wish.....

    "We decided on the corner sink because it would put the two dishwashers right next to the sink. We want two dishwashers because they will be useful for having company over. The sink will be 33”x22”."

    It wont be convenient, it will be the opposite. You want to go from a dated by a lot kitchen to a two dw set up meant for one with fewer constraints.

    That's just the beginning......: )

    Do some homework , scan , upload as a jpeg, and return.


  • Kendrah
    2 months ago

    Your quote is on the extremely low end for that much cabinetry. It is kind of you to consider the time the sales person spent with you, however, it is part of sales and marketing. They make their money by spending time with you in hopes that you will purchase their cabinets.


    I had what looks to be a similar sized kitchen with two doorways that impeded the design. I talked to five designers who all wanted an island. I didn't know the rules about aisles or anything else. I just knew it felt too cramped. Finally, the sixth person I met with looked at the space and said, "Well, you know you can't fit an island in here, right?" That is the person I went with.


    There were multiple times she could have sold me more cabinets but didn't. She said, "Our business has been around for 60 years, we aren't going anywhere, if in a year or two you want cabinets on that wall, we'll do them for you."


    Here's a plan:


    1. Decide how much money you have to spend on the whole remodel.


    2. Post your room measurements including doors and windows along with the basics you are hoping for like double ovens, etc.


    3. Get a lot of feedback from the incredibly skilled people here and come up with a simple sketch based on that feedback.


    4. Take that sketch to three or more places and get cabinet estimates based on that plan. Start comparing apples to apples. Even if shops want to make changes that you like, tell them to give you two quotes, one based on your drawing and one based on their change ideas so you can keep comparing apples to apples.


    5. Select someone to work with. You'll have learned a lot and will have a functional, great kitchen.


    (I too wonder "What were they thinking!?" when I look at these drawings. But everyone has already pointed out below what is going through my mind.)

  • Kendrah
    2 months ago

    A sink on the long wall with a dishwasher on either side is the more common and most sensible way to add two dishwashers. That the cabinet person didn't point this out is a red flag.



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    Scott S thanked Kendrah
  • Scott S
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Here’s a copy of the overhead layout showing aisle dimensions.


  • clt3
    2 months ago

    You really don’t have room for an island. Years ago when we did our first kichen remodel we were told by the designer that 14’ is the minimum width to add an island. You don’t even have 12’!

  • millworkman
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    " The general price of a Kraftmaid Vantage Cabinet is $100 to $200 per linear square foot1. "

    " Never trust a quote that mixes linear and square feet. "

    About one of the most accurate statements Dewayne's made. I work as an estimator all day and have no idea what in the hell a linear square foot would be, lol.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago

    LOL . Good catch, I didn't catch the square word, only the linear: )

  • Kendrah
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    What is on the right side of the kitchen that is 101"? Is that a doorway to another room or windows? If the island were removed and normal depth cabinets replaced the 12" cabinets, would they block something in that 101" opening? Can you include a pic of that wall?


    Do you currently use your table in the kitchen? Do you want to having any seating in here?

    Scott S thanked Kendrah
  • Scott S
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    That 101" opening is to the dining room. We currently only eat in the dining room and don't use the table in the kitchen.

  • Kate Cowers
    2 months ago

    millworkan nd Dewayne: so much for Googling "Kraft Maid Vantage cabinets"! That quote about the linear square foot came right from the web.

    Never believe anything you read on the internet, I guess!!

  • Kendrah
    2 months ago

    Can you show a picture of the dining room? It seems like the kitchen opens right into it yes?

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    You have eleven feet. You do not have room for island OR the 12 inch depth cabinetry.

    Your clearances are not comfortable anywhere

    132"

    minus sink wall24

    minus 48 to island

    minus 24 " island

    minus 36 inch clearance

    minus 12 inch dept cabs

    = NEGATIVE 12"



  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
    2 months ago

    The quote about "linear square feet" was from a site that purports to help you estimate the costs of everything, from health and beauty aids, to automobile prices, to travel, food, business, pets, education and of course, home items. The language is not standard American English. For example, it leaves out most articles (a, the, an) leading me to think it's out of Asia or Eastern Europe. I wouldn't take anything they say with any authority.

    It did NOT come from the kitchen designer quote that the OP received.

    Just sayin.....

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Gee

    What's this or I'm going blind or the calculator on my phone croaked

    Feet: 11.41 sue me

    24" + 101 " 12"

    or count the boxes

    There is no room for a reasonably decent island unless you ditch the 12" dept cabinetry. The other Left side of the kitchen doesn't count for island placement., It is in traffic.

    a thirty six inch clearance is tight , and nearly and unpleasant with two people using a kitchen.



    Have to have an island?

    24, 42 clearance, 36 island, 36. clearance = 138 inches.

    Which does not account for island or sink wall counter overhangs so it's really 141"


    NO 12" cabinetry

  • Kendrah
    2 months ago

    @Jan - I'm curious how you would layout the kitchen without changing the window placement if that is not in the budget?


    @ScottS - Tape off your current kitchen floor with the island measurements and position of your design. Live with it for a week. I know your current fridge is in the way, but still, you'll get a feel for things.


  • RNmomof2 zone 5
    2 months ago

    I'm curious where all the dishes are being stored that are going in the two DW? I sure wouldn't want to bend over or walk a distance to put them away.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @Jan - I'm curious how you would layout the kitchen without changing the window placement if that is not in the budget?

    I'd find a WAY to change the window placement. Wrong spots and too much for the kitchen size.

    YOU HAVE TO PICK a poison. You either want storage or you want an island. You can't have both reasonably or attractively, or comfortably.

    Either one needs a window change, it's why you HAVE the kitchen you have, with a table in the kitchen that you do not use to dine.

    With an island? Ice. water, fire....



    Or...........you want a lot of pantry and whatever.And you forget about an island.

    No matter.........your nemesis ? Windows



    Even with that, you have the kitchen you have. You will survive on a single dishwasher. A hundred million in this country, manage on one oven, and a 30 inch lovely range. In any case? Whether you pop for a 42 fridge or 36? That's a choice, but counter depth will certainly look better.

    All said, your plan from the kd was not a kindness though her intent may have been that, but even that seems.....doubtful.

  • daniildudenko
    2 months ago

    Assessing the reasonableness of cabinetry pricing involves material quality, craftsmanship, and custom features like appliance pop-up drawers. Maple and painted evercore are premium materials, and specialized hardware can add to the cost. It's wise to compare quotes. Negotiation often has a 5-10% flexibility range.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Assess the validity of the design, before you assess the price of the cabinetry : )

    The real "negotiation", is the internal battle of function, style, budget. Wishes and wants, vs, must haves, and it is that with ALL kitchens. There is always some compromise - to include price, quality , delivery . Pick two.

  • Kendrah
    2 months ago

    So if the client says I don't have the budget to move a window, or it will throw off the look of the outside of the house, the answer is then you can't renovate your kitchen? No way to put sink under right window with two dishwashers and have a decent layout?

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    There's a point when you spend money to settle, or you SAVE more money: ) and get what you want, and looks good.

    Two dishwashers should not be the deal breaker, unless you say you keep Kosher.

    Nobody I know ever died washing pots and pans or some fragile stemware : )

  • bry911
    2 months ago

    I'd find a WAY to change the window placement. Wrong spots and too much for the kitchen size.


    So, you turn down clients with reasonable constraints that make the design somewhat challenging? I suspect I could design great kitchens too if I could just build every house around the kitchen cabinet layout... that seems a bit like cheating.

    I often struggle with advice on this site because people seem to believe that spaces are more flexible than the common ideas of "optimal design." Inflexible design is fatally flawed especially when ergonomics are involved. Ergonomics is literally the science of designing for 68% of the population. For anyone more than one standard deviation away from standard height, weight, habits, etc. it is useless.

    ----

    In this particular design the OP essentially has no upper cabinets and so tighter walkways are going to feel more open. I would be much more comfortable with the OP cheating the walkways a bit than I would if they have tall cabinets. There may some design principles against 12" cabinets, but I had 12" cabinets used as a buffet and that is one of the things that I miss most in our current kitchen. The standard depth of upper cabinets is 12", I am not aware of any reasoning for eliminating 12" deep cabinets in every kitchen. I am sure there is a valid reason for it, but I question its indiscriminate application.

  • PRO
    The Kitchen Place
    2 months ago

    Looks like a box store design for sure! They get spiffs per cabinet sold so they often cram as many cabinets into a design as possible. Get a real designer! And BTW...that is a good price for that many cabinets. Looks like KraftMaid codes.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Bry,

    I did not say eliminate 12 inch cabinets in every kitchen. I said PICK between really adequate storage, and/or an island in this particular kitchen. Pick between you what you most might love for your kitchen or the gee, it could have been a better kitchen.

    There's 16 foot wall and half of it is eaten with window.

    If you want to keep it all? You will struggle with both amount and placement.

    Have at it, or tell the op what he has for a plan is great., if you believe it to be great. Or look at how much space is wasted in the current kitchen via a table unused.

    Were I questioning pricing? I would not be paying for boxes to line a wall at that depth and the counter top on them, when the money could go to a window adjustment, and I get the island I so desperately want even if I wait for that island in a wood stain, or a different paint, or, or or,

  • bry911
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @ JAN MOYER - I did not say eliminate 12 inch cabinets in every kitchen.

    I don't remember saying otherwise.

    I noted that when you were asked, "I'm curious how you would layout the kitchen without changing the window placement if that is not in the budget?"

    You responded with, "I'd find a WAY to change the window placement. Wrong spots and too much for the kitchen size." The implication of your response is clear and I noted it above.

    I didn't address anything else in my comment to you... in fact, I noted it was not addressed specifically to you by saying, "I often struggle with advice on this site because people seem to believe...." I can't imagine why you believe that my concern about the common inflexibility of advice on this site was in any way addressed to you specifically.

    ETA: Just to be clear... I don't know if the 12" cabinets are great or terrible for the OP. In order to form that opinion I would need to understand how the OP intends to use them and how the OP wants to use their kitchen. I only noted that I would have done something similar to the OP on the walkways and 12" cabinets. I freely admit that I am assuming that 36" walkway isn't a major artery in the home and might question it if it were.

  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
    2 months ago

    Regarding windows in this kitchen--the one over the existing kitchen table will need to be replaced anyway, since it's too big height-wise to fit over the cabinetry. So it could make sense to re-situate the other window as well.

  • Kendrah
    2 months ago

    I had a row of 12" deep base cabinets in my kitchen that was too small for an island. The counter surface was really nice to have when I was baking and need space to place 6 mixing bowls. My cuisinart and blender fit nicely, as did some canned goods and 10" pie plates.


    But it was irritating because it was a random catchall of the items I had that could fit in the cabinet, which sometimes mean the smallest bowl in a set of bowls, or my smallest Dutch oven that was not stored with my other big Dutch oven. Having no rhyme or reason to put things there other than less than 12" meant I could remember where anything was.


  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    2 months ago

    "They make their money by spending time with you in hopes that you will purchase their cabinets."


    Hope is not something upon which one depends to run a successful business. You run a successful business by providing better value, not necessarily lower prices, to customers that you've qualified enough that you're not wasting time spending it with them.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @ Joe Corlett

    You bet....


    "Hope is not something upon which one depends to run a successful business. You run a successful business by providing better value, not necessarily lower prices, to customers that you've qualified enough that you're not wasting time spending it with them."

    I'd add...

    " Hope" is a dream with no plan. Or a very bad plan : )

    If it's a ten year kitchen divide total cost by the years. It's fifteen ? Same math. It's "forever"???? Wait and it do it to love, in any and all cases.

  • chispa
    2 months ago

    And don't forget the OP added this in one of his replies ...

    "We do have a pretty big pantry at the entry of the kitchen that is not shown the design."

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    "So, you turn down clients with reasonable constraints that make the design somewhat challenging? "

    No. I beat a brain and every cell in it to get them the very best of what is possible within a reasonable spend, which considers the whole house, how long they'll be there and that matters not what portion of a home or whether it is dirt up/brand new. It's the same in 400k to 4 million. I consider how they live, no matter the room. I often screw myself in the process , because VALUE , in all regards, in whatever the dollars appropriate is the goal. I'm not the "oh yes ! whatever you want, sell you whatever you point at" gal. Call a girlfriend for that. : ) or some other designer. There are plenty of us.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    : ) Too darn bad Sophie is gone......

    She'd have lit a match to that ( OP ) plan in less time than it took to type these words.

    Spell " re muddle"

  • bry911
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    LOL… Sophie was the foil and since Sophie’s departure the site has far too many foils.

    Fifteen people on this site now pretend they can rudely smash others for any ridiculous thing because they miss Sophie’s blunt honesty. Never realizing the difference between acerbic honesty and just being salty.

    If you need an example look at the comments on cabinet quality based only on price that completely ignored the fact that they were Kraftmaid Vantage… posters saw the price and couldn't be bothered to read further before posting something negative.

  • Scott S
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Thanks for all the input. Here’s a picture of the dining room, as requested by Kendrah.



  • Kendrah
    2 months ago

    Thanks Scott. I was reading your drawing that the door way in between your kitchen and living room was 100" or so wide! Clearly I am mistaken!


    Everyone has been pontificating about you moving windows in the kitchen. Was that in your budget or your vision for the space?

  • Kendrah
    2 months ago

    "Never realizing the difference between acerbic honesty and just being salty."


    Great quote. RIP Sophie.

  • Scott S
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    We are planning i to increase opening between dining room and kitchen, which is why there’s a difference between the drawing and kitchen.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @Scott S

    Since everyone is having a hissy in my suggestion to change windows, and since you are probably very disappointed in that ALL you asked was if the cabinet price was fair, and your plan was subsequently deemed poor:

    Please another look.



    You're opening a wall to a dining area......because you want light, a connection to the adjacent area. "OPEN"....but look at your elevations. You can literally see and FEEL the hemmed in feeling of not enough passage/clearance. Particularly bottom row, middle.

    Look hard at that island: You may have the storage all planned, but you aren't seeing the not really very pretty proportion. That size is better as something you buy, on wheels, with a stainless top! Not nailed to a floor.

    The 12" cabinet wall. Whatever you plan in it, you're bending, it can't be really nice drawer storage at that depth. Coupled WITH THE FACT that it dictates the bad proportion of the island.

    At a 36 inch depth? The BACK side can be 10 inch depth, touch latch or slide door storage. Giving you back 4 feet of the ten feet, or more depending a micro drawer.

    Give, get, adjust.....Is it realistic to expect a kitchen to go from a not great 1967 ...to two ovens, two dishwashers, and miles of tile?! Your microwave is on the counter! Consider a Breville counter top oven, ( amazing, Google it or an Air fryer) put the microwave drawer in a GOOD island, and use a range vs. a cook top..

    What's my point here?

    If you LOVED this designer and her plan, and we dashed the dream?

    Fix the glaring things you will not love when installed. Don't ask more of the space, than it will provide.

    It's a kitchen, not a steam bath, and despite what you see on the internet, you will look at the mile of tile in five years and declare UGGGH. What were we thinking? There's a ton of electrical work, appliance expense, install labor, counter tops and more.

    If you're going to spend money, get something for it.

    Do I think this is a lot better? More convenient to use? I do......but it isn't my kitchen, nor that of my client.

    I'd be looking to turn an elephant to a sleek giraffe, not to create yet another elephant, just a lot more expensive elephant : )



  • bjstem
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I'm kind of baffled about why people are getting so agitated in this thread. Earlier, I posted a similar topic -- kitchen cabinets -- and was rather rudely answered by a couple of people who seem to constantly be in a state of anger. I deleted my topic and found my answer by getting competitive bids. The initial offer of kitchen cabinets came in at about $400 a linear foot, not counting counters. The two competitors are in at $150-$200 per linear foot for good quality cabinets. I'm in the Southeast, with a number of good custom and large-scale cabinetmakers, so maybe that's the difference? I hope everyone has a nice weekend. OP, good luck. I actually think Jan Moyer had some good ideas about the layout. It's just too bad when not all who reply here, can talk to each other the way they'd like to be spoken to. For those of you who are posting here with your professional profile, I hope you're remembering that not everyone here is a contractor; some have their contractors, but others who are silent, are in the early stages of planning a project, perhaps scoping out designers and contractors, and what they see of you here, represents your marketing face -- your courtship face. There's a difference between stating yourself clearly and bashing people.

  • Jane
    2 months ago

    so to my two cents.. ditch the island and the caibnet seller.. its too narrow and just will be a big row of too narrow cabinets. if the designer was truly working to a good design versus sellinh cabinets, it would be two 36 with drawers and one 18.


    your going to play with the window anyways… why not open up the whole thing.. so windows most of the length, center the sink. leave cook top where stove is now.

    on wall with fridge… leave fridge (maybe you can carve a recess behind some point to make it more flush with counter tops, or get counter depth) put double ovens there, along with some counter space.


    do a small peninsula off the windo wall facing the designer.


    price seems cheap even in the south…


    ssiunds like you might be dyi, maybe try ikea






  • bjstem
    2 months ago

    Ikea isn't for a forever home. I would be for redoing the design, but getting the best quality you can get.

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