How to buy Top Quality Replacement Kitchen Cabinet Doors and save money

By Jim Hill August 22, 2014

The issue of saving money on any manufactured item is really very simple: The more middlemen that are involved in the process, the more the item gets marked-up.

The normal path any item takes to the final consumer is from the manufacturer to the Stocking Distributor, to a Wholesaler, to a Retail Store, and finally to the end user.

Each of these middlemen must increase the price by enough to cover his costs and add his profit.
Consider an average mark-up of 20% at the Stocking Distributor, another 20% at the Wholesaler, and 40%-50% at the Retail Store. This translates into roughly doubling the cost of the manufactured product.

If there was a way to remove or reduce the middleman mark-up the end user could save some serious money.

Well, there is a way to remove the costly middlemen from the market chain: the Internet.

To be honest, buying directly from the manufacturer from his website won’t cut the retail price in half. This is because some of the functions handled by Wholesalers and Retailers must now be handled by the manufacturer himself, and these functions create a cost to the manufacturer.
For instance, the manufacturer usually ships to very few wholesalers but in very large volumes. When selling from a website the manufacturer must now sell his product in much lower volumes and to many more users. Both lower volume per shipment and more total shipments have an added cost to the manufacturer, and he must pass this added cost on.

There are a few other cost adders that the manufacturer must absorb, like adding additional customer service and order processing employees.
These added expenses add cost but nowhere near the 100% mark-up the long supply chain added.

The bottom line is that retail stores hate the internet and go to great expense to keep their retail customers from finding which manufacturers sell to the public through websites.
Why would Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, etc. spend many millions each month on Google Advertising to get their websites listed at the very top of Google’s search result pages? The answer is that they don’t want you to look at the organic (non-paid) search results where the actual manufacturers webpages will offer the same products at 20% to 40% less.

CabinetDoors.Com is one of those manufacturers. We sell our extensive lines of Kitchen Cabinet Doors direct to the end user at about 30% less than the same door available from the big-box stores. Not only cheaper but with a 10-day delivery as apposed to 4-to-6-weeks delivery through the retail supply chain.

Another interesting aspect of buying direst is that the product you receive from the manufacturer is not only less expensive and delivered much faster, it’s usually the same product you would receive from the big-box retailer. Where do you think the big retailers get their products? They certainly don’t make them; They don’t make anything…They are just another middleman in the retail chain moving the manufacturers products to the end user.

So if you are ready for new or replacement kitchen cabinet doors, why not save some money and speed-up the process by looking at CabinetDoors.Com.

The Internet is here to stay and it is presenting end users with a choice they have never had before; a choice of keeping with the old method of supporting the supply chain, or by-passing the chain and moving into the future of manufactured goods marketing.

How to find Top Quality Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Trying to find high quality kitchen cabinet doors for your cabinet refacing project can be very difficult. Unless you know where to look. Knowing where some cabinet door manufacturers save money is the key to being able to spot quality.

One of the areas where manufacturing money is saved is in the thickness of the replacement cabinet door. Because hardwood lumber is sole by the board-foot (which is a volume measurement), thinner wood means lower cost. So, if the manufacturer cuts the thickness of his cabinet doors down to 3/4-inch or even thinner, he saves between 10% and 22% on his wood costs. Because most replacement cabinet door customers don’t even think about how thick a cabinet door should be, this deception usually goes unnoticed.
The home-owner, however, will notice the problems with the “thin” door. Thin doors are more prone to warping, more easily damaged, and tend to close with an annoying “Clank” as opposed to the “solid Thud” of a thicker door.

Most “Modular Cabinets” being marketed today are made in China and will have cabinet doors at-or-below 3/4″ thickness. Many American manufacturers of replacement cabinet doors also use thin wood for their doors.

There are still some American Kitchen Cabinet Door manufacturers that haven’t sacrificed quality by going to the thin woods, and here are links to a few.

Cabinetdoors.com is the oldest cabinet door manufacturer on the web and makes cabinet doors at a plump 13/16″. These doors are much more stout than the thin 5/8 or 3/4-inch import doors and will actually weigh 25-30% more than the thin Modular Cabinet doors. But, the most interesting part is that these doors cost the same or less than the Chinese imports. Cabinetdoors.com is well reviewed and Better Business Bureau rated A+. The main reason for the lower cost is that cabinetdoors.com sell factory direct off their website while the imports sell through middlemen and retail outlets like IKEA and Big Box Stores.

Several internet websites buy doors from Cabinetdoors.com and mark then up on their webpages, and even these websites are less expensive than the Big Box stores.

Another website making thick doors is cabinetdoorfactory.com. They have been in business for several decades and make a fine product.

Cimino’s Cabinet Doors, in Northern California also makes top quality full-thickness doors.

How To Recognize Real Quality

Cabinet Door Assembly LineThe demand for new cabinets in new housing and remodeling is addressed by two very different manufacturing approaches.

One approach is to optimize manufacturing efficiency by limiting the sizes manufactured and maximizing employee productivity. This approach is referred to as “Modular Cabinets”.

The Modular Cabinet manufacturer usually makes the cabinet boxes with widths starting at six-inches and increasing in two-inch steps. This maximizes employee productivity by manufacturing one cabinet box size one shift and another size the next shift.

While working on an assembly line making 10,000 of the same thing might not be the most challenging or rewarding of jobs, productivity certainly increases and labor costs are reduced.

The modular manufacturer simply adjusts his schedule to maintain a readily available inventory of cabinet boxes in his warehouse.

Modular Cabinet Manufacturers usually offer a selection of cabinet doors to give the finished Modular Cabinet a more “Custom” look.

Entry-level home builders typically install Modular Cabinets. These cabinets are also stocked and sold by all the Big Box Stores across the country.

For the past several years, Modular Cabinet manufacturing has been moving to Asia, with China becoming the largest manufacturer. American manufacturers have been finding it impossible to compete with the lower labor and regulatory costs found on the far east.

The second approach to manufacturing cabinets is referred to as “Custom Cabinet Manufacturing”.

Unlike Modular Cabinets coming in 2-inch increments, Custom Cabinets are manufactured to the actual size needed.

Also unlike Modular Cabinets, Custom Cabinets are made in the United States by thousands of Custom Cabinet Shops. These shops typically have between ten and fifty employees who design and build each cabinet to the exact size requested in the design plans. If the architect requires cabinets in 1/16″ increments, that’s what the Custom Cabinet Maker builds. Cabinet Makers in Custom Cabinet Shops tend to be highly skilled, and well paid, professionals with years of experience mastering their profession. These Cabinet Makers are not tied to an individual workbench, but tend to move between many skilled positions within the manufacturing process. The Custom Cabinet Shop uses a creative approach which utilizes the skills and experience if the Cabinet Maker, as opposed to an assembly line which stresses repetitive action to compensate for the lack of motivation and inexperience of the minimum-wage workforce.

Most high-end Home Builders and Furniture manufacturers utilize Custom Cabinet Makers because of the large difference in overall quality of the cabinets.

The quality differences are usually visible and include differences in workmanship, wood grain and color matching, sanding and finish quality, overall appearance, and reliability.

Custom Cabinet Makers purchase woods harvested in the United States, and almost 100% of American woods are grown and harvested using sustainable processes.

This is not usually the case with woods harvested in Asia or South America.

Another major difference between Modular and Custom Cabinets is with the Cabinet Doors installed on the cabinets.

Modular Cabinets from Asia have doors made in Asia. These doors should be expected to show the same levels of quality as the cabinets.

Modular Cabinet Door quality levels are generally lower, sanding and finishing are less stringent, an unskilled or under-aged workforce is commonly recruited, and no importance is given to the sustainability of the woods used or the harvesting methods.

American Custom Cabinet Shops, on the other hand, typically purchase cabinet doors from a few large cabinet door manufacturers, or the hundreds of smaller manufacturers.

These dedicated Custom Cabinet Door Manufacturers will offer from dozens to thousands of cabinet door styles built in every sustainable wood type that grows in the United States or Canada.

Major Cabinet Door Manufacturers are producing thousands of doors per shift using skilled labor and most use computerized machinery to guarantee accuracies modular manufacturers simply cannot match. Modern American door manufacturers will measure door size tolerances with accuracies within 15-thousandths of an inch. Door thickness will be uniform across the door within 5-thousandths of an inch, and sanding quality is considered by cabinet makers to be “stain ready”.

In summary, the differences between Custom and Modular Cabinets are visible in appearance, obvious in quality, and the difference in expected lifetime is triple, with Custom Cabinets often being kept in the home and simply refinished after generations of useful service.

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