The Basics

Transcript: [00:00:02] One of the first questions that people typically have when they find us is how does this work? They’ve never heard of a company that recycles high end kitchens and they don’t really know where to begin. [00:00:16] To give you a brief overview, what we do is we find kitchens that are coming out of high end homes and then we sell them to somebody like you who is going to be doing a new build or a remodel. And because of that, then our business relies very heavily on finding the supply. [00:00:46] Your typical business would have a supplier, a manufacturer that they get their product from, and then they just have to worry about selling it. Well, with us, we don’t have a product until we find it. So a large percentage of the business is getting out there and finding the stuff so that we have something to sell. And so what that means is that our business is going to look much different than your typical cabinet company where you’d come in and sit down with with a designer where the designer would try to figure out a layout and style that would work for you and so on. What we are in the business of doing is finding new material and then letting you see if it will work for you. [00:01:37] So we go out there and we find it, get it, and post it online for you to see. We have ads with a lot of pictures, measurements, and some description about the set so that you can learn what you can about the set without seeing it in person. And then it’s up to you, the buyer, to start figuring out how that will fit in your space. We can forward you to a designer or two that could potentially help with, you know, sitting down and making a design and all of that. But we are not directly in the business of doing that. What we do here at Ben’s Repurposed Cabinetry is we go out there and we make relationships with companies all over the state to find you these beautiful kitchens and we get you the info you need to see if it will work in your space.
Transcript: [00:00:02] There are really four reasons why I would suggest that you buy from us and work with us in doing your next kitchen remodel or a new build project. The first is saving money. It’s pretty straightforward. That’s the reason why we got into this in the first place. Or what led me to think of this idea was the desire to save money. And that’s where a lot of our customers start out. They have been seeing how expensive cabinets are and they’re pretty shocked by the prices. Maybe they’re running over budget already and they’re trying to figure out a way to make it work. That’s how they stumble upon us in the first place, the desire to save money. [00:00:51] The second thing is getting quality. It’s hard for me to believe the lack of quality in so many kitchen remodels or new build projects. I have seen cabinets come out of a million dollar home that were surprisingly unimpressive. And we really live in a very disposable age where everything is made to look nice and shiny and work for a few years and then we can go with something new. There’s always something new, the new trend that everybody wants. And so why would things need to last any longer anyway? Well, because of that, there are so many companies out there selling products that look pretty and look like some of the more expensive things, but they just do not last. You can get around that largely by going with us, because for the same kind of money, you can get a kitchen that is much higher quality and that will last for a long time.[00:02:01] You know, sometimes people want to know how old our kitchens are. Obviously, there’s a huge range there. Some of them might be 20 years old, but I would say that is not necessarily something to turn you off from them, because if it’s a 20 year old kitchen and it still looks in really good shape, then that to me is really kind of a selling point. This is obviously a quality kitchen that has shown it can withstand years and there’s no reason to believe that it couldn’t withstand, you know, a couple more decades just fine. [00:02:34] So they’re saving money, getting quality. The third thing is simply keeping things out of the dump. Especially in Colorado where the economy is booming right now, everybody is trying to get to the next job as fast as possible. And it really is mind boggling to see what is destroyed in the wake of that. [00:03:04] Beautiful materials are just being discarded and thrown away because nobody has the time to deal with them. And it just doesn’t make any sense to to mess with them when they got the next job coming. The amount of waste, again, because of this disposable society that we live in, really is a shame. And this helps to right that wrong. [00:03:30] Many of our customers initially find us because of saving money and getting good quality. And then also they really like the idea as they learn. They like the idea about saving things from the dump. But then the fourth thing that comes along that can really be the strongest is a sense of fulfillment. Now, when you do a new build or remodel, you typically pay a company to get the cabinets and come in and and they do all the work and you get a pretty looking kitchen at the end. Now, there’s going to be a certain sense of fulfillment there, depending on your level of involvement. But with this, your sense of fulfillment and ownership of the kitchen at the end can be so much greater. [00:04:26] Many of our customers are knee deep into the process the whole way through with designing the kitchen, getting the graph paper out, figuring out how it will work, and figuring out modifications. They are talking to people to help with different aspects. and maybe even installing the cabinets themselves. They are doing all sorts of things and making it work. So at the end they have a kitchen, not just that looks pretty, but a kitchen that looks pretty and that really means something to them. There’s a story behind that kitchen. That’s why we like to tell people we sell kitchens with a story. It’s the story of where the kitchens came from and also of the process of making it work and putting it into your space. There is also the pride of ownership that that gives you and the satisfaction at the end.
Transcript: [00:00:02] Another thing that people ask us commonly is where do I start? If you’re not like a typical cabinet company where I come in and sit down with a designer and they run me through the entire process, then what do I do? [00:00:15] And there’s a couple of things there. First of all, I strongly suggest that you get on our email list since every product that we get in is unique. It’s very important for our customers to be updated in real time as much as possible with what’s new in stock, because many of them are looking for a fairly specific thing. Generally, you need to be a little bit lax in what you’re looking for to make this work. But still, many of our customers have a general idea of the kind of kitchen they’re looking for. And so it’s very important to be able to see when one of those kitchens comes in so they can try to start figuring out if it’ll work for them so they don’t lose it. They don’t know how long it will be before another kitchen like that would come in stock. So that’s very important. [00:01:12] We’ll put a link here to join the email list. And when you join that, there are tags on there which you will see as well. The webpage explains the tags. But to quickly describe the tags, you can click on only the tags you are interested in and you will only receive emails that are associated with those tags. You don’t have to get all of our emails. If you do want all our emails then just click all the tags. But if you have a more specialized need then just click what applies to you and you will receive those emails. So that’s number one. The second thing is, let’s say that you get an email and here’s a kitchen that you think could work for you. Then you need to be able to be at the point where you could try to figure out if that kitchen will work for you. And some of our buyers are pretty savvy. They already have the knowledge. They understand about sitting down with a piece of graph paper and putting in their sizes and then plugging it in and seeing how it works. Some of them use some other online programs like CAD. But many people just need to be educated. So that’s likely where you are. [00:02:40] And I suggest then that you look at some of the other audio clips that we have here about measurements to be aware of and general modifications. There’s a video here about how to start determining if a set could fit in your kitchen and just learning about that process. So when things start showing up, you have a plan for how to figure out if it’ll work. Also, we can get you in touch with a designer, so get with us if you want contact info for a designer who could do that for you. If you just feel like even with some education, you just wouldn’t be able to do it. There are designers, either somebody that we give you or somebody that you find your own. There are freelancers out there that can be hired to help with a situation like this. So get on that email list for sure and let us know if something looks interesting to you and make a plan for how to figure out if it’ll work when you do see a set that you like.
Transcript: [00:00:02] As people get to know us and start seeing the kitchens that come in stock, invariably many of them want to know how we get these and where we find these? And that is, as I mentioned earlier in one of the clips, a huge part of our effort here at Ben’s Repurposed Cabinetry, where we have to find the material. [00:00:23] The way that that happens is typically through companies. There are many, many people out there involved in the construction industry who we can get into contact with: contractors, kitchen designers, architects, realtors, and maybe even demolition companies if they’re taking down whole houses with good cabinets in them. We can get into contact with those individuals and companies and work with them to recycle the kitchens that are coming out of jobs that they are involved in. [00:01:06] I would say most of our inventory comes through custom cabinet companies. Each designer in a custom cabinet company typically has their own jobs. We build relationships with the company and with the individual designers. When the designer has a new project, they let the owner know that could recycle their old cabinets. Many people would have never thought of recycling their old cabinets before. The designer has them get in touch with us. So then we talk to the homeowner and take it from there to recycle the kitchen. So that’s how most of it comes in. We also getting a fair amount. [00:01:50] We also get in showroom things as well, because the custom cabinet companies that we work with are always updating their showrooms. [00:02:04] Along with that, people often ask if it is all used. It’s not all, but typically it is. There are other situations like a miss ordered kitchen. A company might call us and say that they miss ordered a kitchen or the customer just didn’t like the color once he saw it. Now they have this kitchen that they can’t sell and need to get rid of. those things happen. Maybe there was a minor defect or something. [00:02:36] Another thing that happens sometimes is maybe there was a flood or a fire and there was very minimal damage to something. And so the whole kitchen was just replaced. We’ve had that happen before. So there are different scenarios. [00:02:49] But most of the time, what happens? I would say probably 80 to 90 percent of what we get in is from kitchen designers and other individuals who refer us to their clients who get in touch with us to recycle their kitchen.
Transcript: [00:00:02] One of the cool things to me about our process is that it truly is good for everyone. To explain what I mean by that, let’s look at the process from the beginning. First of all, a kitchen designer typically or somebody else, like a contractor, refers us to somebody they’re working with. We give the contractor or designer a check depending on the size of the set as a thank you for referring us because we would not have gotten the kitchen without them. [00:00:38] Sometimes people ask if we get these kitchens for free. No, we typically do not. Each situation is different. I make different proposals to people depending on what they have for us. Generally they’re getting a free uninstall for one thing. So we come in and uninstall it professionally for them, something that would typically cost a good amount of money. And then also in addition, they are getting a percentage of the sale. So we make it a consignment type deal. Sometimes we’ll make a fixed amount that we’d give them once it sells. There are different situations, but that’s usually what happens. Sometimes they’re even getting more of the money than we are. Once you consider our costs and the percentage that we’re paying them, the homeowner is really making most of the money from the set. So they benefit. Obviously, we benefit because this is our business. And this is how we make money. And then you benefit because you get the kitchen, a kitchen that you wouldn’t have been able to afford for that kind of quality. Everybody, the homeowner, you, and us all know that we saved something from the dump and we gave this beautiful kitchen a new life. And hopefully it’ll be loved and used for years to come.
Transcript: [00:00:02] The video above explains why I started this business. As for how long we have been doing this, we are currently in our sixth year. [00:00:16] This is the end of 2019 as I’m recording this. And things have changed a lot since I started. Here is a brief explanation of where we’ve come from and where we are now. When I first came up with the idea I found a set and put it up for sale online. I sold a couple of sets that way right out of my garage. I think I also stored one in my basement. Becky probably thought I was a little bit crazy but I wanted to see if this was something worth taking further. I was able to sell a few sets so I thought that I had latched on to something. We lived in a regular-sized standard ranch home here in Colorado. So it’s not like we had a lot of space back there but I was able to squeeze a 20′ by 10′ shed. I actually had to take down and put back up part of the neighbor’s fence to get it in there. That allowed me to get about two kitchens at once. I hired somebody at that time to help me because again I’m teaching school full time. This was in the winter, so I couldn’t really do much as far as picking up the cabinets and things. [00:01:35] So I hired somebody to help me here and there with that and just started selling some sets right out of that little shed. That lasted for a little while but as you can imagine you can’t do all too much in a 10′ by 20′ shed. So I started looking around for a place to run the business out of and happened to find a place that was fairly cheap. It was a thousand square feet and it wasn’t perfect but it was going to work. So I rented it out. We were in there for exactly a year. It was much better than what I had had before. We could fit five maybe six sets if we were really jamming kitchens in there. We displayed them for people to see and that’s when I hired my first regular employee who was a family friend and stayed with me for a long time. He started on with me and it worked out pretty well. The building I rented just had a man door and not every cabinet would fit through the door which was a problem. Once in a while we’d have really tall cabinets that wouldn’t fit standing up because of the low ceilings. [00:03:07] But it worked out good for that year. As we approached the end of that year I was saying “Becky, I need more space. We have to figure something out.” We were looking at what we were spending and we were basically paying two mortgages. We had the mortgage from our house and we had the payment for the rent of the building which in essence wasn’t getting us anything as far as ownership. Becky in passing mentioned that “it’s like we’re paying two mortgages.” And I said “you know what it is what if we just purchased a house that had a big shop on it that I could run the business out of so we’d be paying one bill and wouldn’t be renting anymore.” So Becky and I came up with that idea and we started looking at houses. We happened to find one that had a 2000 square foot shop on it; double what we had. The payment was going to be basically the same as what we were already paying anyway and it was a bigger house that our family could grow into. So it made financial sense to do that. [00:04:17] So we moved and we have been there for around two years. We ran right out of that shop in the back and that’s when I started hiring other employees. I hired the brother of the employee I had and then a couple of his friends and it wasn’t long before I had probably close to 10 guys working in that little shop. They were students so they would work after school during the school year and all day during the summers. All this time we were growing but we didn’t have any office space. That was a big thing and we really needed to expand again. [00:05:03] I needed to figure out something. So I started talking to the people at the Rocky Mountain Antiques which is a big building adjacent to our property. Their building is right off of Highway 34. I initially started talking to him because I wanted to rent an office and his store overlooks our property. He said “Well we do have this other space and it’s a pretty big. It’s about 5000 square feet. The current tenants who were there for 20 years are moving out. I could rent it to you for this amount.” The rent was extremely reasonable. [00:05:47] At first I was thinking that it isn’t what we were looking for but as I thought about it more I figured that this really could work out. So we ended up signing the lease and making some pretty significant modifications to the property. So now that’s where we are if you come visit us. We’re in the back of the Rocky Mountain Antiques building. You have to go down the hill on the east side of the building to get to us. Now we have 4000 square feet of dedicated showroom warehouse space and about a thousand for a couple offices and a little lobby area. And right next door to it we still use that two thousand square feet of shop space behind our house. [00:06:33] We’ve expanded quite a bit from those sets in the garage to where we’re at now. And that’s where we are if you come visit us. This is the end of 2019 when I’m making this but if you come visit us you might see some of the guys sitting in the office at work and maybe a couple in the showroom. It all depends on what day it is and what they have going on. But we really have been blessed with the opportunity that we have. Especially with the convenience for me where we have this legitimate commercial space that works well for us. And I can walk there from home. That convenience for me and my family is is huge. [00:07:21] So that’s where we came from, that’s where we are now, and we look forward to having you stop by to take a look at what we are selling.
Transcript: [00:00:01] When starting a project like this that can feel very daunting, it can be helpful to see how it has worked out for other people. This is an avenue that we are just starting to get into. But if you follow the link here, you will see some pictures of people who have purchased our cabinets and put them in their kitchen. [00:00:26] This is something that we’re going to continue building. We don’t have all that much there yet. Again, this is the end of 2019 when I’m making this, but we’re gonna be building that up. That’s something that I realized that I wanted and that we needed to do. In the past, we were selling kitchens and then really having no idea what happened with them after we sold them. [00:00:50] I really do enjoy continuing having a relationship with people, though, even after the sale and seeing what they did with the cabinets. To me, that’s what makes this so cool, being able to see how people were able to make it work, how they were able to make a beautiful kitchen out of recycled materials. So definitely look that over and keep looking at that as we build it. Hopefully that will help inspire you and give you some ideas for how this can work out for you.

Before You Buy

Transcript: [00:00:03] Typically, we do not split up sets. That’s a question that’s often asked because we sell many large kitchens and some of our buyers don’t have a very large space, and they want to know if they can buy some of the pieces. There might be a very rare instance in which that applies, but like I said, it would be very rare. We take these kitchens and we sell them as packages. The reason for that is if we did split things up, we would very quickly end up with a bunch of miscellaneous pieces of every set that nobody wants. [00:00:44] The buyer is thinking that they’re only buying this much, so they should only pay that percentage of what the cost of the kitchen was. But the reality usually is that what they’re not buying isn’t really worth much of anything to us. In essence, they are just getting the kitchen for, you know, that reduced price. So we just keep it simple. It’s also very complicated for recording things when we start splitting up stuff with pieces going here and pieces going there. Bookwork can become a nightmare. So it makes a lot of sense to keep things together as a set. [00:01:22] With that being said, it’s definitely beneficial to buy a set that is bigger than you need because you want to have as many options as possible for moving the cabinets around and figuring out how it will work. And then typically our customers with smaller spaces will find other ways to use the cabinets. You know, maybe they’ll sell them to a friend or maybe they use them in the garage or in a craft room, a laundry room, maybe even some bathrooms, or a shop. And so there’s other options there. And that’s typically what happens with some of those larger sets.
Transcript: [00:00:02] People often want to know if we take down payments for kitchens. They’re interested in a set, but maybe they can’t go look at it yet. Or they have something else they need to figure out, and they don’t want to lose the kitchen. So they want to give a down payment. That’s always a tough one for me, because on the one hand, I understand what somebody is going through, especially when we have a customer who has missed out on a set in the past that they wanted. I can understand that. But we still don’t take down payments. And here’s why. It just doesn’t really go very well for us or the customer. First of all, the down payment doesn’t really mean anything in essence, because it’s refundable and if you come see the kitchen and decide not to get it, we would just be giving you your down payment back. In that case, we wouldn’t have gained anything out of it. And there’s a good chance that while we were waiting for you to get to that decision, there was somebody else who was there ready to buy the set. Now we have to try to find them and see if they didn’t already get a kitchen. And often they’ve moved on by now and they’re going with going with something else. And so that doesn’t work very well. [00:01:24] The other option is making down payments nonrefundable. And that doesn’t really work either, because what if that person isn’t very serious about the set? If you find something about it that you don’t like and decide you don’t want the set, if you don’t get your money back, that sets us up for scrutiny. You’re probably not going to be all too thrilled with us if you were going to buy a set and you had to pay money for it, and it ended up being not what you were looking for for whatever reason. So now you just lost your money. Either way, it just unfortunately doesn’t work out and the way that we have to do it is if you want the set, then you buy the set. And once it’s purchased, you know it’s yours. I wish there was a cleaner way to do that, because sometimes you can get into difficult situations. But we’ve learned over the years that we have to keep it simple again and tell people that we understand your misgivings if you don’t want to purchase it yet. You’re welcome to figure out whatever you need to figure out before you make that purchase. But it’s not yours until it is purchased in full.
Transcript: [00:00:02] When learning about cabinets, there are some basic measurements that you should be aware of. [00:00:08] First of all, typically the widths of the cabinets are in increments of three inches. At least that is true for stock cabinets. You can get custom made pieces that can be any width under the sun. But most of the time, you’re going to have cabinets with widths in increments of three, starting at 6 or 9 inches at the smallest, then increasing to 12, 15, 18 and so on. [00:00:42] For base cabinets, you’re going to typically have bases that are 24 inches deep. That does not include the door. The door would stick out further than that. But the box itself is 24 inches deep and 34.5 inches high. That includes a 4.5 inch toe kick at the bottom. Sometimes we have cabinets that don’t really come with toe kick; you can just build up these cabinets on a 2″x4″ frame. But with a toe kick of 4.5 inches, your cabinets are going to be 34.5 inches tall. What that means then is that the actual face of the base cabinet is 30 inches tall. Your countertop is generally about an inch and a half thick. So the top of your countertop is about 36 inches off the ground. And that can be useful because you will probably want to know the amount of space that you have between the top of your countertop and the bottom of your upper cabinets. [00:02:04] So moving on to upper cabinets now, let’s talk about depth first. Depth of upper cabinets is typically 12 inches. That is the depth of the entire box. So this means that if you were opening up a upper cabinet and sticking a tape measure in there, it would come out to less than 12 inches because you are butting up your tape measure against the back of the box. So whatever the width is of the back of the box is going to be subtracted from the 12 inches, if you can visualize what I’m talking about. I say that because sometimes people will open a cabinet and they look at it and think that it is shallower than the cabinets they have right now. And almost without fail, that is not true. There are certain situations in which somebody might have some custom deeper cabinets, but almost every single upper cabinet that you’re going to see is going to be 12 inches deep. Again, the doors are added on top of that. So it’s just the box that’s 12 inches deep. [00:03:14] The width, again, is in increments of three inches. In terms of the height, you have your smaller uppers, like for over your microwave and over your fridge. But as far as the regular uppers, the smaller size is typically 30 inches tall and then it goes up to 42 inches tall. Sometimes we’ll get in sets with uppers that are 36 inches tall. Sometimes we might get 39 inches tall. Again, you see that increment of three inches. And often we get in 42 inches. Many of these houses we get cabinets from are very large and open concept with vaulted ceilings. So they want the 42 inch tall uppers. That’s a situation that some of our customers run into where they don’t have that height in their kitchen. [00:04:08] What I can tell you, though, is if you have standard eight foot, or 96 inch, ceilings, then you can use 42 inch uppers without crown moulding on the top. If the 42 inch uppers go right up to the ceiling, you will have enough space between your countertop and the bottom of your upper cabinets so that it will work. I know that because that’s exactly what we did in our first house when we got a beautiful cherry kitchen used. That was how I got into this whole thing in the first place. I think what you end up with there is 18 inches, if I remember correctly. And when you pencil that out on the wall, if you’re doing this, it’s going to look pretty small. I remember my wife and I doing that and stepping back and thinking that it’s going to be pretty close. But I can assure you that 18 inches, when you get it all installed, really is plenty. Consider the fact that your upper cabinets are only a foot deep and your bases are two feet deep. So your uppers are sitting back. And there’s really not many situations at all in which you’d want to stick something directly under an upper cabinet that would be 18 inches tall. So it really does work out just fine, but I don’t think you would really want to go any lower than that.[00:05:28] So that gives you some general ideas of measurements on base cabinets and upper cabinets.
Transcript: [00:00:02] There are definitely some terms that you want to be aware of when talking about cabinets. [00:00:19] The first one would be dovetailed. So we talk about dovetailed drawers a lot. To figure out if your drawers are dovetailed you pull out one of the drawers of your cabinets, and look at it from the side. If the sides of the drawer fit together like a puzzle, then the drawers are dovetailed. There are pictures here and here of what dovetailing looks like. The other way to put drawers together is just stapling and glueing the sides together. And that typically is viewed as not as nice as having the drawers dovetailed. So that’s what we mean by dovetailing or dovetailed drawers. [00:01:14] Another one that’s often talked about is soft close glides. These are typically mounted on the bottom of drawers but can sometimes be on the side. So now we’re talking about the actual slides that the drawer glides on. Your standard glides are just these white or off white metal side mounts. They’re on the side of the drawer and allows your drawer to just go in and out. There’s nothing fancy there. A little bit better slides are under the drawer. So if you’re looking at the side of the drawer, you wouldn’t see them. They would be hidden under. You can have glides that are self closing or soft closing. These are both ball-bearing glides. With the self closing ones, you’d push them in and the glides kind of grab the last little bit and pull it in automatically. The soft closing glides are like that, except for when the glides pull it in at the end, it does it slowly. It doesn’t just let it slam. And a lot of people like that feel, where you can just push the draw in and instead of it banging or anything, it closes nice and softly. And so that’s what soft close is. You can have that on hinges too. Your typical hinge on a door, you would open and close it, and it would bang closed. But with soft close hinges, it will catch and close slowly. [00:03:05] Plywood is another big one. This is one I could talk about for a little while. Sometimes people get it in their heads that plywood is the all important thing in cabinetry. They think that all good cabinets are plywood and all junk cabinets are not plywood. And that’s simply not the case. And I can try to explain that to you. [00:03:29] The reason why many of our cabinets will not be plywood is because of the fact that they’re frameless. So what frameless means is that the cabinets are simply a box with doors attached to it. The cabinets do not have a front frame. With your typical framed cabinets, you have a box, but then you have a front frame that’s attached to that box. Then the doors and drawers are attached to that frame. [00:03:59] Frameless is simply a box with the doors attached to it. So frameless cabinets are a bit more open. You have full access to the cabinets because there is no frame that’s taking up a little bit of the space. Now, with framed cabinets, it’s pretty easy to do plywood sides because the frames keep the plywood nice and straight. But if you have frameless cabinets, your box has to have complete integrity. If it starts warping one way or another, your doors are going to be all off. Everything’s gonna be messed up. [00:04:38] Because of that, they almost always make frameless cabinets with MDF boxes because MDF will stay straight. A negative term for MDF would be particle board. But they use MDF because they don’t have to worry about MDF warping as easily as plywood does over time. Plywood is much harder to have it stay perfectly straight. MDF is engineered, and it’ll stay straight. So that’s why they make it out of MDF. Many of the kitchens we get in will be frameless. Frameless cabinets may also be called euro style. [00:05:17] It’s generally considered a higher end look. For some of you that might be a believe it or not, but it really is generally considered a higher end look to have frameless cabinets. So most of these high end cabinet companies are selling frameless cabinets. Now, if you have a frameless cabinet that is plywood, that means you have some very high quality plywood. Those are some really expensive cabinets. Since they are making that out of plywood, that means that they know that that plywood is good quality, that it will not warp over time. So you know they’re really making it out of the good stuff. [00:05:56] So not all plywood is created equal. You can definitely have cabinets with lower grade plywood. And there are many cabinets like that out there. The RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets really tote the fact that they have plywood sides. But there’s a pretty wide range in the quality of the plywood used for those applications. Many of them are ones that will not stay together well or will warp over time. [00:06:22] So something to consider there. And I would encourage you not to completely discount MDF as junk. That’s what you’re taught by Home Depot and companies like that, but I assure you that it’s not as simple as that. Another thing to consider about MDF is that many times people will say that if you get some water on it it just warps, so it’s terrible. But if you get plywood wet, and if it’s not really high quality plywood, that’s not going to do too well either. Having MDF warping in your kitchen is not very common. Consider the fact that it has a protective surface over it. Again, we are getting in cabinets with these sides all the time. And these are cabinets that have lasted for decades often and they look just fine. So there’s no reason to believe that the second it gets in somebody else’s kitchen, suddenly it’s going to warp and be terrible. So some myths to dispel there. [00:07:35] I guess those are probably most of the big ones. You hear a lot about plywood. You hear a lot about soft close. Another one is shaker style. That’s a pretty popular style right now. That’s just where the door has a simple border all the way around it, and the middle is just a flat panel. Here is a picture of shaker style cabinets. That is your typical shaker style, and it’s fairly popular right now.
Transcript: [00:00:01] It’s not uncommon for somebody to find a set that they’re pretty interested in, but they need another cabinet or two. [00:00:09] And thankfully there are some options for that. Firstly, you can sometimes order a new cabinet from the manufacturer. Now that requires, of course, first of all, that we know who the manufacturer is, which is not always the case. Sometimes it’s just not written on the cabinets. And there is no way for us to know. But that is one possibility. [00:00:32] Another really good possibility is using a local craftsman to make you a matching piece or two. And we know of somebody down in the Longmont area who can do that. And I’m sure there are other people around as well who can be hired to make a cabinet or two so that can be a really good option. There are times when that probably could be just as cost effective as ordering one from the manufacturer, or even even more cost effective. [00:01:08] And thirdly, maybe you can get creative with how to fill that space. There are some great ideas out there. This kind of goes into the modifications thing. First of all, you could maybe just put an appliance there. Let’s say you have a 24 inch space. You could put in a mini fridge or something. That would be a cool addition to the kitchen and could be cheaper than having an actual cabinet made to fill the space. That’s something that people a lot of times don’t think of. [00:01:37] One thing that’s pretty common right now is having open shelving with those wicker baskets as base cabinets. So you could fill a space with that. For uppers, you can fill it with some open shelving. Again, open shelving in the uppers is pretty popular right now. There’s some really cool things you can do with open upper shelving as far as what wood to use and that kind of thing. [00:02:10] So I’m not going to get too much into the modifications idea, but those are some things you can do if you need another piece or two.
Transcript: [00:00:02] The subject of countertops is a bit of a tough one for me because I don’t want to be a downer about making something work, but I do want you to understand that making the countertops work is much more difficult than making the cabinets work. The reason there’s a business here is because you have in your kitchen so many different sizes of bases and uppers generally. That means that you can move all those pieces around interchangeably to fit different layouts and to try to make something work. Not so easy with the countertops. With the countertops you have maybe a couple seams, but you have these big slabs. [00:00:45] In order to get them changed, you have to have a company to do it affordably who is willing to come in and make a couple cuts and re fabricate the countertop. It can be difficult to find a company to do that. I have heard of people doing it themselves, so maybe that’s something to research, if you have the means to do that. But it can be hard to find a company that’s willing to do it cost effectively so that in the end you’re saving a lot of money from what it would have been just buying new countertops. So that’s something to consider with the countertops. Generally, we tell people that the countertops can easily get cracked in the removal. There’s no guarantee there. Generally lately we’ve been pretty good at it. But especially if the countertops are over MTF, which they are a fair amount of the time, it’s really difficult to get those pieces out intact. But even if they do come out intact, it’s so easy to get a crack or a stress in it from transportation. Then refabricating it in your space is difficult. It can be done, but it is very difficult. And that’s why we typically include the countertops basically free of charge. They’re an extra bonus. If you can make use of them, great! We’re definitely not putting a lot of the price into the countertops, though, because of those difficulties.
Transcript: [00:00:02] It is not all that uncommon for us to have people buy a kitchen cabinet set sight unseen. The reason for that is generally that we have many customers who are far away. We have quite a bit of our customer base across the mountains to the west, and over east of us into Nebraska. We also have a lot of customers from up north and south and into all the rural areas around us. Because of that, it’s difficult for them to get over here and actually see something in person. If they’re going to be committing to a long trip to come get something, they want to make sure they have something to get. So that’s not very uncommon. However, there are many people who would really need to see something in person before they make a purchase. [00:00:47] Now, in a perfect world, we sell a kitchen cabinets set before it even gets uninstalled. We try as much as possible to post something on our website before it’s uninstalled and hopefully find a buyer at that point. We have been putting on our website recently under each ad a date of when it’s going to be in the shop. So that will be after it’s been uninstalled and we take it over here. Again, we’re hoping that we sell it before that point. But if it’s after that date, then you know that it should be in our shop. And so it can actually be viewed at our location. If you’re interested in something that’s still installed, most of the time a homeowner is available and okay with someone coming, stopping by and taking a look at their kitchen, while it is still there. There are situations where a homeowner just doesn’t want to do that. But usually they are willing willing to let you come see the set. So that can be arranged. If you have a specific set you’re interested in, let us know. We can try to get you in touch with the homeowner and see if something can be set up for you to go see the set.
Transcript: [00:00:02] We have an E-Commerce website, which is really important with us having customers who live very far away. Any credit card or debit card should work on our website for purchasing a set. We also, of course, would accept a cash payment, understanding that we will still need to add sales tax onto any cash sales. And we accept cashiers or certified checks, not personal checks. Believe it or not, we have gotten burned on that before where somebody purchased some cabinets and gave me a bad check that bounced. And by the time I figured out that it was a faulty check, she was long gone. There was no way I could get in touch with her anymore. So because of that large risk, we don’t take personal checks. But we’ll take a certified check, a cashier’s check, cash, debit cards, or credit cards.
Transcript: [00:00:03] It is not all that uncommon for somebody to try to entice me with offering cash for a set, implying that I will give them a discount if they pay in cash. To be frank, that irks me just a little bit when somebody says that typically because what they’re getting at is if they pay in cash, then I don’t have to record it. We can just keep it off the books and then I don’t have to pay taxes on it. But I don’t run my business that way. I run by the book as much as I possibly can. It’s sometimes difficult to do all the records correctly and keep up with it. But we do the best we can and we definitely mean to run our business as the law requires. And so, you know, no matter if the payment is coming in online or by cash, I’m still going to have to pay sales tax on that regardless. Sometimes people will also say that they thought that then we don’t have to pay the fee for the credit card, and they do have a little bit of a point there. But for us, we have a company that requires less of a percentage than your typical company, closer to half of what your typical square or something would require. And second of all, whatever that is, that 2% is still definitely worth it for us to get the payment done. [00:01:40] Otherwise, we have to wait until a person can come with a physical cash payment. And it’s just much easier for us to be insured that the payment is made and that it’s all done with. So because of those reasons, you are welcome to pay with cash. But there won’t be a discount specifically because it is cash.
Transcript: [00:00:01] It’s important for us to talk to you about some damages to expect when you get your repurposed cabinets, because it is important to understand that this is used stuff for the most part. Considering that, there may be some repairs that will need to be done. [00:00:23] First of all, your cabinets very likely will need some additional cleaning. Now, if the set actually comes to our shop, we generally try to give it a decent clean, but a lot of the time it might need more. And if it gets purchased and brought right to you, then it probably is going to need more cleaning. Along with that, it’s important that you understand and remember that something simply being a little dirty can make it look junky. Sometimes we have customers who kind of freak out a little bit initially when they see their new cabinets, when they see something that needs to be cleaned. Another thing to consider is a bunch of things stacked in a truck isn’t going to look too impressive. What I mean by that is a lot of times you’re going to see the back of the cabinet with maybe a little bit of chipping or some corners that need to be glued back together. And it just gives you the shocking feeling that it is junk. [00:01:25] And this is a very real thing. I can say this from experience. I know I’m kind of out of moving the cabinets personally now. But even in the last few years, when I was moving cabinets myself, I would have this. We had paid money for a set, we get it in, and I see it in the truck or I see it when it’s just taken out of the truck and I wonder what we had just bought. But then once you start putting it together and cleaning it up a little bit, it very quickly looks quite a bit better. I know from my own experience as somebody who has dealt with a lot of cabinets that it can be shocking to see it in that state where it’s just all piled together. It just doesn’t look very impressive. It doesn’t look nearly as pretty as it does when it’s all installed and all the faces are in front of you and clean. So that’s just something to prepare yourself for. [00:02:24] As far as other things that need to be fixed, there are often minor things like the brace at the top of the base cabinets will often crack. So that might need to be glued or maybe even replaced. The toe kick pieces often don’t survive very well, so you need some more toe kick. There’s little nicks and stuff on the cabinets that can be filled in. Speaking of which, I have a great company that we use. I think they’re in Longmont. We’ve used them before and you hire them to come over to your house for a few hours. They go over and they make all those little nicks and stuff go away. And they do an amazing job of it. It’s been definitely worth it for us on a couple of kitchens. That’s something to consider for you if you are looking for that. The company, by the way, is Surface Magic. You could look them up on online. And I’m sure that there are other companies like them around. So there are those companies that specialize in hiding that kind of stuff. They can even be used to hide a seam in a countertop. Let’s say the countertop cracked, and you tried to put it back together. They can do some artwork on there and, after some silicone or whatever has been put over it, they make that crack blend in with the rest of the countertop. [00:03:52] Those are generally things to consider. Also, crown molding and some extra pieces are not always going to end up usable. [00:04:02] But expect that the corners of a couple of cabinets might need to be glued. That’s something that will definitely make the cabinets look junky. But it is really a pretty easy fix. Any simple handy man would be able to do that very easily. Really, even somebody with any any basic knowledge at all regarding construction. It really just takes some glue and a clamp overnight and maybe a couple of pin nails in there to hold it. Cabinets don’t love being moved around. So there generally will be a little bit of an effect from that. But generally speaking, the damage is limited to things that can be put back together pretty easily.

After You Buy

Transcript: [00:00:01] We sell a lot of appliances with our kitchens. We like to sell whole packages with cabinets, appliances and countertops. Often people are wondering whether or not the appliances are working, but we do not have the means to test those appliances. Generally speaking, we don’t accept an appliance unless the homeowner tells us that it’s in good working order. So there’s that to consider. But we have no way of verifying that for ourselves. So what happens if I install this unit and it just doesn’t work? That happens every once in a great while. We’re not going to take your money for something that ended up not working when you installed it. So there have been a few times where the buyer has figured out which replacement piece was needed. And we will pay for that, up to the amount the appliance was worth in the set. But if you can’t or don’t want to try fixing it, we’ll return your money up to the amount that we deem the piece was worth in the set. So like, let’s say you buy a set for $5000 and, doing some math, we can figure out how many pieces were there and discern that that particular appliance was worth $400 of the price. So if the replacement is less than $400, we can just pay for the replacement and have it sent to you. Or we can just give you the $400 as a reimbursement for that particular piece. Thankfully, that does not happen very often, but when it does, that’s how we handle those situations.
Transcript: [00:00:02] After you purchase your kitchen, you’re going to need to figure out how you’re going to get it. We can be hired to deliver the kitchen if you are in our radius of 80 miles. But many people just want to save some money and move it themselves or they live outside of that radius. So the question that comes up is how big of a trailer or a truck do I need to haul this? Obviously that depends on the size of the kitchen, but I can give you this basic guideline. We have a 16 foot box truck. So it’s 16 feet long, and 7 or 8 feet wide, and maybe 7 feet tall inside. That’s what we have to move these kitchens. That’s our main transportation. And most of the kitchens that we get will fit in there. There are times we have a really big set that requires two loads, but typically a cabinet set of 30 cabinets would still be able to fit in there. Now, if you also have 30 cabinets and all the appliances that might be pushing it, but that gives you a general idea. [00:01:18] A set up to 30 cabinets should be able to fit inside a 16 foot box truck with good stacking. When stacking the cabinets, you will want to have something to put between the cabinets to protect them from damage. To protect from damage, you’re going to want a good amount of blankets and maybe cardboard. We typically just use blankets when we are transporting these to our shop. But really, whatever you have, cardboard or blankets would work just fine. Just something to make sure that the cabinets are protected while they’re being transported.
Transcript: [00:00:01] Sometimes customers are really apprehensive when they’re looking at a kitchen that they’re interested in and they see that there’s not a lot of filler pieces or toe kick pieces. And they’re really worried about being able to make it work without those pieces. That is something to consider, but I would say that’s a pretty minor problem. The reason for that is that generally it’s pretty easy to get filler pieces. [00:00:32] What you need to do is you just need to figure out what type of wood you have and then go buy some planks of that wood at Home Depot or wherever. Then you can take a door of your cabinet or a drawer, some piece of your cabinet that’s finished, and bring it to your local paint company. We just use Sherwin-Williams right down the road from us and they will match it for free. Then you just buy a quart of that stain and wipe it on. Now, of course, the same would apply if it’s paint. If it’s paint, just take a piece of it and they’ll match that paint. And if you are painting the pieces the type of wood doesn’t really matter so much. Just try to make it something where the grain isn’t going to show through if it doesn’t for the rest of the cabinets. So whether it’s paint or stain, it’s pretty easy to get filler pieces by having a paint company match the color for you. Another thing with the toe kick is you can get the thin pieces and have it match perfectly. It’s not very uncommon, though, to see cabinets where the toe kick doesn’t match perfectly. But when you’re in the kitchen, you’re not going to really notice the toe kick much. They even sell just typical black rubber toe kick that people use that works just fine. So I wouldn’t stress a ton about the toe kick either. So those are some things to consider with fillers and toe kick. If a set doesn’t have a lot of that, that shouldn’t be a deal breaker for you.
Transcript: [00:00:02] Especially when we have a customer buying something sight unseen, we get the question, “What if I get there and I end up not liking it and want to return it?” So our policy for returns is that we give 75% of the money back. A purchase of a kitchen for thousands of dollars is a big deal. And we want our customers to take it seriously and not just buy a set flippantly, figuring that they can return it again right after. Often when we sell a kitchen, it’ll be a while, at least a few days before somebody picks it up. It really hurts us if we think we have sold a set and get it all wrapped up but then the buyer comes by and decides they don’t like it and want to return it. Then we’ve got to put it back up for sale and try to sell it all over again. That is a huge problem for us and we really want to try to keep that from happening. On the other hand, we don’t want to say that you don’t get anything back, so our compromise is 75%. We figure at that amount if somebody really wants to return something just because they decide they don’t like it, then, they’re getting most of their money back. But at that 75%, it’s enough where nobody would want to do that. So it doesn’t really happen very often. That’s our policy if you just want to return something just because you end up not liking it or your plans fall through. The point is, it’s no fault of ours or an inherent problem with the kitchen itself. If it is something on your end where you have changed your mind, then you can receive 75% of your money back.