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Ready made kitchen cabinets: right for your home and your wallet

by Susanne Clemenz

You get a lot for your money with ready made kitchen cabinets. American Woodmark, American Classics, Homecrest, and Diamond are among companies offering budget-wise cabinets that you don't have to assemble yourself.

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What features should you expect?

Even lower-priced cabinets often offer solid wood door frames, drawer fronts, and cabinet case face frames. Door panels may be wood, wood veneer or laminate, and the same is true for visible cabinet ends and backs. Cases and drawer boxes will most likely be particle board.

Delivery ranges from instant, for in-stock cabinets from Home Depot, Lowe's, or other retailers, to several weeks if cabinets are ordered. Ikea offers an assembly service for its ready-to-assemble cabinets that in essence turns its do-it-yourself units into ready made cabinets.

Choices in ready made kitchen cabinets

  1. Woods: Oak, maple, cherry and hickory are common species.
  2. Styles: Framed white or oak cabinets with a flat or raised panel are often in stock at big-box retailers. Many other styles, colors, and special-use cabinets in standard sizes may be ordered from showroom displays.
  3. Prices: Your best prices will be on in-stock cabinets of standard sizes. At Home Depot, American Classics medium oak 35-inch-wide base cabinets cost around $190, an 18-inch-wide three-drawer base cabinet is about $200, and a 24-inch-wide wall cabinet is around $120. Ordered cabinets may cost considerably more.

Measure your kitchen carefully to the quarter-inch so you don't buy cabinets that overlap doors, windows or moldings. Learn standard cabinet sizes. Use a computer kitchen design program or graph paper to lay out precisely what you need. Your retailer may have personnel to help with designing, measuring and installing your ready made kitchen cabinets. Your investment will update your kitchen for daily enjoyment or for selling your home.



About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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