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Everything You Need to Know About Custom Cabinets: An Interview with Jason Sanford of Sanford Customs LLC.

By Jason Sanford

Please briefly describe your company's history and the services you offer.

Our history stems from growing up with a father who is a builder/finish carpenter. He taught me everything I know about building homes, decks, and kitchen remodeling. I spent many years doing just those things. When the economy started crashing, these jobs starting drying up. That's when I decided to build custom pieces in my garbage for extra money. Next thing I knew we are the highest rated cabinet and furniture maker on Angie's List. We have moved from our garage, to a shop in Pontiac, and now to an even bigger shop in Warren. We offer commercial, a builder's series, semi-custom and full custom cabinets. We also build furniture but our favorites are custom pieces. If someone has an idea for making an old sign into a table or an old steamer trunk into a office desk or bar, we are the company for them.

What are the main advantages of choosing custom cabinetry?

Most custom cabinet builders would probably state that the main advantage of custom cabinets would be that they can be made to any size. While that is an advantage, I believe the best part is the materials. You can get cabinets all over town that will look great once installed, but most of these are made from the cheapest products to insure the most profit possible. After a few years of use, and especially if you have animals and children, you will really start to see the difference. Even the cabinets that boast being made from all wood are usually made form very cheap plywood that is made overseas. These materials do not hold their shape for long and will start to warp, causing drawers to start sticking and doors to not shut all of the way (especially in Michigan with the high humidity). We use all American made wood products and all of our hardwood is harvested in Michigan.

Can you talk about the cost of custom cabinets versus pre-made cabinets?

Our custom cabinets are really not anymore expensive than what most semi-custom companies charge. In fact, we can usually beat the box store prices on the same type of cabinet. We do this by not charging 180% markup. Our markup is less and our products are of better quality.

How much flexibility would custom cabinets give homeowners who want to remodel their kitchen?

Custom cabinets offer the flexibility of avoiding the use of fillers to fill dead spaces. Custom cabinets can be designed to use every inch of your useable space. Also we can do things like build areas in the cabinets to show a collection of nick-knacks that a customer might have or an island that has a built in dog kennel. What ever great ideas our customers come up, with we can make happen with custom cabinets.

Does choosing custom-made cabinets mean a homeowner will have to wait longer for the work to be done? What's the process usually like?

Depending on the job a custom kitchen can take from three weeks for simple jobs to three months for very large and/or detailed jobs. The process starts with the first meeting where we listen to the homeowner's ideas and take measurements. We then do a 3D design and come up with a price. Next we would meet with the clients again to go over the bid. If they choose to hire us, we then we put them on our schedule and start ordering the wood. Upon completion of the cabinets, we deliver them to the job to install them ourselves or we hand them off to the person installing them.

Is there a particular design trend or a popular style for cabinets that you've seen in the Connecticut area recently?

The design trend I see the most of at this time is the shaker style which is basic styling with clean lines. I like this style because it allows the beauty of the wood to be the showpiece instead of a bunch of routered edges which tend to draw your eyes away from the wood. I also notice people are getting away from the oaks and maples and choosing woods like walnut and mahogany.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

People can reach us by phone (248-872-0245)
Email: sanfordcustom74@gmail.com
Website: www.sanfordcustoms.com
Or they can see us on one of the many episodes of the DYI and HGtv networks "Rehab Addict" with Nicole Curtis.

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