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Everything You Need To Know About Kitchen Cabinets: with Mike Fountain of House Doctors Incorporated

By Mike Fountain

Please describe the background of your company and your qualifications.

My company originated in 1998 as primarily a remodeling contractor. Through the 16 years I have been in business we have developed into a full service builder/general contractor and have honed our subs to some of the best in the business. Our staff are primarily carpenters and perform the majority of carpentry functions ourselves.

What is the main difference between stock, semi custom, and custom cabinets?

My company has been somewhat spoiled in that we have worked with a custom Amish cabinet maker for the last 12 years. We rarely purchase cabinets anywhere else. This particular Amish cabinet makers' quality is absolutely unmatched and with pricing that is comparable to a box store. All orders are completely custom with my cabinet maker. This sets most of our kitchen apart as we never have to use fillers, can fill up any wasted space with cabinetry, and can really do anything custom at stock cabinet pricing.

What should homeowners know about the box of the cabinet, also known as the cabinet's "backbone"?

Some of the cheaper cabinet lines will use an MDF (medium density fiberboard) box that does not hold fasteners as well as other methods. Some use thinner material, etc.. Our cabinet maker uses ¾" A grade plywood for the box and solid ¾" finish material for all end panels and face frames. The quality difference is evident simply from lifting a cabinet and the weight of it. If you compare a Dura Supreme, or a Merilot to a similar sized Amish cabinet, they are both noticeably lighter.

In your opinion, what cabinet materials makes the best cabinets?

As mentioned, the thickness and quality of material used for the boxes is key. Wood species is to homeowners personal preference. The milling and finish of doors and panels is another area that sets my cabinet maker apart. After staining, they apply a minimum of 3 heavy coats of lacquer and sand by hand between coats. It is actually difficult to make my trim look as good as the cabinets when we use the same wood species. They also offer glazing, etc..

What is the biggest cabinet finishes trend right now?

It seems like dark is back. We have done a lot of walnut and cherry as of late. White with dark has also been very popular. The most common used wood right now is cherry. My cabinet maker actually uses a hard maple when painting his cabinets.

What are some ways to increase the amount of storage cabinets?

Customizing the spaces is key. Without giving away all of our secrets, there is plenty you can do with face frame pull outs, vertical dividers, etc. Not staying within the norm and using more 15" deep uppers and 27+" deep pantry towers and base cabinets is always helpful as well.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you?

Best way is my mobile @ 608-576-3163 or feel free to visit our website @ housedoctorsmd.com

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