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Everything You Need to Know About Custom Cabinets: An Interview with Dan Foley of Bain Enterprises

By Dan Foley

Tell us a little about your company and the services you offer.

Home Systems Construction is a division of Bain enterprises LLC. Under the LLC umbrella is also its sister company Green Mt. Rustix, which specializes in rustic furniture.

At Home Systems, we approach everything systematically shooting for maximum efficiency, productivity, and usability with an emphasis on keeping it local and green. Some things we promote to our customers are eliminating as many air pollutants as possible, proper home ventilation, insulation, and functionality in their living areas. We maintain a sawmill, woodshop, and iron forge for fabrication. Along with excellent local resources such as the Springfield Tech Center, we can provide almost endless possibilities. Home Systems currently operates a showroom at 11 Maple Street, in North Springfield VT. We have items for sale but more importantly lots of examples for customers to view for ideas on future projects. Our home office is also located at this address.

What are some of the advantages when a homeowner chooses custom cabinetry?

Advantages of custom cabinetry are big. Both design and time are huge factors in quality and customer satisfaction. Since we are a design-build company, we can customize any space for any need. Our process is designed to help eliminate costly errors. There is nothing worse than a new kitchen with design errors. For example, cabinet spacing can be critical around appliances and mistakes can mean cabinets that will not work properly and costly repairs. All hardware and appliance mechanisms need consideration which can easily be overlooked without the proper systems in place. Our expertise of wood species, moisture content, and finishes enhance the final product to make it as visually pleasing and functional as possible. Since we do everything in-house, we are also able to more easily accommodate our customer's schedules. We can also accommodate for any appliance, and with so many different models on the market today this of ever-growing importance. The materials used in my cabinets are also the best and thickest making them the most durable. Since a raw piece of wood starts at 1 inch I can stop planeing at 7/8, which is the finished cabinet door thickness making them at least one eighth thicker than most. Stains paints and finishes can also be selected by the customer to fit whatever look they are going for. Jobs completed on time and in good fashion are serious company goals for everyone. Home Systems has been known in the past to put together a complete custom hardwood kitchens from scratch in under three weeks. Last, running the entire site enables us to be involved with appliance hookups and electrical needs to expedite the process and save costs.

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

My standard custom cabinets can be made for as little as a mid-grade cabinet in quality hardware stores. Of course upgrades on brackets, hardware such as slides, knobs, and handles, wide shelving, special built-in elements, and exotic hardwoods are available at higher costs, but can also be well worth it. There are some other costs to consider that are true for both custom and pre-made cabinets; many kitchens begin with tearing out old cabinetry, which incurs rubbish costs and labor. Sometimes walls are added or old walls need repair, wall paint will typically be desired, and trim is rarely overlooked. Another cost advantage in terms of flooding and other water damage is that lower quality cabinets that get waterlogged are ruined. Home Systems cabinets could be air dried and ready for use in a day. So longevity makes these cabinets worth it compared to pre-made. Material cost are always raising, making labor rise as well, so an investment in high quality custom cabinetry now, will save money in the long run. Most customers really appreciate the fact that it looks like it didn't come out of a cardboard box as well.

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

Another advantage of using my cabinet system is it gives homeowners as much choice and flexibility as their budget and creativity allows them to have. Mixer lifts, slide out pantry systems, pot racks, and food disposal systems are some of the elements that can be viewed online at www.homesysco.com and at our showroom in North Springfield. We encourage our customers to follow suit in utilizing similar systems to maximize kitchen space and functionality. Custom cabinets means the sky is the limit. We can make cabinets deeper, taller, or shorter. We can mount them to the wall or stand them in space. Maybe it has a lazy susan or maybe we eliminate the corner cabinet altogether and use the space for something else in and adjacent room. We can even make cabinets to cover a wall cavity or make hidden storage space. And finally, the ability to choose the species of wood alone has significant affect on the look the kitchen.

Our flat rate room design includes up to two drafts and one final design. Making unusable space usable and maximizing storage is our mode of operation. Our eye for getting the best out of the space is one of many things we do well.

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?

No, choosing custom cabinetry does not mean you will need to wait longer. Cabinets can be completed within one to two weeks based on availability of specified materials.

The process with the customer begins with a site visit for measuring and getting an idea of what the job will entail. With a one-time down payment the design stage begins. We are generally able to fit one room job into our schedule within a few weeks. After the design is final, boxes and doors are constructed, followed by installation. It's that easy.

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

We have seen a trend in simple but elegant doors with some natural or rustic type elements such as forged hardware. We can also offer live edges or mixed species cabinets which customers are mainly very impressed with. Our customers have also been very pleased with our natural semi-gloss finish made in Vermont.

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

Home systems can be found online at www.homesysco.com . Contact information and directions to the showroom are available there. E mail is our preferred method of communication since it allows for a record of interactions so we can better serve the customer. Customers can also certainly reach us at the home office or site phone. Please visit our web site for these contacts and to view pictures of projects along with customer testimonials.

Building with purpose since 2008.

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