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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sometimes Too Much Is Just Enough

During the course of a kitchen installation, there are several moments I plan for where the client will be confused or concerned about what is going on in their kitchen, and over the years I've developed a standard set of answers to go along with them.  Most involve pretty mundane things (door adjustments, etc.) but if you don't deal with it on a regular basis (or trust your designer implicitly - my personal favourite) I completely understand why these might be concerns.  

One of the most common questions I hear has to do with the amount of crown moulding, toe kick and filler material that arrives on site.  On any project I'm involved with it's usually a lot ... and by "a lot" I mean much more than we're likely to need.  Over the course of the installation it becomes pretty clear to even the most casual observer that there's going to be a length or two of material left over.

Despite what some may be thinking, this is not the result of sloppy ordering. The amount of material required is never exactly the amount of material that ends up installed on the cabinets.  If a kitchen requires 3 pieces of crown, 8' , 9' and 3' long (20' overall), ordering 2 lengths of 10' crown will mean that the 3' piece will have to be made from the two pieces leftover from cutting the bigger pieces.  Ordering 3 pieces would result in a much better looking finished product.

There are many other reasons to order extra material:  mitre cuts in crown take up extra material, the carpenter may make a mistake (heaven forbid!), material may arrive damaged.  So ordering extra material is actually a good indication that your designer is thinking ahead.

Can you receive a credit for unused crown?  That will depend on the manufacturer.  If you bought a stock crown from a big-box retailer and the crown can be re-sold, then chances are they will take it back for credit (perhaps with a re-stocking fee).  For a custom cabinet manufacturer there will almost undoubtedly be no refund, simply because the extra material cannot be re-sold.  That might sound a bit unfair, but the truth of the matter is that it's better to have the material on site with you than having to wait for something new to be made and shipped.

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