Custom Cabinetry Design & Installation – Custom Touch Cabinets
Innovation. We talk about it all the time in the building industry. From new products to new tools, new surfaces to new trends, custom home building requires staying on top of what is new in the industry.
But, there is one thing that has stayed nearly the same for years: the art of custom cabinetry construction. Old world craftsmanship married with the best in traditional customer service. That’s what we are here to talk about today. Chris Schwartz from Custom Touch Cabinets met us out at a beautiful new home on Beaver Lake to tell us all about his craft of creating truly unique experience in your home.
“With the exception of fully concealed adjustable hinges, there have been very few innovations in cabinetry for hundreds of years. Yes, there are new accessories like pull out spice racks and trends like using more drawers to enhance functionality and organization in your kitchen, but the actual process of building custom cabinetry applies the same woodworking techniques of the craftsman who came for generations before us,” shares Chris.
Cabinetmakers are some of our world’s oldest tradespeople. Before the advent of industrial design, before mass production, and before the evolution of modular systems, cabinetmakers perfected the art of design and construction. Even the dovetail joint predates written history – with earliest examples of this technique used in the First Dynasty of Egyptian architecture. The mortise and tenon joint has been used for its strength for nearly 7,000 years – with early examples dating back to 2500 BC. Despite all the glue, fasteners and other tools on the market today, Custom Touch Cabinetry still uses these techniques in every project they create.
Step By Step – The Custom Cabinetry Process
From the very first steps of the process to the last, each detail is what has made them an exceptional Regency partner since 1998. Chris walks us through the process, step by step, with details on what makes the experience special and why the craft has stood the test of time.
- Set Expectations
Before the first measurement is taken or the first board is cut, the custom cabinetry package starts by anticipating the needs of our customers. Regency knows that when it comes to cabinetry, extras are not extras, they are expectations. We are sure to specify those items up front, picking the cabinetry package with raised panel doors and ends, trim and crown molding, spice racks, beams, pull outs in the vanity, and much more, budgeting on the side of extra! We believe the only surprises should come in the form of a credit on your job!
- Design Concepts
Taking the time to build a relationship on the front end allows Chris and his team to get to know the customer, and design a package with the level of detail that meets their needs. Builder, architect, selections coordinator, cabinet maker, and of course customer, are all involved in the conceptual design process, which happens while the design and final blueprints are underway. This process relies not only on a concert of people working together on look and feel, but also on price. With an open book policy, Chris and his team can have open conversations about how changes in your home’s size, layout, and overall design choices can impact your cabinetry budget. This saves you time by allowing you to make real-time decisions on what items you prefer to splurge for and where you might spare the expense.
- Job Bidding
Working from initial drawings during the concept phase allows the cabinet maker to finalize the bid. Rather than “guess” from an average lineal footage price, their team can ensure pricing is specific to your unique needs, ensuring there are no surprises when it comes to the final cost of your custom cabinet package.
- Initial Drawings
Once the bid is awarded, the cabinet maker produces full drawings, working with you and your selections coordinator to perfect the exact design and layout of your cabinet package. Because blueprints have been finalized by this point, these plans are quite accurate, with final measurements taken as construction gets underway.
- Onsite Engineering
While it’s installed near the end of construction, cabinetry and other millwork are thought of early and often throughout your build. This is especially important with staircases. They are hard to draw, hard to visualize, and hard to create. That’s why the unique and decorative nature of the staircase systems in Regency homes often involve the craftsmanship of the custom cabinetry crew. These complex systems must be attractive, safe, and still meet all building codes despite the hundreds of elements that go into each staircase design. Staircase systems are often engineered on-site by making small adjustments during the rough construction phase, predicting the final stairway and finished floor heights, and increasing or decreasing rough carpentry dimensions accordingly. It’s a marriage of art and science.
- Source Materials
Before construction can begin, the best materials must be sourced. Custom Touch Cabinets works with a lumber wholesaler to acquire the best quality, kiln-dried material available. While higher quality wood may cost $2,000-3,000 on the front end of a $100,000 cabinet package, savings are often achieved because the craftsman spends much less time cutting out defects and wasting material.
- Exact Scheduling
The simple art of timing your project is just as important as accurate bidding and quality construction. Chris’s team typically takes about 7 weeks to construct your custom cabinetry package, starting work in their shop around the time drywall installation begins in your home. But due to the unique nature of construction, delays or rushes can sometimes occur. Working hand in hand with your project manager and finish carpenter, Chris and his crews will expedite cabinetry for some rooms while waiting until the others are ready for install. They plan for what rooms will be ready and account for the nearly 3 weeks it can take to install a complex staircase system, timing each phase perfectly. This “just on time” delivery and installation of your new cabinetry helps ensure that no damage or delay occurs.
- Measure Twice
Before beginning final construction of your cabinets, Chris and his team visit the actual job site to take final measurements. Because each cabinet is constructed to exact specifications and engineering changes dictate cabinetry changes, this is a critical step in the process. Plans are adjusted and the final measurements are used to perfect the design.
- Finalize Drawings
From final measurements come final drawings. With exact appliance sizes and specifications, openings and measurements, Custom Touch Cabinetry uses their design software to create final shop drawings used during the construction process.
- Custom Construction
In their shop in Hubertus, WI, Custom Touch Cabinetry creates the finest fully custom pieces for Regency clients. The full face cabinet design provides rigidity to the structure, while the special yet expected elements such as soft close doors, paneled ends, and accessories enhance the overall form and function of the cabinets. Each piece is built to exact sizing for the full width of the space, because box cabinet construction results in seams that we strive to avoid in Regency custom built homes. It may come as some surprise, but once you spring for all the upgrades you need to enhance the quality of manufactured box cabinets, they can cost you more than a custom-built, custom-sized package from a local craftsman!
- Inspect and Deliver
Prior to delivery, each piece is fully inspected, ensuring there’s nothing missing and nothing out of place. The beauty of custom cabinetry is that your only size limitation is that it must fit through the home’s doors. In the case of oversized islands, the final product may be delivered in several pieces, with final construction taking place at the job site.
Cabinetry is hung, ensuring the proper spacing, placement, and installation. Much of this work is made easier by the use of engineered studs on cabinetry walls, a Regency standard. This helps ensure the rough carpentry behind the drywall is square, plumb, and true, making the cabinetry installation much more reliable. Fewer shims are used in this process, and less trim work must be done when you are working from this solid foundation.
- Custom Trim
This is so important we’ve made it a category of its own. The art of cabinetry relies heavily on the trim work, the best mitre joints, and the perfect furniture base molding, not sparing expense when it comes to crown molding. The Cabinetry team works hand in hand with the finish carpentry team and paint crews to ensure that the process is seamless.
- Paint or Stain
The work of Custom Touch Cabinetry comes to life in the finish phase, with the paint and stain crews applying the final finishes. Multiple phases of sanding and staining ensure that the finish is as perfect as possible, revealing the final beauty of custom cabinets in your home.
The tradition of quality doesn’t stop once you move into your new home. Custom Touch Cabinets applies the skilled art of service after the sale, with a lifetime warranty on all of their products for the original owner.
About Custom Touch Cabinets
Located in Hubertus, Wisconsin, Custom Touch Cabinets is a custom woodwork manufacturer that specializes in face frame cabinetry for kitchens, bathrooms, and specialty millwork. Working with homeowners and contractors, they supply cabinetry and millwork for new homes as well as remodeling projects. Custom designs, building, and installation are only some of the products and services that Custom Touch Cabinets offers.