When purchasing new cabinets there are a few important questions your cabinet dealer should be asking you. These questions can help you, as a customer, get the best best service and quality available; and that the cabinet dealer/maker really knows what they are doing.
1. What is your Budget?
This is a hard question for many homeowners to answer. It can be challenging to determine how much of your budget should be allocated for your kitchen cabinets. First, you should use your homes value to determine your remodel budget, typically 8%-15% of the value of your home, and then determine how your budget should be allocated. A 2010 NKBA Survey breaks down kitchen remodeling costs as follows:
Design fees: 4%
Appliances & Ventilation: 14%
Cabinetry & Hardware: 29%
Lighting: 5% Flooring: 7%
Doors & Windows: 4%
Walls & Ceilings: 5%
Faucets & Plumbing: 4%
2. Are you planning on changing your existing floor plan?
Your dealer should have detailed measurements of the existing space, including ceiling heights, electrical outlets, gas lines, water lines, etc. They should know whether you are working within an existing footprint or if you plan to make changes to floors and walls. They should especially be asking what were the biggest flaws with your existing kitchen. Which leads into the next question...
How do you specifically use your space? Do you cook a lot? How tall are you/your spouse? How long are you going to be in the home? What is your age (designing for aging in place)? Details like these are very important when designing an efficient kitchen. Its important to think about what wasn't working, and why you are wanting to change it; and what did really work for you.
4. What is your design style? What is your current furniture/decor like?
After these questioned are answer, then can you define the look of everything. This is the fun part! You definitely want your kitchen to look nice, but it must also be functional.
Now its times to hash out all the minute details like verifying appliance and plumbing fixture specifications, moldings, etc.