When you need something done that has to do with the construction or repair of timber or timber-derived products, you turn to a cabinet maker for help. Some cabinet makers specialise in one aspect of their trade while others are able to take on just about any job they are asked to do. In any community, there are usually a number of them to choose from. What should you look for in a cabinet maker to make sure you have chosen the right one for your needs?
Cabinet makers often differ from many other trade professionals in a couple of important respects. For one thing, more often than not, they get on-the-job training as apprentices rather than formal training. For another, many of them enter the trade after taking up woodworking as a hobby and discovering they enjoy it. In both cases, they tend to move into specific skill sets that match their interests and capabilities. Some of the varieties of work a cabinet maker might specialise in include:
- Custom furniture design and construction.
- Furniture restoration.
- Office fit-outs.
- Kitchen, bathroom and other built-in constructions.
A cabinet maker may work alone, have a small team of apprentices or be a larger joinery business.
How to Choose a Cabinet Maker
These are a few of the things to look for in a cabinet maker:
- A good cabinet maker will always have a portfolio for you to look at.
- Ask a cabinet maker for references. Satisfied customers are always happy to answer any questions you may have, so don't hesitate to call them.
- If the cabinet maker or joinery has a showroom, visit the showroom and see what's on display.
- If possible, it's always a good idea to inspect their facilities. You can learn a lot about a cabinet maker's skill and conscientiousness from their workshop. Is it kept neat and clean? Do they have the right equipment and tools? Do the projects they are working on look like they are being well made?
After you have chosen a cabinet maker, it is time to get down to business. Get a written quote before signing a contract or giving a down payment. If the cabinet maker is going to be installing something in your home, make sure they have their own public liability and personal injury insurance. Without these, you could find yourself responsible for paying for any on-site damages or injuries. If the cabinet maker's service includes design, insist on getting a detailed drawing before committing yourself financially to the job. This way, there will be no misunderstandings on either side.