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Faceframe vs frameless/ semi-custom cabinets1/27
So I've been in business for 1 year this month strictly building %100 custom high end cabinetry and furniture in north jersey. Business has been ok thus far. My biggest problem is finding the right clientele to be able to afford my prices. Building frameless cabinetry certainly has its pros and it's basically all I know but its seams that I can't compare the the faceframe cabinet shops prices. This is a 2 part question if anyone can give me some insight. For anyone's that's done both frameless and faceframe cabinetry, is faceframe easier/ more time efficient and more cost effective.
Have you considered marketing hybrid cabinetry? It's just a filler or pilaster between cabinets. It helps give the look of face frames but with out the cost. This picture is what I'm talking about
There are two questions here, Framed VS Euro box systems. Framed uses more materials and labor. Most people buy what they can see, the fronts. You can hang any style door on either case and most people won't care. It's more about marketing. For a very small shop the cost of getting efficient Euro box equipment is quite high. Best to buy the boxes flat packed. Each step up in equipment brings a reduction in labor. It's always a trade. We have long been exclusively in the commercial market. It is frameless almost totally. You are going to fight an uphill battle trying to sell in the semi-custom resale market. Look for an underserved niche market.
I only build face frame but I'll give you a few thoughts. A lot of this I think has to do with area that you are in. Years ago here, custom builders built face frame cabinets and if you went to a hardware store and bought off the shelf cabinets they were frameless with raw particle board interiors and it was known as junk. Matter of fact there used to be a particle board factory here when I was a kid called "Tenn Flake". I'd like to have a dollar for every time I've had an older client tell me that they didn't want any Tenn Flake in their cabinets.
We build both, but only do inset doors with faceframes. that jacks up the cost considerably. More budget-friendly or more contemporary homes get frameless. the high budget contemporary get nicer "materials" than the lower budget projects. Face frame is way more labor and materials. I highly doubt that the cost of 1/2" ply vs 3/4" ply would offset that. Plus, I'd guess if you want a higher end clientele, they won't accept 1/2" box parts.
Pdub, what do you use for banding? We are a commercial only shop, 2mm PVC is our standard for everything including drawer boxes. Generally will not use .018 as it isn't durable enough for commercial work. Use 1.5mm veneer banding on veneer doors. 3mm PVC is generally spec'd on medical work along with 5 knuckle hinges. Try to talk people out of using HPL banding, too easily damaged. Our bander will do 20mm solid wood but I have never thought that is a good idea, too much stress can develop for a hot melt band to hold long term. That said, in our offices we have 3/4" maple bands that are still fine after 18 years. Lucky I think.
We do 95% residential. Our "standard" frameless gets 1 mil. wood finished to match doors. Our upgrade is 1/4" solid hand glued on. Those are all assembled, sanded, masked and then finished like a face frame. It's a pretty substantial upgrade!