Just couldn't resist. I always read about how some shop is involved in construction of "High End" work. What a Crock!!! I think that we all might adjust things as to what the client wants. Who will come forth and say, "well yeah, we focus mostly on low end, quick turn work" even though the profit margin could quite possibly be higher.
Point is High End Work is in the eye of the beholder. Just a thought :)
There are very profitable companies that produce high quality work with little variation. Is that high or low end? It probably sells for less.
There are very profitable companies that make very high quality work with all the variation you want, totally custom. Is that high end?
There are very profitable companies that make reasonable quality work with very cost effective materials and a lower unit price point. Is that low end?
I think "high end" in the context of this board is the level of customization you allow which effects the price and higher quality material. Most successful people on this board are not trying to compete with home depot.
THE GOAL IS PROFIT. How you get there is the magic formula.
Exactly, It is all relative. You could be building the highest of high end and be loosing your shirt, while the guy next door is building pallets and banking big profits. Every shop works to make a profit, I just find it funny that all you hear is "We do High End" how about "We are profitable"?
That is a crock, if low end is frameless, high end is face frame, and then what is beaded inset? I have done very high end frameless cabinets with booked matched walnut veneer in 10 ft lenths with totally all the grain matching panel to panel floor to ceiling. You have to have enough from each flinch to do a complete room with drops. Not to mention doing matching paneling going down hallways. I have done many very truly high end projects over the years and I really can't remember any of them requiring "face frame cabinets" but I am sure that somewhere there is this truly fabulous piece of wood work that has boxes looking like they came out of the 1970's or 1980's, maybe they were going after that "retro" look
I actually enjoy chasing what "I" consider low end. I come from the bread and butter residential world (I would say mid to mid-high level) and now doing a lot of commercial interiors (supply only no field work or install) and the stuff I see on a daily basis I could never have gotten away with in 30 years in the business. Its kinda nice to make a nice product, ship it, and forget it. Its a bit sad when you go on a site visit and see the butchered up product but the checks clear and our name is not on the end result. I never thought I would be that way and was always of the "craftsman" mindset that no one will put their hands on my work because its a representation of me. Well when that type of job hits we go that route but for us at least there is a lot more money in our hands when we ship it and walk away. In our area the commercial "standard" is far different than our own.
The frameless/faceframe thing is always a disaster but in my area at least it has somewhat always rung true but only because most faceframe shops are steeped in a tradition of building boxes the way they always have and will not adjust so they are giving away a lot of quality for a price point they arent being compensated for. We are in a lower end market where frameless is taking a bit of hold because there are no custom shops period and residential kitchen designers are buying in basically closetmaid quality Plam cabs in color and cashing in on the euro trend just taking hold here. The cabinets are pretty much junk and will be showing signs of wear and tear in months not years and they are not priced at a price point that will frank with tearing them out in 5 years for the newest thing.
I was in a job recently that was frameless and the tall pantry boxes were standing in an adjacent room assembled and doors hung waiting to go into the kitchen and they were racking heavily under their own weight. You could lean a finger on the box and watch the rack in the box/door reveals. The installers have a pleasant time with these in less than square homes.
There are some stunningly beautiful and quality frameless jobs. Its no different for face frame. You can look at commodity face frame and beaded inset at the homecenters that are all put together with fully prefinished sticking, dry copes. Intentional rads and grooves strategically placed to hide inevitable joints. There are high and low quality options in everything.
Paul is on the money, you need to find people with money to have the possibility of making money.
Whew, that was fun.....Sorry to get everyone up in arms. We build both FF and Framless. Paul is right on target. High end is where the one paying has the high money. But where does one really divide between high end and low end. That is hard to distinguish sometimes. There have been times when I walk back into a job we did years earlier and and for a moment I think, "wow I wish I could do work this nice" and then it clicks, I did build this. Those jobs when a customer has the finances to want the top of everything. They have people they want to impress and want us to provide a product that they can show off. (pride builders) We don't get hurried in those jobs and have the time to show our artistic side because...the one wanting the flair has the money to let us "play" for a moment.
There is no "line". Its simply a matter of a customer that is willing to pay for a detailed product and all that goes along with that. We have had those customers be someone who is living paycheck to paycheck but wants to make a sound investment all the way to the guy with a bugatti in the garage that is going to beat you up at every turn to save a nickle.
The reason Euro is "in" is because the industry has found it to be a capital-ize-able endeavor. Its nothing more and nothing less. Euro cabs and euro anything, heating systems, envelope construction, appliance technology, any of it, are all derived in Europe not because they are smarter than us, its because they pay the true cost for energy and space. So less resources (less material in your cabs) and less space (more efficient use of space) are paramount on mass. You dont see "great rooms" in EU homes. You dont see "bonus rooms" that are 800sq' with soaring high ceilings, that may or may not ever get built out.
What you see is low ceilings. Why? Because it keeps the heat closer to the humans. Why? Because when you pay the true cost for energy the masses want to save money.
The move to frameless in the US is a financial and fashion statement. Its lipstick, mascara, and eye shadow. It can be L'oreal, or it can be Wal-mart. Junk is junk, quality is quality. But the move to Euro cabs in the US is motivated by one factor and one factor only... there is a half sheet of material in an average formaldehyde laiden PB box that costs the same as a non formaldehyde, low/no VOC, HAPS free, Carb2 compliant, ply box and you can sell them for nearly the same price. The industry is moving Euro because there is profit there. They will drill it into the consumers head until they see it as the norm and then it will become the norm. We priced a job today where boxes have less than $25 total in materials and are all plastic and glue. Including hinges and side mount slides.
I shut my mouth and take the money. It doesnt mean I dont see whats going on.
I see a lot of stuff claiming to be "high end" and think it's garbage.
I don't think I build high end. I work for upper middle class people typically, but by no means rich. Nicer houses, but not palatial.
I think the comparison is stupid. You build what you build. There's a peg for every hole.
If your project doesn't fit me, great.
If my product doesn't fit your project, also great.
We weren't meant to work together then and we got out early without either one of us wanting to choke the life from the other.
So high end, or low end, it's just a useless label you put on yourself. You can use that to fake it until you make it, or use it as an excuse to stay slugging it out with the peasantry.
Quality, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. However, attempts are made to quantify what quality means. Some cabinets have stickers inside that proclaim it a "Certified Cabinet" or some such muggery. Some cabinets have a price that speaks to the supposed quality. High or low. Some shops proclaim high quality, while their inexperience and lack of finesse show in the completed work.
You don't know what you don't know.
Unless you have educated yourself on all aspects of whatever it is you build, you are at risk of making false claims about quality.
FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards(return to top)
WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
A valid email return address must be included with each message.
Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
"Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.
You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.
WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.
Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).
Libel: Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.
Improper Decorum: Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).
Advertising: The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).
Repeated Forum Abuse:
Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.
There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).
The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)
Forum Posting Form Guidelines
The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines
Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Thread Related File Uploads
Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .FLV .MP4 (Image Upload Tips) If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices.
What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe
for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use
of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation,
and at their own risk.