This blog is dedicated to the enjoyment and benefit of all the customers

The purpose of this blog is to feature and discuss customer projects. This blog is meant to be a resource for those folks who are either actively remodeling their kitchen or just considering getting started. Our customer base and audience is both the newbee as well as the established professional

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rawdoors Project Spot Light: Meeting a Budget

In April of 2009 my wife and I purchased a 100 yr old house that was in foreclosure. It needed(s) lots of work. The kitchen was essentially non-existent. The cabinets were probably circa 1950. They were unsalvageable. New cabinets were too costly, with the lowest estimate coming in around $18,000, without counter tops. (read more below)
Click here to see more project pics

In progress
I wanted quality cabinets that would not break the bank. The only way that was going to happen was to build them myself. I have built furniture as a home hobbyist and would rate my skills as average. Unfortunately I have no workshop, just a portable table saw, router, miter saw and a joiner that were stuffed into my one car garage that I have to pull out in the driveway to use.

I was also in training for a new job that required me to travel to different parts of the state. On one of these trips I discovered that Habitat for Humanity sold used building supplies through their Restore franchise. I made it part of my routine to visit these on a regular basis. In Baltimore we located a set of upper and corner cabinets made of cherry. They were in pretty good shape, made with plywood sides and the price was right. Unfortunately there were not enough of them to fit our kitchen footprint. My first thought was that I would buy a set of door bits for my router and make them myself in my portable driveway wood shop.

While researching for cherry wood suppliers on the internet I decided that buying custom made doors would save me time. Did I mention I also did not have much of a wood shop to work in? During my research I stumbled upon RAWDOORS.COM. Your door prices were ½ the costs of what others were asking. It took me all of 2 minutes to recognize that I could not even buy the raw wood for what it cost to purchase doors through RAWDOORS. The website was easy to navigate and I was able to almost exactly duplicate the existing doors of the used cabinets. I would only need to build the “boxes”, face them, and attach the doors. Yeah, right.

Taking the rough kitchen dimensions I worked through door and drawer sizes to meet my needs and placed my order. I also began searching for a source of cherry wood for the face frames. The cabinet boxes would be custom built along each wall using 2 x 4 floor frames with plywood, sides faced with cherry veneer. Once the doors and drawers arrived I separated them out and went to work designing the face frames to fit them.

Mark, Not sure if you were aware or not but you can configure and order custom face frames directly from  The online face frame configurator will let you create nearly any design you can dream up.  All's you have to do is build the cabinet box behind it.  Plus a really cool feature is once you have designed your frame the configurator will automatically calculate the size of the doors or drawer fronts to fit the openings.  This is bound to save you manure loads of time and money! - Big Country

Drawers with slides were purchased from IKEA and custom fit to the cabinet, then the cherry drawer fronts were attached using IKEA hardware. The most difficult part of this was alignment in the cabinet. I also used some existing drawers, just changing the fronts. A local Amish cabinet maker provided a source of glides which I used to build larger drawer pullouts.

By far the most difficult part has been matching the stain of the new doors/drawers with the old. It has been a trial and error process that required purchase of multiple cans of stain. I used three different stains to as close as possible match the existing cabinets. The results have been pretty good, but not perfect. I notice the difference, others don’t.

This was the first kitchen project that I have tackled. The wife loves the results. I would recommend RAWDOORS to anyone planning on remodeling or building a new kitchen. The cherry products I ordered are of very good quality wood, built well and delivered rapidly.
You get an "ata boy" for that one.  Keepin the Mrs. happy is always worth it, that's my motto anyway. - Big Country

My only recommendation would be not to try and match existing cabinets. Buy a complete set of doors and drawers and finish them using the same method.

I was very satisfied with RAWDOORS and highly recommend them to anyone considering a similar project. I will be using them again for my next project.

Cost of the project to include glass countertops, glass block window, gas cooktop, stainless range hood, kitchen window, cabinets and flooring was approximately $9,300.00. The cabinets cost approximately $2000.


Mark Fluitt

Mark, excellent job on your project so far. Please send us some pictures of the project when you are all wrapped up. I reckon you saved yourself thousands of dollars and greatly improved the value of your home. Thanks for all the kind words about Value, quality and service are traits we hang our 10 gallon hats on. Thanks again for sharing your project and for your support.
-Big Country

Fluitt project pics


  1. Just want to echo Mark's reference to Habitat for Humanity's ReStores. They are truly awesome! You can find incredible stuff--often new-- for really low prices. Sometimes contractors donate brand new items that are overstocks or rejects because of size problems and so on, and you can buy them for pennies on the retail dollar. Plus, your purchases support a really fine cause. Seriously, if you don't have a ReStore in your area, you should move!!

  2. Thanks for sharing the useful information. It was really amazing and very informative. Keep sharing
    Kitchen Cabinet Remodel Ideas
    Kitchen Cabinet Planner
    Bathroom Remodel
    Flooring Installation