It all boils down to fit & finish plus grade of materials. Does anyone question why a Mercedes S Class is not priced at $15,000 like the Hyundai Accent? Of course not! Just like a fine automobile compared to an economy car, the finest of cabinetry has a precise fit & amazing finish. They are built with the highest quality materials. Talented craftsmen build luxury cabinetry. Just look at how the cabinetry comes together at the seams, doors and moldings. Look at how the drawers are made. Knock on the bottom of the drawer and you can tell solid vs flimsy. If you or your client want cabinetry finish and components to last for 2-4 years and are willing to replace them often, a cheap cabinet is not a bad choice . Most people keep their cars for 3 years. Yet some will spend half or less the amount on a kitchen than their car. Even though their kitchen will last a lifetime or until they want a new look.
Mid level priced custom or semi-custom cabinetry is acceptable to many families. Especially those on a tighter budget. You will not get the superb finishes or top quality materials, but the sacrifice is not severe. Low priced stock cabinetry typically comes with lack of support, finishes that don't last more than a couple years and components like drawers that start breaking down with the slightest of use.
As an example of quality materials, recently RUTT Handcrafted Cabinetry visited one of their hardwood lumber suppliers and we would like to take a moment to give you a glimpse at the care and work that goes into ensuring the wood used in crafting each Rutt cabinet meets their high standards before that first cut is made. Rutt makes all of their own cabinetry components (doors, drawer boxes, moldings, etc.) and the manufacturing process of these items starts out in their rough mill using kiln-dried hardwoods. The lumber that Rutt receives from suppliers has already gone through a drying process that is very scientific in nature and must be done with precision to avoid cracks, twists, or a board with an unbalanced moisture content.
Each different wood species possesses its own characteristics which needs to be considered during the drying process. Many species will begin the drying process using the air-drying technique (Pic 2) and then at a certain point be transferred into a wood drying kiln (Pic 3) for the final stages, where the wood is brought to pre-determined moisture level using heat and steam. The computer controlled kilns extract the moisture from the lumber gradually, adding and removing moisture from the kiln making certain the moisture content of the boards is consistent from the core to the outside edges.
Once removed from the kiln, the lumber is inspected, sorted, and bundled in preparation for delivery. Failure to use wood that is not properly dried when building fine cabinetry and furniture will produce an inferior product that will not stand the test of time. Rutt's purchasing department and internal team works closely with suppliers to make certain the best material available is used to make Rutt HandCrafted Cabinetry. This takes a great deal of talent and effort. Luxury custom brands abide by this procedure.
For every price level a client drops to, there is another sacrifice on quality that could end up costing more in the long run. As long as they understand, everyone will be happy.