Our Super Secret 5 step process is world famous among the folks who know it!
We build incredible custom cabinetry projects every day, and have been doing so for decades. Because we’re experts in this field, and we’re a LEAN workshop, we’ve honed and refined a process to make sure the experience is streamlined and stress free for you, while reducing as much waste as possible. Investing in custom cabinetry for your home or business generally is a little more involved than just pointing to an item, saying “I’ll take that one” and writing a check. We will need some help from you to make sure we fully understand your project, that we can meet your timeframe, that we can work within your budget, and ultimately determine that we are a good fit for one another. We ask that you take a few moments to familiarize yourself with our process as described below – You’ll see that this ain’t our first rodeo, and we’ve got a solid plan for success!
Step 1 – We Listen
We begin by listening to you. We want to make sure we understand what you want to accomplish, and help put together a winning design and a realistic working budget for your project.
If you’ve seen pictures in magazines or websites of things you love (and things we should avoid too) then definitely bring those with. Knowing the style of cabinetry, the species, the finish, the door style, all of those selections have major impacts on your investment. Likewise, if you have specific items or accessories you need to incorporate into the space, please be sure to let us know about those.
Speaking of space, we’re really going to need to know about the space we’re designing for, so if you have architectural drawings we’ll want to review those with you. No worries if you don’t have professional drawings, some folks just bring a napkin sketch of their space with rough dimensions, and some photos on a smart phone. We don’t need detailed measurements at this stage – Our team will come out and record accurate field measurements well before we build your project, or even create the final revision.
If you’ve already chosen appliances and plumbing fixtures, we’ll incorporate those into the design as well, to determine any constraints on the design.
It’s also incredibly helpful to know if there are budget concerns or limits for your project. We won’t try to spend all your money, our goal is to help you realize your dream – At the same time, there’s no sense in our team designing a $50K kitchen for you if your budget is $15K.
And if you’re not sure what to budget, that’s fair enough. We have a lot of folks that are not sure what to budget, and they start their conversation with “How much are your cabinets?” That’s not a simple answer, and is kind of like saying “How much is a car?” That answer is very, very, different whether you’re looking at a Buick, a BMW, or a Bentley. The good news is we can help you, and you’re in total control of determining your investment. There’s not one single item that determines whether a custom kitchen will be a $15,000 investment, or a $50,000 investment, or more, rather it’s the combination of a myriad of choices and selections, along with the overall size or volume of cabinetry, that determines your investment. The more detailed information you can provide us, the better we can help you. But know that with all of our proposals, we not only provide you with a price reflective of exactly what you’ve selected, but also with a “price range” based on the full range of selections for that same volume of cabinetry – In other words, we can help you find ways to steer back into your budget, if you drift out of it.
And if you’re working with a professional designer or architect, we’re happy to work with them as well!
Step 2 – Estimates & Proposals & Bears, Oh My!
Hey Dorothy, We’re in the mountains…. Bears are a real thing here!
Ok, back to being serious… At GPD we don’t charge for estimates or proposals – But we do make a distinction between the two!
At GPD, we define a “proposal” as a document that issues a firm price for a well-defined project. Our proposals will list all the details of your project and are generally accompanied by a drawing to illustrate what we will do for you. We call out the type of cabinetry, the species, the finish, moldings and trim details, how exposed ends of cabinetry will be treated – Basically, everything we will do, and what we won’t be doing as well. And if you don’t change anything in the design, we won’t change that price – You can take that to the bank! Remember, next to that firm price will be a price range in parenthesis, so we can always explore selections that can lower that price, or include things you want to add, which of course would increase the price – You’re in control of that number, your investment, we simply make sure you know what options are available and tell you what your selections will cost.
A lot of times, especially at the very beginning of design, a simple working budget needs to be established, and most of the details are still to be determined. That’s where “Estimates” come into the picture. When we have very little information, we simply can’t provide a firm price, so we do our best to give you a realistic price range based on the size of your project. We’ll usually make assumptions about the type of cabinetry, its configuration, and its general appearance – And we’ll document all of that for you, and attach a price, with a price range. “Estimates” are very helpful for folks to see if we’re in the same ballpark, or to just establish a budget for their remodel project.
To summarize, at GPD, a “Proposal” is a firm well defined price, and an “Estimate” is a price that should put you in the ballpark.
Please know that the one thing we wont do here is to give you a lowball, or unrealistic price – We despise the lowball pricers that lure you in with the “Starting at only….” and then upsell you to get every dollar they can. Nope, not here! Right from the start we provide realistic prices, and they are turn key prices too – Our proposal price includes fabrication, finishing, delivery, and installation – No hidden costs, no resort fees, no unwanted surprises!
Step 3 – Let’s do this thing!
Retaining GPD for your project: We’re not real big fans of salespeople… Sorry to offend if that’s your gig…. In our experience, sales people bug you, they pressure you… They usually just add stress to an already stressful situation… That’s why we don’t have any salespeople at GPD. Our team helps you in the buying process to determine your investment, and we help to make sure you’re getting the best value for your investment (There’s a BIG difference between the best value and the cheapest price by the way) but then, once you have your proposal/estimate, we leave you alone so you can consider it. Again, we leave you alone.
When you are ready to move forward, and only when you’re ready, you retain us and we jump back on board! Retaining us is easy – Whoever is in charge of finances needs to write a check. The retainer amount is called out on your proposal. We can also accept credit cards, or cash – Or if you happen to have a Bell 222 helicopter you’re looking to trade, we should talk!
Please, please, please! And know this is NOT a sales pressure tactic! We need to make sure you are aware that we usually have a couple dozen proposals and estimates out there at any given time, and we commit our resources to projects on a first come, first serve basis, and step three starts rolling when you retain us to undertake your project. This is also reiterated on the bottom of the first page of our proposal/estimate.
Soooooo, once we receive a retainer there are a lot of tasks that occur so that we can finalize your design, have it flow into and through our engineering department, and then finally into our workshop where we start making sawdust!
First, we assign a point person on your team, and a project leader for you on our team. The point person on your team will be the single person responsible for approving designs for fabrication, and is also the only person authorized to have us make changes – The point person helps reduce communication overhead by avoiding having several people tell us different things to do – Ultimately, we take orders from the point person, so they have to be the one to approve, or change things.
We’ll also schedule a time to come out to your project and get real world measurements, and we’ll adjust the current drawings to reflect those measurements. We’ll incorporate into your design, the real sizes of sinks, appliances, accessories, etc… And we’ll make sure we point out any conflicts between the design and the real world site.
Another thing we do is to make or provide samples showing the exact door style, species, and finish that will be used in your project(s). Your point person will review the sample, and literally sign the back of it with sharpie marker, indicating it is approved. We’ll keep this approved sample here at GPD while we finish your cabinetry, to make sure everything matches. And if you need a finish sample for matching to countertops, floors, or window treatments, we’re happy to provide you with one.
We’ll also “front load” your project materials – We buy the raw materials needed for your project at the onset, that way they are here when we begin fabrication, and we don’t have any supply chain issues to contend with.
Drawing revisions are a given at this stage, and this is when we’ll begin fine tuning everything for you in preparation for final approval from your point person. And throughout this time we’re in regular communication with your general contractor to make sure both of our schedules are in alignment, and that any other trades involved in your project have the information from us, that they will need to do their jobs accurately and on time.
It’s very important for us to stress that we don’t do any of the above until we have been retained – Drawing revisions, site visits, field measurements, project management, creating custom samples: All of this takes a lot of time and resources, and we can’t afford to just give that work away – So this only happens when you have decided to retain our team at GPD.
Step 4 – Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to work we go!
Engineering and Fabrication: Hold on, things are about to get really real! It’s time for your designs to become real cabinets that you can touch and feel. But before we cut wood, we do one last engineering check, and this is a painstaking, tedious process for us, although you’ll never see this part of the process. Then we send you the final design one last time, all on its own for final approval – we usually do this by email, and it’s your time to review the project one last time too, to make sure we got everything exactly how you envision it, or if there’s anything you want to change – Kinda like a doctor will ask you what arm he’s going to work on, and then signs it before surgery – This part of the process is a final confirmation that everything is 100% and we’re good to go.
If everything looks good in that email, your next step is super simple: Hit reply, type “Approved”, and hit send. Easy Peasy!
At this point we’ll put your project in our fabrication queue, and make sure it gets started and is completed, just in time for when you (or your General Contractor) will need it at your home – Not a moment sooner, or later. Late is always bad, but early is bad too – Trust us, you don’t want your beautiful cabinetry to be delivered ahead of time where it could get bumped, dinged, scratched, etc… Just in time is best for everyone!
We’ll also send you a cloud link! As we make your project, we’ll snap some photos and put them in a cloud drive that you, and anyone you forward the link to, can view. It’s fun! You’ll see raw wood being transformed into your dream, and you can share this with family and friends. We’ve even had clients who have a passion for woodworking or an appreciation for hand made craft, ask if they can help – ABSOLUTLEY! If you want to get your hands dirty, and take part in this transformation, you’re more than welcome to join in – You can tell all your friends that you helped build your dream kitchen – How cool is that!
Hey, we REALLY need to address something here…. Soooo, sometimes, when we’ve been retained to craft multiple rooms of cabinetry in a home, folks will ask for every drawing, for every area, all at once, so they can approve everything all at one time. This sounds great on the surface, but WE DON’T DO THAT – Here’s why: The sun blasts the earth with a bazillion kilowatts of energy every day, and if you’re exposed to all that sunlight all at once, for a few hours, you may get a little sunburn – BUT, if we focus just a few watts of that energy into a focused laser beam, we can cut through steel! So or point is if you, or we, try to give our attention to all of your spaces at the same time, we’ll overlook something – You will too…. We’re all human after all…. Let’s focus, and be certain we get it perfect in that one room, and then move on to the next. And besides, while you’re reviewing one room, we can be doing final engineering on another area for you, and the process just flows better with less waste.
Step 5 – Hey there, want some company???
Delivery and Installation: Our team not only builds your project, but we blanket wrap it, and we deliver it to your jobsite where, you guessed it, we install it too! We’ll contact you or your contractor again (yeah, we communicate a lot) to be certain everything is good to go at your jobsite, and we’ll finalize everything to deliver and install your cabinetry. Installation can take anywhere from a couple hours, to several days, depending on the scope and complexity of your project. Our craftsmen are not only super skilled, but they have total respect for you and your home too. And we make sure that when we wrap up, we leave your home at least as clean as it was when we arrived – Usually even cleaner!
And if your project involves other trades which will arrive after us, we’ll usually pay another visit after they’re done, so that we can complete dependent tasks, or simply do final adjustments.
Once they’re settled in to their new kitchen, laundry, home office, or bar, our coolest customers writing raving reviews about us on Google and Houzz, and they invite us back to their homes for Bar B Que and Margaritas! (FYI our team member Phil doesn’t drink, but he does enjoy Mountain Dew, so plan accordingly.)
Seriously, We really appreciate the time you took to familiarize yourself with our process – Of course, not every detail of our process is explained above, but that’s the jist of it, and we’re constantly improving it in order to make it easier for everyone, reduce chances of making mistakes, and providing the best value that we can. We really enjoy woodworking, we’re passionate about it, and we like to have fun doing what we’re great at. We’re excited about working with you! And Sharing Margaritas!