After a long decision making process I decided to use Barker Cabinets for my kitchen reno, as I explained in my last post. I also spent a ridiculous amount of time figuring out the details of each and every cabinet. Unfortunately some of those details changed yet again during the ordering process…
What You Need to Know about Ordering Barker Cabinets
- You can use the Cabinet Vision software provided to design your cabinet layout — However, it is not very user friendly, and more importantly, it does not generate an order list. In comparison, if you design an Ikea kitchen using Ikea’s software, you will end up with a list of everything you need to order. The Ikea program breaks down all the pieces (door, hinges, drawers, cabinet frame, etc) needed for each cabinet and creates a detailed list of everything you need to buy, and it includes the prices. The Cabinet Vision software used by Barker does not do any of that, so I didn’t use it.
- The lead time is listed at the top of the home page. It’s currently 40-45 business days with an additional 5-10 if you want them painted or stained. Mine took even longer than the estimate.
- Any questions you have should be directed to the owner, Chad Barker at firstname.lastname@example.org. He responds personally and rather quickly.
- You also can search the Barker Forum for answers and ideas, but like most forums it’s pretty annoying and disorganized. It is also highly administered (censored) so don’t expect to get a lot of honest feedback on here. But it is a good place to find pictures of finished kitchens.
- There is a section of Before and After pictures on Barker’s website which gives you an idea of what the finished product can look like. Just remember these are kitchens that Chad selects as the best. The Anderson Project was especially helpful for me because the kitchen layout is nearly identical to mine.
- Definitely have any diagrams, sketches, elevations, etc in front of you as you are placing your order.
- You’ll need to make a few decisions regarding finish and upgrades. You can choose your door style as well as the species of wood and the finish. The only paint colors offered are “pure white” and “dover white.” I was too lazy to order a sample to see if the white would work, plus I wasn’t sure I wanted all white anyway. So I just decided to paint the doors myself. Be forewarned — If you order painted doors Barker will use white edge banding on the cabinet frames. I hate this look. Since I ordered unfinished doors, my cabinets came with unfinished wood veneer edge banding, which I covered with two coats of polyacrylic. I’m assuming that if you want painted doors with natural wood edge banding that Barker Cabinets will do this for you. I would just email Chad about it ahead of time. I went with Chad’s recommendation and upgraded to the maple panel/maple frame for my shaker cabinets. He said there was a pretty noticeable quality difference.
- Consider alternate depths and heights for your cabinets. I used 21″ deep cabinets on the dining room side of the peninsula — they back up to my range. At one point I also considered making these cabinets higher than the ones in the kitchen, but I gave up that idea. Please note that getting a 19″ or 20″ cabinet would not have yielded any additional drawer space, only empty space in the back of the cabinet. *While the cabinets come in .25″ increments, the Blum drawer slides only come in 3″ increments as seen below. (I could not find this information on the Barker Cabinets website.)
- Don’t forget to order end panels, toe skins (to cover toe kicks), crown molding and whatever other finishing touches your design calls for.
- After you’ve entered the entire order, print it out before submitting it and go over every little detail.
- Have someone else check over your order one last time before submitting.
Placing My Barker Cabinet Order
Armed with my sketches, I sat down at my computer to order my cabinets. I broke my design up in two sections: (1) the lower cabinets in the shape of an L and (2) the wall of floor to ceiling cabinets aka the pantry wall.
I drew yet another sketch before I started the order. A very simple sketch with basic measurements.
Section 1: Lower Cabinets
From this very simple sketch, I knew I had 6 cabinets to order, and that two of the six were identical. There are also 2 end panels and toe skins to order. Working left to right, the first cabinet is the sink base cabinet.
Ordering a Sink Base Cabinet
From the Barker Cabinets home page, select Base Cabinets
You will see all the categories for base cabinets. We ares starting with the sink because it is the first one on the left of my drawing.
Within the sink category, there are 8 options. One door, 2 doors, full height, drawer on top or bottom, or farmhouse sink options. I wanted full height with two doors.
This is the awesome (and scary) part — After you select the type of cabinet you want (2-door, full height sink base cabinet), there are still 10 additional selections to make. That’s fantastic from a customization standpoint, but totally overwhelming from a design/DIY standpoint. It is not difficult, you just have to pay attention!
The two areas you will probably leave alone are the height and depth. These default to the standard cabinet measurements of 34.5″ tall (because counters are usually 1.5″) and 24″ deep, which is also the depth of your appliances.
The width of a sink base cabinet depends on, you guessed it, your sink. You should have worked out the measurements during the planning phase because right now certainly is not the time for that. I wanted a beast of a sink, so my sink cabinet is 3 feet wide. You can see below that making the cabinet this wide will add $70 to the price. Every .25″ has its own price!
The next choice is door style. The standard (no additional charge) is shaker inset panel. Lucky for me, that is exactly what I wanted! You can click on the pictures or on the drop down menu. Selecting one will automatically change the other. Clicking on the small pictures will bring up a bigger picture on the left. Barker has a very nice selection of door styles, which makes sense because their company began as a cabinet door company.
You’ve selected your door style, so now it’s time to select the wood (or go with MDF). I went for an upgrade here and went with the maple panel and frame over the MDF. You can see below that it cost me an additional $28. This might not seem like much, but remember there will be an upgrade for each cabinet and the cost varies depending on how many doors/drawer fronts are involved.
Once you’ve selected your wood, you need to decide if you want Barker to apply a professional finish. I told you earlier that the only paint options are pure white or dover white, but there are also several options for clear protective coatings. The photos and details for these options are not on the ordering page, but can be found under Wood Types and Finishes. I went with unfinished because I knew I wanted my cabinets painted, I just didn’t know what color yet. Paint and varnish not only cost more, but they can add an additional 10 days for delivery. Dude, I’m impatient enough as it is!
The next option is just an optional drawer. I like the idea of a pull out drawer in the bottom of a sink cabinet, but then again I don’t. It would not work unless your plumbing came out of the wall and cleared the drawer. The plumping for my sink comes from below the cabinet and straight up the middle of the cabinet bottom. A drawer would not have worked. So check your plumbing before considering this option.
Last, but not least, is the toe kick option. When it doubt go with standard, like I did here.
There may be an instance where you want your cabinets to come with no toe kick, because you are going to build your own. This is more common on a kitchen island. If you like the idea of base molding on the front of your cabinets (not recommended if you are going to stand at them), then you might want to order the flush toe kick. Flush toe kicks make more sense on pantry-type cabinets.
That’s it! Hit add to cart and this is what the order will see in your cart.
Easy, right!?! Yes. But the bad news is that was only one of many cabinets.
Check out the next post to see how I finished ordering the Barker Cabinets for this section of my kitchen.
Check out this post to see how I ordered cabinets for the other section, the pantry wall.
Be sure to save this post for later!
Check out these posts for more about my kitchen renovations: