Saturday, May 23, 2015

Budget friendly cabinet hardware

When homeowners are given a task that involves a cabinet hardware allowance, and a trip to a store that specializes in selling hardware for builders, it can become confusing to try to see how selections fit in the budget. I will readily admit to having only visited a few of these stores, but it does seem to be standard practice for prices not to displayed on the hardware selection boards. I have heard others ask about the availability of price lists, only to be told there is no such list.

Standard practice seems to be selecting hardware with a sales representative, after which time the sales rep will be able to give you a list of that hardware along with the pricing for each item chosen.

A small part of me understands that logic, but it basically benefits the store. This practice makes it very difficult for homeowners to work within a set budget. Instead, the stores are gambling on the fact that when the total price of the selections are more than the allowance, the homeowner will pay the difference without complaint. And I bet that is what usually happens.

So, how can a homeowner stay in their budget, or at least close to the budget the builder allowed for their home? There are a few "tricks" that might be helpful.

  1. Make sure the sales rep knows what your budget/allowance is. It might even be helpful to carry a set of floor plans and selected photos of the style of your interior decor. Tell the sales rep that you want to work within your allowance. These reps know the price points of different hardware and can guide you to options that are workable in your price point.
    BUT, if you see a piece of hardware that you fall in love with and it totally blows that budget, you can either pay extra for it, or ask the sales rep to help you find a less pricey piece that has a similar look.
  2. Spend time researching prices online. It will take time, but make a list of rooms in your house, count the number of hardware pieces in each room, and divide your allowance up proportionally between these rooms. Remember the kitchen will probably take the biggest chunk because there will be more cabinets in that room.
  3. One of the "tricks" worth consideration is to buy some of the hardware elsewhere. If I know I am going to be over my budget on hardware, and will have to pay a few extra dollars myself, where that money goes is my decision.

    For example: if I have used all of my allowance and still have a hall bath plus a half bath that do not have hardware, I can start looking online, or at big box stores for hardware that will work in these spaces.

    We had a cabinet/workbench built in our garage. We found a great cabinet pull for the drawers and doors that has a historic look to it. 
Allen + Roth 3" C2C aged bronze bar cabinet pull
Allen + Roth #21606 (3 finishes)

This piece is sold in 3 different finishes. (#21606, #21022, and #340547). Although the cabinet pull could work in with modern decor, I can also see it as part of a historic style home. The square angles between the handle and posts remind me of a modern piece that was patterned after something from a blacksmiths shop. Allen + Roth is sold exclusively at Lowes and They have some beautiful pieces worth consideration. 

betsyfieldsdesign Venetian Bronze Round Cabinet Knob
Betsy Fields Design
(multiple finishes)
Betsy Fields Design has limited pieces of hardware that are available through various retailers. carries her one-piece beaded, round cabinet knob with attached rosette, along with other select pieces.

While these pieces may not be as heavy/sturdy as the hardware in my kitchen, they are perfectly fine for secondary areas of the home.

It helps to remember than the same look can often be achieved with more budget friendly selections. You can still find hardware that is made to last by looking at the quality of the piece in person. Ordering online can be a cost saver, but I always want to know the return policy before placing the order.

It also helps to tell your hardware sales person that you need to find a more budget-friendly selection. The hardware store should gladly help you work within a budget. 

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