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Listen to his fabulous adventure Mark and I went on yesterday . . .
First of all, my parents took both boys to Chautauqua for the weekend, a first for Austin and a first for me (I’ve never been in my own home for two full days without them, ever). So, did Mark and I decide to party all night or sleep in late on our day off? Nooooooooo. No indeed, instead we got up at 4:45 to drive a U-Haul truck an hour and a half to Youngstown to this Kraftmaid warehouse located there. I’m not sure if any of you have heard of this place, but apparently there are TWO in the country, one in Utah and one in my own backyard. All of the overstocked, returned and floor model Kraftmaid cabinets from every Home Depot and Loews in the country end up at one of these two places, where they sell them for outrageously low prices.
It’s quite a system too, let me know if you want the real nitty-gritty details (what to bring with you, what time to arrive etc) and I’ll post it all here because they don’t have a website and it seems to be a bit of an insider’s secret. I found some info online in do-it-yourself forums and remodeling blogs, so we were pretty well-prepared. We got there at 6:30 and stood in line to get numbered wristbands, #229 and 230 (which means that many people were in line before 6:30!). At 7:15, they randomly pick a number and then let in 150 people while the rest have to wait for the next number to be drawn a half hour later. The number they picked? 220! So we were the ninth and tenth people to walk through the doors! You then dash around and mark anything you might want to buy with a piece of masking tape with your name on it. If something’s already marked, you can put a #2 next to your name and wait a few hours to page the #1 person to see if they really want it. Once we found our way around and located the aisle with the particular wood and finish we wanted, and once we learned to read the SKUs to differentiate the Cherry Peppercorn from the Cherry Kaffe (which was probably the hardest part), we labeled like crazy. We ended up buying twenty-five cabinets–everything from base cabinets with pull-out drawers and special racks for pan lids to wall units with wine racks built in to a fabulous seven-foot high double french door pantry unit for $110!! All in all, we spent $1300 for what would cost almost TWENTY THOUSAND if we’d order them from Home Depot! Yes, you read that right. If you haven’t remodeled a kitchen lately, perhaps you’re not familiar (as I wasn’t until a few weeks ago) with how jaw-droppingly expensive new cabinets are.
Now they’re not perfect, mind you. Some have scratches but most of that will be hidden when they’re mounted to the walls or flush against one another. And some of the door styles don’t match but we can switch them out and buy new matching ones from Home Depot for a fraction of the cost of the entire cabinet. But all in all, it was an incredibly worthwhile trip, even after including the cost of the U-Haul and the storage unit we had to rent to hold it all! Now I’m going to work with our contractor to lay it all out and see what other pieces we need to complete the space. I think we’ll go back one more time to buy molding and toekicks (which cost $5 and $3 for eight feet versus $75 and $50 at the stores). You can also buy all the interior kits like roll-out trash and recycling bins or cutlery dividers for $5 a piece.
It was pretty incredible and everyone was surprisingly civil to one another. There was no shoving or racing past competitors and I never saw anyone take someone else’s tape off of a cabinet. If you’re doing a kitchen (or bath, they have sink vanities too), I definitely recommend it and would be happy to provide you with more details. I even read on one forum a post from a woman in New Hampshire who drove here and said it was totally worth it. If you come from afar, maybe we can put you up in our new house!
And yes, once we’d recovered from our cabinetry adventure, we did go out last night and did sleep in this morning.