1. Custom cabinetry. Having cabinetry that is fabricated to your exact specifications is a dream come true. Why, yes, I would like specialty storage for my wine glasses in the kitchen. And yes, I do want my bathroom vanity to have knee space and a hidden mirror so I can do my makeup in style. Sounds nice, right?
Well, nice comes with a price. And while customization like this is expensive moneywise, I’m talking about the “price” of how long it takes to build. In almost every remodel we do, we make sure all the details for the cabinetry are solidified before the start of the project. That way, the cabinets can go into production while we work on everything else leading up to their installation (demolition, framing, electrical work, sheetrock, painting — the list goes on and on).
After all, custom cabinetry is built from scratch. That’s what makes it so special — you have the option to specify every little thing about it. So make sure you communicate with your design team about planning accordingly to allow plenty of time to get the cabinets built and ready to be installed on schedule.
2. Made-to-order windows and doors. We often see homeowners wanting to replace their old windows with newer, more energy-efficient models. I’m all for this. It helps insulate your house and enables your HVAC system to work more efficiently, both of which add up to money saved in the long run.
However, ordering replacement windows that will fit in the existing window opening can sometimes mean ordering specialty-size windows. (Sound familiar? This is in the same vein as custom cabinetry.)
Why might someone do this instead of opting for standard-size windows? Maybe it’s just the homeowner’s preference, but usually doing direct replacement windows like this means you won’t have to do any additional construction to reduce or enlarge the size of the opening.
3. Lead times on specialty items. I know “specialty items” is a vague term, but there are plenty of items besides the big-ticket pieces listed above that can have lead times.
For example, if you or your designer has specified that your finishes on plumbing fixtures or hardware be something beyond the basic nickels and chromes and brasses, there’s a likelihood you’ll have to wait for them.
One finish that’s a little hard to find? Black nickel. It’s got a very sleek look, but black nickel pieces often need to be custom plated, as it’s not a standard finish. Another example that I’ve personally witnessed is a homeowner ordering hand-blown glass pendants to go above a kitchen island. They were gorgeous and totally fit the space, but there was a bit of wait for them, because, well, they didn’t exist before we ordered them.