Installing cabinets in multifamily units raises many economic and design questions, and there is a wide range of multifamily cabinets to consider. Here are some of the most important options and features to consider for your new development.
There are thousands of design decisions to make when finishing multifamily projects. They are all critical to the final look and feel of your development. The cabinets you choose won’t be the first thing potential residents will see, but they may very well be what they’re staring at when deciding whether to rent or buy one of your units.
So here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding which cabinets to install in your multifamily development, whether a large apartment building or a few duplexes.
Are these units more luxury, economical, or somewhere in between?
How you market your development or community depends on several different inputs. The finishing touches you choose, including the cabinets, need to be congruent with the rest of the marketing mix. Consider the location, the unit’s size, and the unit’s built-in amenities and community. These factors will largely determine what you can ask as a sales price or rent.
Once you know what you can ask, let that guide you in terms of the cabinets you install. People expect to see high-end, custom cabinets if it’s a luxury unit. If it’s a lower-income dwelling, people will want to see that thought was put into the design but won’t like wondering if they’re paying extra for expensive cabinets.
Most multifamily developments fall somewhere in between. Potential residents aren’t likely to question your choices as long as the fixtures look stylish, feel sturdy, and are installed with good attention to detail.
Is it best to order pre-designed or custom cabinets?
The benefit of ordering pre-designed cabinets is that they’re likely already sitting in a warehouse somewhere, so you may be able to skip the stages of design and production. This might be a good option if you’re behind schedule or looking to cut costs. But you may have to sacrifice some quality and be satisfied with designs that don’t exactly fit with the rest of the decor.
Custom multifamily cabinet design doesn’t necessarily mean you’re starting from scratch. A well-established cabinet company will have relationships with factories that can get the wood, the stain or paint, and other materials and have them completed and shipped in a matter of days without too much additional cost.
The benefit of getting cabinets made for your project is that you know exactly what you’re getting, and you have more control over the overall design of your units.
Should I vary colors and styles among units?
This, to some extent, depends on how you’re marketing your properties. But in general, you have some leeway here. You want people to feel like they have some options between one unit and another. This lets them exercise their preferences and personal flare, which helps create a connection between them and the space you’re offering.
But do you have to put unique components in every unit? The pros of making each unit unique may outweigh the cons if you only have a few units. But for a larger complex, you may only need three or four options for cabinets that can be mixed and matched with a few options for carpet, countertops, laminate flooring, etc. Here, it’s probably worthwhile to bring in a home decorating specialist.
As a property manager or owner, the value of having some standardization is that first, you can buy in bulk, which will often save you money. Second, you can more easily stock replacement components for when repairs are needed down the road. This will save you from searching for these items years after you purchased them and finding that they’re no longer available.
Should I hire a subcontractor to install multifamily cabinets?
There are both costs and benefits of hiring a subcontractor. Most developers know subcontractors are often necessary to keep a job within budget and on time. They typically have specialized skills to do the job well, allowing you to keep your workforce focused on other aspects of the project. This helps ensure you can get the job done on time.
If you do decide to use subcontractors, make sure you take the time to choose the right people for your multifamily cabinet installation project. Making a quick decision can get you stuck with substandard work and actually add to your costs and completion time. Use due diligence to find the right subcontractors and establish a productive working relationship by doing the following:
- Find qualified subcontractors – Ask colleagues who they’ve hired and been happy with, search Google and sites like Angi.com and Houzz.com for the kind of subcontractor you need, and read reviews.
- Look into their qualifications and licensing. Even if they are skilled and have good reviews, they become a substantial risk if they aren’t licensed and insured.
- Feel out if they have a well-established start-to-finish process. Do they offer a reasonable estimate? Do they listen attentively during the design stage? Do they have reliable sources for material and production? Do they have an achievable yet rigorous completion plan that considers your schedule? Do they have the resources to complete a job of your size?
- Before any work is started, negotiate a contract and put it in writing. This should include payment details, work hour expectations, who has what responsibilities, etc.
- Agree on accountability protocols – This could be in the form of weekly walk-throughs, daily reports by email or phone, etc. It’s essential that you and your subcontractor are on the same page about this and that you follow through with the agreement.
Superior Commercial Solutions will get the job done right
Our area of expertise is designing and installing multifamily cabinets, countertops, and cultured marble tub surrounds for large and small communities.
Our highly skilled designers will work with you to develop the ideal cabinets for your project. We’ll start by getting on the same page regarding your style and space requirements, budget, and timeline. We are dedicated to delivering quality products with exemplary communication and attention to detail.
We would consider it a privilege to provide a bid for your project in and around the Salt Lake City area and walk you through our process of excellence. Contact us today to begin.