Leaving you wanting more.

•June 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

To us there’s nothing like movie night when we watch a movie and order Chinese food.  A romantic comedy and a plate piled with Kung Pao Chicken, Garlic Shrimp and Ma Po Tofu is our way to end a busy week.  But no matter how much we eat, inevitably by the end of the movie we are foraging for more.  I don’t know what it is, but Chinese food just doesn’t keep us satisfied.

 I started thinking about the Chinese phenomena and realized it applies to more than just food.  Many cabinet retailers sell Chinese cabinets which upon first inspection seem quite satisfying, but over time may leave you wanting more.  Although they often cost less than cabinets ‘Made in America,’ generally it is at the expense of quality.  Sure they might look nice when they are installed, but after weeks of opening, closing, pushing, pulling and slamming, little problems start to occur.  These little problems can become big problems.  The next thing you know your dream kitchen has become a nightmare.

 Other imported Chinese products have experienced dubious track records:  Chinese jewelry was laden with lead; Chinese dog food poisoned our pets; Chinese drywall corroded our homes from the inside out.  Should we be concerned about Chinese cabinets as well? 

 A-1 Custom Cabinets believes there is a simple solution to peace of mind:  buy quality constructed cabinets built in America.  At A-1, our cabinets are locally manufactured to your unique specifications.  We build your dream kitchen to be as beautiful today as it is for years to come.  Call today for your free in-home consultation.

Eco-Friendly Home Improvement

•April 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Not long ago, making the eco-friendly choice meant compromise:  settling for something that was less than you wanted or paying more than you should.  Fortunately, those days are fading into memory.  Today, there are many ways to make environmentally responsible lifestyle and product choices.  A-1 Custom Cabinets & Design is excited to offer our customers responsible choices while still providing all the creativity, quality and value our customers expect.

Most consumers are aware of the availablity of sustainable fabrics, paint products with low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), and floor & wall coverings with recycled content.  However, many are not aware of the “green” products available for your kitchen and bath.  For instance, countertops can be manufactured in sustainable or recycled materials.  A-1 Custom Cabinets & Design has beautiful selections of bamboo (sustainable), recycled glass, and solid surface made with 40% recycled content.

A new earth-friendly choice available for cabinetry is Lyptus.  It’s a wood that is carefully managed for sustainability.  It’s fast-growing and yet has the hardness of maple, the grain of mahogany and the warmth of cherry.  Lyptus is a naturally-occurring hybrid of eucalyptus which can be harvested in as little as 15 years (versus 50 to 100 years for traditional hardwoods).  It is grown on deforested land reserves that are reclaimed from the Rain Forest and specially maintained to preserve the balance of the ecosystem.  Lyptus has a naturally deep, warm coloration that accepts a variety of finishes and a lovely grain pattern that ranges from straight fine patterns, to burls, to faint tiger striping.

A-1 Custom Cabinets & Design is trying to promote “green” awareness by offering special discounts on Lyptus cabinetry, Bamboo countertops, and recycled solid surface.  Call today for more information.

Getting Into Shape

•January 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I pack up the last of the holiday decorations, pick the remaining confectionary crumbs out of the cookie tin and return the displaced furniture, but there’s still something I’m forgetting.  I catch a glimpse of my backside in the mirror and it hits me… my annual resolution to “get into shape”!

I over-indulge every holiday, vowing that things will change at the beginning of the year.  Technically January 1st is still a holiday and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th are a weekend.  So I put off the resolution until guilt overtakes me and I unhappily trudge to the treadmill.  After three days of starving, sweating and straining every muscle, I collapse in the tub and make another resolution:  I need to get our bathroom in shape.

At A-1 Custom Cabinets we’ve noted that a glamour bath is the staple of both new residential construction and remodels.  The average bath has tripled in size over the past decade.  Generic vanities are being replaced by those with design elements that make bold statements.  Whether you like Old-World, Old Hollywood or Retro, the lowly washstand is now like a piece of fine furniture.  The addition of a vessel sink, custom faucets and tile creates a designer-worthy look.  The transformation is relatively quick and easy.  If only it were that simple for me!

Taking “No” For an Answer

•September 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

We all want to be able to say “yes” to requests from our family, our friends and our customers.  Admittedly, it is the easiest route to take, but not necessarily the best route.

At A-1 Custom Cabinets & Design, we are often asked complicated questions:  Can you meet our time frame?  Can we salvage our old cabinets and have them refaced?  Can we use a lower quality product to save money? 

In a slowing business economy, the lure of telling a customer what they want to hear just to close a sale is very tempting.  Sometimes the hardest thing for a salesperson to do is be upfront and honest, especially when trying to overcome a customer’s objections.  Customers frequently continue to contact multiple companies searching for that one willing to say “yes” to their requests.  However, at the risk of sounding cliché:  talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words.

As a consumer, it is sometimes wise to take “no” for an answer.  When stubbornness makes you press others to agree to things they are uncomfortable with or unable to do, the results can be costly.  All too often our company is called back by those customers we told “no” because of problems created by companies who said “yes.”

So how do you find the right company?  Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations; search reputable referral programs (such as Angie’s List); ask the company you are considering for references; and if possible, avoid a salesperson and deal directly with the owner and/or manufacturer.  A-1 Custom Cabinets & Design is a family owned and operated manufacturer of quality work.  We enjoy making a personal connection with every customer to build their level of confidence in our work.  We have years of experience manufacturing fine cabinetry and designing exquisite interiors. 

We also think it is very important to never under-estimate the power of your “gut reaction.”  You should feel completely comfortable with the company you select.  Open lines of communication ultimately make for the most successful projects, even when that communication may involve the word “no.”

What’s In A Name?

•July 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

a1_logoA-1 Custom Cabinets seems a rather bland name for a business, doesn’t it?  I suppose it used to achieve first place status in the Yellow Pages.  (For you internet junkies–that’s a big book of business phone numbers.)   You may call it common, or corny, or cheesey.  It actually makes me think of the Road Runner cartoons and all the “Acme” products poor Wiley Coyote used to buy.   However, unlike all the doomed Acme products, A-1 actually produces some of the finest cabinetry and design work in Pinellas County.

We agree that it isn’t the most creative name, but with nearly a 40 year history it seems silly to change the name now.  Little did we know back in 1994 when we bought the company, that this commonly named shop would produce cabinets of such uncommon quality.  Over the last fifteen years we have continually upgraded our machinery and our standards in hopes of becoming the premier cabinet source in the Tampa Bay area.  We have nearly 60 years of cabinet, construction, remodeling and design experience between the two of us.

So now we are looking to you for help in getting the word out.  We want your ideas on what you would recommend as our “tag line” to communicate the creativity and quality built into our cabinetry. 

Send your suggestions to us.  If we use your slogan you will receive a $50 Restaurant Hapa gift certificate.

Welcome to our blog!

•July 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hello.  Welcome to our new blog.  We hope you find lots of interesting news, tips and trends in the coming months and years. 

We will be launching our new web site at www.A-1CustomCabinets.com this month – watch for the announcement here.