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Sep01

Blog – September 2016

Posted In Blog

Marc is approaching his ten year anniversary with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets and carries with him, a wealth of past and current experience in the industry. Marc has recently made the transition from Retail Kitchen Designer to Installations Inspector and is enjoying every minute of his new venture. Marc has been and continues to be an integral part of the Deslaurier Team, striving for satisfaction in every inspection he completes.

 

Did You Know That We Inspect Every Kitchen?

 

I had one of the coolest experiences of my career in the kitchen cabinet industry the other day while I was inspecting a new kitchen installation… The homeowner was not home when I arrived, as she was staying at the cottage with her two children during an extensive renovation to her home. I had my head down, typing my report on my notebook, when a scream startled me. Turning quickly, I saw the home owner clutching her children’s hands, her eyes wide open, as she exclaimed: “THIS IS MY NEW KTICHEN!” Yes, you guessed it, she was totally ecstatic with the beauty of her new kitchen cabinets and the new life the space was beginning to take on. The funny part is, it was not even complete yet! With new quartz countertops on the way and both tile/lighting work to come, I knew this was going to be one beautiful kitchen with a very happy owner, for many years to come.

After she caught her breath, I introduced myself as one of the inspectors with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets and informed her that I was there to perform the very important task of inspecting the kitchen cabinets after their installation. The inspection is an integral part of every job and is performed swiftly after each and every installation. We do this for a number of different reasons, the first of which is to be proactive. We know that as a major manufacturer of quality cabinetry, from the point of production to the point of installation, that there may be a few bumps and bruises along the way or perhaps a glitch or two. We also appreciate that our clients have trusted us with such an important purchase and, as such, we do not want the onus to be on them to identify the issues; nor should they subsequently have to chase us down for service issues that may have arisen.

That being said, you are welcome to make notes of issues you may have noticed or even leave sticky notes on the cabinetry to identify a required touch-up.  Nonetheless, rest assured that the inspector will still be doing an extensive inspection, checking to make sure that the kitchen was installed in accordance with the plans you signed off on, checking the quality of the installation, checking for blemishes or defects in the materials, ensuring that all hinges and drawer slides are functioning properly, and checking openings and clearances for the appliances you provided specifications for. Upon the completion of the inspection, a comprehensive report will be left with you for your reference. A copy of this report along with a parts order (if required) will be sent into our Service Department where one of our service coordinators will take over. They will order the parts, assign a service technician and schedule a date for the completion of the work. If there were any urgent items on the list, ie. something that will impede the installation of stone countertops, appliances, or affect the work of another trade, then the inspector would tag that as an HPI (High Priority Item) and that particular issue will be addressed and completed (typically) within a week.

Starting this year, we have expanded the role of the installations inspector. If you are preparing to embark on a major renovation to your home, or perhaps you are building a large custom home, we will now schedule the inspector to meet with you and/or your builder/renovator two weeks prior to the installation. This helps us to ensure that the site is ready for the arrival of the cabinetry. A double check of the measurements, a review of the plumbing/electrical rough-in’s, and a review of the timelines (in case it is necessary to reschedule the installation) will all take place within this visit. The inspector will have reviewed the design with the designer and will also be on site at the start date of the installation to address any questions or concerns that the installer may have. The inspector will continue to liaise between the designer, installer, and contractor until the job is satisfactorily completed. The final inspection will then of course follow.

No two kitchens are the same and it is always very exciting to step into the next kitchen and be amazed. I am looking forward to seeing your kitchen!…

Aug02

Blog – August 2016

Posted In Blog

Jeff was hired by Deslaurier Custom Cabinets as a Design Support person in 2003 after graduating from the Civil Engineering program at Canadore College.  Jeff has now been a Customer Service Representative in the Distribution Sales department for the last 10 years and has had the pleasure of managing distribution sales leads as well as several larger high rise towers in both Ottawa and Boston.

 

Expanding Your Marketplace – How A Dealer Network Can Work For You!

 

So you want to buy a kitchen. Where do you start? Well, if you’re like everyone else, the first thing you do is “Google” it. Who is in your area? What do they offer? Do they have a website? Can I see pictures and testimonials of some of the jobs they have done? Do they have a physical showroom so I can look at product? Do they have a designer on staff? 

There are a lot of questions that race through your head as you start looking for a new kitchen. How, as a manufacturer, can you tap into the vast marketplace that the internet has allowed a business access to? It’s one thing to get them looking, but it’s another to be able to actually deliver them your product!

Kitchen cabinets aren’t like everything else you see for sale on the internet. You can’t just make a few clicks, type in your credit card number and voila, there is your new kitchen. You need to find a good designer and a good renovator for starters. You can offer a great product, but if the end client can’t find anyone who can put the “package” together, then what good is the end product? While we have the ability to sell to the Ottawa valley, we ask ourselves how, as a Manufacturer, can we take that great product and make it available to a larger demographic? The answer, as they call it in the kitchen industry, is a ‘Dealer Network’. 

What is a “dealer” you say?

The dealer is, in essence, an extension of Deslaurier Custom Cabinets. Another business or designer that is located in a different area that can work as an extension of your own business. They may already be an established company or a new start up. They have their own designers, installers, renovators and connections to their local market. We make a point to ensure that we select dealers and designers that hold the same standards and values as we hold ourselves. Throughout the years we have become a part of some 40+ dealers throughout Ontario and the US, and take pride in the relationships we have developed with them. We take the extra time and effort to ensure that the end customer, even if not buying directly from Deslaurier, ends up with the same quality kitchen that our own direct clients have come to know and expect. We go to great lengths to ensure that we help the dealer be as successful as possible in everything they do.

How has the dealer network helped make Deslaurier better?

Not only does the dealer sell our product, but they also help us to grow and evolve. Not all marketplaces have the same trends and tastes as the next. A popular shaker door in one market may be a flat high gloss door in the next. We welcome the diversity each marketplace brings and welcome suggestions to expand our product offerings to suit their needs. It could be a new door style, a new color, or accessories that a client may have seen while browsing the internet.  It is this openness that allows us to be in front of the trends and allows us to bring new ideas to life. The kitchen design world is an ever evolving place and as we grow and develop our dealers, the better equipped we (and they) will be going forward. 

So while our dealers may not carry our name, you can rest assured that they will deliver your dream kitchen, just as so many of our local/direct clients have come to know and love.

Jul04

Blog – July 2016

Posted In Blog

Deslaurier specializes in creating custom cabinetry in harmony with today’s varied lifestyles. It’s been our passion for more than 35 years. With a reputation for excellence, we know cabinetry.

 

Your New Kitchen and/or Baths – Not As Easy As 1/2/3…  🚗

 

One might think that the purchase of kitchen and/or bath cabinetry is as easy as 1/2/3. If you fall into that category, we’d be inclined to inform you otherwise. In some cases it can be, but in most cases it’s not. There are a plethora of options when it comes to your new cabinetry and we’ll go the extra mile to educate you as to what options are available for you, and which of those options best suit your needs and budget.

Often times in the industry you’ll hear ‘new car’ analogies or comparisons. Allow us to elaborate – On one end of the spectrum you have the smaller sized economy classed vehicle and on the other end you have a full sized luxury classed automobile, not to mention the classes in between. Implicitly, with different classes come different options and different price tags. Where you fit on the spectrum is dependent upon many things: your taste, your needs, your wants and your budget, to name a few. Cabinetry is no different. Your Deslaurier Designer will take all of that (and more) into account when helping you select your new cabinetry. Most of those elements are within your control, but there are other factors that play into your new cabinetry which are sometimes outside of your control, like the size of the space that the new cabinetry will occupy or the appliances you already have/will purchase.

At Deslaurier we put the US in custom. There are a number of avenues you can take to achieve that customization of your new cabinetry – from custom cabinets, to accessories and gadgets, to layout configuration, to options.  The latter is perhaps the low hanging fruit, the one we emphasize the most. You don’t need any wildly custom cabinets or fancy accessories to achieve that custom look; sometimes the details are in the options and are right in front of you. How you ask? How can I take a simple layout with standardly offered boxes and get that custom look? To that, we say options! To give you a brief overview, Deslaurier offers two cabinet lines: our traditional line and our modern line. Our traditional line boasts, for example, over 130 door styles, over 40 standard stain options, over 25 standard paint options, 12 species, over 10 drawer track systems (with several additional options within each), hundreds of hardware choices and hundreds of countertop choices. We mean it, sometimes the details are in the options! This can be overwhelming for some and that’s why we have trained design staff to guide you at every step of the way. And, if you want those custom built cabinets and fancy accessories, we’ll certainly help you with that as well.

Before you finalize everything, you need to shop.  Akin to what you’d decipher before purchasing an automobile, you need to determine your options and what accessories (if any) you’d like to add to your cabinetry. What colour of car do I want, what colour of cabinets do I want? Do I want power locks, cruise control, and air conditioning? Do I want soft close drawers, cutlery/spice inserts, and larger uppers? Cabinetry is not a car but it’s much in the same. How many family members need to fit in the vehicle, how many family members need to sit at this island? Do you drive your vehicle, on average, a lot? Do you cook and/or entertain a lot? Is this your first vehicle? Is this a starter home? There are some distinct and eerie similarities, and by now you get the picture.

Know that you need to come in armed with a basic idea of what you want, but understand that there are trained professionals here at every step of the way to guide you and ensure that your requirements and necessities are met. Those same professionals are also here to help you navigate all of the aforementioned options, from colour, to species, to door style, so on and so forth.

It’s true, it’s not as easy as 1/2/3, but we’ll be here to help you at every step of the way. Why? Because we are Deslaurier Custom Cabinets and we know cabinetry.

Jun01

Blog – June 2016

Posted In Blog

Myra has sixteen years of experience in the Cabinetry Sales and Design industry, and currently manages four builder accounts for Deslaurier. She boasts several GOHBA Design Awards for production kitchen and bathrooms, as well as two SAMMY Awards for 'Best Industry Partner Representative' in both 2009 and 2012.

 

Upgrading Your 'Builder' Kitchen

 

Congratulations on the purchase of your new home!  Now it’s time to get to work.  Over the next few weeks/months, you will be making a number of important decisions that will affect the overall outcome of your new home.  Some of the most important decisions you make are going to be about your kitchen cabinets. 

Over the years, Deslaurier has built relationships with many premier Ottawa builders, providing cabinetry, counter tops and design services for new homeowners.  If you are building with one of our builders, you will likely have the opportunity to work with an experienced kitchen designer to customize the space and tailor it to your needs and budget.  Builders pre-determine the specifications and layout of the cabinetry that are included in every home and it is up to homeowners to make adjustments and changes to suit their lifestyle.   Cabinetry design takes place early on in the process as it affects many other systems in the home that are roughed in at the earliest stages of construction.  Designers are usually working on a tightly fixed schedule to meet the construction timelines of your home, so it’s best to come to your first meeting having done some preparation in advance.

  • Have an idea of what you want your cabinetry to look like, model homes, showrooms and websites can be a great inspiration.
  • If there are any specific details that you want included, ensure you communicate that information to your designer early on so that they can keep them in mind while going through the designs with you.
  • Appliances – although it seems very early to be purchasing them, designers need to know what they are working with.There are so many considerations, gas versus electric, standalone versus built-in, clearances, budget, etc… If you haven’t started to look, you will not have a realistic idea of how these selections could potentially affect the overall design.Making changes to these items after the design has been approved and sent to your builder can sometimes result in redesigns or worse, rebuilds at your own expense.
  • The Kitchen Planning Guide on our website is a great tool to use to get started.

After determining your needs and budget during your initial consultation, your kitchen designer will prepare drawings and a quote for you to review before or during a final meeting.  Depending on the season and scope of work, this could take up to two/three weeks, giving the opportunity to prioritize the items you have requested and make further decisions.  The highest priority should be given to those items that create the “bones” of the kitchen.  The layout and function (doors versus drawers, cabinet heights, counter/storage space and appliance requirements) should be your primary focus.  Solid surface counter tops and upgraded door styles/finishes should also be considered at this stage as these items can be very expensive and difficult to change at a later date.   It can also be much easier to amortize these items over a number of years in a lower interest mortgage than financing them later on. 

Once those items have been considered you can start to look at all the “extras” that you may want to consider.   Decorative moldings, cabinet inserts, recycling/waste systems, wine rack, corner solutions, glass doors, open shelving, and other decorative details can all be added to the project as well.  

Although it can be overwhelming and difficult to schedule those consultations into your busy life, the kitchen is the heart of your new home.  Visually, it will have the greatest impact of any item in your home when you move in.  More importantly, it will affect your lifestyle from day to day, every day that you live in that home.  It’s important to take the time and do it right.

Enjoy your new home!   

May01

Blog – May 2016

Posted In Blog

Nathan has been with Deslaurier for nine years and has spent time in many different departments. Nathan spent three years in the Custom Fabrication department, five years as a Field Service Technician, and now serves as an Installations Inspector.  Nathan is a proud 2007 graduate of Algonquin College's Furniture Technician program.

 

Site Readiness: Critical, Yet Often Overlooked…

 

When you are in the early stages of your design process for your new kitchen, you are choosing many details and it can become overwhelming.  There is one big thing that sometimes get over looked and that is site readiness.  When you are choosing locations for your sink, stove and fridge, something to think about is if there is water or electrical already in this location. If there is not, then this is something that you are going to have to complete.  These types of situations are the things that need to be taken care of before the kitchen is delivered and the installer arrives on site to start the installation of your new kitchen.  If this is not done, you may end up with plugs inside cabinets or waterlines in the wrong location. This will cause delays to your timeline and may cause you to be without a kitchen for an extended period of time.  Another thing to think about before the kitchen arrives is what type of flooring am I going to be installing and does this need to be done before the kitchen arrives.  Some hardwood installers will allow the kitchen to be installed prior to the installation of the flooring, but if you are selecting tile then this is installed under all of the cabinets and is done prior to the cabinetry install.

After you have completed the design phase with the designer, you will be given the floor plan and a detailed layout of your new kitchen.  This can be given to your contractor or given to the trades that you have chosen to complete the work during the renovation or build.  This floor plan will have all of the locations for your appliances and sinks so that the trades can rough-in the proper electrical and plumbing lines for these appliances. 

Now that the trades have completed the adjustments to the layout of your kitchen and the flooring has been installed, you are ready to have the kitchen delivered.  When the kitchen arrives the delivery team will require an area free and clear of obstructions to set the cabinets in. Our delivery team will try and set the base cabinets in the kitchen area and any wall cabinets will be set off to the side for later install. When the installer arrives on site he will then remove the protective materials from the cabinets and move them into position to begin the installation.  A clean environment for the installer will give him a better work area which will allow him to work free of obstructions.  As a result, this will lead to a more complete install.  As the installation progresses and gets closer to completion, the installer will be working on the finishing touches, which includes: mouldings, countertops, accessories and hardware.  Prior to the installation of the countertops, the installer will require the template for your sink.  He will then cut the countertop for the sink so that it is ready for the plumber to install.  He will then cut any electrical plugs or lights into the cabinetry as required.  This is to prevent damage from other trades to our cabinetry.   If you have chosen granite countertops, their company will come to the kitchen after the install is completed and template for the stone.  They will require the sink template for your kitchen so that they can complete the cut out in their facility.

These are just a few things to try and keep in mind during the design stage of your kitchen.  Once this stage is complete, Deslaurier Custom Cabinets will send an inspector to the site to evaluate the quality of the kitchen install as well as quality of the product.  They will create a list of noted deficiencies that will be completed by the Service Team.  Taking these few steps will ensure your kitchen is installed and completed in an efficient and timely manner.

Apr01

Blog – April 2016

Posted In Blog

Wendy has been in the design business for over 20 years.  A recent addition to the Deslaurier team, Wendy is also a graduate of the Interior Design program at Algonquin College.  She has experience in many aspects of design including flooring and commercial millwork, and brings a wealth of knowledge to her custom home and renovation clients.

 

Take A Page From The Boy Scout's Handbook – "BE PREPARED"

 

With spring come home renovations. Kitchen and bathrooms are always top of the list. They are, after all, the most used rooms in the home and therefore take the most abuse. If you are amongst one of those thinking of a summer kitchen or bathroom reno, take a page from the Boys Scout's handbook and "Be Prepared". Here's what you need to know before you meet with a kitchen designer.

BE PREPARED – go to the appointment with your kitchen designer with floor plans, elevations, photos, and measurements of the space that you are considering renovating. This will help your kitchen and bathroom designer design your kitchen more accurately. Cabinets come in many sizes and configurations and it's best to know what types of cabinets work best for your lifestyle, so also bring along a wish list.

BE PREPARED – to talk appliances. An important part of any kitchen is appliances. Go to your first design appointment armed with the specifications of all your appliances. Since your designer cannot change the size of the appliances, but CAN change the size of the cabinetry, have the appliances selected first. It will save time and lessen errors in the design and ordering process. 

BE PREPARED – to spend an hour or more with your designer during your first appointment. Reviewing the layout, cabinet configuration, construction of the cabinetry, door styles and colours, door materials, interior components, hardware, countertops, etc, all takes time.  There are lots of choices, so do a little looking online at "home design" websites such as Pintrest or Houzz (don’t forget our own Deslaurier website). The more you do ahead of the appointment to determine your own personal style, the easier it is for your designer to pin point which products will be best for your new kitchen or bathroom.

BE PREPARED – to wait at least a week before you have the preliminary design back from you designer. Your kitchen designer will have to draw your kitchen in order to price it. It takes some time to create the plan and elevations for each client.  Every cabinet is picked from an extensive catalogue with careful consideration to aesthetics, functionality, and the client’s personal taste. 

BE PREPARED – to wait anywhere from 4-6 weeks for your kitchen to be manufactured. Some manufacturers have an inventory of cabinets waiting for your order, but at Deslaurier, your cabinets are "Made-to-Order" so nothing is built until you say go. 

BE PREPARED – for a few days of mess. Your new kitchen installation will take a few days depending on the size and complexity.  It will look fantastic once everything is installed and operational, however, they don't come to site put together. The cabinets and components will be delivered to site, wrapped in cardboard and cellophane and will take up a lot of space, so be prepared to have a place for the delivery guys to put them. The installer will unwrap and install each cabinet plumb and level, one by one. The finishing pieces will be cut on site to the exact size required. With cutting comes saw dust, so be prepared to have a dusty site until they are finished. Our installers are good to clean up after themselves.

BE PREPARED – to wait for your countertops. Once your kitchen is installed, the countertop supplier will template your cabinets so they can fabricate your countertops. This is typical if you are getting a stone top, such as quartz, granite, or marble, but can also be said of concrete or stainless. Laminate countertops don't generally require templating and are typically installed with your cabinetry.

BE PREPARED – To have an inspection of the kitchen within a few days following the installation. The inspector will check over the entire kitchen for deficiencies in the installation and manufacturing. Any issues in the design, manufacturing, and installation will be recorded in a service report. Any parts required will be ordered and service will be scheduled at a later date. Any issues that hold up another trade or you living in your space will be addressed with urgency so as not to hold up the renovation more than usual. 

BE PREPARED – to enjoy your new kitchen. It would be hard not to!