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Cabinet satisfaction on the rise

Warranty and replacement services rank first on the list of factors leading to builder and remodeler satisfaction with cabinet manufacturers, according to a recent J.D. Power survey. The survey also found overall builder satisfaction is rising.

Duncanville, Texas-based Quality Cabinets ranked highest among cabinet brands in satisfying new-home builders and remodelers, according to the survey.

Strober Building Products in Mahopak, N.Y., for example, has carried the Quality Cabinets brand for more than 10 years. “We're very satisfied with them,” said Elke Crane, showroom manager. “They're an outstanding company, their customer service is good, they're very dependable, and for what they do in cabinets they are very good.”

The J.D. Power and Associates/McGraw-Hill Construction 2008 Builder and Remodeler Cabinet Satisfaction Study found builder satisfaction was based on performance in eight areas (in order of importance): warranty and replacement service (18 percent); customer service and support (14 percent); product installation and durability (14 percent); price (12 percent); delivery (11 percent); ordering process (11 percent); product features (11 percent); and credit/billing process (9 percent).

Quality Cabinets performed particularly well in four of the eight factors: product installation and durability; price; product features; and credit/billing process. Ranking second was Winchester, Va.-based American Woodmark, which scored high in the customer service and support, delivery and ordering process areas. Also high on the list was Eagan, Minn.-based Mid Continent Cabinetry.

“For those builders and remodelers that have problems with their orders, good warranty and replacement service from a manufacturer can help salvage a builder’s schedule and minimize costly delays,” said Burleigh Morton, senior director of research and analytics at McGraw-Hill Construction. “When a problem does happen, builders appreciate a cabinet vendor that will quickly make things right.”

Jim Howland, senior director of the real estate and construction practice at J.D. Power and Associates, said as the overall quality of cabinets has risen -- from 730 in 2007 to 753 in 2008, based on a 1,000-point scale -- firms "have an opportunity to differentiate themselves by focusing on service-related aspects of the customer experience since cabinet durability and features tend to be rather similar across manufacturers.”

Eighty-three percent of builders and remodelers said they received their products on time and as ordered when considering their most recent experience with a cabinet brand -- an increase of 13 percent since 2007.

The 2008 Builder and Remodeler Cabinet Satisfaction Study is based on 1,356 evaluations from more than 1,100 new-home builders and remodelers who ordered and purchased cabinets within the previous 12 months.

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