modular kitchen - factory made vs carpenter work

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Joined: June 15th, 2012, 1:36 pm

modular kitchen - factory made vs carpenter work

Postby navhe » January 11th, 2017, 10:01 pm

Dear Friends,
Any idea how much difference it will make in terms of quality and cost when we compare ready made (factory finish) kitchen Vs carpenter work at site?
If we hire a good carpenter and supply materials, can we get equally good finish ? Can the savings could be more than 20%?

I got a quote of 1.5Lakhs for 25ft length U shape for ready-made kitchen. This is only for wood work. Chimney, sink, granite all extra.
Wood work includes soft close, 1 tall unit, hettich fittings and other standard specs. Now a days we find factory made kitchen / interior makers almost everywhere... am confused. pl share some knowledge.


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Joined: June 17th, 2009, 2:21 pm

Re: modular kitchen - factory made vs carpenter work

Postby msn1270 » January 12th, 2017, 11:42 am

Unless we know the material break up, brand and model information from Ply to accessories, its very difficult to give opinion about your Quote of Rs.1.5 lakhs. For Example, Ply rates starts from the lower end of Rs. 15-20/sq.ft to several hundreds/sq.ft for the Marine Grade high end Ply. Even for accessories, even the branded ones will have an entry level, medium to premium grade models. So just giving the brand name is not sufficient.

On the later part. there is no simple & straight forward criteria to compare manual carpentry work vs the Factory finish Modular work as multiple factors involved. As per my knowledge, actual difference will not be more than 5-10% or some time you loose more if you go for material supply & only Labor contract.

Here are some factors you need to consider while comparing the 2 options Manual vs Factory made Modular Kitchen or any interior works.

1. Either negligible or No difference in terms of operating cost(labor/Execution) between the Manual carpentry & the Factory made Modular wooden interior activities. Main difference comes in the material grade, brand, model & quantity used.

2. Factory made work need 16 mm thickness Ply whereas Manual carpentry demands 18/19 mm as they can't perform work with lesser thickness. But both works will have the same strength and durability. Higher the Ply thickness means cost is higher. Also you may not have the knowledge of differentiating the genuine and duplicate Ply boards, which is a major concern. Even if you accompany a carpenter for purchase, every carpenter has an informal understanding with the dealers and they collect 1-2% as their commission offline on the billed amount. So, If you supply the material you may not get the price benefit due to low volume. factory work vendor has price advantage as they are regular & bulk buyers and has higher bargaining power.

3. Bonding of Ply & Laminates is Uniform and better in factory finish, as they apply Adhesive uniformly for the entire board and they press for bonding using heavy weight frame uniformly for 8-20 hrs. In manual work, applying Adhesive is adhoc and they use the tapes at the border to bond them.

4. For edge banding, Factories use synthetic PVC based thick Tapes and bonded using a machine which gives good finishing, which is water resistant and no changes like warping or de-bonding environmental variations. Manual Carpentry uses wooden beads by nailing them to the Ply which is not compact and the nails may get rust and may detach the beads over a period of time.

5. for the wardrobe/Modular kitchens, Manual carpentry keep the backside open or use a simple cardboard to cover. Whereas Factory made one use the Ply of same thickness used for other side, which is more strong and keeps worms & Termites away.

6. Major advantage is Time saving: Manual Carpentry takes months together and uses your space and electricity, stay at your facility and all other natural resources like water & other resource or some time you need to feed their Coffee/tea/lunch. So you can't carry out other works simultaneously or leads to conflicts with other laborers. Factory finished work carries out all the cutting, bonding,.etc works at their premises and only the final installation will be at your site. Usually 2-3 days sufficient for a normal 2-3 BHK units based on the volume of work.

7. Carpenters doesn't give all their material requirements in one shot. They come up with new lists at the later part of the work and also they ensure you to run for materials quite frequently or in the name of shortage, change of designs, wastage...etc in case of only labor contract.

8. By chance, any agreed work goes wrong(execution part), Carpenter will not put his money for the new material to replace it. Whereas the factory made service provider will take the responsibility of replacing it.

9. Debatable point is the Trust between the owner and the service provider. Many people wants to see the work execution in front of them for XYZ reasons. As once the Ply & the Laminates are bonded, you can't know, what is the material used inside or the quality of it unless the executed work completes 1-2 years, to realize the quality of the work. so there are few carpenters as well as factory service people who take advantage of this loop hole.

10. Your personal time investment for purchasing, logistic arrangement & also you or someone to look over the job of the carpenter is also nothing but effort=Money. Else you can experience all surprises here also.

11. Selecting the right service provider/Carpenter who has given satisfactory delivery & quality is your responsibility. Always look for some one's reference whose work executed at least 2 years back.
Last edited by msn1270 on January 13th, 2017, 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 26
Joined: June 15th, 2012, 1:36 pm

Re: modular kitchen - factory made vs carpenter work

Postby navhe » January 12th, 2017, 2:10 pm

Thanks MSN for such detailed reply. Its fair analysis. Agree with all points.
For kitchens, i decided to go for factory finish. Wardrobe/Tv cabinet and other wood work i'll decide later - as it requires more customization.

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