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Replacing Cabinets Mobile Home-Business Sense

August 25th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

When I started replacing the cabinets on my first mobile home job, I learned quickly that this was not the business market that I wanted to be in. At the time the job was helping to pay the bills, so I thought it made sense.

For a custom cabinet manufacturing company, mobile home cupboards are not lucrative enough to pursue as a regular means of acquiring revenue.

One of the first things I learned is that most folks living in a trailer are expecting to get a great price on cupboards. I suppose the mind set is that they live in an inexpensive home, in comparison to a regular frame or block house, so they should get a cheap price.

The thing is, the cabinets still have the same cost for materials and labor in them to manufacture as a middle class owned block home would have.

The mental dilemma for the cabinet business owner who is just starting out is that he needs work and is just about willing to take on anything to pay the bills. The cabinet sales person begins to think like the mobile homeowner in terms of cheap cabinets for a cheap home.

So what does he do? He lowers the cost of the cabinets and later finds out that the amount of work is tremendous when it comes to installing the cupboards.

Warning about installing cabinets in a mobile home

The floors, walls and ceiling are going to be tremendously out of plumb and they will also not be square. Plan on doing a lot of scribing to make the cabinets and counters fit properly to the trailer’s walls and roof.

The studs and ceiling rafters behind the vinyl coating or paneling are only going to be 2” x 2” thickness.

Here are a couple of suggestions:

1) Ask the potential customer what their budget is when first call. You should be able to determine if it will be worth your time or not.
2) Consider only selling the cabinets and let the owners install them.
3) Do not compromise on your prices for cabinets and counters. A mobile homeowner will require as much attention as any other customer would. Your time is worth money.

Eventually, I learned through experience that there just was not enough money in making custom cabinets for mobile homes. I learned that when I would get a call for cabinets to ask the right questions up-front so that I could determine if it was a kitchen or bathroom vanity job that we would be interested in. One can determine if someone is calling for cabinets in their mobile home or not, by asking the proper questions. With a little common sense a business owner can safe guard himself against waisting time.

Categories: Cabinet Making
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