Four years ago we remodeled our small kitchen. I have wanted to write this unbiased Barker Cabinets review ever since. This Barker Cabinets review is not sponsored, and the links are not affiliate links. We purchased these cabinets long before I began this blog.
Why Did We Choose Barker Cabinets?
The three main reasons we chose Barker Cabinets for our kitchen remodel were customization, quality, and price. We needed the cabinets to match the custom office/dining built-ins we had installed the previous year, but our budget did not have room for custom kitchen cabinets. We also needed flexible cabinet sizes to make the most of our kitchen’s limited space.
When ordering from Barker Cabinets, you specify the height, width, and depth of each cabinet. Width and height measurements are to the quarter-inch. Depth is specified in 1-inch increments. This level of customization really increases the flexibility of the final design.
The Refrigerator Enclosure and Pantry
Following the guide from Barker Cabinets for refrigerator enclosures, we designed our enclosure to fit our counter-depth, French-door refrigerator. At the time we had not yet ordered the refrigerator, so we used the online manual to determine the proper dimensions for the opening. This included a gap behind the refrigerator for proper ventilation.
Our refrigerator enclosure also includes a pantry cabinet. We followed the recommended height for the lower cabinet and ordered it with three drawer pullouts and a flush toe kick. Setting the exact size of the enclosure to best fit our available space and the refrigerator was wonderful.
Drawers of Uncommon Width
The bank of drawers between our corner cabinet and stove are 14.25 inches wide. Standard cabinet widths (e.g., 12 and 15 inches) would not have worked as well. We would either have had to give up precious drawer space, or our cabinets would have been too wide for the space. With the option to size the width of the Barker cabinets to the quarter inch, they fit perfectly and helped maximize the storage space in our small kitchen.
The island is one of my favorite parts of our kitchen remodel. It is comprised of two cabinets that open on different sides. The appliance cabinet opens toward the stove, and the trash/recycling pullout opens toward the dishwasher. This was one of the harder cabinets to visualize on my graph paper drawings. I asked for design help on the Barker forums and was pleased with this quick and thorough response.
We took a big risk by ordering cabinets from Oregon and shipping them to Ohio. Our time frame did not allow us to order samples first to test the quality. Instead, I watched all the videos and combed through the Barker Cabinets website to ensure that they would be of quality construction. I also did an online search for “Barker Cabinets review” and read about other people’s personal experiences with this company.
A standard feature on all Barker cabinets is soft-close hinges and Blumotion drawer glides. Our custom built-ins in our dining room had soft-close doors and strong, full-extension drawer glides. We were pleased that this was standard and not an upgrade.
One concern that we had regarding our cabinets was the use of a PVC edge band for painted cabinets whereas the unpainted cabinets come with a real-wood edge band. The edge band is used on the front of the plywood cabinet frames and shelves. Customer support explained that painting the real-wood edge band had led to inferior results. Four years after installing our Barker Cabinets, the edge bands are still in great condition and really do match the cabinets well.
Quality construction and customization are great, but they have to fit the budget too. Price was a huge concern for us as we were paying for the kitchen remodel with savings and had to remain in budget.
Barker Cabinets has a wide range of wood choices, finishes, and door styles to choose from. In the buying process, you select the cabinet and provide the dimensions, style, finish, etc. As you make these choices, the price changes automatically so that you know exactly what each cabinet costs.
I created an Excel spreadsheet with rows for each cabinet, finish piece, etc. and columns for all the options. I also included two pricing columns: one for the price of the unfinished cabinet and one for the price of a painted cabinet. The spreadsheet not only helped us stay organized in the planning process, but it also gave us full, at-a-glance knowledge of the cabinet costs. We did debate saving about $2000 by ordering the cabinets unfinished. In the end it was money well spent for both the quality of finish and the reduction of stress had we painted the cabinets ourselves.
What Should You Do Before Ordering Barker Cabinets?
Be Thoroughly Prepared
You are responsible for making sure that you order the correct cabinets and sizes. If you are considering ordering from Barker Cabinets, completely familiarize yourself with all cabinet types. I stumbled upon this vented wall cabinet just days before ordering. I’m so glad we didn’t have to retrofit a regular wall cabinet for our range vent. I also recommend organizing your order in an Excel spreadsheet. This will help you track all dimensions and details so that they are correct when you place your order.
Barker cabinets ship RTA (ready-to-assemble). You’ll need garage space to store the shipping crate(s) when they arrive. Although all pieces have labels, it will take time to sort the pieces and assemble all the cabinets. Buy or borrow an impact driver.
Don’t Assume, Ask
There were several times in the design process when I had a question and wasn’t sure of the answer. If you are uncertain about any detail, ask ahead of time. For example, I asked how many shelves came in upper cabinets. Because the ones I ordered were 38″ tall, I wanted them to have three movable shelves. Upon asking, I learned that these tall cabinets came with two shelves by default. I could request an extra shelf for those cabinets on my order free of charge. I also asked how to create the valance over the sink as I needed to hide the LED light strip behind it.
Know Your Lead Time
Make sure that the estimated lead time fits your remodel schedule. It takes several weeks to complete your order. If you opt for finished cabinets, the lead time will be longer. Also factor in extra time for freight shipping. Our cabinets arrived in the estimated time frame.
Understand That They Are People Too
We had a very positive experience with Barker Cabinets, but it wasn’t without a couple of hiccups. When we were putting together the upper corner cabinet, we discovered that one of the pieces wasn’t cut correctly. Upon notifying Barker Cabinets, they remade that piece and shipped it promptly. In addition, one very small painted piece did not ship with our order. Before we even realized it, Barker Cabinets discovered the error and shipped it to us. Fortunately, we received it the day we needed it for installation.
Whether through email or the Barker Forums, customer service answered our questions promptly and thoroughly. We are well pleased with the quality of their product and their service.
Would We Order Barker Cabinets Again?
Absolutely. We have enjoyed the quality and beauty of our Barker Cabinets for four years now. As I write this, we’re preparing to move to a house that will likely need a kitchen update in the next few years. When that time comes, I will definitely consider ordering from Barker Cabinets again.
If you have any questions about this Barker Cabinets review, please comment below or use the contact form to get in touch with me.
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