Indy craftsman tells all about custom cabinetry

Indy craftsman tells all about custom cabinetry

We talked to Bob Kolarich, owner of Indy's highly rated R. Martin Woodworks, to get the scoop on custom cabinetry, and the skill and artistry behind the craft.

"I started doing bookcases and shelving for libraries," says Kolarich, a Fishers resident who started his business in 1991. "Over the years, I met an interior designer who began passing my name around, and the residential part of my business picked up."

Is there a type of wood that makes the best kitchen cabinets? It really depends on what you're making and what the client wants. A simple cabinet is generally made of maple or cherry and has whatever finish the client wants.

Are there any style or design trends you've observed lately? I've noticed more requests for custom finishes. A lot of people want a painted finish that's distressed and glazed.

How long does it take to make cabinets for a kitchen? It depends on the clients. If the design decisions are made quickly, it usually takes about six to eight weeks. I did the Mission-style bookcase, office area and kitchenette in the lower level of the annual St. Margaret's Hospital Guild Decorators' Show House & Gardens home last year. That homeowner took the time to go over things with me and approved the design in 10 days - which allowed the process to go quickly. Other clients take a lot longer.

How do you charge for your services, and what is the average cost? I don't have set pricing, because everything I do is custom. The size, materials, finishes and door styles are all unique to each project and determine the cost. I go over everything with the client then produce drawings and get everything down [on paper] before I do pricing. Most custom jobs can be around $40,000 to $50,000.

Is there something about your profession that might surprise people? How many different ways you can build a cabinet. If you ask 12 guys to build you a cabinet of a certain size, you would end up with 12 different cabinets. Whether it be the joints or the materials, everyone builds them differently. I also think people don't realize how much planning goes into it. Remodeling a kitchen is tricky and you can run into things you don't expect. When I start the design process with my clients, some of them don't understand why I'm asking so many questions, but planning ahead is important to make sure everything goes perfectly. B



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