May 2018

The word ‘quality’ is defined as having characteristics of high grade or superiority. The mere sound of the word makes us think of words like precision, solid and expensive. One would hope that NASA demands the highest quality of its rocket components. And that all the parts used in constructing the cars we drive, the office buildings we work in, and the planes we travel in are given a high degree of scrutiny. Unfortunately, quality standards vary as much as our senses of taste.

My perception of quality is how closely a product performs its intended purpose over time. I wore a $200 Tag Heuer wrist watch for a couple years and because of an active lifestyle, the bezel scratched, the band broke and it was ultimately lost somewhere and never found. During the same time, I put a $20 analog Casio on a velcro wrist band, used it for skiing, kayaking, mountain biking, scuba diving, Ski Patrol and other outdoor recreation for 15 years beyond its more expensive counterpart – and can’t seem to break it or lose it to this day. Does that mean the Casio is better, or is it just better suited for its intended purpose?

When it comes to quality finishes of a house, the products that tend to get the most wear and tear are doors, floors, faucets and cabinetry. Cabinetry is of particular interest because of its vast degree of customization. Materials range from flat pack built-it-yourself vinyl coated press board, to complete custom site-built systems with solid wood and site-applied finishes. Operating hardware like hinges and drawer glides present us with even more vast degrees of quality.

The intended purpose of cabinetry is to store and access things we use on a regular basis. Since we want our cabinets to last like a $20 Casio, the first degree of quality is the raw materials. The second degree is the assembly methods. The third is the fit. And the fourth degree is the finish. With installation procedures being equal, there is no better overall value than custom-built cabinetry for our customers. By offering custom cabinetry as a standard, we provide uniquely designed solutions with a lasting performance over time.

For more information about this topic, visit the quality section of the FAQ page at tenhulzen.com.