Closets firms have long branched beyond just closets, building pantries, home offices and Murphy Beds. Increasingly clients are asking them to bid — perhaps against you — on building libraries, buffets, kitchen cabinetry, even commercial office spaces, which are traditional domains of custom woodworkers.
It’s not a stretch, since panels, hardware, and accessories readily lend themselves to other cabinetry and general home improvement work.
click image to zoomKCD Software's Cabinet/Closet Designer KCD Software's Cabinet/Closet Designer is a versatile and robust application, capable of complex projects such as this combination entertainment center and office. One shop, a Closet Factory franchise near Virginia Beach, VA, even built an entire house (with 14 closets or other home storage projects) as a marketing effort. He won gold awards for the project.
Recent months have also seen several examples of cabinet-making companies crossing into the closet business.
While examples abound, Greenberg Casework Co. Inc., a South Beloit, IL, cabinetry and millwork shop profiled in July 2012 CWB, is a striking one.
“We saw the rapidly expanding market for storage and organization for garage and workshop, and felt we could do better,” Troy Greenberg said in describing his launch of RedLine Closet Systems.
Another is Lami Wood Products, which became a California Closets operator in March, opening two new franchise showrooms in the St. Louis metro area. The parent company of Signature Kitchen and Bath, which offers custom cabinetry for the residential market, Lami will manufacture the California Closets line, along with its own custom cabinet lines and laminate countertops, at its 80,000-square-foot facility in St. Peters, MO.
“We only had to add a vertical boring machine to press the Häfele Rafix connectors to accommodate the line,” says Dan Heath, Lami Wood Products controller. Heath says the custom home organization business target market shares similar demographics with the company’s Signature Kitchen and Bath business, though closets are sold through a home visit, kitchen cabinets in a showroom.
Lami kitchen cabinet designers will use 20/20 Technologies design products, while closet designers will use California Closets’ proprietary application.
The most recent announcements about crossover cabinetry and closet design applications, which will be on view at IWF 2012, are from KCD Software. Well established in kitchen cabinet design and production software, it supports closet and crossover cabinetry work in its latest Cabinet, Closet and Doors Plus software suites. It uses an open architecture for CNC manufacturing — CNC Cabinet/Closet Commander — to take a project from on-site design, pricing and cut listing through either automated CNC cutting and routing or traditional to manufacturing process. KCD’s 3D Closet Design Studio also creates specialty rooms (pantry, craft, wine, laundry and mudroom, left) entertainment centers, garage storage solutions, offices and Murphy Beds.