Cabinet Creations handles many extra services for its customers, like installing lighting, calling a plumber, and selling and servicing appliances.

If you are a customer of Cabinet Creations in Rock Hill, SC, not to worry. The company, which has been in the residential kitchen cabinet business 26 years, has all your decorating problems solved before you have even thought of them.

"I like to be in control of everything," says President Dennis Brown. That means that the 10 employees working in the 12,000-square-foot shop not only build the cabinets that he designs; they assemble, finish and install them as well.

They even will create mirrors or lighting fixtures to match the rest of the cabinets, which include bathroom vanities and entertainment centers, as well as kitchens. Minor electrical work, including design and installation of under-counter lighting and overhead lights, is handled in-house.

If the customer is particularly fond of an unusual piece of furniture, Cabinet Creations will finish the cabinets to match — like the stain with a black rub-through that finishing specialist Tom Allen was working on recently. The customer brought in a sample, and he matched it.

"We don't just have four colors: A, B, C and D," Brown says. Instead, customers bring pictures of the finish they want. "It's harder to do that," he acknowledges, "but it makes the customer feel he's getting a one-of-a-kind piece."

And if the customer wants a Corian countertop? "We used to outsource that, but got tired of waiting on other people's schedules," says Keith Bryant, who along with

Dennis' wife Debbie is a partner in the $1.2 million business. The solution: "We went to school." Now they are DuPont-certified to fabricate Corian.

If you prefer granite, they don't cut the granite, but they template and install it. The same is true with glass. They can order metal stock and cut it, when needed. And though they do not necessarily announce it, they also offer Miele kitchen appliances for sale and have been to school to learn how to service them.

About the only thing the company doesn't make is doors. Ninety-five percent, says Bryant, they buy. They used to make them all, but if they tried that now, he says, "We'd have to have another building this size."

In the case of remodels, which make up about 25 percent of their work, they carry "one-stop shopping" even further. If a plumber is needed, Bryant calls one. If a sink or faucet is needed, he finds it. The client only has to deal with one person, Bryant says. "If there's a problem, this avoids a bunch of phone calls and finger-pointing about whose fault it is."

GC Capabilities

Brown, who has a general contractor's license, doesn't want to be one, he is quick to say. He just wants to get his jobs done quickly.

"We'll do a tear-out one week, and the next week, the homeowners are back in the kitchen cooking," he says. Brown accomplishes this by planning, and also executing, ahead of time. Before tearing out the old kitchen, for example, Cabinet Creations builds all the cabinets, calls the plumber in and has the countertops in progress.

That is a big plus for the customers, according to Brown. "They want to be back in their houses," he says.

In producing Cabinet Creations' highly custom work, Brown is assisted by Bryant, five other family members and several other veteran employees. Debbie Brown is bookkeeper and office manager; sons Scott and Derek work in the shop; brother David Brown does the specialty work ("the furniture-looking stuff," Dennis Brown says) and Debbie's brother, Dwayne Sligh, works in finishing.

The niche that Cabinet Creations has carved for itself is custom cabinets in homes that usually range between $500,000 and $8 million. Many of the homes are in Rock Hill and surrounding towns, but some are in Charlotte, 26 miles away.

A cherry frame for an overhead lighting fixture matches these cherry cabinets. Cabinet Creations installed the glass in the upper cabinet at the right in graduated heights to create a sloping look. Arched rails frame the glass. A black granite splash and stainless steel accents add

Cabinet Creations

Rock Hill, SC

Year Founded: 1980

Employees: 10

Shop Size: 12,000 sq. ft.

FYI: Company co-owner Dennis Brown tries to plan and execute jobs with maximum efficiency, so that homeowners are back in their kitchens as quickly as possible.

The company also works on clients' vacation homes, both in and out of state. "A lot of stuff is at the beach, Charleston," says Bryant, who adds jokingly, "The problem with these jobs is that it takes all summer to do a job, because of the 7- or 8-hour lunch breaks."

A Brown-designed cabinet has certain characteristics. "I try to put drawers wherever possible, no matter what the size," Brown says, pointing out a bathroom vanity with eight. Drawers ,rollout shelves and other cabinet components make for a more usable cabinet, he says, adding, "People appreciate that."

Following what Brown calls a current fashion trend, many cabinet components are cut on a radius. Customers like to have something different-looking, something that's not just straight lines, he says. In one set of cabinets they did, for example, glass panels in the doors decrease in height as the arched rails above them increase. The piece maintains its rectangular footprint, but the doors create an impression of sloping glass.

"The CNC cuts it out, pretty simple," Brown says. The CNC is a Holz-Her Eco-Master 7120, and it is the third CNC that Cabinet Creations bought. "The technology got better," Brown explains.

Other equipment includes: an SCMI Alpha 32 beam saw, Altendorf F-90 sliding table saw, Holz-Her 1435 edgebander, Castle pocket-screw system, SCMI and Rockwell shapers, CanTek straight line ripsaw and two Weinig moulders, a Quattromat 18 and a Profimat 26. Binks equipment and Sherwin-Williams stains, paints and conversion varnishes are used in the finishing department.

A Preference for Residential

Unlike many cabinet companies, Cabinet Creations prefers the complexities, and sometimes frustrations, of building residential cabinets over the more cut-and-dried com

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.