Many people are hesitant to share their budget with potential vendors for fear of getting a quote that is right up to their budget. While this can happen with vendors who are looking to gouge out the max possible, the benefits of sharing your budget up front can far outweigh the risks of not sharing it for the following reasons:

1.)   Many people come to Hawaii from the mainland where things just cost less in general. They don’t realize that while materials costs may be similar, the cost of shipping to Hawaii is quite expensive. Sharing your budget up front helps the vendor determine if your expectations are even in-line with reality.

2.)   The vendor can help steer you in a direction for lines that they know will be more in-line with what you are looking to spend. This avoids wasting time and disappointment getting a bid that is completely unrealistic.

3.)   Aside from finding more economical choices if your wish list is above your budget, the vendor can work with you to cost engineer your project and break it down by must-haves vs. want-to-haves and present your bid by components so you can pick and choose what is most important to you.

4.)   The vendor can discuss various financing options with you that they may offer so that you can decide whether to take advantage of these options to adjust your budget or decide that you will just wait until you are in a better financial place to do the project.

At Top Shelf Cabinet Solutions our goal is to help you get the highest quality and beauty possible within your budget parameters. We find that having this discussion up front not only helps us manage expectations and limit shock from high bids, but also helps you see what choices are available to manage costs as you plan your entire remodel. In addition to helping you find the perfect solid-wood cabinet line, we also can recommend contractors we feel will do the job at a fair price and discuss countertop options.

Lastly, if cash is tight, we will discuss various financing options we offer. If you are looking to sell in the near future or fix a property up for future rentals or just enjoy your remodel sooner rather than later, we can give you options.



Hardware choices, while they seem minor can have a huge impact on the final look and feel of your kitchen or bath. In our view they are just as important as the cabinet color and style itself and can push a look more traditional or contemporary so it’s important to match them well to the door style and overall look you are looking to achieve.

Who would have thought? Gold hardware which is making a big comeback! This warm tone ranging from champaign to copper is beautiful on dark or colored woods in particular, even gray to create contrast. You can also use it to pick up tones in your countertops. It will definitely set your kitchen apart from others. Below are a few pictures of cabinets from our J&K Cabinets line with gold fixtures in a variety of styles.

J&K “Greige”

J&K “Greige”

Check out these top selling styles on Houzz.

J&K “Hazel”

J&K “Hazel”

J&K “Hazel”

J&K “Hazel”

Solid Wood Cabinets - A Must Have in Hawaii

One of the number one complaints we get from our customers about the cabinets they are looking to replace is that they are practically falling apart. The humid conditions on the island along with termites can shorten the lifespan of cabinets significantly if the wrong ones are chosen. Cabinets are a big investment for most home-owners so it pays in the long-term to buy quality that will stand up to our unique conditions here in Hawaii. Here are some tips to keep in mind when selecting cabinets for your remodel or new construction:

  • Solid wood is a must. Many less expensive cabinets are cheaper because they are made of particle board instead of plywood. Particle board is a wood composite and looks like a bunch of wood chips glued together. Our traditional cabinets boxes feature 9 layers of plywood with birch wood veneers on both interior and exterior which is used for the top, bottom and sides. The doors are solid maple or alder depending on the style.

  • Shipping time is really important. Many companies will wait until a container is full to ship from the mainland. This means cabinets may sit on loading docs for extended periods of time exposing them to bugs. In addition, if they arrive too soon prior to installation and sit around a job site in Hawaii they are also exposed to bugs before they are even installed. Because we use our own shippers, we are able to ship on demand and significantly cut down on the time cabinets sit around in the mainland and Hawaii. Our cabinets are factory wrapped, in a low pest environment and shipping times are usually 3-5 weeks so contractors are confident that they will have them when they need them and don’t need to order them too early, risking “sit time.”