I here it all the time. “We love your mini-kitchen but it is just too expensive”!
Even the media reviewing our mini-kitchens say similar things like “The YesterTec mini-kitchen is expensive, but oh, so nice.
And compared to most other bulk manufacturers of mini-kitchens, they are all correct. Our custom crafted mini-kitchen armoires are top of the line. And even though they can do more than any other model on the market WORLD WIDE, (due to our exclusive UL Listed technology that allows all appliances to be safely concealed) the market is satisfied with cheaper models that expose the appliances and the messy countertop.
So in the following article, I’d like to show you why our pieces are priced as they are.
First: Custom building each piece is more expensive than mass producing, even with our design and shop drawing stages 95% completed even prior to ordering. Though our Stealth Kitchen Modules line that includes several mini-kitchen models is designed for mass production, most of our orders are built as single units or just a few at a time.
Most mini-kitchens on the market are not made like high quality pieces of furniture meant to last a lifetime. Manufacturers know that high quality is not their main market, as most mini-kitchens are bought because people are trying to save money.
Take the ‘Tiny House’ trend. These people are trying to save money by living smaller and less expensively. So their tiny kitchens are typically made as inexpensively as possible. And though these homes are the perfect place to have a kitchen that ‘disappears’ within their tiny multi-task living space, the cost to do so with our armoires is prohibitive.
So high quality natural materials, detailing, using pocket doors and in most cases, the cost of building a 3-D object (furniture has two sides in addition to the front, cornices, base moldings etc.) are costs that go beyond the normal mini-kitchen market.
Our labor costs however are extremely competitive compared with other custom cabinet companies. In fact from time to time, other manufacturers who want to build our units for us have priced the cost that they would charge us and the price is always way higher than ours. However, compared to the mass producing mini-kitchen manufacturers with their labor saving repetitive designs and large scale processes we again can’t compete.
Secondly: The appliances that we use that are designed to have door panels attached to them are way more expensive than even full sized appliances. For example AJMadison.com sells the Fisher & Paykel single dish drawer model we use for $729. A GE full sized stainless steel model starts at $400. Our most popular U-Line 5.7 Cubic foot under counter refrigerator freezer is $2093. A GE 20.8 Cubic foot 36” wide stainless steel refrigerator is $1392. Then add the cost of making and installing the wood panels onto the appliances!
Thirdly: The cost to hide the ‘hot’ appliances is significant. In fact since our inception in 1995, the costs associated with the development, approval and manufacture of our UL Listed controls, switches and wiring has averaged $2,208 per appliance that is hidden. You however pay $892 to hide the two appliances that are hidden in a Mini-kitchen. We have absorbed the difference as development costs. Still that is $892 more than any other manufacturer needs to charge you.
Fourthly: And then there is overhead: Office staff, physical facilities, trucks etc. Now here we have EVERYBODY beat. That’s because YesterTec only has one full time employee.
Me! (And now I’m on Medicare!)
Everybody else that we need to produce YesterTec products is a consulting firm. From engineering through manufacturing, advertising & marketing through final delivery, all are not being paid when we are not using them. And though at times we might be better off having our own in-house manufacturing due to workload demands, I do sleep better this way and your costs are at rock bottom. Still, the mass producing firms will beat us here as well due to their lower costs based on large quantity production.
Bottom line: Our armoires that can safely hide complete compact kitchens are unique to the industry, and due to the many factors noted above, they are more costly, but very fairly priced compared to any other custom cabinet builder who would try to (un-safely) duplicate what we do. But if you don’t need to hide a complete kitchen, including the ‘hot’ appliances in a beautiful armoire, then industry leading companies like Dwyer and Acme or the less expensive producers like Summit, Danby and Avanti will have a number of units that will fit your project.