Parent Q&A

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  • Hi - we're doing a small remodel (bathroom, media room, and hallway) - we need some help in building the cabinetry.  Do you know of anyone who could help?

    Many thanks. 

    There’s a man in El Cerrito, a retired general contractor, who works primarily in his shop. I’ve used him to build and update cabinetry, various other projects.

    Lowell Hicks, fcleffer [at], 510-612-9988. I initially found him via strong references on BPN.

  • Hi there,

    We're seeking recommendations for thorough and reliable painters, cabinet makers, general contractors, and pool designers. We just purchased a home in Orinda that has LOTS of gaudy decorative trim such as crown molding, coffered ceilings, baseboards, wall panels, gorgeous cabinets and doors that will need to be sanded to original finish and painted/stained. We'd love to hire a painter who is dedicated to his/her craft with impeccable attention to detail. The GC and pool design company is needed to assist with the renovation of some funky interior spaces, pool/bar area, etc...

    Thanks in advance. 

    N. Cook

    Forma Cabinetry (510) 812-2032  - they did my kitchen, vanity and closet system. Their work is incredible. They are also a General Contractor and can design + build any space.

    After struggling to find a(n available) licensed contractor we saw a BPN review for Marius Adamache and called him to get bids for a few large projects (deck resurfacing, door and window replacements) and many smaller projects (lighting, painting, general repair and maintenance). Marius got back to me very quickly and put together a thorough bid within a day or two. He was very responsive and checked in constantly as decisions needed to be made. The materials ordered were expected to take months, but when they arrived much sooner than expected he was able to fit us in and get the work done with plenty of time to spare in our tight timeline. His crews left the job site very clean, which we very much appreciated! He is also accommodating, kind and easy to work with. Would definitely recommend! He will be our go-to for any future projects.

  • We have 1950's plywood kitchen cabinets with no drawer slides that leave sawdust behind and are falling apart. We recently installed a new countertop, so we're wondering if we can to find someone who can rebuild the drawers and add sliders rather than replacing the cabinets entirely. We'd also be interested in having this person build a new wooden replacement kitchen table top to be installed on a metal pedestal; the current one is Formica. Appreciate any leads or advice!

    Hi! I would contact BryanSchatz [at] He’s great. He built a table for me and recently built a beautiful home cabin in the woods Washington state. He’s reasonably priced too. 

    Try Mickey Waldear, he's a custom cabinet maker who made a lovely custom bath vanity for us. 

    Waldear Woodworks
    email: mjwaldear [at]

  • Need a cabinet maker

    Jan 30, 2019

    We are looking for a cabinet maker or similar woodworker for four or five medium to smallish projects.  The work will entail retrofitting existing cabinets and otherwise fitting in, physically and aesthetically, with stuff that's already there and maybe a bit odd.  Any suggestions?


    I think I have the perfect person for you -  I refer him often - his name is Jeff Gagnon and everyone I send him to thanks me profusely - I have used him as well at my office to make a custom cabinet with shelves in our bathroom. His email is jeff [at] and his phone is 415-845-6250. He is excellent at assessing what it is you want to store and then accommodating those items. Plus, his prices are extremely fair and he is smart and kind and just a lovely human to have in your home. He is in the East Bay - just a 415 cell number.

    Hope this helps - I have other people for more fancy stuff if that is what you are looking for?

    For our recent remodel, we used two cabinet makers and are very happy with the results from both of them. Mickey Waldear, 510-816-4847, did our bath cabinets out of Plyboo, a plywoodified Bamboo. Jim Millen, 510-331-8246, based in Castro Valley, did our custom kitchen cabinets. Good luck!

  • Cabinet maker

    Nov 19, 2017

    i'm looking for an awesome cabinet maker/woodworker who can potentially build us a built-in in our dining room and also maybe reframe a front door. all of the reviews are pretty old for this. more recent experience would be great. thanks!

    We highly recommend Jim Harper. He's build several pieces of furniture for us, and for many friends. Plus, he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet! 510-232-6386, jimharper1604 [at]

    Matt Klose did our custom pantry (which we absolutely love) and does lots of high end full kitchen custom cabinet jobs, mostly in Marin--but he's based in Alameda. Highly skilled, knowledgable, honest, and detail-oriented. Takes great pride in his work. Reasonable prices for custom cabinets. Very confidently recommended! 415-846-1884.

    I'd recommend my carpenter/neighbor John Kraft. He helped us with a built-in recently and we feel lucky because he's very busy, mainly through word-of-mouth. He works on high-end homes in Piedmont/Oakland and is well-known and oft-requested by the local contractors. And he's also a very nice guy with a conscience. You can try calling him at 510-206-5664

    We were very happy with Benicia Cabinets, which was the cabinet sub for our total kitchen remodel 7 years ago.

Forma Cabinetry (510) 812-2032  - they did my kitchen, vanity and closet system. Their work is incredible. They are also a General Contractor and can design + build any space.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions Related Pages

Roll out shelves for kitchen?

June 2011

We are hoping to get roll out shelves installed in our kitchen. I saw one place on yelp ( that had 5 stars but they're located in SF (we live in Oakland) and also had 6 'filtered' comments, which may be an issue. Has anyone used What was your experience? Anyone have any other recommendations? Thank you! Sandra

Our contractor used Benicia Cabinetry for our El Cerrito kitchen's rollout shelves, and we loooove them! Amalia

Cabinetmaker for built-ins in kitchen

Oct 2007

Do you know a talented cabinet maker/finish carpenter who has some decent design skills as well? I have an idea about a great built-in bookcase and homework area for my kitchen but need someone with the design and building skills to make it really work. Reasonably affordable is a bonus. skh

I highly recommend Gary Twitchell,, 510.862.6528. Last year, Gary repaired some antique and custom-made furniture that was both water- and heat-damaged and did an outstanding job for a very reasonable price; he even did some of the smaller jobs at my house. Gary also builds beautiful custom cabinets in a studio at the old Alameda Naval base that he shares with several other great cabinetmakers. Terry

Wall cabinets needed

April 2007

I want to have some wall cabinets installed and I need a good reliable carpenter. Would be great if they could give me some ideas too. Laura

Aron Lewandowski is an awesome carpenter in the East Bay. Some may know him as Aron Nugent but he recently went back to his birth name after getting married. His work is great and his rates are affordable. He also does custom cabinet and furniture work. He uses reclaimed wood and sustainable or recycled resources as much as he can. He owns Woodsoul Design and I'm sure he would give you a free estimate. Call him - 510-435-5419.
happy with shelves

Carpenter to create custom-built cabinet doors

Sept 2006

We are seeking a carpenter/custom kitchen cabinetmaker to build and put doors on our open cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom. We have called most of the names already on the BPN list and most are either too high-end (we don't want a whole remodel/resurface job) or won't do our ''unorthodox'' kitchen. (We have existing wood cabinets and we JUST need someone to measure, build, and install custom-sized doors on them.) We need someone creative and professional. Any recommendations out there? Thanks very much! Jillian

I highly recommend Bill Hamilton of TharpHamilton Woodworks. 510-547-1933. He refaced all the cabinets in my kitchen, installed new drawers through-out, and installed all new hardware He worked with us, was up front, honest, quick, and did a great job at a good price. Yo

Need cabinets built to match existing cabinets

Nov 2005

We need to have a cabinet built to match our existing ones. Anyone have a recommendation for a good cabinet maker? claudia

In response to the request for someone to build a cabinet to match existing cabinets: Ted Posselt excels in just this kind of demanding cabinet work. He was able to match intricate, old wood trim, and built window trim and cabinets to match those of our 1910 (or so) house. They look like they were original, yet he strives to find wood and other materials to keep the budget low. He has done a number of other carpentry projects for us, including book shelves and closets. Ted is meticulous in accounting for his labor and the costs of his materials. You'll enjoy talking to him, too. Martha

Someone to build high-quality oak cabinets

Oct 2005

We are remodeling our kitchen and need recommendations for a professional cabinet maker. We have the architect's plans and would like to get several bids for good quality and reasonably priced quartersawn oak cabinets. The archives don't have any recent posts, so I was hoping that someone had a current recommendation. Email me or post to the digest. Thanks, Elise

Hi- I've got a great recommendation for you- Gary Goddard and Kevin Riley. They run their business, Goddard and Riley, here in Oakland, and they are fabulous. They did not only our kitchen, but they also rebuilt an Arts and Crafts built in that had been torn out and made us the most amazing front door. (They've made several doors in the Rockridge area.) They also helped us design our kitchen, (also one of several in Rockridge,) and when every architect failed to find a way to put in french doors, Kevin made it a mission to make it work. And he did. We're saving money to restore our fireplace, and we would only have them design it. Good luck. Michelle

In response to the query on kitchen cabinets, we have had excellent experiences with Karl Heuken and his son Karl. They built our custom kitchen cabinets in 2002 and then bathroom and built-ins for beneath our stairs the following year. They are very experienced, reasonably priced and produce high quality cabinets that i think are perfect. Karl Heuken Hayward Cabinet and Construction 23726 Clawiter Rd Hayward CA 94545

More recommendations for cabinet makers

Oct 2007

During a recent earthquake retrofit my house's fireplace & hearth were removed. I hired Everwood Cabinets to make an Arts & Crafts cabinet to match the glass-door cabinet (5 panes per door, 2 doors per cabinet) beside the fireplace and to fill the space between the cabinets with open shelves. They also put new floor boards where the hearth bricks had been. The new cabinet, shelves and floor are beautiful. I recommend Charles Ferguson and his assistant Rich for custom cabinets.
Everwood Cabinets 809 50th Avenue Oakland, CA 94601 phone: 510-535-1222 fax: 510-533-1822 license no. C-6446488

April 2007

I want to highly recommend our cabinet maker, Paul Murphy. Paul has done many projects for me over the past several years. He built all of our kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and has built several pieces of beautiful furniture. He works in wood, laminate, and steel. He can do everything from basic shelves to intricate garden gates and creative furniture. His rates are very reasonable, he is professional and a pleasure to work with. He can be reached on his cell: Paul Murphy: 510-693-1868 jennifer

March 2006

This could apply both to the person looking for someone to build a bathroom cabinet and the person looking for a cabinet maker to built a banquette, since we have used John Mercer for both and he did a *splendid* job. He built a large built-in banquette for our living/dining space that is not only a total show-stopper (absolutely gorgeous white oak w/ sliding doors for storage), it's so well built and rock solid that my husband jokes about it being additional quake retrofitting for our house. John also made the our bathroom cabinets -- very simple paint grade wood which also turned out just great. He may not be the cheapest guy out there but I doubt you could get a better level of craftsmanship (he's kind of a hoot, too). His workshop is in Berkeley, his # is 510-524-3354. Lovin' the Cabinets

March 2005

In response to the request for Reliable & Reasonable Carpentry, i.e. kitchen cabinets.. (i couldn't tell from your post whether you are looking for cabinets to be made, or a carpenter to come to home to do repairs. My recommendation pertains to the former, not the latter.) I can whole-heartedly recommend Karl Heuken who has custom made our kitchen cabinets, our bathroom vanity, and built in stereo cabinet and under-the-stairs cabinets.
Karl Heuken Hayward Cabinet and Construction 23726 Clawiter Rd Hayward, CA 94545

June 2003

I'm looking for someone to build a small cabinet to hide away my tv. Everything I see in the stores requires the monster tv I am not interested to own! I'd appreciate some recommendations.Thanks. adene

Armo Forster
Armo built a big bookcase with cabinet doors on the bottom portion for us earlier this year. He does all kinds of custom woodworking. darcy

June 2002

This is to respond to the folks who got short shrift at IKEA: I had a vanity and bathroom cabinet custom-built at a very reasonable price by H Cabinets in Oakland, off 880 at Fruitvale. You can see their sign from the freeway. I needed something to fit an unusual space, and the owner, Gary Hazelhofer, was responsive and reasonable. I would imagine IKEA would be cheaper, but I don't mind paying for some individual attention. H doesn't do super high-end cabinets, but they're not cheapie, either. Worth a call. Wendy

March 2002

This is an unsolicited post to recommend a woodworker who just built a handsome custom bookcase/cabinet for us. His name is Armand Forster. Armo does all kinds of woodworking, from high-end cabinetry to simple shelves to stair railings to... you name it. He's been building his own home in the Oakland hills for the past ten years, so you can check out what he's done there with his floors, kitchen cabinets, doors, etc. if you want some idea of what he's capable of. I think he does great work! darcy

Feb. 2002

We are looking for recommendations for a cabinetmaker or carpenter who can construct some small built in benches for our kitchen. We don't want to use cushions, so we need someone who's pretty good at designing and building a comfortable, higher-end product.

I highly recommend Jim Harper to do your built in work. He just completed a project for us which involved building a window seat with storage space and book shelves surrounding. He was meticulous and used very nice wood, even though we are going to paint ours. His quote (we got 3) was in the mid range. He installed the whole thing in a day which included dealing with a sloped floor. Very nice detail work too. Karen