Cabinet shipping damage can be one of the most infuriating parts of the remodel. After waiting the time for the cabinets to ship only to receive damaged cabinets. Unlike Amazon orders, kitchen cabinets are shipped on a large pallet. These kitchen cabinets are expensive premium products.

As much as one doesn’t want these to be damaged, wood is not the most durable product to shipping damages. That is the natural characteristic of the wood material. Fret not however, as we will go through what to do when you receive shipping damaged kitchen cabinets.

Who To Point Fingers At?

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Shipping damage can be a result of a combination of errors.Typically shipping damage will be the reason the product ends up beat up. At times, a pallet of items may even be lost due to mismanagement. Whatever the excuse is, your damaged or missing cabinets need to be replaced. 

Damages have a high chance to be damaged by the delivery company. The pallets that are transported on freight trucks are not secured to the side of the truck.

This means the pallet can rock side-to-side, slide back and forth, and even slam against the side walls of the truck. Potholes, braking for other drivers, and even avoiding road debris or accidents can result in the pallet of cabinets moving and getting damaged. 

Does that always mean the delivery is at fault? Not all the time. Manufacturing and warehouse that prepares the pallet can be at fault as well. Checking prior to see if the product is manufactured properly and securing the pallet to prevent it from moving.

Even if the shipping company damages your pallet of cabinets, the cabinet company can replace the damages for you. 

Delayed Schedule

Some shipping damages or lost pallets may delay your installation. Even a delay in shipping from the delivery drivers can cause a dent in the contractor’s schedule.

With every company having inventory issues on goods and products, getting your cabinets may have to wait until the warehouse receives the inventory. When creating an initial timeline for your kitchen remodel, planning a buffer will help prepare for any delays. 

What To Do When You Receive Shipping Damage?

Shipping damage
Many times the cardboard box may be the only thing that is damaged not the cabinets itself

If you receive damaged cabinets, call your representative whom you purchased the cabinets from. Kitchen cabinets are prone to wear and tear. Especially with the cabinets moving around during the shipping process in the back of a truck, they will walk you through the process of replacing the damaged cabinets. 

Depending on what is damaged, this may not delay your installation. The most difficult part of a kitchen cabinet installation is assembling the cabinet body and mounting them onto the wall. As these cabinet boxes may be heavy, people will typically expect the cabinet assembler or contractor to do the heavy lifting part of the project.

The most important pieces to worry about for damaged cabinets before the assembly phase are the cabinet body, correct hardware, cabinet frame for traditional style cabinetry, and end panels for modern style cabinetry.

Without these pieces, putting together the cabinets is not possible. Warped, scratched, or damaged doors can easily be replaced and shipped. Typically a cabinet door can be shipped and expedited as soon as a couple days. Anyone can easily attach the cabinet doors as the finishing touches. 

How Much Damage is Considered Unusable?

Shipping damage unusable
Shipping damage that destroys the cabinet will need to be replaced as it may affect the structural integrity

Damage will need to be replaced, but not necessary everything that is slightly bruised will need to be scrapped. Damaged cabinets that are visually cracked on surfaces or damages to the support are the pieces that need to be replaced.

The most important ones to start the installation are the support. If the panels are cracked, joints are not drilled correctly, or missing hardware, these issues need to be brought up with your supplier. These issues will affect the installation of your cabinets. Ignoring these may affect both assembly and installation of your brand new kitchen. 

Not all damages are considered unusable. Just because a piece looks scratched does not immediately mean that the cabinet is unusable and needs to be immediately exchanged or returned. Certain parts of the cabinet will inevitably be covered, put alongside another cabinet, or hidden from plain sight.

When examining damages, check to see which will cause installation problems or will affect the durability and longevity of the cabinet. If a giant crack is running through the panel, that will need to be changed. If the corner of the back panel is slightly impacted, this will be covered up after the assembly. Your cabinet supplier can help you identify which is usable to keep your installation on schedule.

How to plan around?

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If you are shopping online, plan a buffer with your contactor or installer. Contractors now more than ever are turning down customers because of how busy they are. It will be difficult to schedule the installer to come back at a separate time to finish an installation.

Even rescheduling that same contractor for a separate day can cost a couple hundred extra for a few hours. This may affect the later end of the remodeling project where one wants to add furnishings and last minute touches to their kitchen, only to be drained of that budget for last minute problems.

So how much buffer period is needed? One week buffer is recommended if one is shopping for cabinets online.

This gives enough time for an expedited shipment to arrive that was damaged. This would mean it is important to potentially store the cabinets, whether RTA or pre-assembled cabinets prior to the contractor performing the installation. Not having this one week buffer may cause added expenses to get out of control.

author avatar
Sunny C.
Sunny is a seasoned writer and home improvement enthusiast with a knack for creating engaging and informative content. Her extensive experience in the industry allows her to provide readers with practical tips and innovative design ideas. Sunny's articles are known for their clarity and creativity, making them a favorite among homeowners looking to improve their spaces. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and exploring sustainable living practices.

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