Markraft Cabinets, like the greater Wilmington region’s economy, depends on the construction and real estate industries. That’s why I’m so glad our business is rebounding this year, along with the rest of our region’s economy. Our long-time clients are expanding, and new ones are joining them, which has allowed us to grow, hire new employees, and serve our customers better.
If you don’t know our company, let me say just a little about what we do. You probably have heard that the most important investments a builder – or a homeowner – can make in a house of any age is to make the kitchen and bathrooms as attractive and up to date as possible. That’s where we come in! Our products, with help from our talented manufacturers and designers and our skilled installers, are what make kitchens and bathrooms attractive, functional – and a huge contributor to a home’s livability and value.
A big part of our business has always been to supply cabinets, counters and other amenities for new houses, apartments and business buildings. But we also appreciate our retail customers: The homeowners who have a very personal stake in how these important spaces work, look and feel.
Over the last several years, while few new houses were going up and real-estate prices were depressed, a lot of homeowners decided they would keep their homes for a few years longer rather than selling and buying a newer, bigger house. They chose to upgrade where they were rather than moving. Many of these remodelers relied on us to help give their homes a fresher, more contemporary look.
That’s an investment that pays off in two ways. You’ll enjoy your home more as long as you live there. And you’ll get back more than you put into these improvements when it is time to sell.
People who live in older houses understand that if they’re going to sell quickly and get the best price, they’ll have to upgrade their kitchens and baths. No other improvement has such a big impact on sale price.
We still depend on these retail customers, who make use of our Selection Center to choose the materials, finishes and designs that best suit their tastes and lifestyles.
Together with the homebuilders, apartment developers and commercial builders whose business is reviving, these customers have made it possible for us to employ professional kitchen designers, assisted by a customer-service coordinator, here in Wilmington. Their job is to create the optimum layout and the perfect look for every home. You’ll meet them at our Selection Center, at 5424 Oleander Drive. That’s where we have our different product lines on display, so you can compare different looks and materials, and find the perfect combination for your own home or business.
As building has picked up, we’ve hired on across the board. We’re glad to be creating new jobs again. Markraft added nearly 20 new employees in 2013, including installers, estimators, account representatives and support staff. Our installers are all experienced craftsmen, homebuilding professionals, who bring their skills and tools to the job, then get specialized training. We’re glad to be able to help workers who were hurt by the recession get back into a good construction job.
What we’ve seen in our own business is a good sign for the whole economy. We’ve grown with our existing customers who are getting more business. And we’ve added new customers, and gone down new avenues to generate revenue.
We’re working with apartment developers to make new rental housing as appealing as possible. At the same time, a lot of existing apartments are being refurbished to bring their kitchens and bathrooms up to 21st-Century standards. We’ve actually stockpiled complete renovation packages, specially designed for a number of apartment complexes. As soon as they have a vacancy, our installers can come right in and upgrade the apartment, getting it ready to rent again without any delay.
We also are doing more to improve commercial properties. Anything from a dentist’s or veterinarian’s office, to a day-care or assisted-living center: They need lots of storage cabinets, work surfaces, reception desks. To make sure they stand up to heavy use and stay attractive, we recommend using durable high-pressure laminates.
In the near future, I’ll talk more about the wide choice of materials and finishes available for both home and business use.
I’m always happy to answer any questions about what we can do for you, in your home or for your business. Watch for more tips about how to enhance your home’s value and convenience!
Cee Edwards is President and General Manager of Markraft Cabinets. He joined the company in 1995. Since 1985, Markraft has specialized in cabinet and countertop design and installation in residential and commercial construction and custom remodeling. To learn more about Markraft, go to www.markraft.com. Contact Cee at 910-762-1986. Like Markraft on Facebook at www.facebook.com/markraftcabinets or follow Cee on Twitter at twitter.com/CeeEdwards.
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