I found this forum while searching for some info on building built-ins, so I hope I'm posting in the appropriate place.
My husband and I have been looking to put some built-ins in our family room around our fireplace. We bought our home new a couple of years ago, and the model home had built-ins, but we opted not to do them at the time due to budget. So now we're trying to get something similar to what they had in the model.
We've tried contacting the original cabinet builder for our home with no luck; we've also had a couple of custom cabinet makers come to give us estimates, and the estimates have seemed quite high to us. It might be that this is just how much it costs, but it's out of our budget.
Which brings me to my first question - how much would be reasonable to expect to pay for these built-ins? There are two openings, each is 52" wide and 96" tall. The rest of the cabinets in our house are made from beech, I believe. If it matters, we live in California.
Here's a picture of the cabinets from the model home:
I have also been thinking about whether or not this is a project we could tackle ourselves. I don't have very much woodworking experience at all, but I'm pretty handy and quick to learn. I was thinking we could get some pre-fabricated cabinets for the bottom, and build the upper portion. Is it possible to get pre-fabricated cabinets like in the picture above that are that wide, and does this seem like a reasonable approach?
The one thing that makes me the most nervous is the stain - it's pretty dark, and seems like it would be pretty challenging to do by hand?
I'm probably crazy for even thinking about doing this ourselves, but I'm always up for learning a new hobby!