They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, but with all the hustle and bustle, cooking and cleaning, eating and entertaining, it can also wear out quickly. As styles change, homeowner needs shift and regular wear takes its toll, kitchens can become shabby, but there’s no need to tear it all up and start over — just ask Joe Sandino with Cabinet Specialties.
Joe Sandino — Over 30 years experience
With more than 30 years of experience as a general contractor in California and a successful business, Joe had gotten away from what brought him into the business in the first place — making cabinets.
A successful contracting business doesn’t leave much time for the craft itself, and Joe had enough.
“At one time I had 64 employees, and I hated it — it wasn’t cabinetry,” he said. “I didn’t meet any customers, I didn’t do any work, I rode a desk, I gained weight, it was horrible. I was just putting out fires all day.”
Selling his Sacramento-based business, Joe and his wife, artist and colorist Noël Sandino, moved to New Mexico in 2017. Soon, Joe was bitten again by the cabinetry bug, and set himself up a shop in a nondescript, Mesilla Park commercial space. Its unassuming, windowless facade belies the woodworker’s wonderland Joe’s built himself inside.
Holding the license required of a general contractor in the heavily regulated Golden State, plus several specialty licenses, Sandino’s qualifications to specialize in kitchen and bathroom remodeling are stellar. With Cabinet Specialties, Sandino focuses on niche markets — all the things most other companies or cabinetmakers can’t, won’t, or don’t want to do — along with painting and refurbishing, refacing, and custom designs.
Getting that “wow” from the customer
“I got into this business because it’s fun for me,” he said. “I like building things. I like to see if I can take my average — or slightly better than average — tools, and create something unique and get that ‘wow’ from the customer. I try to deliver more than they expected, and I love doing things others don’t want to do.”
These kinds of custom jobs aren’t as profitable as the assembly-line style of larger firms, but they allow Joe to follow his passion — and the customer’s exact needs.
“When you go custom, you can do things most places won’t do,” he said. “It’s freedom. We’re in an adventure, the customer and I, and we’re going to find something really nice to do with what they have. I like that more than starting over. There are solutions for every kitchen problem that lots of customers have never heard of.”
With his many years of experience as a contractor, Joe also has connections to order cabinets from outside; he also has connections to financing options for those looking to complete their dream kitchen. Of course, on all his work, Joe offers a 10-year warranty.
Tips for improving the kitchen or bath
For those eyeing their current kitchen and dreaming up a remodel, here are a few options to consider:
- Rather than replacing an entire kitchen’s worth of cabinets, consider a reface for a fresh new look. New doors on a cabinet set — or a re-stain and refinish of existing cabinet faces — can take a kitchen from the past century to the next. Similarly, new, higher-quality doors and hinges can increase the lifetime and liveability of a kitchen by years.
- If storage is an issue, new pullouts may be just what a kitchen needs. Box cabinets can be replaced with drawers, and adding quality, full-extension pullouts keep cooking tools organized and at-hand — no more digging through the back of drawers that just won’t open. A custom spice rack near the stove can keep all your spices and seasonings within quick reach.
- Cut the time spent on hands and knees, digging through bottom or corner cabinets, with a clever, custom corner solution, of which Joe has many.
- Think outside the kitchen. A custom vanity and counter can add style and storage to a bathroom, without tearing out or moving the existing fixtures; keep all the essentials handy in a laundry room with custom storage.
For more information, visit cabinetspecialties.net or call 575-268-0001.
Written by Zak Hansen • Photos courtesy Joe Sandino
Originally published in Neighbors magazine
Posted by LasCruces.com