DIY helps budget minded get stylish

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, September 1, 2015

GRANITE OPTIONS: DIY Cabinets and Granite owner Randy Schwaner points out some of the granite he has available in his Picayune store.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

GRANITE OPTIONS: DIY Cabinets and Granite owner Randy Schwaner points out some of the granite he has available in his Picayune store.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

Pearl River County newcomer Randy Schwaner wanted to afford everyone the ability to purchase cabinets and granite at a low cost, so he opened DIY Cabinets and Granite in Picayune last October.
The Slidell, Louisiana native has been a contractor and licensed plumber for the past 15 years and has experience in bathroom and kitchen remodeling.
Schwaner served in the United States Army as an engineer battalion, where he gained a lot of his skills.
“From the moment I got a taste for it, I knew that’s where I was supposed to be,” he said. “Here we do things a little different. You can assemble cabinets and install them. The granite is pre-fabricated and ready to be installed. We give our customers all the tools needed to complete installation, including a 3D graphic drawing of the kitchen, which tells the customer where to put each cabinet.”
Full-service installation is also offered, Schwaner said.
Customers can find granite in 48 different colors and quartz, marble and jade stone, he said.
“Most companies buy a 10 foot by 10 foot slab of granite, come to your home and spend another couple of days cutting to fit the depth and width of your kitchen or bathroom,” Schwaner said. “They then apply the bullnose or finished edge, and sink in cuts where needed. They mark the price up about $17 per square foot. My granite is pre-fabricated with the bullnose.”
The granite comes in three different depths, 25.5 inches, 36 inches and 16 inches, he said. The price of an 8-foot slab of granite starts at $138.
Schwaner sells about 14 styles of cabinets unfinished, he said. His lower-end cabinets sell for the same price as can be fount at most home improvement stores.
“The cabinets feature particle board and are solid plywood with dovetail drawers,” he said. “My higher-end cabinets feature soft touch close doors and drawers. They are sold in maple, oak or cherry finished.”
Customers can peruse 17 pages of cabinet selections, from wine racks to pantry cabinets, with 60 different boxes featured on each page, Schwaner said.
There are hundreds of knobs and pulls to choose from in the store and what’s not in stock can be ordered, he said.
Schwaner orders his accessories from Jeffrey Alexander in Louisiana.
“We have very economical to higher end accessories and fleur-de-lis type designs,” he said. “We have many different shapes, sizes and colors. All my products, including the cabinets and granite, are in stock.”
Since opening, Schwaner said the response from the community has been overwhelming and during his first month, he tripled his projected budget.
“Having been a general contractor gives me an edge,” he said. “I have the forethought to think in standard measurements. When I design a custom kitchen, I process the whole room including ceilings, appliances and everything in the room.”
Customers can bring Schwaner a set of house plans or an idea and he can create a 3D drawing to what the room will look like with the cabinets.
“We can even add color to the flooring, paint and appliances,” Schwaner said. “Estimates and the 3D drawing are free.”
DIY Cabinets and Granite is located at 1701 Highway 43 N., Suite 5A. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact staff by phone at 601-799-4330, through email at and Facebook.

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