Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you only work in Downtown Denver or do you service the surrounding areas?
A: I try to stay within a 30-minute commute from Southwest Denver. That’s Arvada, Westminster, Golden, all Denver addresses, Lakewood, Northwest Aurora, Englewood, etc. I’ll drive further for specialty work or previous clients, but in most cases, you’re better off hiring someone in your area after our trip fees are added.
Q: What sets you apart from your competitors?
A: A few things:
This is a small company. If you need a problem solved, it won’t be batted around by a project manager to a product specialist, over to the designers for their input, over to Bev in accounting for pricing, to a sales manager for approval, and back to the project manager in 3-5 days. When you deal with Cougill Trim & Cabinets, you’re talking to the owner. I answer the phone. I sign the checks. I select every piece of lumber.
We use the best materials for a given application. Our projects are engineered to a price point, but you’ll be informed of the trade-offs so that you can make an educated decision. We won’t ever sell you MDF trim for a basement, bathroom, or kitchen where it might be exposed to water and swell. We won’t sell you a cheap hollow core door for a dark gloss finish, because you’ll always notice the inferior ply telegraphing through the face veneer. We won’t specify a solid wood panel cabinet door because of their tendency to cup, warp, and bow. We won’t recommend high gloss cherry red laminate cabinets for a Victorian Italianate home’s kitchen.
Deal with one company for your remodel project. After having painters come in behind us and using a poor quality paint on our pristine trim, tracking paint on top of newly-refinished floors, washing their brushes out in the marble bathroom sink, I decided that we were going to learn to paint. After investing in a spray system, practicing brush technique, and learning which finishes are best for which applications, I brought paint and fine finishing in-house. We do staining and spray finishing of all types of finishes, even industrial-grade pre-catalyzed lacquers and conversion varnishes.
See it before you sign. We create detailed 3D models of most projects as part of the project proposal, before a single board is cut. It’s even possible to view your project using VR goggles in your actual home to really understand the scale and proportions of the project.
Q: How far out do you book?
A: For jobs 2-4 weeks in duration, we’re generally booked 3-4 months in advance. We can often can fit in short projects in between and get to them in 2-3 weeks generally. For larger projects, 4-6 months ahead is generally when we’d start planning. For large custom projects, we’ve been on projects that have lasted years. Haste makes waste. Plan ahead for best results.
Q: Do you only do interior work or do you do decks, pergolas, benches, etc.?
A: We used to build decks and porches on occasion, but have switched gears to interior work primarily. We will occasionally do exterior builds for friends, previous clients, or as part of an interior millwork package on a case by case basis, but I would refer you to other builders for most exterior projects.
Q: How long will my (insert custom project) take to complete?
A: Most projects of a certain type take “x” amount of time, and that’s what we aim for, because that’s the best case scenario. We’re optimists and professionals and we generally hope for and plan for the best. That said, it’s done when it’s right. We reserve the right to delay delivery to maintain our quality standards.
Q: Are you hiring?
A: No. We are always interested in autonomous, tooled, professional subcontractors that can work independently on standard trim items with little to no guidance or supervision.
Q: Do you work for general contractors as subcontractors or only directly with homeowners, designers, and business owners?
A: I prefer to work directly with homeowner, designers, and business owners. I’m open to working with general contractors who share out commitment to quality and integrity. After a few recent encounters, I feel the need to lay out a few ground rules:
I’ll fix your other crew’s screw-ups one time and one time only, on a case-by-case basis. Choosing the lowest bidder time and time again, despite lackluster results, says volumes about what your company values.
If your old crew does it for one price, but can’t keep up with your volume, they’re not charging enough. I can’t match that price and run a successful business.
If I walk into a job and the work is beautifully executed, the craftsman’s tools are still laid out like he’s left for the day, and you’re just wanting it done faster or cheaper, I’m calling the original carpenter and having a chat before I even consider accepting the job.
I’m not a scab. If you’re in a labor dispute with your subcontractors, work it out with your subcontractors.