Custom vs. Semi-Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Should you go the extra mile for custom cabinets when renovating your kitchen? Constructed on site, custom cabinetry is one of three choices you have: stock, semi-custom, and custom. Custom built cabinetry comes at a price that may be worth it for many people.

The Value of Custom Cabinets

Stock cabinets are the go-to cabinet for many homeowners, as they are reasonably priced and readily available, so you will have a very short lead time to obtain them. There are several compromises involved when you go with them.

These products come in preset sizes that are usually 12″ or 24″ deep and up to 36″ high. While there are stock cabinets that fit over the refrigerator, they are not designed to go to the ceiling for added storage. The width ranges from 12″ to 60″ wide. If you need another size, you might need to buy the closest size and use spacers to make them end where you needed too or scale your remodel to what is available.

Some stock cabinets are crafted in wood or plywood, although lower end pressed wood models are available. They come in a limited array of colors and door styles which may fall short of the personalized look you want. Buying standard can save you money if you find something you like, but installation is extra.

Move up to Custom Cabinets

For just the look you want, custom crafted cabinets offer an infinite range of materials and styles of door, drawers, and hardware. What sells most buyers on these individually created units is that they can be made in any size you need. If you want the maximum amount of storage, you can order them to reach the ceiling. To fill the space in your home, they can be made any width. They will look as if they were made to order for your home – which they were.

Whether you need a large expanse of cabinets for a very large kitchen, precise built ins for a tiny kitchen, or additional cabinetry for storage units in the family room that adjoins the kitchen in your open floor plan home, hand-crafted cabinets offers the best solution for your space. Buying custom also assures that you have all the features you need built into your cabinets, including features such as soft close doors and special features such as pull-out bins, glass doors, corbels, inlays, turn posts, integrated garbage cans, spice pullouts or lazy Susans, and well-made drawers with dovetail construction. Though hand-crafted cupboards can take eight weeks or more to make for you, the wait is well worth it to get just the look you want.

Will Semi-Custom Cabinets Work for you?

If you want more versatility in colors, styles, and hardware, moving up to semi-custom cabinetry will offer more choices. The wood used is better quality than stock. The boxes are standard like stock cabinets, but you can add the same personal touches as you can with hand-built models if you use standard sizes. Semi-custom products can be a good choice for many customers. They are available in a short time frame.

For many customers, the big drawback for custom and semi-custom cabinetry is the price, which can be several times what stock products cost. Local suppliers may offer packages that shave hundreds of dollars off the price of popular units. While opting for custom cabinets is never a cheap fix, the prices include installation and may be a better value than you think.