Have you been shopping for kitchen cabinets and not satisfied with the selection at big box stores and imported cabinet dealers? Well, perhaps you should closely consider custom-built kitchen cabinets as an option for your kitchen remodeling project. Here I will discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of standard and custom cabinets.
standard kitchen cabinets
What are stock kitchen cabinets? Standard kitchen cabinets are cabinets that are pre-built to a specific size and then resold by a cabinet dealer. Stock cabinets are typically produced in 2-inch increments. In some basic kitchen designs, such as an L-shaped kitchen, you can fit the cabinets without much trouble. But what do you do when you put cabinets between two walls? Well, in this case, the cabinet dealer can provide you with filler pieces to cover the large gaps that will eventually occur through the use of cabinets built in 2-inch increments. These cabinet filler pieces can be cut to fit relatively tightly into the remaining space. The main downside to standard kitchen cabinets is the aforementioned incremental size, but also the quality. Although, as with anything, standard low to mid-priced cabinets are usually made of thinner materials and have inexpensive hardware, such as cabinet door hinges and drawer slides. There are a few advantages to using common cabinets, the first that comes to mind is cost. Since common cabinets are mass produced, they can be quite affordable. Another advantage is speed, in most cases dealers have access to larger warehouses where cabinets are stocked, and you can have your cabinet order in stock in a few weeks, or in some cases days.
custom kitchen cabinets
Custom kitchen cabinets are cabinets that are built just for your kitchen layout, design taste, and needs. Custom kitchen cabinets can easily be built to fit between two walls or to match up at odd angles, something that is not possible with standard kitchen cabinets. There are many advantages with custom cabinets that you can’t get with stock cabinets. The advantages that top the list are selection. Since a custom cabinetmaker will produce your new kitchen cabinets, he can have them done in almost any style imaginable. He can also have cabinets produced that are rare or exotic woods. You can also have a much wider selection of cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Some custom cabinetmakers choose to outsource their doors and drawer fronts, in which case they will usually have a very large catalog of doors for you to select from. With custom cabinets, you can select the type of hardware, such as cabinet door hinges and drawer slides. Most are now opting for drawer slides and hinges with the soft-closing feature. This is not only very popular, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes the standard in the next few years.
Custom Cabinet Cost
Most people want to know how much more custom cabinets will cost compared to regular cabinets. This is almost impossible to answer with any degree of precision. The real truth of the matter is that custom cabinets are going to cost more than the lower lines of comparable stock cabinets. But we’ve found that custom cabinets are very competitive with standard mid-range and high-end cabinets. Despite the higher prices for custom kitchen cabinets, it’s almost always worth the extra cost. Cabinets are built much more solidly, and most custom cabinetmakers will use ¾ inch thick cabinet box material, it doesn’t get any more solid than that. All cabinet stores will have variable prices, so we recommend that you always compare the exact same kitchen design from one store to another for the most accurate estimates.