Have you been shopping for kitchen cabinetry and been dissatisfied with the selection of the big box stores and import cabinet dealers? Well perhaps you should really take a close look at considering custom built kitchen cabinets as an option for your kitchen remodel project. Here I will discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of both stock and custom cabinetry.
Stock Kitchen Cabinetry
What are stock kitchen cabinetry? Stock kitchen cabinets are cabinetry that are pre-built to a specific size and then resold by a cabinetry dealer. Stock cabinets are typically produced in 2 inch increments. In some basic kitchen layouts such as an L shaped kitchen you can lay cabinets out without much problem. But what do you do when you are fitting cabinets between two walls? Well in this case the cabinet dealer can supply you with filler pieces to take up any large gaps that will eventually occur by using cabinets that are built within 2 inch increments. These cabinet filler pieces can be cut to fit the remaining gap relatively well. The main disadvantage with stock kitchen cabinets is the aforementioned incremental sizing but also the quality. Although as with anything the lower to mid range priced stock cabinets are typically made from thinner materials and have economy hardware such as cabinet door hinges and drawer slides. There are a few advantages with using stock cabinetry the very first one that comes to mind is cost. Since stock cabinets are mass produced they can be quite affordable. Another advantage is speed, in most cases dealers have access to larger warehouses where the cabinets are stored, and you can have your stock cabinet order within a few short 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 cabinetry can easily be built to fit between two walls or to match odd angles, something not possible with stock kitchen cabinets. There are many advantages with custom cabinets that can not be had with stock cabinetry. The advantages that are at the top of the list are selection. Since a custom cabinet maker will be producing your new kitchen cabinets you can have them make just about any style that is imaginable. You can also have them produce cabinets that are in rare or exotic woods. You can also have a much larger selection of cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Some custom cabinet makers do opt to outsource their doors and drawer fronts, in this case they will usually have a very large catalog of doors for you to make your selection. With custom built cabinets you can select the type of hardware such as cabinet door hinges as well as drawer slides. Most are currently opting for hinges and drawer slides with the soft close feature. This is not only very popular but I wouldn’t be surprise if this becomes the standard in the next few years.
Custom Cabinet Cost
Most people want to know how much more custom cabinetry will cost as compared to stock cabinets. This is almost impossible to answer with any degree of accuracy. The real truth of the matter is that custom cabinets are going to cost more that the lower lines of comparable stock cabinetry. But we have seen custom cabinets be very competitive with the mid to higher range stock cabinets. Despite the higher prices of custom kitchen cabinets it is almost always worth the extra cost. The cabinets are built in a much more solid fashion as well as most custom cabinetmakers will use a ¾ inch thick cabinet case material, it doesn’t get much more solid than that. All cabinet shops will have varying prices, so we do recommend you always compare the same exact kitchen design from shop to shop for the most accurate estimations.