When you’re remodeling your kitchen, you need to be mindful of your budget and how long your purchases will last. After all, this is a major project and you don’t want to discover in a few short years that you took a wrong turn.
Cabinets are perhaps the largest cost of a kitchen remodel. They are also a great opportunity to create a usable space that flows and functions well. Understanding the different types of cabinets available is the first step to making the best choice for you.
Generally speaking, custom cabinets come from a local cabinet shop in your town. The shop could be a large operation, or just a small family business with 2 or 3 employees. Obviously the upside of custom cabinets is that they are customized. This means there’s no wasted space, no awkward corners, and you can get exactly what you want. However, custom cabinets also tend to be the most expensive option and need the most time for delivery.
A word of caution when shopping for custom cabinets: just because you’re spending more doesn’t mean that you’re getting a better quality product. Sure, while some custom cabinet craftsmen will blow the large cabinet manufactures out of the water, others may cut corners, use inferior wood, or have flawed finishes.
Semi-custom cabinets are frequently a good compromise between custom and stock cabinets. While you do have boundaries you must stay within, your kitchen can still have a flawless and customized look without breaking the bank. Just make sure that your kitchen has been accurately measured, or fillers will still be needed for gaps.
However, semi-custom cabinets can still take a while to arrive from ordering to delivery, so make sure that your renovation schedule accounts for that.
Those on a tight budget will likely find that stock cabinets are the way to go. These cabinets are frequently available to be taken home that day, are generally the cheapest option, and should still withstand years of heavy use.
The main downside to stock cabinets is the wasted space. Since every kitchen is a different size, there will be awkward gaps between the cabinets that will require trim.
When ordering stock cabinets, make sure to take a look at the manufacturer’s warranty. While you probably aren’t breaking the bank for the purchase, you still need to be sure that your cabinets are going last.