When you’re searching for the perfect kitchen cabinets there are three main types to choose from; stock, semi-custom and custom cabinets. We’ll break down the pros and cons of each so you can choose the best cabinets for your space.
Types of Cabinets
Stock cabinets, also called prefabricated cabinets are most often bought at big box stores. They come in one size and are selected straight from a catalogue. With stock cabinets, what you see is what you get. If you’re looking for basic cabinets and have a simple kitchen or bathroom layout, prefabricated cabinets can be a great choice for you.
Semi-custom and custom cabinets are made to fit your space. Semi-custom cabinets allow for more customization than stock but they’re not fully custom. It’s a happy middle ground between stock and full custom cabinets. You can choose sizes that work well for your room and you can select from a wider variety of construction and finishes.
Custom cabinets are truly one-of-a-kind cabinets designed for your space. You have every option available to you; wood choice, size and depth, colors, detailing and finishes. Custom cabinets are a good option if you see your cabinets as more than just a place for storage but a design statement.
The obvious difference between the types of cabinets is the levels of customization. However, that’s not the only difference you should consider before buying new cabinets.
You have the option to install stock cabinets yourself, but we don’t recommend it. Unless you’re a contractor or have installed cabinets in the past, it’s a daunting task you shouldn’t try in your own home. More likely you’ll have to hire a contractor to install the cabinets. Keep this in mind so you don’t bust your budget.
Many semi-custom and custom cabinet dealers, like Factory Builder Stores, wrap installation in their costs. If any challenges pop up during installation, your dealer is more hands on and responsive to fix the issue. Also, if your cabinets need any adjustments the lead time will be much less to get things right.
Lead times can fluctuate depending on production schedule but you should expect to wait four to eight weeks no matter the type of cabinet you select. Most cabinets, including stock cabinets, are not constructed until an order is placed. Be prepared to add this lead time in to the planning process.
A cabinet upgrade can fit almost any budget. Costs fluctuate based on building materials and quality more than the type of cabinet. It’s not unheard of to have a stock cabinet project be more expensive than a custom job.
Of course, if you’re looking to use a custom wood with intricate detail, it will cost more than basic cabinets. It’s all dependent on the look you’re going for. Don’t rule out a semi-custom or custom cabinets just because of a smaller budget. Many dealers can still work within your budget to give your space a look you’ll love.
It’s important to find a designer that can help guide your project from your original idea until the project is finished. Big box stores are a training ground for many designers. Once they get experience, many of the better designers move on to join specialized dealers.
If you’re looking for a design partner, head toward a reputable dealer. No matter where you do your shopping, make sure you feel comfortable with your designer and that they have your best interests in mind.