The time has come: you’ve decided to replace the kitchen cabinets. Maybe they were never your favorite to start with, and years of service and wear and tear haven’t improved them any! Well, you have several options to choose from when deciding on cabinets, namely custom, semi-custom and stock. They all have their pros and cons. Let’s look at each option to decide which is right for your next home improvement project.
Custom cabinets are exactly what they sound like—cabinets that are built to your exact specifications. A general contractor will meet with you to discuss your plans and measure the kitchen. You’ll decide size, type of wood, cabinet features and hardware. Do you want a warming drawer? How about pull out racks for your pots and pans? Perhaps you want a pantry and a special built-in spice rack. As long as it can be dreamed and designed, a carpenter can build it!
You have an unlimited choice of wood options. If you’ve always dreamed of using a beautiful exotic wood from overseas, now is your chance. Two words to keep in mind regarding custom cabinets are time and money. Custom cabinets require time to design and build. High-end cabinets also require a high-end budget. If you have both of these, then you’ll have a stunning set of cabinets that will be the focal point of your kitchen.
Semi–custom cabinets are also made to your specifications, but in predetermined increments, usually of three inches. What this means is that sometimes the general contractor will need to use a spacer to fill in any gaps in space in your cabinet layout. This also means that semi-custom cabinets are cheaper than custom, and you’ll still end up with a gorgeous kitchen.
Stock cabinets are widely available in home improvement centers and big box stores. They are premade, come in standard sizes and are supposed to be in stock. They are the least expensive choice of the three options. Research the stock brands carefully, because the quality varies widely in stock cabinets. Low-end stock cabinets contain particleboard throughout, while high-end stock cabinets are made from solid wood. Know what you’re getting before you buy it. You’ll find several exciting, beautiful options in stock cabinets too. Just do your homework.
Whatever option you choose, realize that the cabinets will take up a big part of your kitchen remodeling budget. Take the time you need to make an informed decision; if you do, you’ll have a set of cupboards you’ll be happy with for years to come.