Making the Cabinet Choice – Custom versus Stock

Making the Cabinet Choice – Custom versus Stock

Cabinets are a huge part of overall kitchen design, making them a crucial piece of the puzzle during your kitchen remodel. A complete kitchen remodel can be costly, averaging around $60,000, but it can also enhance the value of your home, as well as increase the comfort and function for you and your family. As you begin the process, one of the first choices you will face is selecting cabinetry – custom cabinets or stock kitchen cabinets. Which is the best option?

There are a number of factors to consider in your decision from overall cost to durability to beauty. Custom cabinets can be created to complement your taste and style, while stock cabinets cost less, but can still increase value. Given that cabinets account for approximately one-third of the overall costs of remodeling your kitchen, it is important to note that custom-crafted cabinets will cost more on the front end than stock cabinetry, but those costs may equalize over time in durability and longevity. To make an informed decision, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of custom cabinets and stock cabinets.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Custom Cabinets

A professional cabinet designer will craft your custom cabinets to suit your style as well as your space. While custom cabinets tend to cost more, they do present a higher quality option with added tailoring and flexibility.

Advantages of Custom Cabinets

With custom cabinets there is no wasted space in your kitchen, which brings the promise of greater personalization and functionality in design. Of course, if you need help in developing your design, your cabinet designer can help you with ideas/inspiration, a result of experience, know-how, and craftsmanship. Generally custom cabinets are made of higher quality materials – wood, hardware, joints – so they can stand the test of time. The end result is greater productivity for all the home chefs in the family!

Disadvantages of Custom Cabinets

Custom cabinets cost more, but keep in mind you get what you pay for. Custom cabinets also take more time to design, build, and install. If you remodel is strictly to improve your home’s salability, the cost of custom cabinets might be more that they are worth. Custom cabinets are built to your style and personal preferences, so stock cabinets may be the better option. If cost is a factor, keep in mind that customer cabinets cost averages $500 to $1,450 per linear foot, while stock cabinets generally average considerably less, around $75 to $400 per linear foot.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Stock Kitchen Cabinets

Pre-fabricated and ready to order, stock kitchen cabinets can be delivered more quickly and cost considerably less than custom cabinets.

Advantages of Stock Kitchen Cabinets

Stock kitchen cabinets come in wide variety of colors and finishes, and since they are pre-fabricated, if one become damage, you can simply re-order a replacement from the manufacturer. Stock cabinets are available in standard sizes, from six to 42 inches with increments of three inches which makes them more easily installed, simple solutions for those tackling remodeling for the first time or handy do-it-yourselfers. Stock cabinets can deliver designer looks without the designer costs.

The Disadvantages of Stock Kitchen Cabinets

As an advantage, stock cabinets can create a designer kitchen with lower costs, but the tradeoff is manufacturers of stock cabinets often use lower cost materials to craft their products. In many cases, stock cabinets aren’t immediately available, instead they have to be ordered, manufactured, and then delivered. Stock cabinets don’t offer the longevity or durability, as most only last 5 to 15 years before showing considerable wear. Finally, stock cabinets are difficult to install in kitchens with unusual or awkward layouts, unlike custom cabinets which are designed to fit.


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