Our kitchens are highly visible rooms these days. We often use our kitchens to entertain, and with the popularity of open style design, our kitchens can be viewed from other areas of the house. We want our kitchens to look great. That’s one reason custom cabinets have grown in popularity. But are they right for your kitchen? Let’s look at the pros and cons of custom cabinets.
The Pros of Custom Cabinets
- They Look Great: There is no mistaking the look and feel of custom-made cabinets. They simply look more “finished” than stock cabinets. On top of that, you have the ability to create something that meets your specific sense of style.
- They Fit Your Needs: Not only do custom cabinets look great, but they can also be designed to function specifically to meet your needs. If you're a wine aficionado, you can have a wine rack built in. If you're a gourmet cook, you can have a convenient spice rack built into the cabinetry. If you want your cupboards deeper, higher, or wider than traditional cabinets, you can do that. That's the beauty of custom-made cabinetry.
- You Get Great Quality: Your cabinets will be made from better materials than standard cabinets. Both the cabinets themselves and the hardware will be of a higher quality and doors and drawers should operate better. On top of that, your cabinets should last longer.
The Cons of Custom Cabinets
They Cost More: Your kitchen cabinets make up a significant part of the cost of your new or remodeled kitchen. According to homeadvisor.com stock cabinetry can save you $10,000 to $20,000.
They Take Longer: Custom cabinets have to be made from scratch. Your contractor can’t just pick them up at a store. You are more likely to run into delays than you are with standard/stock cabinets.
Repairs Can Be Expensive: While it’s unlikely that you’ll sustain serious damage to your cabinets, repairs can be more expensive—and take longer. Also, it can be difficult to match the wood exactly.
Complement Your Cabinets
As you choose your cabinets, you’ll want to keep your potential countertops in mind. The combination of your cabinets and your countertop can really make or break the look and feel of your kitchen. Here’s an article that highlights some alternative countertop materials you might want to consider.
Is It Really “All or Nothing”?
You actually have three basic types of cabinetry from which to choose: Stock, semi-custom, and custom. It’s also important to understand that you can get good quality stock cabinets. You won’t have as much choice in the finishes. And you won’t be able to choose non-standard sizing if you go that route.
That doesn’t mean you can’t “customize” some of your cabinets with features that will make them more convenient. Even standard cabinets can often be fitted with slide-out shelving that makes it easier to access items at the back of the shelf. You can also install “soft-close” drawers that will keep cabinet drawers from banging shut (plus they ensure that your drawers don’t “bounce back” or fail to close properly).
When you shop for cabinets, look beyond the surface. Anything can look good sitting on a showroom floor. Try the doors and the drawers. Look at the construction. Does it feel like it will hold up? Don’t be in a hurry to make your choices. You’ll live with your cabinets for a long time! Here’s an article that can help you choose quality cabinets.
Like so many features in your home, you should go for as much quality as your budget will allow. Keep in mind that what costs you a little more up front will generally deliver much more value over the long haul—both in terms of your enjoyment of your home and in terms of resale value.
Adapted and updated from the original post