Custom Vs. Stock Cabinets: Your Definitive Guide
Cabinets may seem simple on the outside, but they can accomplish a lot within your home. Aside from providing valuable storage place, cabinets can also help pull the design of a room together. While most of us will come into a home that already has cabinets on the walls, sometimes we need a little renovation to help accomplish the look we want.
However, renovating a space takes a lot of effort, and even something as seemingly simple as replacing your cabinets requires proper attention to detail to do correctly. This basic kitchen fixture comes in many forms, which will be the first point you want to consider when deciding on what cabinets to bring into your home. Stock, custom, and even semi-custom cabinets can all be suitable for different purposes.
Custom cabinets are just what they sound like: cabinets made for you can meet any specifications that you want. Shape, width, depth, material, and design are yours to decide on. If you’re trying to build your dream kitchen, this sort of flexibility can be a great boon. Whatever specifics you can think of, a cabinetmaker who can build them is out there. If you want to take an existing cabinet design and tweak it to your preferences, that’s possible, too.
Custom cabinets are excellent for people who are trying to create a design that’s all their own.
They provide an option for people who have unusually sized and shaped rooms that standard cabinets won’t easily fit. This enables you to maximize storage space, without any gaps in space between cabinets. And because of the near unlimited options when it comes to materials, color, and other design elements, you’ll be able to find the perfect look for your space.
However, one of the caveats of custom cabinets is that they can quickly become expensive, especially if you want to use higher end materials. Depending on the level of detail that you want, the cost may not fit into your budget.
Another con is that, unlike stock cabinets that are ready for installation at any time, a custom cabinet can take much longer to complete and bring into your home. A custom project could easily take weeks or months to complete. Those wanting custom cabinets should plan their renovations accordingly. However, once you have the custom-build, it’s easy to get repairs from your local cabinetmaker as opposed to waiting for a part to come in through delivery.
Stock cabinets are essentially the opposite of their customizable options. Stock cabinets come pre-manufactured and readymade, coming from a long line of other mass-produced cabinets.
Unlike customized units, a stock cabinet will come in set sizes with no room to adjust to fit your space. This can lead to gaps or even buffer strips between cabinets during installation, making you lose out on storage space.
You may also have a difficult time finding a stock cabinet that looks the way that you want it to.
You may find a design that happens to have the color, shape, and wood type you want, but the style doesn’t fit the look you want. While you may find variations, they won’t always match what you need. This process can quickly become frustrating if you’ve been searching for a while.
However, stock cabinets are easily the best option when it comes to pricing. Because there’s no extra tweaking you can do, the cost of a stock cabinet will be affordable. You can still see variations in cost depending on the exact model, but it will be much less than you’ll pay for a custom cabinet. Even so, you don’t want to pick out a stock cabinet that’s too cheap, as they may not last due to shoddy materials or construction.
Quick delivery time is another benefit of stock cabinets. Likely, the cabinet will be ready to purchase and install the moment you pick it out. Even if it’s not available right away, stock cabinets also offer timely delivery, meaning that you can quickly update the look and style of your home without any trouble.
Semi-custom cabinets fall between the two categories. These cabinets are usually stock cabinets to which you can add extra detailing options. The sizing options often have the same restrictions as stock cabinets, but you have a bit more flexibility in the dimensions and drawer options, which can help better fit the space you’re working with.
The most significant benefit of semi-custom cabinets is that you can amend the design in ways that you can’t with regular stock cabinets. Sometimes even a few tweaks to a stock cabinet design can make the perfect addition to your home. Working with the right cabinetmaker can help with turning minimal changes into something fantastic.
The cost of a custom cabinet will depend on what sort of changes you want to make. If you only want to make a few changes, you can easily get the look you want without needing to invest in an expensive custom option. However, if you add too many customizations, then the cost might quickly outpace making a custom cabinet design from scratch.
Timewise, though, a semi-custom option will be much faster to complete. While you won’t have the same immediate delivery time as a stock cabinet, adding customized touches to an existing product is a faster process than waiting for a custom unit. Overall, semi-custom cabinets serve as a way to get the benefits of both options.
Things to Consider When Picking Out Cabinets
With the different cabinet types available, you have some decisions to make while shopping for cabinets. While custom cabinets can give you some of the highest quality in terms of design and storage, not every renovation project needs that level of investment. Some projects will work well with semi-custom or even stock cabinets. To pick out the best type of cabinets for your project, consider these elements:
How Long Will You Be in Your Current Home?
If you know that you’re in your forever home, you’re going to take a different approach than someone who’s in a rental space. For those not planning on staying in their current home, you want to keep your home up-to-date with any market standards that might impact the price of resale. If you’re in a home you plan to stay in, the investment in a fully custom cabinet update may be much more worth it than if you know you will be moving in the future.
What Sort of Budget Do You Have?
Replacing old cabinets can be an investment. For content, in a complete kitchen or bathroom remodeling project, cabinets can easily account for half the costs. The different types of cabinets give you some flexibility in how much you’ll need to spend, but you still want to set a budget to know what your limits are. You don’t want to find a design that you love but you can’t afford.
How Much Storage Do You Need?
Without proper storage, your kitchen or bathroom can become cluttered. Updating your cabinets can be a prime opportunity to fix that problem, but you need to assess how much storage you need. Oddly shaped room layouts can benefit from cabinet sizes that stock units can’t accommodate. For lower cabinets, you’ll also want to consider if you want open cabinets or drawers for layout. Mapping out where everything will go can help you decide on the best layout.
What Sort of Scope Does Your Project Have?
Cabinets that are still sturdy and give you enough storage space may not need a complete replacement. Instead, a few tweaks can give your room a whole new look. A fresh coat of paint or even replacing the door faces can spruce up your cabinets to match your renovations.
However, when you have layout issues or your existing cabinets are older, it’s time to invest in new cabinets.
What Size Is Your Space?
Whenever you get started on your project, you’ll need to measure your space first. These preliminary measurements will help you when speaking with cabinetmakers and salespeople, and they’ll be able to give you a much more accurate estimate of the cost of your project.
Knowing the size constraints of your space can also help you generate ideas.
What Door Style Do You Want?
The door is easily one of the most important aspects of a cabinet, since it’s what will always be visible. Changing out one door style for another can change the entire feel of your room and even the rest of your home, so you’ll want to choose wisely. Modern and classic are just some of the options you have, but you may not have luck finding the specific style you want with stock choices.
What Other Items Do You Need to Fit Into Your Space?
While cabinets are an essential part of your design and storage, they aren’t the only things that need to go into your kitchen or bathroom. Note where your utilities currently are and where they may move during any spatial reconfiguration in your renovations. You don’t want to accidentally cover up an essential vent or not have enough room for your appliances.
Sketching out your space can help you make the best design decisions in advance.
Do You Need Add-Ons in Your Cabinets?
A cabinet can be more than just shelves or a drawer. Pullout shelves, wine racks, vertical dividers, and pullout bins are some of the choices you may opt for to enhance your space.
Even stock cabinets can offer some of these extra options for you, but customized cabinets will give you more choices to work with.
What Color or Finish Do You Want?
The best color for your cabinets will depend on the rest of the design of your kitchen. Your personal style will also influence your decision. Paint, solid wood, and other types of finishes can help you find the exact look for your room. However, you don’t want to choose a color that will go out of style too quickly. Neutral colors usually work best for keeping your cabinets in fashion and maintain the value of your home. Grey, white, and black are popular choices.
What Hardware Do You Need?
Handles and knobs add the finishing touches to your cabinet’s look. Often, the best practice is to match the design of your handles to the cabinet doors. However, you may be able to have a contrast between your hardware and the door if it fits into the overall theme of your design. If the design of your cabinet has exposed hinges, make sure they match the other pieces of visible hardware on the cabinet.
What Amount of Space Do You Want in Your Room?
Cabinets may rest along the walls, but they can greatly impact how the space feels. Larger and more open spaces have become a popular design choice, especially in kitchens. If you want to create this effect, then you’ll need to arrange your cabinets carefully. Since that arrangement will ultimately affect your storage and layout, it helps to think about the overall feel of your room as you draft your design.
The Importance of Working With an Experienced Cabinet Company
Just as important as the kind of cabinet you purchase is who you choose to purchase it from.
Plenty of home improvement stores can provide you with cabinet choices, but they don’t always have the knowledge or guidance you need to make the best choices for your home. You want to work with a cabinet company that can give your project the attention it deserves.
Big box stores can give you options, but a small design-build firm can give you the guidance you need. Cabinets are a large investment for your home, and you want to make the right decisions for your space to bring the design together. Personal guidance on your renovations can help you understand what your options are and consult with you on what decisions are best for your plans.
A dedicated team can also assist with making the right decisions for your budget. You might have more choices when it comes to customization than you may initially think. With skilled guidance on your side, you can make the best decisions for updating your cabinets.
The right company is also essential for installing your cabinets successfully. Some businesses will sell you the boxes but leave it up to you to find someone to install them. The process of hiring another party not only adds to your costs, but also impacts the quality of your installation.
With the effort it already takes to find the right cabinetry for your space, you don’t want to add frustration to the process.
Instead, the company you purchase cabinets from should help you with the installation process as part of their services. That way, you don’t have to worry about any potential delays between your cabinets arriving and getting them into your home. And since the same company is working on both stages, they know what to expect when setting everything up.
An experienced cabinetmaker can give you access to all of your options – not just some. With stock, custom, and semi-custom choices available, you don’t just know what option will work best for you, you can get it when you’re ready to purchase. While your project may not require the work of a completely custom cabinet, it’s nice to have the option available if you want it.
The Best Choice for Your Kitchen Cabinets
No matter what your plans for your kitchen cabinets are, Bradco can help. We have the resources available to set you up with a suitable stock cabinet or develop a whole new design to fit the needs of your kitchen. You can count on us for the expertise necessary to create your ultimate cabinet setup, with the personal attention you deserve for your project.
We don’t just work in cabinets; we can help with every aspect of your kitchen, too. Whether you just need to add an extra cabinet, or you want to renovate the entire room, there’s a cabinet solution for you – and we can help you get there. Our professional team can serve as your very own professional consultant, helping you find the cabinet solution that matches your space needs, style, and budget.
As a small design firm, we focus our efforts on providing quality services on every end of the spectrum. Unlike a big box store, which generalizes in its offerings, we have a thorough understanding of what you need to have a great kitchen cabinet. Aside from helping with the design and building processes, we always help you install your cabinets after purchase so that you can have a smooth experience.
Choosing between custom and stock cabinets is a matter of choosing what best matches your home, and Bradco wants to help you do just that. Modern cabinet design allows for creative cabinet designs and arrangements that can help make your kitchen into a unique space in your home. See what possibilities exist for your cabinet plan at Bradco.