The kitchen is the heart of the home, and as such often takes up a large portion of renovation budgets. However, what people may not expect is that cabinetry is one of the most significant contributors to that cost. Custom cabinetry can be upward of tens of thousands, depending on the quantity and materials used. Alternatively, stock cabinets cost only a fraction of that. While price makes the decision seem obvious, there are pros and cons to both options.
Stock cabinets are an affordable choice. The reason they are cost-effective is due to the manufacturing process. Stock is also considered prefabricated, meaning that these cabinets are not made to a specific kitchen but rather to a mass-produced plan. This type of cabinet making is hugely cost-effective because there is less waste and construction is in a controlled environment, meaning that the savings are passed onto you, the consumer.
Also, because these cabinets are mass-produced, you can purchase most options directly without any wait time. This means you can demo your kitchen one day and pick up your cabinets the next, allowing for a fast and streamlined remodel.
However, the obvious downside to prefab cabinets is the lack of customization and material options. Custom cabinets are often better quality and fit than stock cabinets found at your local big box chain.
Custom cabinets are expensive. However, this expense can be mitigated by making well-thought-out decisions about your budget. For instance, don’t make your entire kitchen from hard maple or oak when another wood species will look similar or perform just as well. Also, don’t have a whole cabinetry wall if it is unnecessary.
Custom means that everything is made to order, and that equates to a higher price and a longer timeline. The less material that is required, the less expensive and faster the project will be. However, with that higher price tag comes better quality, beauty and customization.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, but it does not have to break the bank. Whichever cabinet option you choose, talk to a designer and builder to find the right balance between beauty and cost.