Are Custom Cabinets Worth the Price? All You Need to Know


If you are thinking of having custom cabinets installed in your home, you might be wondering if it is worth the cost. Homeowners have an endless array of options when it comes to installing new cabinets; however, there are a lot of things to consider in order to make the right decision. Custom cabinets can mean different things to different people.

First, you need to think about your space. More often than not, the kitchen is the heart of the home. If you entertain and cook a lot, you will probably want to make sure your cabinets can withstand the test of time and use. Timeframe and budget are two other major factors to consider before making your decision. Once all of those things are in place you can decide which cabinetry would be best for you—stock cabinets, semi-custom cabinets, or fully custom cabinets. We’ve outlined the differences and the benefits of each below.

Stock Cabinets

Kitchen with white kitchen cabinet and flowers on kitchen table
Used with permission of Andrea West Design

You may ask yourself, are stock cabinets the cheapest and fastest option? The answer to that is probably not what you think. It’s true, stock cabinets are prefabricated and come in standardized sizes and you can purchase them pre-assembled or ready to assemble (RTA). Keep in mind, if you opt for RTA cabinets, they will need to be assembled upon arrival which will add a significant amount of time to your kitchen remodel or install.

Now, you may think this is the best and most economical option but think again. Often, stock cabinets don’t integrate easily into your existing space. Your contractor or cabinet designer will need to work with the cabinet installer to make them fit, leaving you with unusable cabinet space or awkward spaces around your cabinets. With stock cabinets, your options are limited, as you only have a certain number of styles to choose from.

Also, stock cabinets are often made out of lower-quality wood or even particleboard. This means that they tend to be less durable and do not hold up nearly as well over time. Stock cabinet shelves typically bend under a heavy load and will more than likely show signs of wear and tear much sooner than high-end custom cabinets will. Stock cabinets are the least expensive option, and typically run between $100 and $300 per linear foot. Just keep in mind, they are only available in limited styles, colors, and material options and may not fit properly out of the box.

 Semi-Custom Cabinets

Cabinet in the living room and paintings on the wall above
Photo by Spacejoy on Unsplash

Semi-custom cabinets (a hybrid) can provide you with some of the features you want, that aren’t available with standard stock cabinets, giving you more flexible options. The options available vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but some options could include the type of wood, stain or paint finish. Additionally, they may offer a variety of cabinet accessories, such as special trays, or built-in racks and many offer a variety of sizes to better fit your space.

Because semi-custom cabinets are made to your specifications, they typically take between 4-6 weeks depending on the manufacturer. Semi-custom cabinets are a bit more expensive than stock cabinets (typically around $150-$650 per linear foot), but are a good choice if you are looking for customization, but are still budget conscious.

Custom Cabinets

With custom cabinetry, you can make your kitchen dreams come true! Not only can you select your box material, door material, hardware, finishes and colors—you can also personalize your space based on your habits and interests down to the very last detail. Love coffee? Install a custom coffee station. Love wine? Install a wine chiller! Love baking? Install a baking zone, with pull-out shelving for your mixer and other baking appliances. Deep drawers, pull-out lazy Susans, and built-in spice racks are just some of the ways custom cabinets can maximize your kitchen storage and organization.

Custom cabinets ensure that you utilize every inch of your space efficiently. You can modify cabinet and drawer depths, widths, and heights to fit your exact space and add an array of storage and organization accessories to ensure every cabinet is as functional as possible. With custom cabinets, you can have floor to ceiling cabinets with solid hardwood doors—something you could not achieve with off-the-shelf stock cabinetry. You can also further personalize your cabinets with decorative molding, glass door upgrades and accessories to match your unique style. In addition, your cabinets can be made from high-quality materials, like oak or metal which will be sure to last for many years.

Grey and white kitchen cabinet
Used with permission of Kira David Design

 The cost for custom cabinetry ranges anywhere from $500-$1,200 per linear foot, but a worthwhile investment when you consider the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into designing custom cabinetry. Additionally, if and when you decide to sell your home, custom cabinets will increase the value of your home and give you a solid return on your investment. So, if you can find the budget for custom cabinets, it is definitely worth the added cost!

Now you know what custom cabinets cost, as well as the difference between stock, custom, and semi-custom cabinetry. This information should help you make the best decision whether you’re installing custom kitchen cabinets into your newly built home or considering a kitchen remodel or kitchen renovation.

The last thing to consider is that not all custom cabinet makers are equal. Be sure to choose a company that is licensed, has experience, and good reviews. No matter what you choose, installing new cabinets is a substantial investment.

Thanks to for consulting.


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