Kitchen Design / April 7, 2018 / Gabriella Cheek.
Touted an expensive and sometimes unnecessary purchase, custom cabinets are sometimes the only way to achieve a desired look or functionality. When individual cabinet sizes or configurations are necessary, such as to accommodate wheel-chair bound homeowners, the additional cost of installing a custom kitchen cabinet becomes a non-issue. Those wanting to create a custom look in their kitchen at a reduced price may find that stock cabinets suit their needs just fine.
Just as any hand-crafted piece of furniture would cost more than a mass-produced item in stock, custom cabinets require a lot of attention and detail. This extra time that cabinetmakers will spend on creating an individual look will add up to many hours of labor. A custom kitchen cabinet is designed and built from scratch, whether made by a local craftsman or a large manufacturer. In the absence of using pre-made templates and cuts of wood, custom cabinets are made to order with individual size and finish specifications.
Price is the main advantage to choosing stock cabinets over a custom kitchen cabinet. Because stock cabinets created in such large numbers, manufacturers can streamline their production and pass the savings onto the customer. A stock cabinet purchase will cost the average homeowner up to two-thirds less than a custom order would. For a custom cabinet order of $300 per foot would comparably cost $100 for a stock order.
This individual attention given to each custom order means that waiting for an order can take from 6 to 12 weeks. Stock cabinets, on the other hand, are mass-produced in standard sizes and stockpiled in manufacturer’s warehouses before sending to distributors to add to their inventory. Many companies will also allow purchases direct from the manufacturer on a wholesale basis. Regardless, the time it takes to receive a stock order is considerably less. A wait of more than two weeks is rare, while locally stocked inventory can often deliver in as little as a day or two.
Another thing to consider when deciding between stock cabinets and a custom kitchen cabinet purchase is that often there is a fine line between the two.
Many manufacturers will offer stock cabinets available in a large variety of standard sizes, finishes, and configurations, adding to the customization when designing a kitchen cabinet plan. By adding accessories and choosing between thousands of combinations of looks, stock cabinets can become as personalized as custom cabinets at a fraction of the cost.
Therefore, while there are certain limitations to stock cabinets, it is essential for homeowners to research their options when deciding upon custom vs. stock cabinets. Though stock purchases are often customizable, some looks and functions simply cannot be achieved without making a custom kitchen cabinet purchase.