Cabinetry Basics #2

Stock vs Custom

Okay – some will probably disagree with me on some of the specifics, but at least you’ve got some information to go on! Stock Cabinetry Stock implies that it is premade – what you would see if you went into Lowe’s or Home Depot and bought them off the shelf. Many manufacturers offer stock cabinetry – this keeps the cost low and if you want to customize the cabinets, it costs quite a bit. In stock cabinetry you normally have to buy the cabinets in 3” increments – meaning you’ll have a lot of filler in your cabinet design or blank spaces. Not a good thing in my opinion. Some will say that manufacturers of stock cabinets are competing on price – which is very true because the cabinets are cheap; however, you typically get what you pay for also. With stock cabinetry you are typically only getting wood on the doors and possibly face frame – most of the time you will see particle board interiors (it is called sponge board for a reason!) and many times laminated end panels and insides. Custom Cabinetry Many cabinet shops call themselves custom – however after having our own cabinet shop – I can tell you that the local cabinet makers simply cannot compete on price or design offerings from the big manufacturers. There are many manufacturers out in the market that do not build cabinets until they are ordered – so therefore your cabinetry is also custom! Many manufacturers use the big C&C machines to cut out the pieces used to put the cabinetry together – but from there on in the manufacturing process, it is hands on! True, the people building the cabinets are using some high tech tools, but real live humans build the cabinets. There are many cabinet manufacturers that are located here in the US – so you’re not buying cabinets made overseas! Many custom cabinet manufacturers can also match your existing stain – just like many of your local cabinetmakers. What we’ve seen makes the difference between the local guy and a national manufacturer is the options: doors, drawers, stains, trim, and the interior accessories for the cabinetry. Many of the higher end custom cabinet shops can also offer all woods at the same price – I know first hand that your local cabinet maker cannot do this. Many custom manufacturers also include soft close door and drawer hinges, undermount drawer glides, dovetail drawers, stainless steel drawers – AS STANDARD offerings! The local guy just cannot compete on this level – they’re not buying the quantity that the national manufacturers are buying. Also, the local guy typically can’t offer the same warranties that most of the big manufacturers offer – 8, 10, 12 years on the stain and limited lifetime on the cabinet construction! Yes – you will pay more for “custom” cabinetry – but if you’re updating, isn’t it worth it?


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