Custom Kitchen Cabinets On A Budget
The most popular home remodel is the kitchen; a beautiful and functional kitchen is not only a joy, but it also adds a lot of value to your home. However, a kitchen remodel can be quite expensive. The good news is, a smart homeowner can stay under budget, by seeking out affordable, custom kitchen cabinets.
When fully remodeling a kitchen, choosing the right cabinets is a vital part of the process, and a major part of the budget. While saving money on the kitchen cabinets is something every homeowner wants to do, keep in mind, the cabinets are among the most heavily used element in a kitchen. In the end, it pays to choose cabinets that are not only affordable, but also durable and attractive.
Custom kitchen cabinets can be expensive, it’s also the best way to get exactly what you want. While homeowners often choose preassembled or stock cabinets to save money, they may also be skimping on quality. Also, in some kitchens, such as one in a historic home, prefab cabinets are not always an option.
Custom kitchen cabinets can make the difference between an ordinary kitchen, and one that is truly spectacular. Let’s explore some ways that a homeowner can get the custom cabinetry that they want, on a budget.
What Are the Differences Between Stock, Semi-Custom Custom Kitchen Cabinets?
Stock kitchen cabinets are pre-manufactured in a factory and ready to hang right off the shelf. These cabinets are purchased as modular units, so what you see is what you get. The good thing about stock cabinets is they are the most affordable option and you can begin hanging them right away. Stock cabinets also come in stock sizes, so if you have an unusual kitchen, they could be a hard fit. Finally, there is a limited selection of styles, finishes, and types of wood.
Semi-custom kitchen cabinets are stock cabinets with the option to add some changes. Homeowners may have the option to alter some of the dimensions, such as resizing the doors, drawers, or altering the cabinet depth. But the styles and finishes remain the same.
Custom cabinets are the answer to every homeowner’s dream; they’re built to your exact specifications, and can be designed to fit any kitchen and any style. The homeowner has complete control of the type of wood, the finish, and the dimensions. Because of the complete customization, custom cabinets can be the most expensive option, and usually take weeks to build. Custom cabinets can either be manufactured as build-to-order, or built on-site by a carpenter or cabinet maker.
Choose Your Wood Wisely for Affordable Custom Kitchen Cabinets
One of the biggest expenses in a custom cabinet is the wood; choosing a high-quality, but less expensive wood will go a long way in cutting costs.
For example, white oak is very trendy right now, but it’s one of the most expensive woods. On the other hand, natural-grade birch is much more affordable, and it’s also just as sturdy as oak. Birch is durable, and fine-grained, and depending on the finish, can mimic more expensive wood.
Red oak is deep and rich in color, it’s sturdy, durable, and relatively inexpensive. Red oak has a pronounced grain pattern and presents a more traditional look.
Hard maple is a bit more expensive, but also an option for those who like a lighter, fine-grained, natural-looking wood finish. Hickory also has a light, blond tone, but also has a bolder grain pattern compared to maple. Both of these woods look great with a clear or natural finish.
Besides wood doors and drawer fronts, bamboo is not only eco-conscious and sustainable, it also looks clean and modern. Not only that, bamboo that’s properly treated is as sturdy and durable as hardwood. Finally, bamboo can be finished in any way that you want.
Inset, Partial Overlay, or Full Overlay
Also, choosing the right type of cabinet doors and drawer fronts can help you cut costs. The three main types of cabinet styles are inset, partial overlay, and full overlay. The partial overlay is the most common style, particularly with stock cabinets. With a partial overlay, you can see part of the frame between the door fronts. Ironically, while partial overlay cabinet doors look outdated and cheap, they take more skill and thus, cost more than a full overlay door.
Inset kitchen cabinet doors fit flush and are set into the cabinet frame. Inset cabinets have a smooth, clean look, but they are between 15-30% more expensive than overlay doors. Also, kitchen cabinets with inset doors diminish the amount of interior storage space.
Full overlay style doors totally cover the cabinet framing. Not only do full-overlay doors look very modern and chic, but they also do not require as much precision as a partial overlay or inset style door. The reduced labor will save you money. Also, the doors open wide, allowing for easy access and ample storage space.
Carpenter, Cabinet Maker or Custom Factory Built
Deciding who will build your custom kitchen cabinets can also make a difference in how much you will spend.
A carpenter has the skill to build simple cabinets but may not be up to the job for more complex custom kitchen cabinets. On the other hand, a custom cabinet maker specializes in cabinet making. They are highly skilled, and pay close attention to accuracy and fine details. Of course, a custom cabinet maker will cost considerably more than a carpenter.
You can also get custom, factory-built kitchen cabinets. A homeowner can submit their measurements and layout online, and also choose the type of wood, finish, style, and hardware that they like. Another advantage of factory-built custom cabinets is the uniform construction standards and quality control. Your factor built, custom kitchen cabinets will be delivered, ready to install.
While stock, prefabricated kitchen cabinets are affordable, they also lack the character and quality to really stand out, and add value to your home. Custom kitchen cabinets are well worth the money, and, with a few smart choices, they can be surprisingly affordable.