Cabinetry in general can take up a large portion of your renovation budget and can make a major impact on planning your project. Whether you are looking for the WOW factor or simply looking for a quick face lift, knowing the different cabinetry options can help in making your decisions. Modular, semi-custom, and custom cabinetry are the three basic options for cabinetry, each with advantages and disadvantages.
Modular cabinetry can be a great solution for those with a limited budget and looking to keep things simple. Modular cabinetry is typically going to be defined as pre-made and sometimes referred to as stock or RTA (ready to assemble). Components of the cabinetry such as cam lock screws and boxes are mass produced and can often be used universally throughout the catalog. While appealing to the wallet, modular cabinetry can often handcuff your creativity and limit your design selections. The major disadvantages typically start with the amount of options that are offered; mostly catalog sizes and limited styles/finishes. Homeowners working with a non-standard layout or looking for unique features often struggle with modular cabinetry lines. Typical turnaround times for modular cabinetry is less than that of custom or semi-custom due to the pre-manufactured components and simpler assembly requirements. Homeowners will often design, order, and install their own modular cabinetry in order to maintain the limited budget and keep a hands on approach to their remodel project.
Combining the budget appeal of modular with the flexibility of custom, semi-custom cabinetry will offer the design options and budget most homeowners are looking for. A semi-custom cabinetry line, although manufactured, will allow homeowners to select door style, wood species, finish, etc. The catalog of features and sizes should allow the designer and homeowner to fully control the style and functionality that fits each induvial project. Stock sizes and standard features can then be combined with available modifications and upgrades. It is important to note that although they are manufactured, selecting upgraded finishes and adding the bells and whistles will increase your budget accordingly. Turnaround times on a semi-custom cabinetry line will typically range between 3-5 weeks but will definitely be worth the wait. Finding an experienced and knowledgeable designer will help walk the homeowner through the semi-custom cabinetry lines to determine what cabinet best fits the style and budget. The larger semi-custom cabinetry manufactures will have software plugins that allow designers to render drawings and 3D perspectives. Semi-custom cabinets really are the best option for homeowners looking for a little creative freedom and flexibility without spending the time and money on custom cabinetry.
Built from scratch, custom cabinetry will allow the dream kitchen (or bath) to become a reality. Custom cabinetry is typically build by local carpenters or cabinet makers and eliminate any design restrictions. Design flexibility such as door, wood, and color combinations now become infinite and are only limited by the homeowner’s creativity. Custom cabinetry can alleviate headaches with the most unique sizes and challenging spaces within a project. Although accommodating, custom material and labor cost will be significantly higher than that of modular and semi-custom cabinetry. Also, custom cabinetry doesn’t always equate to ‘better’ cabinetry. Smaller cabinetry shops may not have appropriate tools or refined building technique as that of manufactures and can often produce a lesser product. Along with a steep price tag, custom cabinets often have the longest completion time of 4-8 weeks depending on the size and complexity of the project. Creative freedom matched with distinct craftsmanship make custom cabinets an appealing choice for those with a large budget and flexible project timeline.