Sunday, May 8, 2011

Box vs. Custom

            A question I am frequently asked is “Are “box” or premanufactured cabinets less expensive than custom cabinets?” After doing some research and cost comparison, I was surprised to find that many times custom cabinets were about the same or even less. My perception that because something was made in mass, in a factory, with sometimes lesser quality materials would cost less, was challenged.


Don’t get me wrong. Box cabinets have their place. They work great if you have a very straight forward layout, are not trying to maximize space or need something very utilitarian, like for a laundry room or garage. In my experience, it is when you start customizing and adding unique features to a box cabinet that the price begins to climb.


With custom cabinets, all of the space can be utilized since you are not limited to 3” increments in cabinet widths and having to fill in space with fillers. Also, variations in height, depth or size of drawers really does not affect the price, but allows for greater customization and utilization. Custom finishes, paint colors, materials and trim profiles are always an option with custom cabinets. This may not be the case with box cabinets. Another benefit of using custom cabinets is that you can often times actually see your cabinets being built, moving through the cabinet shop.

Word to the wise-the next time you consider purchasing cabinets, do your homework and compare both box cabinets and custom cabinets. You may be in for a pleasant surprise!

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