New cabinets are normally the biggest item of a kitchen remodel, realistically using anywhere from 15% – 35% of your budget. The range is so wide is because you have three basic options for which type of cabinets to use: stock, semi-custom, or custom cabinets. Let’s explore the differences of each category so you can determine which type works best with your budget.
Stock cabinets are pre-manufactured in standard sizes and popular styles. They can be bought off the shelves at home improvement stores, or ordered on-line for shipping, and are ready to be installed, as is. Because they are mass-produced, there is minimal or possibly no wait time for your cabinets, and are the most economical choice.
But ready-made also means you choose from the limited styles and features offered, so you bend taste and wants to what’s available. And you design with standard sizes (36” counter height, 12” depth for wall cabinets, 24” depth for base cabinets, etc.) so you do not have the luxury of tailoring storage and layout to your specific needs.
Stock cabinets are a fast and affordable option for a DIY kitchen update, averaging $75 to $400 per linear foot. Research and shop wisely to find the better-constructed cabinets so they will last longer.
Semi-custom cabinets are mass-fabricated and shipped to your home, but it’s the freedom of choice that makes them so desirable. You work with a kitchen designer to select the materials, finishes and features, giving you a wide array of details to meet your needs and tastes. While you are still within the parameters of standard cabinet sizes, there is more leeway to create personalized storage and a unique look because of the wide array of options and accessories.
This level of customization does require more time. From design time to final fabrication, it can range 3 – 15 weeks for delivery (for instance, Wellborn Cabinets is one of the better lines with a turn-around of 3-5 weeks upon receipt of drawings). Professional installation is recommended for these type of cabinets, so plan the time and budget of the remodel accordingly.
Semi-custom cabinets are the economic middle ground between in-stock and custom cabinets, averaging $150 to $900 per linear foot, while giving you more control over the look and function of the finished product.
You dream it – it will be with custom cabinetry. Working with a fine cabinet-maker gives you the exact size and configuration you need, and almost any materials and finishes you desire. If you have an odd space to fill or a very specific need to meet, a custom-tailored piece is the way to go. And because it is built only for you, you can be part of the process and make fine-tune corrections along the way.
How long it will take to build and deliver your custom cabinets is based on what is involved. There are projects that a local cabinet shop can have a quicker turn-around time than a semi-custom factory, and it’s done locally so delivery time is quick. Professional installation of your unique cabinets is a must.
Custom cabinets are like fine furniture for your kitchen, averaging $500 to $1,400 per linear foot. If you are limited by budget, consider a mix of semi-custom with some fully custom pieces.
Setting a Budget Parameter
Once you have determined how much you’re willing to spend for a kitchen remodel – and knowing that cabinets can use up 15%-35% of that budget – you can do some quick math to learn how much you should spend on cabinets. Multiply the number of linear feet (both above and below the counter) by the quoted cost per linear foot for a rough total. Then calculate what percentage of your budget that is, and you’re that much closer to knowing which type of cabinet your shopping for.
The Certified Kitchen Designers at St. Louis remodeling firm Mosby Building Arts make it easy and pleasurable for you to explore your kitchen cabinet desires. And Mosby carpenters are deeply qualified and experienced for all on-site needs, from installing semi-custom and custom cabinets to designing and building your unique cabinets. See a Gallery of Mosby kitchen remodels. To get started on your kitchen, call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact them here.