|What makes custom kitchens different?|
Aug 2 2010 3:00PM
Many people ask: what is the difference between custom kitchen cabinetry and cabinets available for purchase at big box retailers like Home Depot and Lowes?
Cabinetry purchased at Home Depot or Lowes are pre-made. They cannot be individually customized and are offered in specific sizes and limited color options. For example, most pre-made cabinet uppers are offered only in 30? high, 36? high, and 42? high sizes. If your kitchen calls for something in between those three sizes, either the installer has to adjust them by cutting them down, or you have to settle with a size you are less than thrilled with.
Additionally, because these cabinets are pre-made, oftentimes fillers have to be used. This is so because oftentimes the configuration of stock cabinetry purchased is less than the space allowed for in the kitchen. For example, if you have 37? available for a cabinet, but the stock size is only 36?, you purchase the 36? cabinet and add a 1? filler piece. There is a potential, then, for wasted space.
Finally, pre-made cabinetry is deceptively expensive. Many times customers come to us with plans from Home Depot and Lowes and we are able to offer them better cabinetry for either the same price, or a nominal increase. How is that so? Because Home Depot and Lowes doesn’t INCLUDE anything like: installation, pull-out shelves, hardware, toe-kicks, crown trim, etc. Once all of these “extras” are figured into the price of pre-made, off-the-shelf cabinetry, the total price is much closer, or equal to, custom made cabinets.
So, what are the benefits of custom made cabinets? They are made specifically for your kitchen. That translates to NO WASTED SPACE (everyone wants extra storage)! When remodeling a kitchen in an older home, custom cabinetry can take into account existing vent, electrical, and plumbing placement into consideration during the design process. Custom cabinets come in a wide range of stains and colors; instead of being limited to pre-made colors, custom cabinetry colors and stained are hand-mixed and applied to the client’s specifications.
Finally, the majority of custom made cabinets are fabricated with better materials. While I cannot speak for all custom cabinetry manufacturers, I can speak for what we do at Dynamic Kitchens and Furniture, and the differences are astounding!
Our custom made cabinets are crafted out of 3/4? hard woods. The majority of pre-made cabinets are crafted out of 1/2? engineered wood (or worse flake board or particle board). Engineered woods are composited together from scraps and cuttings of wood; it is a man-made, not found-in-nature product.
We include with our cabinetry all the extra add-ons Home Depot or Lowes would charge you for such as: pull-out shelves, crown trim, kick plate, full-extension drawers, soft-close drawers, $5.00 hardware allowance, lazy susans, pull-out garbage pails, 176 degree German Hinges, and lastly the same wood species and finish inside the cabinet as out. That means if you have a maple cabinet door painted white, the inside of the cabinet will also be maple and painted white.
While custom-made kitchen cabinetry does take longer than off-the-shelf options, the benefits far outway the detriments.