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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Donnelly

Cabinet Choices for A Kitchen Remodel

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

Cabinet Choices for a Kitchen Remodel

When doing a kitchen remodel, cabinet choices are a significant portion of it. Understanding the who, what, where, and why of cabinets will make your entire project go better, and leave you with far fewer worries. Nailing the cabinets means that everything fits, it will last, it will fit your budget, and it will look the best it can. You don’t need to have any particular knowledge to understand this section, just read through and things should be clear.


There are five main categories of kitchen cabinetry (though who you talk to may categorize differently):

  1. Off-the-shelf.

  2. Build your own.

  3. Semi-Custom.

  4. Custom.

  5. Artisanal.

Each of these types will be explained deeper below.

Off-the-shelf Kitchen Cabinets

Off-the-shelf kitchen cabinets are ones that are mostly available from big box stores and cabinet dealers. They are standard lines that are available in a set amount of colors and in 3 inch width increments with standard sizes for base cabinets and standard heights for wall cabinets. They aren’t particularly configurable. If you are flipping a house, these might be a good option.


Pros

  • Standardized/Available in 3” increments

  • Good for flipping a home

  • Budget Friendly

Cons

  • No/low modifications

  • Lower quality materials used

  • Wear quickly and short warranties

Relative Budget: Low


Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinets

Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinets are similar to off-the-shelf cabinets with the exception the cabinet boxes aren’t put together. You need to do it yourself or pay someone to assemble them. Generally, if not doing the assembly yourself there isn’t much money to be saved compared to off-the-shelf kitchen cabinets.

Pros

  • Standardized/Available in 3” increments

  • Good for flipping a home

  • Budget Friendly

Cons

  • Need to be assembled/Labor isn’t included/Craftsmanship dependent on your labor

  • Lower quality materials used

  • Wear quickly and short warranties

Relative Budget: Low


Semi-Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Semi-custom cabinets are a tier up from off-the-shelf and build your own. Generally, they allow more flexibility on increments, which may allow things like better centering a kitchen with an existing window. They also may allow for changing the depth or height of the base and wall cabinets to produce an entirely different look than the “standard”. If you are looking to build your “dream kitchen” these are typically the lowest level you should consider for both the design flexibility as well as the quality of materials.


Pros

  • More flexible sizing (1/4”-1” increments) to allow for better looks and more unique existing home conditions.

  • More modifications and decorative options are available for a better defined look for your home

  • Variety of styling including door styles, finishes, and wood species.

Cons

  • Modifications and upgrades add costs quickly

  • Depending on company, it can be confusing to figure out if certain modifications are available

  • Styles and upgrades are limited to their catalog

Relative Budget: Medium


Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Custom kitchen cabinets extend the flexibility of semi-custom offerings. More finishes, more increments, larger variety of wood species, custom molding, and decor are possible. These take your semi-custom options and beef them up. However, what distinguishes this from the Artisanal line following it, is that these could still be from a catalog of choices. While you may have more options than semi-custom, they aren’t the entirely left up to the imagination like the artisanal are.

Pros

  • Very flexible sizing (1/16”-1/4” increments) to allow for better looks and more unique existing home conditions.

  • Not limited to a standard catalog, although they may still have one as a starting point

  • High quality materials are generally used

Cons

  • With minimal constraints to a catalog for specialty designs, you need to know what you want.

  • More administrative steps in approving the final design

  • More costly depending on complexity

Relative Budget: High


Artisanal Kitchen Cabinets

If you can dream it, they can do it.


Pros

  • 100% artistically designed and crafted to create a unique feeling for your kitchen

  • Not limited to anything but the imagination

  • High quality materials are generally used

Cons

  • With no constraints to a catalog, you need to know what you want.

  • More administrative steps in approving the final design since they aren’t from a catalog

  • More costly

Relative Budget: High


Depending on the project, there are many different ways to approach which one is right for you. It could depend on your budget, the length of time staying in the house, your obsession with quality, the aesthetic you are trying to achieve, and possibly, if you're like Stephanie here at S. Donnelly Interiors, care about the chemicals that go into different treatments on these. It can take some expert guidance in figuring out what is right for you. We're happy to offer this getting started overview for your benefit, but if you would like more personal help from someone who has been around the industry, please call us. We're happy to assist with your project, and choosing the right cabinets will make your project, and your life a whole lot better.



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