Custom Kitchen Cabinets
Cabinets are the center piece of any kitchen and their importance should not be overlooked. A well designed kitchen not only adds value to your house, it adds joy to your life. Your kitchen cabinets should not only function well and look good, they should last a lifetime. Achieving a truly personalized kitchen requires thought, planning, and professional experience. It is not something that can be done with off the shelf cabinets from a big box store. If you want a quality, stylish, and durable kitchen, you need custom kitchen cabinets.
Custom kitchen cabinets can be acquired in one of two ways: custom made cabinets from an independent cabinet maker or semi-custom cabinets from a cabinet dealer. In most cases, the right semi custom cabinet line has many advantages over a custom cabinet maker and are more than adequate for even the most high end project.
Not sure whether you need custom or semi custom cabinets for your kitchen project? Read my article below before making your decision.
First and foremost, why do I need custom kitchen cabinets? What benefits do custom or semi-custom cabinets have over off the shelf cabinets from the big box stores?
- Quality - The quality of the cabinet construction and the materials used is going to be significantly higher with any made to order cabinet product whether it is a full custom or a semi-custom. Learn about our cabinet construction standards.
- Selection – Custom kitchen cabinets of any kind have significantly more options available than stocked cabinets not only in size and color, but also in the number of available door styles and configuration options.
- Personalization – Kitchen cabinets are the furniture of your kitchen and should represent not only your style but, your personality as well. Adding a pop of color or characteristic detail is a simple task when dealing with custom kitchen cabinets, but almost impossible with stock or production cabinets.
- Function – By far the most important aspect of any kitchen. Beyond the look and style, a well designed kitchen that allows the center of your home to function well is what will make or break your kitchen project. Using a semi-custom or custom cabinetry or gives you the flexibility to maximize your kitchens potential.
- Size – Both custom and semi custom cabinets have flexibility on cabinet dimensions. Stock production cabinets come in very limited sizes which make a perfect fit impossible.
Ok, so I need custom kitchen cabinets. What is the difference between semi-custom cabinets and custom cabinets?
It is often difficult to distinguish the difference between semi-custom cabinet and custom cabinets, especially after installation. Here are a few key differences:
- Manufacturing - Both semi-custom and custom cabinets are made to order, however custom cabinets are typically designed and built in a small shop whereas semi-custom cabinets are typically built in a large factory. There are pros and cons to both the small shop and the large factory built cabinets. A small custom shop will likely have only a few employees. This can mean that every cabinet is built with love and care under the watchful eye of a master craftsman, or it can mean that corners are cut all over the place because they know you won’t notice. Cabinets made in a factory are built using detailed documented methods with rigorous quality control checkpoints throughout the construction process.
- Door Style Options - In most cases, custom cabinets will have the most options for door styles because they can literally build anything they want. However, many custom cabinet makers actually purchase their cabinet doors from an outside vendor and simply build the cabinet boxes. Therefore many custom cabinet makers will actually have a limited door style selection that is dependent upon their door vendor.
Semi custom cabinets will have a selection of door styles to choose from (view our door style selection here), but will not have the ability to deviate outside that selection.Many semi customs cabinet lines, especially Yorktowne Cabinetry, has such a wide variety of door styles that a custom shop is not typically needed unless you are looking for something very specific that is outside of the standard cabinet door styles.
- Finish Options – Custom cabinet makers have the most freedom in the finish department. They can not only source colors and stains from anywhere they choose, they can also mix batches for each order making a true one of a kind finish.
Semi-custom cabinet makers will have a more defined set of parameters for available paints and stains. Some cabinet lines have a very limited selection, other lines a very diverse and flexible selection. Yorketowne Cabinetry for instance, not only has a dozens of stain and paint colors available, they also have several options for highlights, glazes, distressing, and other options that will achieve a custom finish. They even have an option for custom paint colors!
- Lead time – Generally speaking, a custom cabinet maker’s lead time is going to be a variable based on how busy they are. The busier they are the longer the wait. Because semi-custom cabinets are built in a large streamlined facility, the lead time will generally be a fixed window. Yorktowne Cabinets sold by New Leaf in Tacoma, WA arrive in 3-5 weeks from the date of the order. The classic series is 3-4 weeks, iconic series 4-5 weeks. Homecrest Cabinets are 5-7 weeks
- Wood species – A custom cabinet maker will have the flexibility to source any kind of material from anywhere. A semi-custom factory depends upon reliability and availability of its materials and therefore will have a more limited selection of wood species available.
- Price – Full custom cabinets are typically going to be significantly more expensive than semi-custom cabinets.
Having designed numerous kitchens throughout the Puget Sound area, New Leaf has not only the selection, but also the expertise to make your dream kitchen a reality. Stop by our Tacoma showroom today and meet with one of our designers. We are friendly, courteous, and know what we are talking about.
If you would like a quote, call to set up a free consultation with one of our designers at 253-200-1173 or come by our Tacoma Showroom.