Custom Cabinets vs Stock Cabinets: What are the advantages?

Your kitchen cabinets are like permanent furniture. They dominate the look and feel of the space, and you want them to last a long time. They are truly an investment. So as you shop for kitchen cabinets, you may wonder about the differences between custom cabinets vs stock cabinets. What’s the best option for your new kitchen or kitchen renovation?

Custom Cabinets vs Stock Cabinets: 4 Key Considerations

Cabinets are essentially boxes and doors with shelves and drawers. A cabinet seems like a simple thing, yet there are many factors that make the difference between a quality cabinet and one that’s basically disappointment in a box.

The manufacturing process determines the design, style, functionality, cost, and quality of your kitchen cabinets. Let’s look at 4 key elements of a cabinet to compare custom cabinets with stock cabinets. 

  1. Materials
  2. Joints
  3. Hardware
  4. Selection

Stock cabinets are mass produced, and therefore more affordable than custom cabinets, but they’re only available in predetermined sizes and styles and often require assembly. They’re typically made of particle board. Joints are glued, nailed, or screwed together, and corners are reinforced with stapled plastic braces. Side slide brackets are used for drawers. 

The main advantages of stock cabinets are cost and convenience for simple uses or situations where time is a major factor. Because the cabinets are already made, you can get them quickly. But the biggest trade-offs are quality and limitations on design, style, and fit.

Custom cabinets cost more than stock cabinets, but they’re typically made with plywood and can be ordered in any size and style with added features and special requirements. They are fully assembled when you receive them. Joints are precise and secure with dovetail, dowel, or mortise and tenon craftsmanship. Corners are reinforced with wood glue blocks and drawer slides are hidden undermount. 

7 Advantages of Custom Cabinets

Are the advantages of custom cabinets really worth the additional cost? Let’s take a closer look at 7 advantages of custom cabinets for your kitchen.

1. Personalized Design

The kitchen is the heart of the home. You and your family spend a lot of time there, so you want it to reflect your personality. You take great care in choosing the furnishings in the rest of your home, so why wouldn’t you want the same in your kitchen? 

Custom cabinets allow you to choose every detail to suit your style and the functionality that works best for your family. For example, if your family is taller than average, for the sake of comfort you may enjoy a countertop that’s slightly higher than the standard. 

Customization allows you to optimize practicality and creativity. You can add special features like built-in wine or spice racks, garbage and recycling pull-outs, under-cabinet lighting, charging stations, and unique, one-of-a-kind cabinets that fit the look or function you want. 

The freedom and flexibility of custom cabinets gives you limitless possibilities and allows you to make a statement, personalize every detail, and ensure you have the precise amount and kind of storage you need.

2. Limitless Options

Stock cabinets may include a wide variety of products that can be combined to create hundreds of different kitchens, but you’re still limited to the materials, styles, finishes, and hardware that’s in stock. 

Custom cabinets can be tailor-made to any specification. You can have any colour, any finish, any size, any shape, any combination, and any hardware or material you choose. In other words, with custom cabinets, there are almost no limits. 

3. Perfect Fit

Your kitchen cabinets need to fit the layout of your space. This is easier said than done. Regardless of the type of cabinets you choose, your kitchen is a specific size and shape, and the cabinets must fit within those parameters.

With stock cabinets, your kitchen design and layout is determined by the specifications of existing cabinets. But with custom cabinets, you get to design your kitchen how you want it and order the cabinets to fit. This allows you to create the perfect kitchen for your space rather than merely “working with what you’ve got.”

4. Legacy Quality

The superior materials used in custom cabinets are enough to give them an edge on quality over stock cabinets. But the craftsmanship that goes into making custom cabinets transforms better quality into best quality. 

Custom cabinets are hand-built with pride, using high quality materials and first-rate manufacturing techniques designed for long-lasting durability. Small details make a big difference, and custom cabinet makers are obsessed with details.

For custom cabinet designers like Riverstone Kitchens & Renovations, your kitchen is far more than just a job. It’s personal. It’s our livelihood, our legacy. We would never design or build a kitchen we wouldn’t be happy with in our own homes. That’s why quality matters. 

5. Increased Property Value

The kitchen is one of the top 3 most important spaces in your home, according to homebuyers. A custom kitchen will give you a greater return on your investment than stock cabinets, in most cases, because of the boost to the value of your home. 

Most custom cabinets include a limited lifetime warranty, so the extra you might pay initially doesn’t seem like much in the long run. The durability and quality of custom cabinets, combined with the customization of functionality and style, make custom cabinets a better value.

6. No Assembly Required

If you choose stock cabinets that require assembly, you might be willing to sacrifice your time to save some money. But your time is worth something. Time is valuable. And if you’re paying an installer to do it for you, the cost of their time becomes more tangible to you. 

Custom cabinets arrive at your home fully assembled. Not only is this a huge time-saver (and stress-reducer), it indicates the quality of the cabinets, the attention to detail, and the craftsmanship that went into building them. 

7. Less Environmental Impact

If environmental impact is important to you, custom cabinets are the clear winner here. Order from a local supplier that allows you to choose from domestic hardwoods. Custom cabinets are built to order, which means there’s no wasted manufacturing. And local custom cabinets require less shipping than brand name stock cabinets.

Are custom cabinets right for you?

The advantages of custom cabinets are significant, but they might not be right for you. There are two things to keep in mind.

  1. Custom cabinets require a longer lead time than stock cabinets because they’re made to order.
  2. Custom cabinets generally cost more than generic, mass-produced stock cabinets.

Even though custom cabinets take longer and cost more, they’re still the best value for most people. When you consider the personalization, limitless options, perfect fit, legacy quality, return on investment, time savings, and reduced environmental impact, custom cabinets are the favourite. 

Custom Cabinets & Design in Calgary, Alberta

Riverstone Kitchens & Renovations provides custom cabinets and kitchen design in Calgary and surrounding areas. We pride ourselves on the quality of our custom cabinets and love to design kitchens that offer superior functionality combined with exceptional style. Our designers work with you to create a kitchen that meets your needs, reflects your personality, and stays within your budget. 

Contact us today for a free consultation. 

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Jana Carlson

SEO Content Writer & Strategist | I help small businesses attract more customers with a no-nonsense content strategy

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