Choosing Kitchen Cabinets: Stock or Custom

For many homeowners in Toronto, cabinet design may seem like a confusing endeavor. If you need new kitchen cabinets, it’s imperative that you choose the right types of units for your kitchen. Not only do they need to be the right size, they need to be the right colour and have the ideal finish.

The most important decision is whether your kitchen is right for stock cabinets or if custom cabinets would be ideal.

Here’s a look at both of these options and the benefits they offer:

Stock Cabinets

The great thing about stock cabinets is that they take all the guesswork out of kitchen renovation. They are straightforward: what you see is what you get.

Stores sell stock cabinets in basic sizes that go up in 3-inch increments. Some come with either 24-inch or 12-inch depths.

A few benefits include:

  • Pre-assembly. They are usually ready to go as soon as you take them out of the box. Most stores offer a variety of stock cabinets to choose from in different styles and materials.
  • Price. Since they are pre-made, they don’t require any customization. This makes them an inexpensive option.
  • Easy installation.  Since stock cabinets are already constructed and ready to be shipped out, there is no waiting period. You don’t have to wait several days or weeks for them to be put together. Pre-assembly also means that they are ready to be installed when you take them out of the box.

The downside to pre-assembled cabinets is that the selection is somewhat limited. You can only choose what is currently available. If you can find a size and finish that you like, then there aren’t any problems. However, if you don’t see anything in the selection that will look good in your kitchen, you’ll have to either pick something unappealing or spend extra money on a custom or semi-custom unit.

Custom Kitchen Cabinets

When customization is an option, there is no end to possibilities. You can have any design you want.

Benefits of custom cabinets include:

  • More design and finish options.  Since they are not built until AFTER you order them, you have a say in the appearance. They are constructed exactly as you specify, whether you want traditional hardwood doors or a sleek, streamlined profile.
  • Better fit. A stock cabinet is made with specific measurements. If those measurements do not fit well in your kitchen, you will need a cabinet customized to fit those requirements. They make better use of space than the stock units.
  • Better coordination – If your kitchen has unique décor, it might be difficult for you to find a stock cabinet with the right design. With a custom design, you get to choose a design, size, finish, and style that match everything else in the kitchen.

The downside to custom cabinets is that they are costly and take some time to make. Since they are being made specifically for you, you might have to wait for certain materials or parts to be ordered and shipped. The design scheme may take some time as well – especially if it’s intricate.

There is a third option. You can arrange for stock cabinets to be modified a bit to better match your kitchen. Semi-custom kitchen cabinets offer an inexpensive solution if you don’t have enough money for fully custom cabinets.

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