Upgrading your kitchen with new cabinets is the largest component of your kitchen remodel project and are an integral part of your overall kitchen design. It’s important to choose new kitchen cabinets that create a distinctive look to match your personal style while also considering layout and functionality to allow for better organization. To make a more informed decision about which cabinet options best fits your home, compare the differences between prefab, semi-custom and custom cabinetry, which all have various pros and cons when it comes to price, design options, turnaround time and durability.

Prefab Cabinets vs Custom Cabinets

Prefabricated cabinets, also known as stock cabinets or standard cabinets, are cabinets that can be purchased at big-box stores and similar retailers. When it comes to custom cabinets vs prefab cabinets, custom comes out on top for quality and design options but not for price. Prefab cabinets typically come with the lowest price tag, but you will not be receiving the same quality as those of full custom. Although you will be paying less for prefab, there are high-quality options that you can choose from (like Fabuwood!) that are stylish and durable for your kitchen remodel.

Aside from quality, design options in prefabricated cabinets are also limited. These cabinets come in standard sizes, making them difficult to fit into spaces that have irregular measurements. Compared to custom cabinets, prefab cabinets are also going to have limited options when it comes to style, color, finishes and hardware. On the upside, since they’re already made, turnaround time is minimal.

Prefab cabinets are a good choice for homeowners who want to save a little money to splurge on another part of their kitchen (like quartz countertops!).

Custom vs Semi-Custom Cabinets

Semi-custom falls in between prefab and custom and often presents a happy medium in the prefab cabinets vs custom cabinetry debate. While these cabinets are still technically prefabricated, meaning they’re usually mass-produced in a factory, they offer limited customization and quality options comparable to custom cabinets.

Depending on the supplier, semi-custom cabinets may still only come in standard sizes or you may have some options on width and depth but usually only in set increments. However, odd spacing between two walls may require fillers to be placed in between cabinets to get a tight fit. Compared to prefab cabinets, you have more color and stain options and a variety of door styles to choose from. However, no matter the number of customization options available with semi-custom cabinets,your choices are far greater with custom cabinetry.

Semi-custom cabinets are higher in cost compared to prefab, but they’re less expensive compared to custom cabinets. Because you can mix and match some features, you must order these cabinets after finalizing your customizations. However, the lead time is shorter than what you’d have when ordering fully custom cabinets.

Custom Kitchen Cabinetmakers

Although custom cabinets have the highest price point compared to semi-custom and prefab cabinets, no other type of cabinet gives you the freedom to truly match your kitchen’s shape and style, with excellent craftsmanship. Custom cabinetmakers can build cabinets in whatever size needed. In fact, it’s possible to custom-design cabinets to work in any kitchen, even if it has crooked walls or other irregularities, to create a perfect fit without fillers.

Custom cabinets are made with quality wood, often with solid wood cabinet doors and trims, and offer unlimited color and finish choices. Add-ons like carousel or slide-out cabinets optimize space and enhance storage solutions. The sky’s the limit, because your cabinets are being built to meet your exact needs and wants. Custom kitchen cabinets also provide the highest durability, which is especially important if they’re going to be holding up heavy granite or quartz countertops.

Going custom does come with the drawback of having a lengthy turnaround time, but this delay can be factored into your kitchen remodel schedule. In the long run, finding the right type of cabinets for your project starts by identifying the space where you want to put the cabinets, knowing your budget and finding the right provider.

Hire Custom Cabinetry Experts

Element Design Build Remodel can help you design personalized cabinets, instead of you having to choose standard stock cabinets for your kitchen remodeling project. Our team works with you to ensure your new kitchen has ample storage to maximize your space. From custom Amish-built to prefab cabinets, we offer brands to fit every style and budget.

Our custom kitchen cabinetry designs can incorporate kitchen islands to provide additional space for working or entertaining. We offer numerous add-ons, including soft-close cabinet hinges, self-closing drawers, kitchen carousels, glass doors and under-cabinet lighting. Our team can also create custom bathroom vanities when you’re ready to give your bathroom an update.

Element Design Build Remodel is a full-service home remodeling company serving Cleveland and the entire northeast Ohio area from our Hudson location. Contact us at 330-523-6919 to set up a free, no-obligation design consultation for your kitchen, bathroom or home remodeling project today.