Choosing the right cabinets for your remodeling project is vital as they can influence the entire outlook of your home. It is important to consider not only the style, but also the quality of their construction. With so many options to choose from, it can truly become overwhelming to select just one.
When choosing brand-new cabinets for your home remodeling project, there are generally 3 types of cabinets to choose from: stock cabinetry, semi-custom cabinetry and fully custom cabinetry. Below is a breakdown of the different types of cabinetries available and a description of what those terms actually mean.
Builder Grade, Ready-To-Assemble (RTA), and Stock Cabinets are of the same class of cabinetry; they are typically the most affordable and have the quickest turn-around time.
Builder grade: Most newly built homes have what are called ‘Builder Grade’ materials installed in their bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, and closets. Builder-grade products are usually made from inexpensive materials, such as particleboard or a cheaper plywood and are easily damaged from regular use and natural elements. These products are more of a short-term solution and should be expected to last for roughly 5 years before they are dated.
Ready-to-assemble: These cabinets are of the same quality home developers use, ‘Builder grade”, and are readily available to the public to be purchased from chain home stores. The selections in style, size and material, however, are usually limited. If you are looking for more of a do-it-yourself home improvement project, you can save a considerable amount of money on this type of cabinetry. However, keep in mind that these do not have long-term durability and usually need to be replaced or refurbished within 5-7 years.
Stock Cabinets: In sum, Builder Grade, Ready-To-Assemble (RTA), or Stock Cabinets come pre-sized from their manufacturer and are considered the basic and economical choice. These cabinets are mass-produced, only available in fixed sizes, and cannot be altered, so they do not offer much versatility for existing spaces. Depending on the manufacturer, stock cabinets can be made from particle board covered with plastic laminates or solid wood and are constructed on site. They can make a great choice for the DIY’er but we wouldn’t consider these cabinets a long term option.
Semi-Custom: Semi-custom cabinets generally fall into the mid-range category in terms of pricing. They offer a much wider selection of styles and higher quality materials than your standard stock cabinets. They can allow for customizable options like depth of the cabinets, drawer and door style, size adjustments and can also provide a better quality of construction. They do, however, take longer to receive than stock cabinets and can make your projects take longer to complete. Semi-custom cabinets are typically pricier as well, but usually include installation. Some companies, like Sea Pointe Design & Remodel, offer lifetime warranties on their semi-custom cabinetry because they hire skilled artisan craftsmen and carry close relationships with their manufacturers.
Fully Custom: Offering the most versatility in styles, materials, finishes and accessories, custom cabinets are made-to-order. You have total control over every detail of your tailor-made cabinets to fit the dimensions of your space. Custom built cabinets allow flexibility in the design to fit oddly shaped corners or runs along the walls. Custom cabinet lead times are the longest, as hand-made craftsmanship can take anywhere between 10-14 weeks to complete. Custom cabinets can also become quite costly with each added detail and can quickly exhaust a budget if not monitored properly. It is recommended to go through a reputable company, such as Sea Pointe Design & Remodel, who can provide impressive hand-built construction from skilled artisans including a well-planned design.
Other questions you may be thinking:
What kind of cabinets last the longest?
The most durable kitchen cabinets are made from solid hardwood. The most popular choices are cherry and maple. They are the most costly woods and only come in semi-custom and custom installations, but they last a long time and look great doing it. As far as stock cabinets go, plywood is stronger and holds screws tightly whereas particle board tends to crumble when attaching hardware. Particle board also holds moisture and can rot over time.
Why should I choose Custom cabinets over Stock cabinets?
It is true that quality comes at a higher price but splurging a little more on quality cabinets is an investment into your home upgrade. Choosing low-quality alternatives don’t look as nice and won’t last as long and you will wind up replacing your cabinets more often, which will ultimately cost more.
When is the best time of year to remodel?
The best time to remodel is now. If you are contemplating whether to start the process before the holidays or to hold off until the new year, odds are others are thinking the same. With Sea Pointe, the earlier you begin your design process, the better! This way, we can fit you onto our Construction schedule sooner. You do not want to get caught in the holiday “New Year, New House” rush.
To learn more about the quality of our work, browse through our online portfolio of completed projects or visit our Irvine kitchen and bath showroom.