Custom Cabinets vs Semi-Custom Cabinets: What’s the Difference? Bay Cities Construction


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Semi-Custom Cabinets

Semi-custom cabinets are exactly how it sounds. They are prefabricated cabinets with options for extra detailing. The idea is to give you the feeling that your individual design preferences went into the creation. Basic cabinetry sizes still apply. However, you have the option to change certain dimensions, such as resizing cabinet drawers, door fronts, or increasing the depth.

  • Quality: There are features that are standard. When it comes to semi-custom, the statement “you get what you pay for” couldn’t beany truer. The least expensive will be made out of materials such as medium density fiberboard (MDF) and will be covered in a

    veneer; it’s not the highest quality, but it is still much better than prefabricated materials.

  • Cost: The cost for semi-custom cabinets will vary greatly depending on the materials that are used, and the amount customization.However, since the customization options are limited, and are relatively easy for the maker to add, it should not result in a

    substantial expense.


When you should choose semi-custom cabinets…

  • When your existing cabinets can be refaced to look brand new.
  • When you don’t want to make changes to the existing layout of your kitchen.
  • When you’re working with a small kitchen remodeling budget.
  • When most of your budget has been allocated toward a different aspect of your kitchen.

Custom Cabinets

Custom cabinets are created to your design and specifications. In other words, you can have whatever you want! Because someone is creating your cabinetry vision, custom cabinets are generally more expensive because it is labor intensive and built off-site by a skilled cabinetry carpenter. It is also important to note that custom cabinets take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months to complete.

  • Quality: Custom cabinet makers will generally go above and beyond to ensure that all of the materials being used are of the best quality, and will properly assemble it in its entirety before they are installed in your kitchen.
  • Cost: The cost of custom cabinets can be frightening. In fact, when you decide to go custom, the contractor will specify about whatpercentage of your budget should be allocated for this portion alone. There is no set cost. It is really up to you and how you wish to

    design the layout and aesthetic feature, as well as how much custom storage you wish to add.


When you should choose custom cabinets…

  • When you’ve decided to change the existing kitchen layout.
  • When you’re expanding your kitchen, and therefore need additional cabinets.
  • Your existing cabinets cannot be refaced.
  • When you’re gutting your entire kitchen and starting from scratch.

How to Choose Between Custom and Semi-Custom Cabinets

Overall, there is no one perfect option. Whether you choose semi-custom or custom cabinets, it really depends on how much you’re willing or not willing to allocate, as well as how much customization you need.

If your kitchen remodeling budget can’t manage custom cabinets, that’s ok! We live in 2017, semi-custom cabinets come in a variety of styles, and can look more expensive than they are. If you have a flexible kitchen remodel budget, custom cabinets will definitely be your best option. The amount of customization is endless, and the finished result will truly fit you and your family’s needs.

At Bay Cities Construction, we have helped many of our clients in the South Bay navigate through their cabinet decision. In fact, we have encountered that many of our clients didn’t even realize that custom and semi-custom were an option. The first thing they thought were “pre-fabricated”. Because of process to get you a price accurate quote (not an estimate), you know in advance if your kitchen remodeling budget can handle custom cabinets or semi-custom cabinets. We are able to do this by having you meet with our designer as we build your project scope. This helps both you and I make sure that you are getting everything you want for your kitchen remodel while helping you stay on budget.



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