What do Custom Cabinet Makers do?

The first thing that likely comes to mind when you hear this question is that custom cabinet makers specialize in kitchen and bath cabinetry. While you would not be wrong in thinking this, we work on an incredibly large list of rooms on a regular basis. We frequently design, build and install furniture-style vanities, bookcases concealing hidden rooms, arts & crafts rooms, closet organization, custom tailored wine cellars, breakfast nooks, built-ins, laundry rooms, bookcases, side boards, wall & ceiling paneling, entertainment units, fireplace surrounds, home offices, bars, pantries, mudrooms, and much more! The advantage of working with a custom cabinet maker is that the sky is really the limit.

Why go with a Custom Cabinet Maker?

There are many advantages to using a custom cabinet maker. The attention to detail is greater right from the design phase and custom shops often use a higher quality of materials, hardware, and construction methods. You may pay a little more upfront, but typically custom cabinets will stand the test of time better than off-the-shelf options from big box stores. There is also more flexibility available when going custom, both in the sizes you can choose from as well as the materials available. Going with an off-the-shelf option means that you will need to stick within the standard sizes available which often results in large fillers and unused spaces. Whereas with custom options there are little to no size constraints, custom wood types and finishes are available and complicated design details are not an issue. From a customer service standpoint, custom shops take more time in the planning process to ensure your new cabinets do more than just fill a space with storage, but also reflect your style and how you will use the space in your day-to-day life. In addition to this, each space built and designed by a custom cabinet shop will be completely unique to you! This said, it is very important to do your homework on which factory you decide to purchase your cabinetry from. The quality, stability, reputation, and consistency of a factory are important factors to consider as well.

What Technology do Custom Cabinet Makers Use?

There are tons of technologies available in the custom millwork industry and the type used will vary from one shop to another. That said, most reputable cabinetry shops will provide you with drawings which include floor plans, elevations and coloured 3D renderings. Depending on the shop and the technology they choose to use this will sometimes be done on one or two programs while simultaneously developing the necessary cut sheets and parts list for the shop to use when they build your new cabinets.

How Does Pricing Work with Custom Cabinet Makers?

Again, pricing structures will vary from one shop to another, but most custom shops will price by the job as opposed to offering a per lineal foot or per square foot price structure. The thing about custom is that it is not overly accurate for us to ballpark a figure on a project. It is easier to work within a client’s budget and make a list of priorities to be included in the design. Material, labour, and finishing costs vary greatly depending on what a client chooses.

There are a ton of advantages to going with a custom cabinet maker including a more usable finished product that will stand the test of time, and a much larger selection of finishes and materials. It is important to note the value in these advantages when comparing pricing to an off-the-shelf option.

-Stephanie Quosdorf

July 19, 2020