Selecting Kitchen Cabinets

April 08, 2018




What Options Are Important to You?

Start by considering the job you want the cabinets to perform, your budget, and the look you want.  All cabinets start as boxes with shelves or drawers and door fronts.  It’s the materials, craftsmanship, design details, hardware and customization level that makes all the differences.








What are the basic cabinet types?

In-stock, semi-custom and custom are the three basic types of cabinets.  Custom cabinets are entirely built to your specifications, while in-stock and semi-custom cabinets are pre-fabricated.

In-stock cabinets:

Ranging from $75 to $400 per linear foot, these cabinets are the most economical choice.  They are sold off the shelf in standardized sizes from 9” - 36” widths in increments of 3, and make use of infill panels to cover up the gaps. You can buy these at Home Depot and Lowes, as well as online suppliers.  Most require little more than installation by an installer or you if you’re a DIYer.

Semi-custom cabinets:

These cabinets are selected from existing designs and pre-fabricated off-site in standardized sizes, but with many more options in terms of sizing, styles, materials, and finishes. These types of cabinets range from $150 to $900 per linear foot, because these companies offer customizable designs, and offer crucial assistance from designers and installers. This level of services comes at a price, however: the fabrication of your kitchen doesn't begin until plans are finalized and drawings are approved, meaning a long lead time (and longer still if you're working with an overseas manufacturer). From approval of shop drawings to delivery, it can take up to 12 to 14 weeks- sometimes even longer.

Custom cabinets:

Working with a local cabinet fabricator has a lot of advantages, as your cabinets are tailor made to your kitchen’s measurements.  These types of cabinets range from $500 to $1400 per linear foot.  Costs need not be prohibitive is you are careful with your budget when selecting materials, finishes, hardware.  Average time it takes is far less than semi-custom at 6 to 8 weeks.

Framed, Inset, or Frameless Cabinet Styles


Your design and style preferences for your new cabinets can affect the dimensions of your cabinetry, the space your cabinets will require, and the overall look, feel, and function of your entire kitchen. Below, #1 is a Framed cabinet, #2 is an Inset cabinet, and #3 is a Frameless cabinet.


1. Frameless Cabinets

Newer hinge designs are a feature when there is no face frame, as hinges are installed directly into the sides of the cabinet walls.  Gaps between doors are smaller, creating a sleek look, although you can use modern or traditional style doors and hardware on these.  You can maximize storage potential, as well with this type of cabinet.

2. Framed Cabinets

These cabinets get their name from all four sides of the box being present, with the front portion having a cut-out smaller than the door that covers it.  They are the most common of the three styles available today, and offer additional strength for base cabinets supporting the weight of heavy countertops, such as granite and marble.


3. Inset Cabinets

The door of the cabinet fits flush with the face frame, which is a more historic form of cabinetry, and can provide a sense of old world charm to your cabinets.  The depth of the wall (upper) cabinets can be shallow, and oversized dinnerware may not fit, so be aware of this possibility.

In conclusion:

Kitchens are the heart of a home and you deserve one that reflects your style and functions well to serve you.  They are, in general, complicated and you need to consider hiring a designer or architect to assist you in creating the kitchen of your dreams.  Most of the time, you’ll save money in the long run by avoiding the pit falls that can be costly… and almost any choices can be costly when they end up being mistakes.  If you need help, give me a call or send me a text or email. Check out this website for further information.


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