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Jkath Design Build + Reinvent / Cabinet Shop  / The Cabinetry Download – Custom vs Pre Fabricated

The Cabinetry Download – Custom vs Pre Fabricated

While we own our own cabinet shop and fabricate all of our client work in house, this will shock you to read we don’t hate pre fabricated options. Today, we’re giving you the download on pros and cons and when it’s ok to consider something other than custom.

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But first, the top reasons we recommend custom cabinetry.


Not all spaces are treated equal, especially in a remodel when we’re working with existing conditions. Insert small spaces here too, when maximum storage is critical we prefer to use every square inch of cabinetry for storage, eliminating fillers or dead space when possible. Also, when starting from ground up, not only can we customize the style, and particular paint/stain finish, we can make sure all of your storage needs are covered from spices to oversized platters.

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Your New Space Is an Investment, Your Cabinets Should Be Too

How many times will your remodel your kitchen in your lifetime? Once, maybe two times? The average kitchen lasts 10-15 years, but your cabinetry can last up to 50 years, if done correctly. We hear time and time again in our industry the bad rap pre fabricated cabinets are getting, after 2-3 short years they start to look worn and don’t perform the same. In hindsight, the additional investment would have saved a lot of headache and buyers remorse.

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True Craftsmanship

Custom cabinetry is a craft, one that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s a great way to support a local business and makers. Details are present in the finished product with dovetail drawers, soft close hinges, as well as the ability to have your very own Pinterest board come to life.

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What is the Cost Breakdown?

We think of cabinets in three breakdowns, stock cabinets can be $200 or less per linear foot, semi-handmade cabinets can be closer to $650 a linear foot and truly custom cabinetry can be as much as $1,200 a linear foot. This formula applies to most kitchens, areas with upper and lower cabinets and standard counter top depth of 24″.

How to Cut Back On The Budget

Are you doing a larger project, outside of the kitchen space alone? Some areas, such as bathroom vanities or stand alone storage pieces are simply easier on the budget to go retail. Consider a bathroom vanity that is sold online, it comes with the countertop, sinks and sometimes the plumbing fixtures, a savings across all of the line items. Bathroom vanities, while in a high use space, experience far less use than your kitchen and will hold up quite a long time.

Example of a few Room and Board bathroom vanities we installed while updating these entire bathrooms. They look terrific!

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Should You Go Custom in Other Spaces ..

Great question, mudrooms, offices, drop zones, can all be challenging to go pre fabricated as well. You’ll have the same limitations as mentioned above and will be unable to maximize your space. Mudrooms in particular, are a high use space and often the storage is so specific to each families needs, going custom is the only way to go!

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Take a tour of our cabinet shop here, as well as a Q/A session with our Lead Cabinet Maker, Roger. Drop a comment below or send us any questions you have here.

View more recently competed spaces with custom cabinetry:

Arden Avenue

Westbrook Road

Goodrich Modern Tudor

Katie Kath + Jkath Team

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