Choosing Kitchen Cabinetry
November 16, 2011
There are many options available to the homeowner looking to install new kitchen cabinetry in his or her kitchen. So many so, in fact, that the process can be overwhelming. When preparing to choose new kitchen cabinetry, it is important to consider the following components:
It’s important to first address your budget, as it will determine your decisions for many other components of the remodeling process. Kitchen cabinets are often one of the biggest investments a homeowner puts towards his or her home. How much money do you have to devote to the project you are currently undertaking? Once you have a realistic figure in mind, cut it in half. Why? Unfortunately with many remodel projects unforeseen costs come up along the way. It’s a very good idea to plan ahead for this by not maxing out your budget in your initial purchase. If your initial plans keep you under budget, you will have more leeway when and if unexpected costs arise. The worst case scenario in a kitchen remodel is to have half of your cabinets installed and realize that, for one reason or another, you must discontinue the installation.
Cabinet Construction Type
Once you have your budget finalized, it is time to consider which type of cabinet construction you desire. Kitchen cabinets come in three forms: custom made, semi-custom, and stock:
Stock cabinets, the most affordable option, are cabinets that you would buy as-is from a home improvement store. Stock cabinets are manufactured in certain widths and with certain materials and therefore are not customized for your kitchen.
Semi-custom cabinets are ordered directly with a cabinet supplier and, based on the measurements in your home, are built specifically for you. As they are made to order, semi-custom cabinets come with more material and size options than stock cabinets and also often have additional options such as drawers and odd sizes. However, semi-custom cabinets are not completely custom made and you will need to stay within a set number of options.
Custom made cabinets are the ultimate in kitchen cabinetry as they are made by a custom cabinetry manufacturer and are made exactly to your specifications in size, material, and overall look. If you have a specific vision in mind for your cabinets, custom cabinetry may be the best option for you. However, keep in mind that custom cabinetry is the most expensive option.
Regardless of which cabinet construction type you go with, it’s important to have an idea of what kind of material you would like to use for your cabinetry. Cabinets typically come in laminate, metal, or wood. Wood, a popular choice, comes in a variety of colors and finishes making it highly customizable. However, it should be noted that wood warps over time. Metal cabinets, which are typically made out of stainless steel, give a very modern and sleek look to a kitchen. However, they do require upkeep and care, as they show scratches and fingerprints rather readily. Laminate kitchen cabinets are the most affordable option and can also be purchased in a wide variety of colors. However, laminate cabinets do chip from time to time and the damage is often difficult to repair without a full replacement.