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How to Choose Stock Cabinets for Your Kitchen
Buying stock cabinets for your kitchen redesign can definitely save money. Here are some tips to help you make the right buying decision.
Buying stock cabinets rather than custom is a good way to save substantial money and time on the kitchen remodel.
Stock cabinets save time because you don’t have to hold back to allow them to be built. Plus they save money because you aren’t spending money on customizations.
But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. You just need to know what things to look for.
What to Look For
Wood and plywood cupboards. They’ll offer you better durability and crisper details than pressed timber.
Walls at least ?-inch heavy. They’re more durable.
Consistency of end. Lesser quality cabinets often have abnormal finishes and colors from one cabinet box to another.
Full-extension hardware. It allows you to open up drawers completely and open doorways almost 180 levels to make access easier.
Dovetail joinery. Or a metallic box. Drawer sides and backs that are stapled jointly won’t last as long.
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Cost and Installation
The cost of quality stock cabinets for an average-sized kitchen generally runs $8,000 to $10,000. Semi-custom cabinets would cost about twice that. And full custom cabinets would cost even more.
There are some lower-cost stock alternatives, such as IKEA (as low as $2,500), but you’ll offset your savings with the hassle of difficult assembly - fine if you have the patience and skill.
But unless you’ve got professional building experience, actually setting up kitchen cabinets isn’t a typical DIY job.
So carve out $100-$300 per cabinet (depending on labor rates in your area) to keep these things professionally installed.
The Drawbacks of Stock Cabinets
Surface finish and color choices are limited. The most likely options are decorated white, natural wood, cherry and or stained maple.
Stock cabinets are just 36 inches high. If you want taller cupboards, you’ll have to go semi-custom, which may take you up to 42 inches.
You could lose potential space for storage. Filler strips are accustomed to cover spaces created when the stock sizes don’t quite fill up the area - whereas custom cupboards can be measured to take advantage of all space.
Extra details such as crown molding aren’t included. Mitered corners and furniture-style edges aren’t included either. However, you can include crown molding yourself later if you choose.
Warranties are small. The industry standard is about 5 years, plus they only cover product failing, not deterioration.