Stock Cabinets vs Custom Cabinets: What are the Key Differences?

Stock Cabinets vs Custom Cabinets: What are the Key Differences?
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    When looking for kitchen cabinets, you have two choices: buying stock cabinets or buying custom cabinets.

    Both options have their pros and cons.


When looking at the different factors involved in this decision, it’s all about how much time and money you are willing to spend to get exactly what you want for your kitchen cabinets.

Custom Kitchen Cabinets: Pros

Your choices are nearly limitless when going the route of custom cabinets in your kitchen.

  • The main advantage of custom built cabinets is that you can match them to your existing decor.
  • You have more options with building materials and features, since you choose the way you want everything before ordering.
  • Custom cabinets are built on the measurements of your kitchen, so they should fit perfectly.

This wide array of choice does not come without its drawbacks however:

Custom Kitchen Cabinets: Cons

  • They are more expensive than stock cabinets, especially if you choose to build it with wood or steel. There are also additional fees associated with design and installation.
  • If you want a rare part for the cabinet, it’s likely that it won’t be available. A rare part for your custom cabinet will cost you additional time and money.

If you aren’t too fussy about choosing kitchen cabinets, there are some advantages of the stock cabinets that are worth considering:

Stock Cabinets: Pros

  • They take the guesswork out of designing a kitchen – what you see is what you get.
  • There are still a lot of styles to choose from, giving you the chance to add flavor to your home.
  • Store-to-installation in your home happens a lot faster than with custom built cabinets.

Stock cabinets will generally help you save on time and money, but you should still be aware of these caveats:

Kitchen Cabinet Installation – How To:

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Stock Cabinets: Cons

  • With stock cabinets sometimes you may have to wait longer than expected. Even though you may see the cabinet you want on display, your order of the cabinet may not be ready until more are in stock.
  • Stock cabinets tend not to last as long as higher quality custom built cabinets.
  • With standardized sizes it’s sometimes hard to match them with your kitchen.
  • If you have a grand design scheme in mind for your kitchen, then custom cabinets may be too restrictive for your liking.
  • No frills may be a plus for some people but to other people stock cabinets can look rather plain.


This is the basic information you should know about choosing stock or custom kitchen cabinets in a nutshell. Analyze yourself and your kitchen design before placing your order for kitchen cabinets. Explore your options in kitchen cabinets. Explore the various different features you can choose in kitchen cabinets and then decide how important it is for you to have all of the elements you want.

Image credit: Kitchen by Seth Parker, on Flickr

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Categories: Kitchen and Dining

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