March 3, 2024
The pros and cons |

Starting a kitchen remodel or designing a new kitchen from scratch is a significant venture, especially since the kitchen is often considered the heart of the home. So it’s crucial to make informed decisions about your cabinetry to turn your kitchen dreams into reality without costly mistakes.

One key decision in this process is choosing between stock and custom kitchen cabinets. This choice goes beyond mere storage; it’s about creating a layout that is both functional and reflective of your unique style.

Stock cabinets offer a quick, budget-friendly option, while custom cabinetry provides a tailored fit for your specific needs and aesthetics. But which option is right for you? We asked kitchen designers and home renovation specialists to unravel the pros and cons of each.

Stock vs custom kitchen cabinets

Are you wondering whether to opt for stock or custom kitchen cabinets for your upcoming kitchen remodel? The right choice comes down to matching your budget and style with your specific kitchen needs to create a space that feels right for your home. Experts typically break this decision into four key considerations:  

1. Price

The pros and cons |

(Image credit: Tom Howley)

When it comes to kitchen renovations, price is often a deciding factor in choosing between stock and custom cabinetry.

‘Stock cabinets are generally more budget-friendly, with costs ranging from $50 to $300 per linear foot,’ explains Chris Hook, General Contractor at Earth Saving Solutions. This affordability makes stock cabinets an attractive option, especially for those who need to consider how much it costs to have kitchen cabinets painted as part of their remodeling plans. For the most part, stock cabinets offer a practical solution without a hefty price tag.

On the other end of the spectrum, the cost of custom kitchen cabinets averages between $200 and $1,200 per linear foot, making them a significant investment. These bespoke solutions also offer more options for kitchen cabinet colors and finishes, which adds to their appeal but also their overall cost.

While stock cabinets win in terms of cost-effectiveness, custom cabinets offer greater personalization and adaptability to specific kitchen layouts and styles, albeit at a higher price tag. Whichever option you choose will often boil down to budget constraints versus your desire for a customized look. 

Headshot of Chris Hook from Earth Saving Solutions
Chris Hook

Chris Hock is a general contractor with over 24 years of experience in the construction industry. He has a strong background in project management and has successfully overseen the completion of countless construction projects across various industries. 

2. Quality

The pros and cons |

(Image credit: Jaclyn Christensen Design)

Quality is arguably the biggest factor to consider when deciding between stock vs custom kitchen cabinets. The overall quality of the materials used to craft your cabinetry will directly impact the longevity and appearance of your kitchen.

‘Quality among stock cabinets can vary greatly,’ explains Chris Hook. ‘Most stock manufacturers use lower-grade materials from China with variations in the quality of finish.’ While these cabinets provide a functional solution, they may not always meet high standards of durability or provide a beautiful finish. This is particularly important when considering options like kitchen corner cabinets that require robust construction.

‘Bespoke, custom cabinetry means high quality,’ says Greg Roth, Senior Interior Designer at CarbonShack. ‘Higher quality products will last longer, take fewer repairs, and save you money in the long run. Custom cabinets also allow for greater control over materials and finishes, ensuring a high-quality end product that complements your kitchen’s design.’