Are Semi Custom Cabinets “Just Right” for Your New Kitchen Design?

Semi custom cabinets are akin to Goldilocks preferring the baby bear’s chair, porridge and bed: All three fit her “just right.”

In the world of kitchen cabinets, you as a homeowner face the same kind of three choices, although the bears didn’t have any kitchen cabinets that we know of. However, you could say the three choices of stock, semi custom and custom kitchen cabinets are like the choices the storybook character faced when she had Papa Bear’s, Mama Bear’s and Baby Bear’s things to choose from. In each case, she tried out all three and found she preferred Baby Bear’s.

In a similar way, you might consider your three types of cabinet choices which we’ll explain below. First, we’ll address stock cabinets at the low end, then custom cabinets at the high end, and lastly the semi custom cabinets…that are for many homeowners “just right.”

When to consider stock kitchen cabinets

Stock kitchen cabinets have two big advantages. First, they are the most affordable of three options. Second, they are premade so you won’t have to wait for your cabinets. If your kitchen is a standard size, and you’re on a tight budget and/or in a hurry, stock cabinets are probably the right choice for you.

That said, stock kitchen cabinets also have limitations. They come in set sizes, although cabinets usually come in different widths, so that gives you a little flexibility, not much. Plus you only get a very limited choice of wood and finishes with stock cabinets.

Stock cabinets are often the right choice, however. If you’re building a low-budget vacation home, redoing the kitchen in a starter home, or putting in a mother-in-law apartment, stock cabinets might be the best way to go.

When to consider custom cabinets

If you have a generous remodeling budget, an odd-sized space, and/or a lot of customized details you want to be included in your new kitchen, custom cabinets might be for you. With custom cabinets, you can get exactly what you want.

On the downside, custom cabinets cost much more than the other two options, and it will be weeks or even months before your cabinets are built and installed.

Yet custom cabinets are often the right choice for certain kitchens. If you’re building your dream home and you can afford to have exactly the kitchen you want, custom cabinets are probably just right for you. On the other hand, if there’s a chance you’ll move someday and won’t be staying in your home forever, custom cabinets might not be a good use of your money.

When to consider semi custom cabinets

We saved the best for last in this short list of three. And we say “the best” because many kitchen designers and bloggers say the same thing about semi custom cabinets: They are the best of both worlds.

With semi custom cabinets, you can get literally hundreds of choices in styles, stains, colors, and finishes. (Only take a quick look at our huge selection of kitchen cabinets for proof.) You also get more size options compared to stock cabinets: Semi custom cabinets can be made in different depths, and cabinet width is usually available in one-inch increments.

And unlike stock cabinets, semi custom cabinets can look custom! With all of the choices you have for styles, stains, and finishes, plus extra details you can add, there’s a chance you’ll be the only one with that particular cabinet design in your stunning new kitchen. You can also choose the higher end option for better quality details and hardware. For an example of those kinds of options, see our three cabinet lines compared here.

Then there’s the price: Semi custom cabinets are much more affordable than custom!

Is there a downside to these “just right” cabinets? Possibly. You will have to wait for semi custom cabinets, as they are built when you order them, not before, but they are built much faster than custom cabinets. If you’re in a hurry, semi custom might not work. And you might have to go custom if you’re stuck with a very odd-sized space.

For most homeowners, however, semi custom cabinets are the “just right” solution for getting the look and price they want in their new kitchens.