What exactly, defines custom cabinetry?

Does custom mean it’s built by a “local guy,” a small shop down the street, or can custom cabinetry truly be built by a manufacturer who isn’t necessarily in the next town over?

Custom cabinetry is defined as cabinetry which is built to the particular specifications, wants (such as wood, door style, color of finish) and needs, of the homeowner.

By definition custom is not predicated by where cabinetry is made.

Many homeowners, have been conditioned to feel that if it isn’t made locally, it’s not custom. And despite popular belief, a “local guy” doing the building and finishing most likely cannot provide the quality custom product construction, finish, and lasting value.

Why, what’s the difference?

It’s not to say that there aren’t local shops that can produce a quality product.  However, it’s more likely that a larger shop, which has the resources due to scale of operation, can not only produce a higher quality product but will be constantly upgrading their product.

Let’s face it, once you reach a certain level of construction, there isn’t much difference from one cabinet box to the next, but where the difference typically comes in is finish.  Most local shops provide a more basic finish.  Larger shops, or manufacturers if you will, have state of the art finishing equipment, booths, and processes, which in the end give you a higher quality level of finish.  Better looking, better to the touch, and more durable.  If you were to compare having your car painted in a small local shop, as opposed to the finish right out of the manufacturer there’s little doubt as to which would be a higher level of quality.  On top of that, check your warranty.  Odds are it’ll be much longer and cover more by a large shop/manufacturer.

The moral to this story? The next time you shop for new cabinetry for the kitchen or other area of your home, think outside of “the box.”  Consider the integrity of the finish itself, which can tell you a lot about the expected lifespan of one of the most significant home improvement investments you’ll ever make.

Think about the fact that to become a large custom shop/manufacturer, they had to produce a high level quality of cabinetry.