A large part of renovating your kitchen means buying new cabinets. While you can repair or reface, sometimes it’s time to start from scratch for the look and feel you want.

To better understand what your options are, it’s a good idea to use a kitchen cabinets buying guide. You’ll learn the types of cabinets and what factors to consider before you buy.

From storage options to the color, picking the right cabinets drastically changes your kitchen and makes it perfect for your needs.

Decide On Your Budget

The first thing to consider is your budget. For most people, you’ll want to strike a balance between cost and quality. You have three main options to choose from:

  • Stock – Pre-fabricated cabinets that often use cheaper materials. You can buy and install them quickly, but you’re limited on options. They also may not last as long as custom or semi-custom.
  • Semi-custom – These offer a bit better construction and materials and allow you to customize some features. This gives you a better fit if you have odd spaces or non-conventional measurements in your kitchen.
  • Custom – These offer the most flexibility for customizing the look, feel and function. Plus, they’re made from superior materials. The downside is they do cost more and take longer to make.

We’ve provided a kitchen cabinets buying guide that compares these three types in more detail to give you a better idea of the differences. We’ve also detailed the benefits of going with custom kitchen cabinets.

In most cases, semi-custom and custom are your best options. They’ll last longer and offer you the chance to customize your kitchen. You can save money on both by choosing different types of wood and finishes. Cutting your budget in other areas allows you to buy higher quality cabinets that will last much longer. Some people opt for a mix of cabinet types, such as using custom hardwood around the sink and in odd spaces, while buying stock with custom doors for the rest.

Consider Construction Quality

No matter what type of kitchen cabinets you choose, always check for construction quality. For instance, if you’re opting for stock, check to see how edges are fastened, how thick the wood is, how easily the doors and drawers open and so on. Some stock cabinets are made fairly well. However, they typically use particleboard or a medium-density fiberboard that doesn’t last for the lifetime of your kitchen.

Even with custom cabinets, enquire about how they’re made. Ask about the materials used. If you visit in person, reputable builders should have samples to look at and pictures of past projects.

Think About Color

The next part of any good kitchen cabinets buying guide is choosing your color. You usually have three main options. Lighter woods, darker woods and painted. For a natural wood look, choose between lighter or darker woods. These are then stained to protect the wood and customize the final finish. Painted can be any wood type, but painted a non-natural wood color, such as red or white.

Painting works well, but be careful about your color combinations so you don’t make your kitchen look too dark or dingy. HGTV offers advice on picking the perfect color based on the theme of your kitchen.

For stained wood, darker woods like mahogany look beautiful, but opt for lighter floors to prevent your entire kitchen from looking too dark. With lighter woods like oak, accentuate with darker elements, like countertops and backsplashes.

Think About Extras

Sometimes, it’s easy to think of kitchen cabinets as just a box, but they can offer so much more. As part of this kitchen cabinets buying guide, stop to consider built-in storage and organization options. For instance, you may want to buy cabinets with slide-out shelves or a Lazy Susan. While you can’t always get these extras with stock, semi-custom offers some additional options. Custom cabinets are still the only option that offers fully customized built-in storage.

Choose One You Can Trust

Finally, no matter what cabinets you choose, always opt for a brand and/or builder you can trust. Beware super cheap brands and cabinetry services. The prices sound great, but do they have a solid reputation and positive reviews? Research brands, stores and services before buying. This ensures you’re getting the best quality for your money. Plus, look for cabinets that come with a warranty. After all, you don’t want to have to renovate out of pocket in a few months if something goes wrong due to poor construction or bad materials.

Interested in renovating your kitchen with custom cabinets? Contact us today with any questions and to find out how we can help.

Image: Fran Hogan