Semi-Custom Cabinets: The Perfect Balance Between Customization and Affordability

In the range between stock, or prefabricated, cabinets to custom cabinets, semi-custom cabinet design strikes a nice balance, making them a popular choice for homeowners. It offers a middle range of dimension and finish options as well as pricing.


This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of choosing semi-custom cabinetry for your new kitchen, including design, pricing, ordering, installation, and maintenance.

semi custom kitchen cabinets

Advantages of Semi-Custom Cabinets

This type of cabinetry presents a cost-effective solution without sacrificing individuality. You’re still in the driver’s seat when it comes to customization, as you can choose from a variety of wood types, finishes, and hardware options, tailoring your cabinets to your space’s look and feel.


The quality of semi-custom cabinetry surpasses that of stock cabinetry.  The attention to detail and sturdier materials ensure a longer lifespan and a polished look.


While they may not reach the full spectrum of customization as fully custom cabinets, the flexibility they offer caters to diverse tastes and needs.


Additionally, semi-custom cabinets bring the advantage of a quicker turnaround time compared to fully custom designs. This streamlined process means you’ll have your new cabinets installed sooner, allowing you to enjoy your new space in a shorter span.

semi custom kitchen cabinetry

Factors to Consider When Choosing Semi-Custom Cabinets

When considering your level of cabinetry, several key factors should guide your decision-making. First, establish a realistic budget that suits your project while allowing room for customization.


Take your design preferences into account – whether you lean toward a modern vibe or a classic look, semi-custom options can fit a multitude of design styles.


The dimensions and layout of your space are crucial; these cabinets have more dimension options than stock cabinetry, but may not fit in every space.


Your Dean Cabinetry designer will help ensure accurate kitchen measurements as well as the best layout and customizations for you. 

cabinet design

The Process of Ordering Semi-Custom Cabinets

At Dean Cabinetry, we guide you through the ordering process. Once you solidify your cabinetry budget, you will move on to the design phase.


Your kitchen designer will work with you to select the materials, finishes, and customization options that match the look and function you would like to achieve.


Once all the design choices are finalized, the ordering team will order your cabinets from the cabinet manufacturer. The timeframe for semi-custom kitchen cabinets is generally shorter than custom and longer than stock.


The more customization options you choose, the longer the timeframe is. 

cabinet design options

Semi-Custom Cabinet Design Options

Semi-custom offers improved functionality with more dimension options than stock cabinetry.  For example, a three-drawer base cabinet in stock might be available at 30”, whereas with semi-custom you can choose from 30”, 33”, 36”, and 39”. 


Semi-custom base and wall cabinets are often made in increments of 1 ½”, in addition to the standard 3” increments. They often allow modifications for the depths of the wall, base, and tall cabinets.


Some companies will offer modifications for a more custom look for your semi-custom cabinets such as end panels to create the illusion of inset cabinets. 

Selecting the Right Cabinet Design Company

With many cabinetry providers available, it’s important to take the time to select the right company for your kitchen project. At Dean Cabinetry, we shoot for a 5-star experience!


Your satisfaction with your kitchen and the remodeling experience as a whole is extremely important to us as a small, family business. We encourage you to read our many reviews to see what past clients have to say about working with us.


Our streamlined 6-step process makes what can be an overwhelming experience, a fun, collaborative, and smooth experience instead. From discovery to budget to design to ordering to installation to follow-up, the Dean Cabinetry team looks forward to collaborating with you.


Our experienced designers have worked on many kitchen projects. They are happy to guide you, offering customizations that you may not have thought of, or even suggesting moving to custom cabinetry if your chosen customizations have made semi-custom cabinetry more expensive than a comparable custom option.

cabinetry design
custom kitchen cabinetry design

Common Misconceptions About Semi-Custom Kitchen Cabinets

One misconception is that semi-custom cabinets lack true customization options. While yes, fully custom cabinets offer the most degree of customization, there are still plenty of customization options available for semi-custom.


Customization is important because it results in increased functionality and efficiency of your space. It improves storage accessibility and reduces the number of fillers and ‘dead space.’ 


When using stock cabinets, standardized dimensions and styles may not fit a kitchen space perfectly, which creates a need for fillers between cabinets. With semi-custom cabinetry, you have more flexibility with sizes and dimensions, reducing the need for extra fillers, and creating a cleaner, more uniform appearance.


Another fallacy revolves around durability – some may mistakenly believe that semi-custom cabinets sacrifice sturdiness for customization. However, many semi-custom options utilize high-quality materials and construction techniques akin to fully custom cabinets.


In fact, you can find semi-custom cabinets made from durable materials like plywood or solid wood, ensuring they stand up to daily use. Your Dean Cabinetry designer will guide you through material selection to choose the best semi-custom cabinet line for your specific project.

Pros and Cons of Semi-Custom Cabinet Design



  1. Customization: They offer a wide range of design options, including finishes, hardware, and special features, allowing you to tailor your cabinets to your style and needs.

  2. Affordability: Compared to fully custom cabinets, semi-custom options are more budget-friendly while still offering a level of personalization that surpasses stock cabinets.

  3. Quality: Many semi-custom cabinets utilize quality materials and construction techniques, providing durability and longevity similar to fully custom cabinets.

  4. Functionality: You can choose functional features like pull-out shelves, dividers, and built-in organizers, enhancing the usability of your kitchen.

  5. Faster Turnaround: They generally have a shorter production and delivery timeline compared to fully custom options.



  1. Limited Scope: While offering a degree of customization, semi-custom cabinets does not provide the same level of flexibility and uniqueness as fully custom cabinets.

  2. Price Range: Some high-end semi-custom options can approach the cost of entry-level custom cabinets, blurring the line between the two in terms of price.

  3. Design Restrictions: While you can choose from various finishes, door styles, and hardware, there might be limitations to achieving extremely specialized or intricate designs.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Semi-Custom Cabinets

  1. Prioritize Design Preferences: Make a list of design elements you value most – whether it’s a specific finish, hardware style, or door design can be a helpful step in the design phase. 

  2. Plan for Future Storage Needs: Consider factors like growing family size or changing culinary habits. Incorporate features like adjustable shelves, pull-out drawers, and dividers to accommodate evolving requirements.

  3. Coordinate with Design Elements: Think about your kitchen’s design as a whole. Ensure your cabinet choices align with other design elements like countertops, backsplash, and flooring. Consistency in color schemes and materials can create a cohesive and visually appealing space.

  4. Consider Functionality: Enhance the usability of your kitchen by choosing functional features like lazy Susans, pull-out spice racks, or utensil dividers. Tailoring your cabinets to your cooking habits can greatly enhance efficiency.

  5. Explore Innovative Features: Research the latest cabinet innovations. From soft-close mechanisms to built-in charging stations, semi-custom cabinets can integrate modern conveniences that elevate your kitchen’s functionality.

  6. Work with an Experienced Designer: Dean Cabinetry’s design team will ensure you make the most of your semi-custom cabinets. They will ask you many questions about how you use your kitchen, your style preferences, and more. They will pull from their vast experience to provide suggestions to get the most value out of your cabinetry and layout.

Ready to Start Your New Kitchen?

FAQs About Semi-Custom Cabinets

$320 to $400 per linear foot. If you are looking for a ballpark estimate of how much semi-custom cabinets will be for your new kitchen, use you guide on how to measure your space for cabinets. Then, you can plug those measurements into our Cost Calculator calculate to get a semi-custom cabinet budget.

  • The estimated timeframe is currently is 10–14 weeks to be delivered to Dean Cabinetry. Once they are delivered, the installation team will contact you to schedule your install date.

The durability largely depends on the materials and construction techniques used by the manufacturer. In many cases, semi-custom cabinets can be just as durable as fully custom cabinets.

Both types can utilize high-quality materials like solid wood or plywood, ensuring long-lasting performance.