How to Tell the Difference Between Stock, Semi-custom, and Custom Cabinets

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, there are three main types: stock, semi-custom, and custom cabinets. These terms describe how cabinets are made, not how good they are. When you’re remodeling your kitchen, the cabinets are a crucial part of the project.


Quality kitchen cabinets provide both storage and a nice look for your kitchen for a long time. Unlike things like counters, backsplash, hardware, and paint, cabinets are more challenging and costly to replace. So, it’s a smart idea to carefully plan how your new kitchen will be organized, and make sure the cabinets you choose meet your expectations.


In the world of stock, semi-custom, and custom cabinets, there’s a lot of variation in the materials used, how they’re made, and how the final product looks. It’s important to have knowledgeable cabinet experts to help you pick the right kind of cabinets for your needs. 

Are Stock Cabinets Good Quality?

Stock cabinets are factory-made and ready to ship quickly. They come in regular sizes with a limited choice of wood types, door styles, and finishes. Stock cabinets don’t have many extra options or changes you can make. Some may have a warranty, but it varies in terms of how long it lasts and what it covers. The main advantages of stock cabinets are that they are fast to get and not too expensive.


The good things about stock cabinets go beyond their quick availability and lower price. These cabinets are great for people who like a simpler way of designing a kitchen. With their standard sizes, wood types, door styles, and finishes, you can make choices easily without dealing with the complications of custom designs.


This simplicity is especially appealing to those who want a practical and nice kitchen without the complexities of a lot of customization. Stock cabinets can also be a smart choice for real estate investors, people who flip houses, or those who plan to sell their homes. They offer an affordable way to improve a kitchen’s look and function without the added costs of custom cabinetry solutions.

white stock cabinetry solution
Stock cabinets can meet a wide range of needs
semi custom cabinets with stainless steel range
Semi-custom cabinets offer many beautiful options

Cabinet Differences: Semi-Custom Cabinet Options

Semi-custom cabinets offer more choices for door styles, finishes, and customization compared to stock cabinets, but they still follow some standard rules. These cabinets are made after you place an order, so they take longer to get than stock cabinets.


Many factories today make finishes that last a long time, and the warranties for semi-custom cabinets are usually longer than those for stock cabinets. Some companies even offer warranties for a lifetime with certain limitations.


Because they’re flexible, semi-custom cabinets can work for a wide range of projects, but remember that making changes can add extra costs that might make the price higher than you initially thought.

Cabinet Differences: Custom Cabinet Options

Custom cabinets open up a world of choices when it comes to design, finishes, sizes, and features. Because each cabinet is made just for you, it can be a perfect fit for your room, making it look beautiful and elegant. Custom cabinet makers usually use top-quality materials and methods.


With custom designs, you can even choose wood types that stock or semi-custom companies might not offer. While some mass-produced cabinets use particle board to save money, custom cabinet makers often go for high-quality plywood, which is strong, stable, and resists moisture for the cabinet boxes.


But not all custom cabinet shops are the same. When choosing who to work with, make sure you love their work and that they can create what you want with good quality. When you find a custom cabinet maker who’s a great listener, a skilled designer, and a craftsman who takes pride in their work, you’ve found something special!


There’s no one-size-fits-all choice for kitchen cabinets in a remodel. You have to pick what’s best for your project and budget. Check out our video to learn more about what custom cabinetry means to our Dean Cabinetry team!

custom cabinetry made by our Dean woodworkers
Dean Cabinetry John Dean Custom Cabinetry White Full Access Full Overlay Kitchen Carpet

Difference between Stock, Semi-custom, and Custom Cabinets

Making the right choice for your kitchen remodel can be a bit of a puzzle. Stock cabinets offer a quick and budget-friendly option, but they come with limited choices for size and style.


Custom kitchen cabinets, in contrast, give you endless possibilities, but they may come with a higher price and longer wait times. Semi-custom cabinets strike a balance, offering more flexibility than stock without breaking the bank.


Your Dean Cabinetry kitchen designer can guide you in selecting the ideal cabinetry level that perfectly suits your project’s unique requirements.

Ready to Build Your Dream Kitchen?