By Guest Blogger, Connie Stevens

When renovating your kitchen, it is important to consider several factors in order to choose the best cabinets. 

What is the goal of your kitchen renovation?

First and foremost, identify your goals. Are you remodeling your kitchen for the short or long term? Will this home be your forever home? Are you upgrading your kitchen to improve your home’s resale value? 

Once you’ve identified your goals, clearly express these to your cabinet partner. They will be essential to help you choose the cabinets that meet your needs.

Should I talk to a kitchen designer?

Yes. When you meet with your cabinet partner, be sure to clearly convey your thoughts. They are professionals, and a good designer will listen to your needs and offer you several cabinet options. 

Ask for their honest input. Together, you will be able to choose the cabinets that best fit what you are looking to accomplish, all with staying within your budget.

What do I need to know about cabinets?

A significant portion of your kitchen remodeling cost goes toward cabinetry, so choosing the right cabinets is an important decision. You will want to understand the details of each cabinet line you consider. 

Important elements to consider are:

  • Construction (framed or frameless)
  • Construction materials (plywood, particle board, and the thickness of each)
  • Functional hardware (slides and hinges)
  • Door construction
  • Details available

Based on these elements, you should be able to determine which cabinet is right for you.

Your budget will be a factor in your choices. You may need to forego your top choice in one area to get what you want in another area. So speak with your cabinet partner about what is most important. Then they can help you narrow down your choices. 

Using the cabinet line you choose, your kitchen designer will design a functional and beautiful kitchen for you and your family.

What are the general categories of cabinets?

Generally, there are three cabinets categories to choose from, stock, semi-custom, and custom cabinets. Each category is in a different price range, so the category you choose should fit your cabinet budget. 

Stock Cabinets

Stock cabinets are premade, they are usually sitting on a shelf, and are waiting to be ordered. It does not mean they are low quality. These cabinets are more budget-friendly because the manufacturer limits the number of door styles and finishes that are available. Some cabinet modifications are an option. Stock cabinets can be a great value and tend to have a shorter lead time. 

Semi-Custom Cabinets

Semi-custom cabinets are made to order. They are usually of a higher quality than stock cabinets. They tend to have a large variety of door styles, finishes, and details available. More cabinet modifications are also available with a semi-custom cabinet. Semi-custom cabinets are usually more expensive than stock cabinets. They may be an excellent option, allowing you to create a unique look that reflects your style.

Custom Cabinets

Custom cabinets are also made to order. They are considered to be the best quality available, using the highest quality materials, and the best finishes. You can choose every part of your cabinet, including your door style, finish, and any specific details you can dream of. Custom cabinets are usually your most expensive option. These cabinets should reflect your unique style.

What is the difference between a framed and frameless cabinet?

The next thing to consider is the style of the cabinetry; do you want a framed or a frameless cabinet? 

All cabinets are constructed like a “box” with an opening at the top and at the front. Your doors and drawers will be attached to the front of the cabinet, and your countertops get placed on the tops.  

Framed Cabinets

Framed cabinets have a “frame” attached to the front of the cabinet, and the door attaches to the frame.

Because the frame takes up some of the width of your cabinet, the opening is reduced, and the width of your drawer boxes will also be reduced. Access to the interiors of your cabinets is also somewhat impeded.

Frameless Cabinets

Frameless cabinets do not have a frame attached to the front. This type of cabinet provides “full access” to the interiors of each cabinet. Because there is no frame, your drawer boxes are wider than with a framed cabinet.

Stock, custom, and semi-custom cabinets are available in both framed and frameless options.

Should I consider the warranty?

Yes. Ask your cabinet partner for details on the warranty for any of the cabinets you are considering. 

A good warranty helps ensure that you are purchasing quality cabinets and that they are made to last.

Since most of us spend a significant amount of time in our kitchens, cabinets will experience a lot of use. You should plan to regularly care for your cabinets. 

Should I research several different cabinet manufacturers?

There are many things to consider while choosing the best cabinet and the best cabinet partner to help you with your new kitchen. 

Do your research by perusing each company’s website. Seek out photos of their completed kitchens, and read reviews from past clients. You could ask to speak to prior clients about their experience with a particular cabinet manufacturer, cabinet partner, or even ask to see a completed project in your area.

Choosing the cabinetry that best reflects your style, and stays within your budget, is essential for ensuring your kitchen renovation project meets your goals and is both functional and beautiful.