Custom Cabinetry vs. Modular/Stock Cabinetry

One of the most important choices a homeowner will make during a kitchen remodel is the cabinetry.  When choosing cabinetry for your home, there are a variety of factors to consider.  In addition to the look of your cabinets (style, color, or finish) the quality, layout, add-ons (spice rack, corner storage, drawer organizers, etc) and hardware will have a significant impact on the overall outcome of your project.  While some homeowners choose to design their kitchen on their own, using stock cabinetry, there is a significant benefit to installing custom cabinetry and using a professional kitchen design team to increase the efficiency of your space, include the most up to date products, and to creatively address unique spaces in your home.  Let’s take a look at some comparisons between modular cabinetry and custom cabinetry.





Modular cabinetry typically uses Melamine covered particle board to construct cabinet boxes.  Particle board is an engineered wood product manufactured from wood chips, sawmill shavings, or even saw dust, and a synthetic resin or other suitable binder, which is pressed and extruded.1 Particleboard is cheaper, denser and more uniform than conventional wood and plywood and is substituted for them when appearance and strength are less important than cost. A major disadvantage of particleboard is that it is very prone to expansion and discoloration due to moisture.1 Custom cabinetry by Sitka Projects uses high quality plywood. Plywood is manufactured from thin sheets of cross-laminated veneer and bonded under heat and pressure with strong adhesives.2   Plywood is stronger and more durable than particle board making screws for your hardware stay put, resulting in a longer lasting, high-quality kitchen or bathroom.
Usually only one method of joining edges together is used, resulting in a cabinet box with limited stability. Sitka Projects uses butt joints, screws and glue for maximum cabinet box stability.
Drawer box construction may not use dovetail joints so strength may be compromised. Drawer box construction uses dovetail joints for maximum strength and durability.
Drawer with a dovetail joint.





 Limited options available for cabinet dimensions. Infinite options available and can be any size, shape, or form.
Come in incremental sizes (ex: every 3”).  If your layout doesn’t perfectly fit these increments you have to use a “filler” piece which results in a loss of space. Are built precisely to the size and shape of your kitchen or bathroom maximizing the use of space.


Some people believe that they could save money by choosing modular cabinetry but this may only be a short term gain.  The quality of custom cabinets far exceeds a modular unit and is sure to last longer while maintaining their original beauty.  In addition, custom cabinets may not be as expensive as you think.  Their cost vastly varies depending on the type of wood, door style, finish, hardware, and add-ons.



(click on photo to view additional photos of the kitchen)



If you are looking to remodel your home in Portland, Oregon contact Sitka Projects about an in-home consultation to discuss your upcoming home remodeling project.


For more information on how a kitchen remodel can increase the value of your home read our blog Remodeling Projects That Add Value To Your Home.

For more information on kitchen storage add-ons that can be included in your custom cabinetry read our blog Kitchen Storage That Will Make Your Friends Envious.