The advantages of pre-assembled cabinets
You find yourself in the unenviable place of needing good quality kitchen cabinets in a hurry. Where do you go? What do you do? A new and affordable cabinet option has emerged over the last few years, and the quality has been developed to an exceptionally high level. What’s more, flexibility and options have also been introduced – the size and style you choose will almost certainly be in stock and ready to go from any one of the bigger box hardware stores. More than ever, there are excellent reasons to buy stock cabinets.
The truth is, there was a time when installing stock cabinets in your kitchen meant a profound compromise. You were expected to forgo style and custom details in order to take advantage of that low price. But now that’s all changed and stock kitchen cabinets are available in nearly ALL styles and materials. Even more impressively, they’ve figured out how to offer a wide variety of customized options as well.
Sure, just about anyone would prefer the highest-quality cabinet’s available, custom made to their preferences. But the fact is, it’s simply cost prohibitive. Most of us are on a budget, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we need to sacrifice quality entirely. Let’s look at some of the advantages and traits that stock cabinets offer these days…
Stock cabinets usually have the option of fully assembled or ready to assemble, the latter at a substantially lower price point. If you’re a bit of a handyperson, save a few bucks by simply assembling them yourself! The more reputable manufacturers often offer products that are just as durable as their high-end counterparts, but be mindful – the quality does vary. But the appearance can be impressively realistic, effectively mimicking the luster of a variety of beautiful woods.
In the case of a particularly tight budget, you can be economical by choosing cabinets of particleboard construction. It’s not necessarily the preferred choice, but the technology has advanced, there have been improvements that serve to extend their usefulness. If you need that real-wood appearance at a low cost, buy only the box constructed of particleboard and combine it with real wood doors. You may even consider an European style laminate or thermofoil as they both come in numerous designs such as imitation wood or stone, and even a sleek polished look. Both styles are reasonably durable and a low price point option.
Stock cabinets are available in a wide range of sizes, making it probable that any certain one will be ready at short notice. Typically, they are produced in 3” wide increments, with the smallest being 9” wide and the largest being 48”.
The reasons consumers most commonly cite for purchasing stock cabinets are affordability and availability. Depending on the vendor, you may even be given design options that you can choose online. If you live near a showroom the same opportunity applies, when available. That’s because an effort to increase variety has allowed for standard features to be mixed and matched – a custom hallmark at a much lower price. And if you have the skill, you can save even more by installing the cabinets yourself.
Now all of this positive information isn’t to say there are absolutely no disadvantages in going with stock cabinets. Sure, you’ve got more accents and features for stock cabinets than ever, but ultimately the choices are more limited than their customizable counterparts. Of course, you can work with the limitations. Stock cabinets come in standard sizes only, so if you need to put them in an odd-sized space, you just need to use your imagination. There are always ways to make it work.
Be mindful that the caliber of the installation job will have an effect on the final product and how it is perceived. Don’t attempt to put them in yourself if you have no previous related experience. It won’t matter how nice your cabinets are, a shoddy job will ruin the entire aesthetic.
Choosing stock cabinets can be a smart move. It depends on the individual circumstances. If they offer just about everything you want, it’s a no-brainer. You’re getting the desired product at a fraction of the cost of the customs.