Bathroom & Kitchen Guide

Your complete guide to remodeling, design and new products.


Sources for Kitchen Cabinets


Kitchen cabinets come from many sources, from a one-person to a huge factory.  The Internet is currently a popular source for finding the perfect kitchen cabinets. No matter who makes the cabinets, before you place an order, make sure that you have plans and elevations of the kitchen cabinets. Always ask for, or prepare yourself, a list that calls out each kitchen cabinet, its accessories and hardware.

Manufactured Kitchen Cabinets
You can buy manufactured kitchen cabinets through a home center, lumberyard, kitchen-products center or designer. The cabinets can be installed by the dealer, a contractor or the homeowner.  The kitchen cabinets are built as components which makes them easier to move than built in cabinets, although filler pieces may be required to cover gaps between cabinet carcasses, especially in stock cabinets, which offer a fixed selection of sizes, styles, finishes, hardware and accessories.  Stock kitchen cabinets aren’t made in nonstandard sizes or finishes.  They are available off the shelf or within two to four weeks at the longest. Understandably, they’re about half the cost of many custom-manufactured kitchen cabinets.

Custom and Semi-Custom Manufactures
Semi custom and custom manufactures offer a fixed but wide range of styles, finishes, hardware, sizes and configurations but may custom-make some pieces.  Quality is generally very good to premium; delivery takes 2 to12 weeks.  Semi custom kitchen cabinets have fewer available options and cost about 25% less than kitchen cabinets from manufactures.  All reputable manufactures and dealers offer reliable quality control and follow through services.

Private Kitchen Cabinet Makers
A kitchen cabinet or millwork shop builds custom cabinets to specifications.  An experienced cabinetmaker can offer the most design flexibility and can handle a wide range of sizes, materials, finishes, hardware and configurations. Shop-built kitchen cabinets can also be built in large sections to fit site-measured situations. Kitchen cabinets are delivered and installed from 6 to 20 weeks after the order. The shop will install the kitchen cabinets.  Shop built kitchen cabinets are usually of high quality, but it’s essential to ask the cabinetmaker for references and for you to provide detailed specifications.

Ready to Assemble Kitchen Cabinets
Knocked-down (KD) or ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinet parts are an option for the fairly handy.  KD cabinets are available from large retailers such as IKEA. Mail-order houses use the term RTA and often sell components only to cabinetmakers or contractors.  Components are put together by the homeowner or hired carpenter.  This alternative allows for mixing and matching of hardware, styles and colors, and it can be economical if the cabinet design is not complicated., cases are frameless, dimensions are standard, ordering is precise and the builder has some experience.  Materials and joinery equal those found in manufactured cabinets, but how they are assembled can’t be controlled in the factory.


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