Custom Cabinets Featured Image


It’s a term we hear a lot these days that describes the kind of cabinets that are sometimes confused with semi-custom cabinetry. To get a better understanding of what custom cabinetry is all about is a journey into specialty design and kitchen optimization. Although you can get pretty close with semi-custom cabinet installation, here is what custom cabinet design is all about.


What Are Custom Kitchen Cabinets?

cabinets according to kitchen measurements

While it’s possible to have semi-custom cabinets configured to fit perfectly into your existing kitchen, it just doesn’t measure up to the true marvel of what custom cabinet design actually means. Custom cabinet makers design using the measurements of your kitchen and match up to the exact layout of the space of your overall kitchen. Everything is designed to fit within the walls and existing obstacles that are designed and built in a specialty cabinetry shop.

Long before anything goes into your kitchen measurements and photos are taken of everything so the process can begin. A kitchen designer who has a strong background in interior design will discuss the budget, overall needs of what you need from your kitchen, and everything that goes into this planning process. This means creating specialty cabinets, countertops, islands, pantry spaces, and everything that will be custom-built that is installed on a timeline schedule. Here at Hunt’s Kitchen & Design we specialize in Phoenix custom cabinetry and approach each project with a consultation to understand your unique tastes, functionality needs and budget.


Composition of Custom Cabinetry

Cabinets aren’t the only item that is designed from scratch when a kitchen designer is asked for a kitchen remodel quote. Often, there are special additions that make each kitchen customized for very obvious reasons. It can include adding new sinks and kitchen appliances but isn’t specifically part of the custom kitchen cabinet construction. For more understanding on the types of cabinetry available see here.

Cabinet Style

The most important aspect of cabinet style is the type of cabinet that you choose. This will directly be related to the type of kitchen style you are going for. There are many to choose from including modern, contemporary, farmhouse, and traditional, to name a handful. Not only is this style important to nail down in the beginning, but it will also affect the rest of your choices when custom designs are discussed.

Type Of Wood Used

The custom list for wood will always include natural wood variants from many different sources. Solid wood is the most expensive yet there are solutions where custom cabinetry can include more affordable constructions that aren’t seen on the surface of cabinets. This can include MDF and other types of wood composites that can be used for baseboard structures. Custom cabinets aren’t limited to creating veneer or laminate-covered cabinets either.

It’s only when you get into semi-custom builds that many of these choices are premade and aren’t considered custom cabinet builds at all.

Colors, Stains, And Finishes

Custom cabinets have a wide choice of colors, stains, and finishes that are added to give the right look for a custom kitchen build. In many instances, special distressing and aging can be added to make solid wood appear older than it really is.  Custom cabinet makers know the importance of the final step of cabinet construction which is sealing the wood to provide protection for enduring many years of wear and tear.

Types Of Hinges And Pulls

When cabinets are being discussed and planned, a major step is choosing the hardware that attaches to the cabinets so the doors and cabinets will open as needed. It’s the hidden kind of hardware such as drawer slides that help drawers open smoothly while décor additions including hinges and pulls are obviously creating finer surface detail to your cabinets.

Wall Cabinets

These are cabinets that hang on a wall or above a countertop and are suspended so they hold the weight of dishes and items placed inside them. The placement of wall cabinets is always set off to the side of bigger appliances like ovens so there is ample working space and no risk of fire danger. Sometimes, wall cabinets also are replaced with shelving that is open so there is no need for hanging cabinets.

Base Cabinets

These are cabinets that sit on the kitchen floor and also help support countertops, sinks, and other kitchen features that are built into them. Most kitchens have base cabinets sitting against the walls and can be combined with backsplashes to make them more attractive depending on the kitchen design. Base cabinets are mostly used for sliding cabinets and drawers and are primarily used for storing large and small items in various-sized drawers.

Kitchen Islands

New kitchens are always looking to add kitchen islands so this type of cabinet construction is a stand-alone structure. There is always a decorative countertop added and many other features built into it for kitchen needs. Underneath, it can be designed to have multiple drawers and cabinets too. Some owners like to have a grill or flat oven range installed or running water which is another aspect that is built-in during the planning stage.


Though not as impressive as cabinets, shelving is added when open areas that might include space that isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as you might like. Special constructions for shelving can also be custom-made to bring out open shelves of many different designs and configurations.

Decorative Additions

Some kitchens may go all out for décor and include beautiful visual additions such as cornices and valances. There can also be decorative molding along the edges of ceilings but not limited to the tops of cabinets that have decorative crowns. All of these custom additions are part of a kitchen design that is meant to appear highly elegant.



man calculating custom cabinet price

Custom cabinets and cabinetry are the priciest of all when it comes to kitchen design. The average costs involved can range from $500 to $1200 per linear foot depending on the type of wood used and the amount of décor that is added. It’s not a given that all custom cabinets are going to be so expensive, so some options can make a price difference more attractive if you aren’t pushing for solid wood that is pricy to start with.

Many options are possible if you work with what is available and what sacrifices can be made when it comes to looking at alternatives. You might find that veneer-covered cabinets are slightly cheaper since the cost of wood won’t be so costly if you’re looking for the finest hardwoods. With that being said, quality custom cabinets do run on the pricy side since the majority of work is (of course) custom-made cabinets.



manufacturing custom cabinets

Custom cabinets are mainly solid wood but are not limited to cost-friendly materials that are just as important for creating a sturdy cabinet frame. It’s not hard to imagine that most cabinet makers are using composite materials inside internal parts of a cabinet that aren’t seen so easily. And the overall cost of solid wood cabinets would likely soar if they were completely built from high quality materials like solid pieces of expensive wood.


That’s not to say this isn’t possible either when only the best wood is used to build cabinets from scratch. It just might make sense for some cost-minded customers to consider having only exterior wood that is shown for an appearance on the custom cabinet doors and cabinet faces.


Versatility of Custom Cabinetry

Custom Kitchen cabinets versatility

If there were more than enough reasons to have a custom kitchen, these would make the top 5 reasons. As for versatility, everyone has their own opinion of what this means, so no two kitchens are completely the same. This means that your cooking and food prep style is going to be different for needs than many other people you may know. Yet, here are some reasons you may not have considered recently:

1. Built To Last

Custom-built cabinets are handcrafted and are never built like they are in factories. This means that every cabinet is special unto itself. But the big secret is that custom work is always better since the quality will be a #1 priority.

2. Better Selection Of Materials Used

Your choice of wood materials will come from suppliers that sell fine solid wood that is meant for cabinetry. You won’t find these materials being offered at Home Depot and more likely from quality lumberyards that sell choice wood from all over the country. The same applies to stains, finishes, and all of the hardware involved.

3. Showing Your Creativity

Unlike semi-custom cabinets, there is very little room to expand on existing space arrangements for the cabinets. The shape of the doors and shelf configuration are all left to the imagination, so there are endless possibilities. This is one of the few times that you can add input on how you want cabinets to appear before they are actually built.

4. The Fit Will Be Perfect For Your Kitchen

Space is maximized for custom cabinetry, so there is never any mistake on how a new kitchen cabinet design fits into your kitchen space. You are only limited by the amount of space where cabinets are added, so the big advantage is that no space is lost for gaining selective spaces and zones for working within your kitchen.

5. There Are Limitless Design Possibilities

As the saying goes, if you can dream it, the sky is the limit. There are some restraints when it comes to a tight budget, but when it comes to custom kitchen designs, there are always benefits to having your kitchen designed the way you’ve always wished it could look. See more ideas on designing a kitchen can cabinetry décor here.


So, should I get custom cabinets for my kitchen?

white custom cabinets for kitchen

Having a custom kitchen and specially crafted cabinets is certainly a big plus for lifestyle choices and freedom. Aside from the fact that custom kitchen cabinets are always pricier than what most people can afford, it’s well worth the amount that is spent in the end. For this reason, whenever speaking to kitchen designers, you can always have the look that you want if custom cabinets are simply not part of your overall spending budget.


If you’re interested in discussing your custom cabinetry needs contact us at Hunt’s Kitchen Design & Cabinetry. Even though we’re located in Scottsdale, Arizona we still complete custom cabinetry projects for commercial and residential remodeling and new construction throughout the country.


Custom Cabinets

What is custom cabinetry?

Custom cabinetry is used when “off the shelf” option can’t be. Perhaps you want a specific size, material, finish or fixtures that can’t be bought in a catalog or premade. This is when you should be using custom cabinets for your project.

What are the benefits of custom cabinetry?

The biggest benefit of custom cabinets is that you get exactly what you want, right down to how glossy they are. They can be built to any size or shape, regardless how big or small your kitchen is. And the final colors and hardware like handles and hinges can all be added according to your personal tastes.

What is the process for ordering custom cabinetry?

The first thing you’ll need to do is decide on the overall look you’re going for. If you need a lightly stained cabinet that shows off the wood’s natural beauty, this will cost a lot more. So first, decide what you want. Then speak to a  cabinetry professional and go into as much detail as possible. Also make them aware of your overall budget. The professional should then be able to offer some suggestions based on your aesthetic choices.


Once you have chosen your cabinets, you’ll need to give the company making them a deposit. Then the company will start work. Once they’ve finished, they’ll show you the cabinets. If you’re happy with them, they’ll bring them to your home and install them.

How long do they take to construct?

The time it takes to build custom cabinets will depend on the complexity of the design, the materials being used, and the workload of the cabinet maker or contractor. Generally speaking a custom cabinet build for an entire kitchen will take three weeks on average.

How long does it take to receive them once an order is placed?

The lead time for custom cabinetry can vary depending on the complexity of the design and the availability of materials. On average, custom cabinetry can take 4-12 weeks from the time the design is approved and the deposit is paid, to the time the cabinetry is installed in your home.

Can they be modified later?

Yes, you can usually modify any type of cabinetry to meet your style of functionality post installation. Custom cabinets are typically harder than stock cabinets to modify.

What materials are used for custom cabinetry?

Custom cabinets can be made from anything, even metal. It all depends on your budget and tastes. Cheaper cabinets are often made of plywood with some sort of covering like vinyl or PVC to cover it up. More expensive cabinets can be made of oak or cherry woods that make some of the most beautifully stained cabinets available. It really comes down to your own personal style.

How much does custom cabinetry cost?

As previously discussed, the cost you can expect to pay for custom cabinets will vary based on the materials, mostly wood, used for construction. Additionally finishes and features will affect cost. For more ideas on what you can expect to pay for quality custom cabinets, see here.

What is the cost of custom cabinetry compared to pre-manufactured cabinets?

The cost of custom cabinetry will most likely be higher than pre-manufactured cabinets, but it depends on the specific design, materials, and finishes selected. Often times you can get cabinets custom made for your kitchen that aren’t all that much more than  pre-manufactured cabinets. And for the small price difference if there is one, it’s nice to know your custom cabinets will fit nicely and look exactly the way you want them to look.

Jeff HuntAuthor posts

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When you engage our design team, we simplify the very complicated and tedious kitchen remodel process. We do this by listening to what you want, then translating your vision and expression into a virtual design that is uniquely yours.

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