Cost of Custom Cabinets


One of the first things that comes to mind when considering a new kitchen or remodeling a current kitchen is, “How much do custom cabinets cost?”.

There are many variables in designing and building custom cabinets, but here we will try to lay out a few pricing guidelines.

Generally, there are three options when purchasing kitchen and bathroom cabinetry: stock, semi-custom, and custom. Stock and semi-custom cabinets are limited by style, color, size, design.

 Choosing to use a custom cabinetmaker gives you more freedom in areas where stock and semi-custom fall short.  An experienced custom cabinet maker can professionally design your ideas and build one-of-a-kind cabinets from scratch.



 Price ranges for custom cabinetry can vary drastically based on factors such as number of cabinets, size, wood species, stains and finishes, and hardware.

For example, a base model Ford F-150 pickup can start around $24,000 in a basic package, but it can quickly cost over $50,000 after all the options are added.

Even estimating the cost of one 30” base cabinet is not simple unless you know exactly what you want.  A few things that must be considered before a price can be quoted:

 - Type of wood used for your cabinets



Pricing cabinets based on linear foot can cause confusion, but it is a common pricing method used in the industry. The dictionary defines a linear foot as, “a unit of linear measure equal to 12 inches”.

Here’s an example of where the confusion lies: You have an eight foot long wall with base and wall cabinets with a dishwasher in the middle. Some argue that a "linear foot" is 12 inches of the base and wall cabinets together (total of 8 linear feet ). Others claim that a linear foot is base cabinets plus wall cabinets (total of 16 linear feet). Now, what about the dishwasher space? There's no cabinet, but some people include the empty space in the calculation anyway; some don’t. What about the wall cabinet height? There a significant difference in 30" wall cabinets and 42" wall cabinets.

The true issue is, what about all the variables and options? The cabinet maker does not know what wood, finish, style, cabinet configuration, etc. that you want in your kitchen. As mentioned, there are too many variables and options to choose in order to give an accurate quote using "per linear foot".

Below is a list of the common “add-ons” when purchasing custom cabinetry:

  - Pullout spice racks
  - Decorative feet/toe-kick
  - Stacked crown molding
  - Light rail
  - End panels
  - Pantry cabinets
  - Rollout shelves
  - Dovetail drawers
  - Glass front doors
  - Matching wood countertops
  - Drawer dividers
  - Peg and board system drawer organizers
  - Lazy susans
  - Corbels and onlays
  - Appliance panels
  - Custom wood vent hoods

After considering all these variables, it is difficult to accurately price custom cabinets per linear foot.



Just like cabinets are uniquely designed and custom built, so is each custom cabinet quote, and no two projects are ever the same. As a homeowner, discussing the project in detail with the cabinet maker is the only way to get a true quote.

Our average priced medium sized kitchen costs $8,000 - $12,000 (some higher, some lower), in a major city that same kitchen might cost $15,000-$23,000, just because of the market area, distance from the shop, and higher install costs.

Of course, when planning a new or remodeled kitchen, consider sharing the budget for custom cabinets with the cabinet designer. A true professional will use the budget as a guide to aid in the designing process. If you are uncomfortable sharing the budget amount, compare your project with a car purchase. Use phases like "if this new kitchen was a car, it would be a..."

Remember, the cost of custom cabinets has many varying factors, but it will also depend on you. After visiting with the cabinet maker to describe what you want in your unique cabinets, an “estimate” can be given.



Several people may ask why invest in custom cabinets?

As a customer, you will get to know the people building your cabinets. This relationship is important for your comfort and ongoing business through the years. We want more opportunities to build for you.

Instead of purchasing from a big box manufacturer, who is most likely out of state, you're buying from the source. 

Custom cabinets are not limited by terms like "available finishes" or "in stock item".

Custom cabinets usually have a higher quality construction because each piece is hand made. 



A huge advantage to buying custom is that there is only “one hand in the cookie jar”. If you’re buying a pre-made cabinet from a big box store, by the time the cabinet price gets to you, 4-6 different hands may have touched it, and each of those hands took a profit. The retail customer pays the huge markup. 

The beauty of custom cabinets is that you’re buying straight from the guys who are building the cabinets. The cabinet maker orders lumber and plywood and turns it into cabinets. No middlemen. No shipping fees.  Often times, a custom cabinet maker’s price is less expensive than semi-custom cabinet lines.



If you are serious about finding out how much your custom cabinet project will cost, schedule an appointment with Lucas. Come prepared with pictures and ideas of cabinets styles you like. A basic layout of your space with dimensions is helpful. After gaining a basic understanding of your wants and needs, we should be able to provide you with an estimate for custom cabinets.