Tips for Choosing the Right Cabinet for Your Kitchen

Before you commit yourself to a certain style of kitchen cabinet – there are many to choose from – you’d be wise to arm yourself with as much information as possible. Cabinets have a greater impact on a kitchen’s design than any other element – you don’t want to regret your decision in a few years because you were uninformed and chose too quickly.

Kitchen cabinet showrooms are the best places to view the many different styles – there are often prominent, well-designed displays of these and other kitchen storage ideas. Ask if the store offers complete design services, or look in the yellow pages or the internet for someone who can help.

Manufactured cabinets are sold in different ways. The type you decide on will affect the overall cost of your remodeling, the appearance and accessibility of items in the kitchen, and cooking space.

Stock cabinets are mass-produced standard-sized cabinets are the most cost-efficient choice, but the availability of non-typical sizes is limited. However, if you clearly understand the cabinetry needed for your kitchen, they may be ideal.

The direction of door swing, as well as the door style, and finished or unfinished side panels are all choices you have to work with. Add-ons like breadboards, sliding shelves, special corner units, and cabinets for peninsulas or islands – with doors or drawers on both sides, and appropriate toe places, trim, and finishes – are all more options that will allow you to maintain some personal choice in the final look of your stock cabinets.

Custom cabinet shops still abound because people enjoy the convenience of having a professional come to their home, measure the space that will be filled with cabinets, ask exactly what the homeowner has in mind, then return with custom-built units ready to install.

These shop workers can match old cabinets, build assembles to the same dimensions as old family heirlooms, and accommodate complexities that can’t be handled with stock or modular cabinets. The only hitch is that this might be an expensive way to outfit your kitchen. Like everything else, it’s a good idea to shop around. Get quotes from several different shops before choosing one.

Many cabinetmakers use stock parts, such as door and drawer fronts, from the manufacturers of the stock units, as well as the same high-quality hardware and accessories used in modular systems – all this keeps prices reasonable.

There are also cabinetmakers and specialized shops that take old units and give them a makeover – by re-facing them. This is an economical, environmentally conscious alternative to replacing old cabinets entirely. And the results can often be indistinguishable from new cabinets.

Custom modular cabinets fall between stock and custom-made cabinetry and are sometimes referred to as custom systems. Although they are manufactured, they are of a higher and offer more design flexibility than stock cabinets. Not surprisingly, they cost more, too.

Custom systems come in a wide range of sizes, with many options available within each size. A good modular cabinetmaking shop can do all but truly custom work, using its own components to build a kitchen from finished units. By modifying modular components, you come very close to the results created by custom cabinetry.

There is almost nothing you can’t modify on these basic modules. If there is too much unused room in the base of a particular cabinet, why not add another shelf? Maybe you feel that drawers take up too much space or are too confining. Simply remove them and attach a swinging door which opens to reveal a set of inner compartments, for example. You can add appliance garages, pullout pantries, or anything else that suits your storage needs.

The beauty of these versatile custom systems lies in the fat that you can modify basic dimensions to fit practically any kitchen style and size. Because the height, width, and depth can be changed, the cabinets can be adjusted to practically any size – there is no need for wasted space.

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