Choosing Between Stock, Semi-Custom And Custom Cabinets

Depending on they have been constructed and how much they can be modified, cupboards fall into three basic categories – stock, semi-custom and custom cabinets. It is important to remember that the category is not necessarily an indication of the quality – fine workmanship can be encountered in all three. If you are having trouble choosing between these categories, we have outlined some of the pros and cons of each in the list below.


These sorts of cabinets can, essentially, be purchased off the shelf and are available from home improvement stores (like Ikea). They are available in a range of styles and standard sizes for your convenience.

▪       Pro: This is the most cost effective option, which makes it perfect for those shopping on a budget. The fact that they can be purchased off the shelf also makes them readily available, which makes them perfect for those on strict time constraints.
▪       Con: They are only available in standard sizes, which can make it difficult to fit out overly large or small spaces. It is possible to use filler strips to close gaps between walls and appliances, but this doesn’t solve the problem of the space being overly small.


These cabinets are only constructed once an order has been placed. They are available in a range of styles and standard sizes, however, a limited amount of modifications can be made to ensure they meet your needs.

▪       Pro: One of the modifications that can be made to these cabinets is slight adjustments to the size. This can allow you to fit out overly large or small spaces with ease. There is also a wide range of finishes and depths available for a more personalised look.
▪       Con: This is a more expensive option than purchasing stock, however, it is still cheaper than taking the fully custom approach. As the cupboards aren’t built until the order is placed, you will also have to wait for them to be finished and delivered, which can take a month or longer.


Custom cabinets are designed and constructed completely from scratch based on the client’s exact specifications. They can be made to whatever size your require, in whatever style you desire and so on.

▪       Pro: You are provided with complete flexible, ensuring that the cupboards look and feel exactly the way you want them to. This is perfect for an oddly shaped space, as you will be able to maximise whatever storage space is available to you.
▪       Cons: The biggest downside of custom cabinets is their cost and the time taken for them to be installed. They are, by far, the most expensive option and can take months to be completed. The end result, however, is a wholly unique and long lasting look.

Whilst choosing between stock, semi-custom and custom cabinets might seem a little daunting to begin with, it quickly becomes clear that the most appropriate decision will depend on a number of factors. We hope that you have found the above list of pros and cons helpful in making your final choice, but if you are still having problems ensure that you speak with a professional. At the end of the day, cabinets are not a cheap investment and careful consideration is needed.