In a typical kitchen remodeling budget, almost half the cost is allocated to the cabinets alone—especially if they’re custom made. Custom cabinetry can greatly improve the aesthetics of your kitchen, but just like any home addition, their effectiveness depends on numerous factors. Before you decide to purchase custom cabinets, consider the following tips:

Determine your cooking habits. You’ll be using the cabinets to store ingredients, plates, bakeware and more, so it’s important to understand your specific cooking habits. Take time to decide how much you’ll be using your kitchen, where you cook the most and so on.

Get measurements.Cabinets often cost more depending on the materials they’re made from and how much of that material you use. Write down the dimensions your existing cabinets (as well as the room they’re in) and store them for future reference.

Custom cabinetry can increase the aesthetic value of any kitchen. Photo: Diablo Valley Cabinetry, 2015

Custom cabinetry can increase the aesthetic value of any kitchen. Photo: Diablo Valley Cabinetry, 2015

Do some homework. Look into the different materials that are available and take things like durability, ease of use and maintenance requirements into account. Decide if you want your cabinets to be made of real wood, laminate, particle board or another material. When it comes to wood, many cabinet makers recommend choosing domestic products because they’re managed in a sustainable way. With foreign woods (mahoganies, South Asian woods), it’s difficult to determine if they’re produced in a sustainable or environmentally friendly manner.

Consult a professional. Before you make a final decision on custom cabinetry, it’s always a good idea to get a professional opinion. Take your notes and talk to experts at your local home improvement store to find out how much it would cost for the materials you have in mind. After that, try out the different materials. Open and close the doors and test the countertops to get a first hand impression of the custom cabinetry you’re considering.

Once your custom cabinets have been installed, maintaining their aesthetic value is relatively simple. Use a soft cloth, not a paper towel, to dust the cabinets. For spills and dirt, mild dishwashing soap and water will do the trick. Stay away from abrasive cleaning solutions—they won’t damage the cabinets, but over time they’ll create a filmy buildup that can be difficult to remove.

To find a Diamond Certified cabinet company in your area, click on one of the links below.

Alameda County:

Contra Costa County:

Marin County:

San Mateo County (cabinet refacing):

Santa Clara County:

Solano County:

Sonoma County:

2 Responses

  1. Deciding on whether or not to go with custom cabinetry is a big decision and often times isn’t thought about enough by the homeowners. Like you’ve mentioned, custom cabinetry is extremely expensive, a lot of homeowners I’ve run into don’t put that into perspective when budgeting for a remodeling project.

  2. Andy Shepard says:

    Hi! I was looking for plans for a bookcase for my office/study and here it is! Beautiful! Do you have a photo of the finished room from the outside? Was the bookcase put on the right side or on the wall facing you as you go into the room?

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