The Definitive Guide to Custom Kitchen Cabinets Cost

Dec 5, 2023 | Custom Kitchen Cabinets, Kitchen Remodel

In house remodeling and designing, the kitchen often takes a center stage. It’s here where functionality and aesthetics intertwine, creating a space that is not only practical but also carries your unique personality.

One essential part in achieving this harmony is undeniably the cabinetry, in particular, custom kitchen cabinets. Our renovation expert at Bonsai Builders, Kristin Hintlian, is here to help explain the important aspects involved, including an often tricky subject – custom kitchen cabinets cost.

Now, let’s dive into the importance of custom kitchen cabinets!

Brief Introduction to Bonsai Builders

custom kitchen cabinets cost

Hello! We are Bonsai Builders, your local cabinet maker and custom cabinet makers in Massachusetts for everything renovation and home improvement-related. We take pride in delivering high-quality services, whether you’re looking to build a new cabinet doors or even transform your outdated kitchen spaces.

Our team, led by Kristin Hintlian, prides itself in creating designs that are not just trendy, but tailored to your individual needs and personal style. What sets us apart is our commitment to exceptional attention to detail, quality craftsmanship, and a streamlined process from start to finish.

Importance of Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Custom kitchen cabinets can significantly elevate your kitchen, turning an ordinary space into an extraordinary one.

Choosing custom cabinetry allows you greater flexibility with design, a wide range of materials to choose from and exceptional durability. But, we know that most homeowners shudder at the thought of the price tag. So, you might be asking yourself, “How much do custom kitchen cabinets cost?” Fear not, as we’re here to shed some light.

While the cost of custom kitchen cabinets can be higher than off-the-shelf alternatives, they are an investment that adds value not only to your kitchen but also to your entire home.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what to expect:

  • Cost Range: The cost varies greatly depending on various factors. Expect to spend anywhere between $500 to $1,200 per linear foot. If you plan to incorporate a raised panel kitchen design, be prepared to spend more due to the increased cost of this trendy cabinet door style.
  • Material Cost: The type of wood chosen plays a significant role in determining the cost. High-end woods like cherry and mahogany will cost more than less expensive options like pine or MDF.
  • Labor Cost: Custom cabinets are crafted, finished, and installed by expert craftsmen, which contributes to the cost.

Here’s a helpful infographic to give you a more detailed breakdown:

custom kitchen cabinets infographic

Navigating the complexities of custom kitchen cabinets cost can indeed be daunting. But armed with the right information and guidance from experts like us at Bonsai Builders, you are sure to make a choice that combines style, function, and affordability.

And remember, we always believe in investing wisely – and custom kitchen cabinets are definitely worth it!

Understanding Different Types of Kitchen Cabinets


As you embark on your kitchen remodeling journey, one of the first steps is to understand the different types of kitchen cabinets available. This knowledge will not only impact your budget but also the overall aesthetics and functionality of your kitchen.

Let’s dive into the three main types: stock, semi-custom, and custom cabinets.

Stock Cabinets

Stock cabinets are your go-to option if you’re looking for affordability. They are readily available in a variety of styles and designs at home improvement stores like The Home Depot and Lowe’s.

As Andra DelMonico, a home improvement and interior design editor for Trendey, explains, “Stock cabinets are usually readily available…but ultimately, the options are limited.”

These cabinets come preassembled or ready to assemble and are a low-cost option, ranging from $50 to $100 per linear foot. However, keep in mind that while they may be wallet-friendly, they might not offer the unique design elements or custom fit of other options.

Semi-Custom Cabinets

custom cabinet prices

Semi-custom cabinets hit the sweet spot between affordability and customization. They’re factory-made in standard sizes but offer more finishes, woods, and decorative size modifications than stock cabinets. Kristin Hintlian, often recommends semi-custom cabinetry to clients who want to save money while also incorporating a personalized touch.

These cabinets range up to 60 inches in width and include options like pantry units, sliding shelves, and drawer inserts. Semi-custom cabinets provide a balance between cost and customization, making them a popular choice for many homeowners.

Custom Cabinets

cabinet installation project

If you’re looking for the pinnacle of personalization, custom cabinets are the way to go.

Custom cabinetry is designed, built, and installed to fit your specific kitchen layout. This means your cabinets can be tailored to meet your exact needs and preferences. While this option offers the most flexibility in terms of design and functionality, it also comes with a higher price tag.

Hiring a professional custom cabinet builder will help you achieve your desired kitchen dreams!

As our expert Kristin explains, “Custom cabinets are a significant investment, but they result in a one-of-a-kind kitchen that truly reflects the homeowner’s unique style and needs.”

Knowing the difference between stock, semi-custom, and custom cabinets is key to understanding the potential custom kitchen cabinets cost. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each type and decide what’s best for your kitchen’s size, your design preferences, and of course, your budget.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Custom Kitchen Cabinets

exotic woods

The cost of your custom kitchen cabinets can be influenced by several factors. At Bonsai Builders, we take all of these into account when providing quotes for our clients. Here’s a look at some key elements that can impact the overall cost.

Material Selection

The type of material used in constructing your custom cabinets plays a critical role in the final price points.

Common materials include wood, laminate, and metal.

  • Wood: Real wood is a traditional and versatile choice that offers a warm, natural aesthetic.
  • Laminate: A more affordable option that’s also easy to maintain for any kitchen design option.
  • Metal: Metal cabinets are durable and give your kitchen a modern look. Consider your budget and desired aesthetics when selecting material styles for your kitchen drawers and open shelving layout.

Size and Number of Cabinets

The total number of cabinets and their size significantly affects the overall custom kitchen cabinets cost. Larger kitchens require more cabinets and thus lead to a higher cost.

Labor and Installation Costs

Installing custom cabinets is a complex task that requires the skills of seasoned professionals. Labor costs can vary based on the intricacy of the design, the number of cabinets, and local labor rates.

Supply chains were heavily impacted by the Pandemic, especially during the first year; and as a result, the labor forces are being affected within the cabinet factories. This has caused the total costs to increase within the cabinet design industry.

Cabinet Finish

The finish you choose for your custom cabinets also contributes to the cost. Options include paint, stain, glaze, and specialty finishes. Each comes with a different price tag and level of maintenance. For instance, painted cabinets often require more coats and labor, which can increase the cost.

Additional Features and Design Options Add Ons

Custom cabinets often come with additional accessories like pull-out shelves and built-in spice racks. While these add functionality and convenience, they also increase the total cost of your kitchen cabinets.

Remember, while the upfront cost might seem high, investing in quality custom cabinets can enhance your daily kitchen experience and increase the value of your home in the long run.

Cost Breakdown of Custom Kitchen Cabinets

average sized kitchen

Now that we’ve understood the various factors influencing the cost of custom kitchen cabinets, let’s dive into the specifics of how they are priced.

Cost per Linear Foot

When assessing custom kitchen cabinets cost, it’s common to look at the cost per linear foot. This measurement considers the length of your cabinets, not their depth or height.

In general, you can expect prices to range from $500-$1,200 per linear foot for custom cabinets. The price can vary widely depending on your material selection, the complexity of the design, and the labor required for installation.

Cost per Square Foot

While less common, some people prefer to calculate the cost per square foot of base cabinets. This method can provide a more holistic view of the cost as it accounts for the cabinet’s entire size.

However, the exact price per square foot can fluctuate significantly based on the same factors that impact the cost per linear foot.

Cost Comparison: Stock, Semi-Custom, and Custom Cabinets

To give you a clearer idea of how custom cabinets stack up against stock and semi-custom options, here’s a quick comparison:

  • Stock Cabinets: These are the most affordable option, typically costing around $60-$200 per linear foot. They come in standard sizes and finishes, offering fewer customization options.
  • Semi-Custom Cabinets: These cabinets strike a balance between cost and customization, ranging from $100-$650 per linear foot. They offer more flexibility in design than stock cabinets but are less customizable than custom cabinets.
  • Custom Cabinets: As the most high-end option, custom cabinets can range from $500-$1,200 per linear foot. The price reflects the high degree of customization and quality of craftsmanship involved.

Remember, while custom cabinets may have a higher upfront cost, they offer unparalleled flexibility in design and can significantly enhance the aesthetic and value of your kitchen. Custom cabinets are a worthwhile investment that can transform your kitchen experience and deliver a return on investment should you ever decide to sell your home.

Alternatives to Full Replacement of Kitchen Cabinets


While new kitchen cabinets can be an exciting way to transform your kitchen, there are also other cost-effective alternatives. Two of the most common methods for refreshing your kitchen without the high custom cabinets cost is created from repainting and refacing.

Repainting Kitchen Cabinets

Sometimes, all a tired kitchen needs is a fresh coat of paint. Repainting your kitchen cabinets can instantly brighten up your kitchen and give it a fresh, new look. This option is particularly appealing for those on a budget or wishing to keep their existing layout intact.

As our expert, Kristin Hintlian, points out, “Repainting existing cabinets is an excellent way of giving them a new lease on life. A simple color change can dramatically alter the feel of your kitchen.” We’ve seen this firsthand in our split level remodel projects, where a fresh coat of paint truly revitalizes the kitchen.

However, it’s essential to note that repainting your cabinets requires proper preparation to ensure a smooth, lasting finish. Professional paint services are recommended to ensure the best results, as DIY paint jobs can often lead to less-than-desirable outcomes.

Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

Another popular alternative to a full cabinet replacement is refacing. This involves replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts and applying a new veneer to the cabinet boxes. The result is a kitchen that looks brand new, without the higher cost associated with custom kitchen cabinets.

Kristin explains, “Refacing is a great option if your existing cabinets are still in good structural condition but are simply outdated in style or finish. It allows you to change the look of your kitchen without the need for extensive demolition or reconstruction.”

When to Consider Replacing Your Kitchen Cabinets


The lifespan of kitchen cabinets can vary significantly, depending on the quality of the materials used, the level of usage, and how well they’re maintained. It’s essential to keep an eye on a few key signs to assess whether it’s time to consider replacing your kitchen cabinets.

Signs of Wear and Tear

Kitchen cabinets are the workhorse of any kitchen, hence they can often show signs of wear and tear. Common signs include sagging shelves, gouges and scratches, or even mold growth in severe cases (Synchrony).

These can not only affect the aesthetics of your kitchen but also pose a risk to your health. If your cabinets are showing these symptoms, it might be time to consider replacements.

Lack of Functionality

Your kitchen should be a space that supports your cooking and lifestyle needs. If you find that your current cabinets don’t provide the functionality you need, it might be time for an update.

For example, if you’re struggling with storage space, modern cabinets come with numerous built-in accessories that can maximize your kitchen’s functionality. These include pull-out recycling bins, customizable pegboard drawer organizations, and even pull-out pantry organizers (IKEA).

Layout Problems

Sometimes, the problem with your kitchen cabinets isn’t about their condition but their layout. An inefficient layout can make your kitchen feel cramped and hinder your cooking process.

Remember, custom kitchen cabinets cost more than stock or semi-custom options, but they give you the flexibility to tailor your kitchen to your exact needs and preferences.

This includes choosing the materials, finishes, and even the specific sizes and shapes of the cabinets to best suit your kitchen’s layout and your usage habits.

Replacing your kitchen cabinets is a significant decision and investment.

Financing Options for Custom Kitchen Cabinets

small kitchen

Once you’ve decided to invest in custom kitchen cabinets, the next step is figuring out how to finance this project.

Credit Card Financing

Utilizing a credit card to finance your custom kitchen cabinets is one viable option. For instance, the Synchrony HOME credit card is accepted at numerous home improvement retailers.

It offers promotional financing options for 12-60 months at select participating locations, and 6 months of promotional financing on purchases of $299 or more anywhere the card is accepted. This can be a beneficial solution if you plan to pay off the balance in full within the promotional period.

Remember, this option is subject to credit approval, and minimum monthly payments are required. The specific promotional financing offers available at the time of purchase may vary by location.

Financing through Enhancify

Another alternative for financing your custom kitchen cabinets is through home remodeling companies. We’ve partnered with Enhancify to offer financing up to $200,000 for home improvement projects, including custom kitchen cabinets.

The benefits of financing through us include:

  • Seeing your options with a soft pull that won’t impact your credit score
  • No equity or appraisal required for personal loans
  • 0% promotional APR offers
  • Financing in 2-3 business days
  • Credit scores as low as 550
  • Instant results in 2 minutes or less

Keep in mind, your current credit score will determine how much you qualify for and at what interest rate. This option allows you to turn your large home renovation or construction project into an affordable monthly payment, making the custom kitchen cabinets cost more manageable.

Navigating the financial aspects of home improvement projects can be a complex process.

Conclusion: Recap of Custom Kitchen Cabinets Cost


In the journey of kitchen remodeling, we’ve traversed the landscape of custom kitchen cabinets cost and arrived at a deeper understanding of the variables at play.

As our expert, Kristin Hintlian, points out, the cost of custom kitchen cabinets can range significantly, depending largely on the quality of materials chosen and the complexity of installation. It’s crucial to remember that these costs are a reflection of the bespoke nature of custom cabinets and the high level of craftsmanship required to create them.

Final Thoughts on the Value of Custom Kitchen Cabinets

As we conclude our exploration, it’s essential to reemphasize the value that custom kitchen cabinets bring to your home. Beyond the initial cost, these cabinets offer unparalleled quality, longevity, and a perfect fit for your unique space.

While the cost of custom kitchen cabinets is higher than stock or semi-custom options, the investment is often well worth it. The cabinets are not just storage units; they are a significant part of your home’s personality and value. In the long run, they can contribute to the overall resale value of your home, making them a sound investment.

At Bonsai Builders, we believe in guiding our clients through every step of their remodeling journey, offering them the best advice and solutions to realize their dream kitchen. If you’re considering a kitchen remodel and want to explore custom kitchen cabinets further, we invite you to visit our Kitchen Remodel Blog for more insights and inspirations.

We look forward to crafting beautiful and functional spaces together, delivering not just cabinets, but a kitchen experience that mirrors your lifestyle and taste. Contact us today to achieve your kitchen dreams!

Our Content

Our experienced contractors and design specialists carefully review and edit all content ensure it meets our high standards for quality and accuracy. We do this to provide our readers with content that is accurate, reliable, and up-to-date. Bonsai Builders is a trusted source across Massachusetts for kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, new cabinets, glass fronts, full overlay doors, custom garage cabinets, small kitchen renovations and more with over 26 years experience and over 125 jobs completed. Bonsai Builders has renovated many split level home kitchens across Massachusetts. Bonsai Builders is selected as best of Houzz year after year further showing their expertise and trust among homeowners in Massachusetts

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