Robert Lamoureux | Getting a handle on custom cabinets vs. pre-fab

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux

Question: Hi Robert, thank you so much for all of the information you so generously share every week. I can’t tell you enough how much we have learned, used and appreciate you being willing to share your knowledge with all of us who read the articles. You’ve saved us headaches, heartaches and money, with your generosity – thank you.  

Now for my question: What is your opinion on pre-fab cabinets vs. custom work? Is there a need to go with either for a remodel? We’ve looked at (a big-box store) and their prices are much higher than we expected — not much different than most things these days, I realize. Any thoughts on this?  

— Jack S. 

Answer: Jack, sometimes you can get lucky at the big-box stores, if you can be patient and hit a sale. Generally, the folks in the department can guide you regarding any upcoming specials — just ask them. You can do some extra legwork by asking around for recommendations for quality custom cabinet makers, and get quotes from them.  

I know folks who have gotten quotes from both and ultimately saved money going with a private custom cabinet maker, saving a lot of money vs. the big box store quote they received. It really just depends on how much time and effort you want to put in to researching, and if you get lucky to find someone who can and will do it for less.  

The cabinet materials also come into play here. You can choose cabinets of solid wood or those made with other materials, finished with wood door fronts. It really depends on what is important to you and if you can find what you’re looking for at the big box stores.  

I hope this information is helpful — good luck. 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].         

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