Pricing

    The cost of your new cabinets or remodeling project obviously will vary depending on what you
    purchase.  When you shop around you are likely going to be asked what your budget is.  Now,
    your first inclination may be to withhold this information because you feel you are revealing your
    hand and you want as much leverage as possible.  While there are unscrupulous salespeople
    out there that are looking to see how much money they can get out of you, it is more likely the
    case that they are asking this question to get an idea where to start or to see if you even have
    realistic expectations.  A new kitchen or bath can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $150,000 or
    more so you are doing yourself, as well as the salesperson, a favor by having an idea of how
    much you have budgeted for your project.  While $10,000 is a good chunk of money, it's not
    that much if you are looking for a complete kitchen renovation that involves new cabinets,
    flooring, updated electrical and plumbing, and new appliances.  In fact, it's very easy to spend
    more than $10,000 on kitchen cabinets alone.  This is not to say that you cannot have a nice
    kitchen for $10,000.  However, you are going to go with a lower grade of cabinets in stock sizes,
    laminate counter tops rather than granite or solid surface, and you will need to keep the
    plumbing and electrical reworking to a minimum.  You'll need to accept the idea that you can
    get by with basic appliances rather than the ultra sleek stainless steel ones that cost more but
    function just the same.   In this price range you may also be looking at doing at some of the
    work yourself.  

    When it comes to the price of cabinetry, the maxim that you get what you pay for generally
    holds true.  The least expensive route is to buy ready-to-assemble (RTA) ones that come in flat
    boxes and require you to put them together.  In this scenario you are buying parts and you
    save on the labor costs that the manufacturer would have incurred by doing it themselves.  It is
    also more cost effective to ship smaller flat boxes than finished cabinets.  But these cabinets
    are generally lower in quality.  You are not going to get plywood cabinets and solid wood
    drawers with dovetail joinery in a ready-to-assemble product.

    Up from RTA, you can purchase stock cabinets.  Some large cabinet manufacturers have a
    variety of styles to choose from that they make in mass quantities and distribute to
    warehouses.  When you go to a dealer that carries that brand, they just order your cabinets
    and they are pulled from the warehouse and delivered.  Since the cabinets are already done,
    lead times for stock cabinets are usually pretty quick, so long as what you order is not out of
    stock.  These cabinet lines, like RTA, are generally serving a very cost-conscious market and
    therefore tend to be on the lower end as far as quality goes.  

    The remaining options are custom and semi-custom cabinets.  In both cases, these
    manufacturers produce cabinets on a per-order basis.  Your cabinets are made specifically for
    your job and thus the lead time will be greater than if you ordered stock cabinets.  A semi-
    custom manufacturer is one that has a product line, i.e, various styles of cabinetry with a variety
    of door styles and finishing options to choose from.  They offer their cabinets in typical stock
    cabinet sizes but also offer the option of modifying these dimensions in order to suit the needs
    of your design.  Typically there is an added charge for doing this.  For example, a typical base
    cabinet is 24 inches deep and this is the standard size that their base cabinets come in.  But if
    you have a situation where you need a cabinet to be 22 inches deep, a semi-custom operation
    will be able to do this but will likely add an extra charge for doing so.  So it will actually cost
    more for that cabinet even though it's smaller than the one that is 24 inches deep.  Most
    kitchen and bath showrooms, including the home centers, carry semi-custom lines and will try to
    design your project with standard sizes in order to keep the cost down.


    A custom cabinet manufacturer is one that makes each job to the specifications of that job.  Any
    unique situation can be accommodated and deviations from standard sizings are usually not an
    issue.  Usually, the custom manufacturer is a smaller operation than the semi-custom one and
    is better equipped and often set up to deal directly with the end user.  While the custom shop
    may also have a line of products to offer, they will be better able to handle unique requests.  If
    you just have to have gloss purple cabinets, then custom is going to be the way to go.  Or
    maybe you  want an exotic wood such as makore or zeebrawood that you cannot get from a
    semi-custom dealer.  In these situations going custom will be your only option and you can
    expect to pay a premium for what the custom shop has to offer.  However, custom doesn't
    necessarily mean that it is expensive or higher quality.  Custom simply means that the cabinets
    are made specifically for your situation and some custom shops do offer a lower grade of
    cabinetry at a lower price point.  


    So, when coming up with a budget, it is a good idea to get a feel for the cost of cabinetry as a
    starting point.  A large portion of your overall budget in a kitchen remodel should go toward
    cabinetry since that is the main component of the kitchen.  After that you will need to figure in
    costs for new plumbing, updated electrical, possibly new flooring, drywall work, demolition of the
    old kitchen,  new appliances and plumbing fixtures, counter tops,  painting, building permits,
    and the likely possibility that there may be hidden contingencies that add unexpected costs to
    the project.  If your current electrical service is a fuse box, you will need to have that upgraded
    to service the new circuits that are going to be put in.  It also makes sense to keep your budget
    in proportion.  If you are saving money by buying cheaper stock cabinets then it doesn't make
    sense to install an expensive granite counter top that costs more than the cabinets that are
    supporting it.   Likewise, if you are wanting to spend more to make sure you get nice custom
    cabinets then you should consider nicer counters and appliances as well.