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Should I Purchase Prefab Cabinets

January 8th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

In the past ten years companies which make prefabricated cabinets have made huge advancements in developing quality European and face frame style boxes. Should I get prefab cupboards? If I had been asked this question back in the year 2000, without hesitation, I would have told you to purchase your cabinetry from a custom cabinet manufacture.


Many of the elegant million dollar homes in the South Florida area, where I live, have prefab, production type kitchens, vanities and laundry room cabinets installed in them. Here’s the thing though, if your going to use boxes that come in predefined sizes, purchase them from a cabinet supply company where you can get personalized service. Large home centers seem to have too many hands in the deal for everything to go smoothly.

I only say this because I have installed plenty of kitchens, baths and laundry rooms which came from super home center stores. It seems like everyone who has ever purchased cabinetry from them that I have installed for, has had a negative experience with these large building supply companies.

Problems With Purchasing Prefab Cabinets From Home Centers

Ordering prefab cabinets from Home Depot or other  large building supply companies usually comes with various problems. I only speak on behalf of my customers and my own experiences in dealing with these large “do it yourself” home goods supply warehouses. Most recently, I installed a set of kitchen cabinets where two of the uppers arrived damaged.

The damaged cabinets were actually sealed up inside a cardboard box which had no apparent indications that anything was wrong with them. The problems caused the entire kitchen installation schedule to be delayed and caused a ripple effect among the other subcontractors who were scheduled to come in and do their tasks once the kitchen was installed.

Now this could have occurred if the pre-made kitchen had been ordered from a local cabinet company as well. But here’s the difference, the person they had originally placed the order with was not available when they called to address the problem.

They had to wait until the next day when he or she arrived to work to get the problem resolved. If you think about how many different people are handling your orders in a large building supply company in comparison to a local cabinet company, I think you will agree your chances of getting better personalized service reside with the cabinet company.

Advantages of Custom vrs Prefab Cabinetry Manufacture

The most obvious advantage of having your boxes built is going to be getting exactly what you want, if you can afford to pay the price that custom cabinetry manufactures charge.

I also believe that people who buy kitchens, baths or laundry cabinets from local shops,  get more personalized service. I mean, how many employees at a home center would give you their cell phone number and say call me any time if you have questions.

Having owned a custom European cabinetry fabrication company for the past sixteen years, I have built many kitchens using a combination of styles and designs that my customers saw in various magazines or catalogs. It’s a way of getting a combination of many designs and combining them into your own unique custom made kitchen.

Please understand that custom cabinet companies should not be expected to compete with prefab suppliers when it comes to price. You know the old saying: “You get what you pay for.”

You are the only one who can decide whether to purchase prefab cabinets from a home center or custom cabinetry manufacturer. Obviously your budget may be the deciding factor as to where you end up purchasing your kitchen, vanities or laundry room cabinets from. Many people are willing to tolerate not getting personalized service in order to get the most bang for their buck. The design advantages of choosing custom cabinets over prefab ones will allow for better use of the area where they are to be installed.

One of the biggest problems associated with the prefab cabinets is that oftentimes, it is necessary to install large cabinet fillers next to walls or in corners to accommodate for the size of the cabinets being too small for the selected area. In any case prefab or custom cabinets will work.

Just remember, in either case, you will get what you pay for. Cheap cabinets will be poorly made with hardware that will not last nearly as long as a more expensive priced selection. It’s just a fact of life that applies to this particular industry whether pre-manufactured or not. The place I recommend for getting prefab cabinets from Lowe’s Cabinets.

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