There are five main categories of a kitchen remodel to consider before you get started: flooring, cabinets, counters, fixtures and finishes, and additions.
While each category plays a major role in the overall price of your kitchen remodel, homeowners should be careful when selecting cabinets. There are many options available and it’s easy to find yourself with a high-cost, luxury option that doesn’t provide the return on investment (ROI) you expect.
The 4 Tiers of Kitchen Cabinets
Your cabinets will form the backbone of your whole kitchen. From base cabinets to wall, tall, and specialty units, there are plenty of options and designs to meet your practical (and aesthetic) needs.
- Ready to Assemble (RTA): The cheapest option, these disassembled cabinets come in a narrow selection of styles and sizes. Most often, you’ll find RTA cabinets that come made of low-quality particleboard.
- Stock: A step up from RTAs, stock cabinets offer an economical option with the preferred plywood material. At $60 to $200 per linear foot, these cabinets can meet your aesthetic needs and your budget too. The downside is that you don’t have much flexibility in terms of finishes or accessories.
- Semi-Custom: The mid-range tier of cabinets offers greater personalization in near-limitless style options. Here, you’ll start to benefit from a vast selection of styles and storage solutions. Working with the right contractor can unlock the potential. At $100 to $650 per linear foot, you can find semi-custom cabinets that stay within your budget.
- Fully Customized: This is the high end of cabinetry that many homeowners covet. It offers virtually limitless options for style, material, finishes, decorative accessories, and more. However, at $500 to $1,200 per linear foot, you can easily spend your entire budget on fully customized cabinetry—and greatly increase your timeline.
The Problem with Cabinet ROI
Your choice of cabinet depends on the proposed scope of your remodel and the overall aesthetic goal. If you can get quality materials in a design that fits the desired aesthetic in a stock cabinet, is that really a problem? Spending a fortune on custom cabinets that don’t meet the practical needs of your kitchen storage and workflow won’t do you any good.
The key is striking a balance between cabinet affordability and style. A skilled contractor that has your best interests in mind will be able to assist you with these decisions. That means earning your trust throughout the entire kitchen remodel process.