Frequently asked questions
Stock and semi-custom cabinets come in specific sizes that are usually in 3 inch increments. If the size of your wall cannot be recreated using only the available sizes offered by the cabinet manufacturer, or your space is oddly shaped, you will end up with a gap between two cabinets. This gap needs to be closed with a filler to give you the look of continuous cabinetry. If you are tight on space then all the potentially usable space trapped behind the fillers is a wasted valuable storage space that you cannot access. Figure A. In addition, with stock and semi-custom cabinets you cannot make use of the space trapped behind the toe kick. Figure B.
Custom cabinets are exactly that; custom, and are made to order in any size, shape or configuration to fit your space and storage needs.
Stock or semi-custom cabinets can be placed next to each other or stacked on top of each other to give you the configuration you need, but often times you will see a seam between the grouped cabinets just like you see the seams between puzzle pieces used to create a picture. This is not the case in custom cabinetry; each cabinet is made to span the longest and highest space possible within the limitation of transportation and access to the space. So the seams are minimized or totally eliminated.
Stock and semi-custom cabinets end on each side with a flat end panel fastened to the face frame of the cabinet, about 1/4" in from the edge of the frame. This leaves about 1/2" of unused space between every two cabinets placed, end to end, next to each other. The wasted space is usually replicated in base and wall cabinets. In wall cabinets this has another disadvantage; it prevents you from having a continuous line of under cabinet lighting and limits your choice of sizes because you have to choose a lighting module that fits in between the two edges of the end panels.
A decorative end panel on stock or semi-custom cabinets is actually a door that has been fastened to the exposed end of a cabinet to give it the look of furniture grade cabinets with decorative end panels. Figure C. On custom cabinets the end panel is actually integrated in the frame of the cabinet while the cabinet is being constructed. Figure D.
Custom designs are not created equal. A truly custom designed space is a space that was specifically created for your project, that fits your needs, and uses products that were researched based on the functionalities you are looking for. A standard design is a design that uses a limited number of products and configurations, the designer is familiar with and often uses in all the designs. This standard design gets slightly modified to fit your space. No creativity here; and asking for a creative design to solve a difficult problem with minimal cost may not be an option.