Kitchen Cabinets – the Difference between Stock, Semi-Custom and Custom Cabinetry

Posted by Ben Thompson on 12.27.13

One of the biggest choices you will make when planning your kitchen remodel is what type of cabinet to use – stock, semi-custom or custom. These terms refer to the production method used to make the cabinets. The key difference between each is the level of customization options available, production lead-time, and material quality. In this blog we will provide you with a description and the pros and cons of each type of kitchen cabinet.

Stock Cabinets

Stock kitchen cabinets are pre-made and mass-produced. No customization of size or style is available. Most are made of particle board covered in veneer or imitation wood.


  • Budget friendly
  • Quick delivery time


  • Limited sizes, styles, and colors
  • Less expensive materials can affect quality over time


Semi-custom kitchen cabinets are a cross between stock and custom cabinetry. You will find extended size options are available beyond standard stock cabinet offerings. Semi-custom cabinets allow for customization of details such as wood finish, door fronts, drawer style, size, and cabinet depth.


  • Lots of customization options
  • Less expensive than custom cabinets


  • Some limits to customization options
  • Longer delivery time than stock

 Custom Cabinets

Custom kitchen cabinets are built to your exact specifications which means you can choose the size, wood type, wood finish, door type, door details, you name it! An experienced carpenter will build them made-to-order.


  • Limitless customization options
  • High quality craftsmanship


  • Expensive
  • Long lead-time

Kitchen For the Social Chef

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