May 4, 2022

People ask us this question a lot: are custom kitchens worth it? A typical custom kitchen represents a major investment and one that not all homeowners are sure they want to make. While there are benefits to a non-custom remodel, this type of renovation may not be right for a forever home.

Knowing the custom kitchen cabinets’ pros & cons can help you decide if a custom remodel is right for your home. Here’s what to consider when you’re trying to decide if you’d like to install a custom kitchen vs Ikea kitchen.

colorful custom kitchen with island


Why a Boston Homeowner Might Choose Ikea Cabinets Over a Custom Kitchen 

Pre-fabricated cabinets are made from relatively inexpensive materials. They look stylish, especially when they’re in Ikea, where the space itself was designed to showcase the cabinets.

So, why do some people choose a store bought kitchen instead of hiring a local Boston kitchen contractor?

  • Low cost. Certainly, the most attractive feature of any non-custom kitchen remodel is the low cost. If you’re remodeling the kitchen in a rental home, this may be the best option for you. 
  • DIY-friendly. Some homeowners love the idea of doing the work themselves, usually because they want to remodel on a budget. Cabinets that come from a store like Ikea can be installed by homeowners or by a qualified handyman if that’s your preference. 
  • Relatively quick turn-around. Whereas custom kitchens go through an extensive design and planning process, a non-custom kitchen renovation can be completed in a matter of a few weeks. 

This is all a way of saying that non-custom kitchens are a great option for rental properties and fixer-upper homes. Not a lot of time or effort is required to get this kind of remodel off the ground. It’s almost a turn-key project.

white kitchen cabinets in boston kitchen

4 Reasons to Choose a Custom Kitchen Remodel over Pre-Fab

That said, there are risks to remodeling your kitchen without an experienced custom kitchen designer and contractor. In a home where you plan to live for many years, a store bought kitchen remodel can have major drawbacks. 

You may miss an opportunity to perform repairs if you DIY your kitchen. Every time you hire a reputable, qualified Boston custom kitchen designer to put new materials over old surfaces, you can assume that your contractor will perform an inspection of your kitchen and install all fixtures and furnishings properly. Old kitchens can hide nasty problems, like plumbing leaks, wood rot, and other sources of structural damage. Your contractor should catch that before your new installation is performed. If you aren’t working with a qualified builder, any structural damage underneath the cabinets or flooring may go unnoticed. Whatever damage is being done could get worse, and may even lead to extensive and expensive repairs down the road. A DIY kitchen remodel could lead to a negative ROI.

A pre-fab kitchen won’t be customized for your storage needs. Every homeowner needs good storage space in their kitchen. If your kitchen isn’t customized for your storage needs, your kitchen may become disorganized, dysfunctional, and hard to use. Over time, it may become unattractive and cluttered, and you may become dissatisfied with your storage options. 

Customized storage is designed to meet your needs. Maybe you enjoy canning or beer brewing and need a very tall cabinet for your large boil pots. Perhaps you have a child who needs a built-in stool at the sink. You may even want a drawer for your dog’s food and water dish. Whatever your special needs, a custom-made kitchen can meet those needs. It’s the job of your Boston custom kitchen designer to help you decide which custom cabinets and other custom features will benefit you the most. 

Store bought kitchen features need to be replaced quickly. If you install cabinets that aren’t high quality, then you may end up replacing them much more quickly than if you had simply paid for high-quality cabinets upfront. You may decide to replace them because they’re made from a synthetic material like MDF. You may also decide to replace your non-custom cabinets because they simply aren’t durable and quickly develop scratches. 

Ask yourself: if you have to replace them quickly, then is installing these cabinets less expensive?

You get more accountability and professionalism with a custom kitchen contractor.  When you hire a company like Home Depot to install your non-custom cabinets, Home Depot will hire subcontractors to perform the work. You won’t get any say in who installs your cabinets and won’t have the chance to vet them beforehand. This eliminates all quality control, so you no longer have the benefit of being able to choose your general contractor.

It’s always best to vet multiple custom kitchen contractors before selecting someone to perform your home upgrade or home improvement project. This is especially important if you’re performing a project like a kitchen remodel, which can dramatically impact the value of your home.

custom kitchen cabinetry by boston design build firm NEDC

Skip the Box Store and Hire a Boston Custom Kitchen Designer

Your home is too valuable to cut corners on your kitchen upgrade. When it’s time to update your kitchen, hire a professional who will do the work right. To find out more about remodeling your home and creating a custom kitchen, call NEDC today.

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Published May 4, 2022 | By

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