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Custom cabinets can be built to spec for any room. From traditional bathroom and kitchen cabinets to customized built-in bookshelves to bedroom cubbies, cabinets can be built to increase storage and beautify every room in the house. Measured carefully and built precisely, custom cabinets allow homeowners to express their tastes in a classic way. Custom cabinetry offers unlimited styles, colors and glazes, can be fit into any space, uses higher-quality construction than prefabricated cabinets, and, perhaps most importantly, increases the value of any home. In fact, most custom kitchen cabinet remodels recoup more than 80 percent of the homeowners’ investment when the home is sold. Because custom cabinetry offers limitless options, a tremendous number of factors determine the cost. In general, the square footage of the cabinets, the materials used to build them and the cost of the labor will have the greatest impact on the final cost of this serious investment.

Cabinet layout and design

Most cabinetmakers offer design services, like Coronado Cabinets and Trim in Houston, Texas, Frost Custom Cabinetry in Orlando, Florida, DP Sheetz Designs in Barrington, Illinois, or Daryl’s Custom Woodshop in Tampa, Florida. Typically the cabinetmaker will meet with you about the type of cabinets and layout you need, work with a designer to sketch where the cabinets will go and finalize dimensions and materials, and then begin making the cabinets. The cost for design services will depend on the complexity of the cabinets and the total linear feet.

Cost by the linear foot

Most estimates start with the cost by the linear foot, which should reflect the homeowners’ choice of wood, finishes and hardware. If the kitchen layout is tricky, for example, that can increase the cost. On average, the cost of custom cabinets ranges from $500 to $1,200 per linear foot.

Material costs

The biggest factor in building custom cabinets is the material. Wood, of course, is more expensive than plywood plus wood veneer. It’s important to choose carefully — the most exotic woods don’t always bring a return on investment if the house is sold. Maple, cherry, oak or pine cabinets range from $5,000 to $25,000 for a standard-sized kitchen. In contrast, wood veneer ranges from $1,900 to $13,000, while laminate costs from $4,000 to $15,000.

Additional costs

Unless the homeowner is adding new built-ins to the house, old cabinets will usually need to be removed and hauled away; this service averages about $300. Once the cabinets are built, they must be installed; this often costs about $100 per cabinet box. Additional molding and trim, such as crown molding at the ceiling, costs about $70 per 8-foot section. Adding finished ends to exposed cabinets ranges from $100 to $200.

Choosing accessories

Custom cabinets should be both beautiful and useful. When planning the design with the contractor, discuss how many drawers and/or shelves are most useful in the space. Glass-front cabinets can add to the cost, as can decorative hinges, handles and door pulls. These can range from $2 to $45 each; choose carefully to maintain the look of the cabinetry.

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