Advances In Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a household which is why kitchen remodeling has increased in popularity over the last century. It also helps increase the value of real estate. The largest and most expensive part of a kitchen remodel is usually purchasing kitchen cabinets. Believe it or not, kitchen cabinets have a rich history and evolved from initial forms to more efficient and cost effective ones. The progression of kitchen cabinets is essentially a search for the best quality and lowest cost for both consumers and manufacturers. It is important to understand each phase in the “evolution” of cabinet so that consumers can make educated decisions on which phase of cabinet evolution best suites their kitchens.

Custom Cabinets

In the olden days when people wanted to build or remodel their kitchens, hiring a local carpenter was the only option. He would come to your home, measure your kitchen and the build and install the cabinets you want and need. In order to be more efficient, cut costs and increase sales, carpenters would use cheaper materials. Still, many modern day cabinet makers use melamine boards, MDF or presswood instead of plywood because they are cheaper.
Good quality custom cabinets are extremely expensive to make and handle. The lead time for these cabinets is usually four to six weeks. This is because contractors need to design, manufacture, stain and finish cabinet parts. Then the companies must assemble all cabinets and pack and transport them. Custom cabinets require a lot of attention when packing because assembled cabinets have a high risk of being damage during transportation. Therefore, transportation costs are also high.
The biggest advantage of custom cabinetry comes to affect when money is not an issue. With a very high budget, custom cabinets will always be the best possible choice for kitchen cabinets. The benefit is that there are absolutely no limitations, only imagination. This means you can pick the carving, design, style, stain, pattern, etc. The options are endless.

Assembled Semi-Custom Kitchen Cabinet

In the 1970s semi-custom cabinets became available, but gained popularity only in the 1990s. Semi-custom cabinets are a more capitalistic way to sell cabinets. When you purchase these cabinets, you eliminate the need to a hire a local kitchen cabinet maker. The idea behind semi-custom is to cut the cost of kitchen cabinets by purchasing materials in bulk and offering a variety of styles. Production is centralized, and the cabinets are built-to-order on an assembly line in a mass production plant. Manufacturers get better pricing for better materials and transfer those savings to their customers. Customers choose from a wide variety of door styles, stains, moldings, etc. but still do not have unlimited control over the cabinet design. The manufacturer then builds the cabinets to order, which makes the normal lead time in the industry four to six weeks, similar to the custom cabinets’ lead time.
The main difference between semi-custom and custom cabinets is the three inch increment standard. Custom cabinets can be made in any size or style. Semi-custom cabinets are made within three-inch increments ranging usually from 9 to 36 inches. This is because the sizes and shapes of kitchens vary, and in order to mass produce cabinets, companies needed to have a common standard. Generally, variations of cabinetry made in three inch increments will completely fill a kitchen without left over space. If there is space between cabinets or between cabinets and walls, fillers are used. Keep in mind that fillers between walls and cabinets are used to compensate for crooked walls in custom cabinets as well. These days, manufacturers usually offer dozens and sometimes hundreds of styles from which to choose. Semi-custom cabinets and door styles are virtually unlimited and can be purchased at a much better price than custom cabinets.

Local Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) Cabinets Retailers

Because these cabinets are not assembled, shipping, packing, storage and assembly costs significantly decrease. They take up less space, need less packing materials and the shipping damage risk is very low. On average RTA cabinets cost around 30%-50% less than semi-custom cabinets. RTA cabinets come with all parts and instructions needed for assembly and are designed to be easily assembled. Customers can choose to assemble the cabinets themselves or hire a local contractor to assemble the cabinets. Even if a contractor is hired to assemble and install them, RTA cabinets will still cost less than pre-assembled semi-custom or custom cabinets.
Ready-to-assemble cabinets take the best aspects of all the other types of cabinets and consolidate them into an affordable product. Low cost does not mean cheap products. RTA cabinets are simply the best products and materials for a reduced price. Although customers do not have complete freedom with their designs, many companies that have RTA cabinets warehouse the most popular styles. These cabinets are the most cost effective and have the most efficient lead time – usually seven to ten days for an entire kitchen. Many people prefer RTA cabinets because of the high quality, low cost and very little risk of shipping damage.
These cabinets are the most logical choice for today’s consumer who is looking for a cost effective and high quality product. RTA cabinets will improve the value of a house without costing a fortune. RTA cabinet companies often have the highest rates of customer satisfaction because of the fast lead time and low cost. They are easy to assemble and come with all the parts and instructions needed. Therefore, RTA cabinets gain the most popularity in today’s world.

Online Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) Retailers

The benefit of choosing an online retailer is that the price of cabinets decreases for the same quality products. This is because the retailer’s office does not have to be in a prime location or have a fancy showroom. Online retailers are much more competitive than local ones because of the high volume and large market. Any online business will offer the same products for a lower price, because the store front is online. If you want to buy electronics, books or any other consumer item, the same product will most likely be cheaper online than at any local retail store. Online businesses are the wave of the future for the same quality products at a lower price.
By choosing an online retailer, you can buy from the comfort of your home and compare different vendors in minutes without taking the time to visit numerous locations around town. You can receive samples of the product right to your door so that you can see and feel the product before purchasing. Some online companies also offer a free design service. The difference between an online designer and a designer that comes to your home is that you can talk to an online designer whenever it is convenient for you, at work, at night, etc. since communication is mainly done through email and over the phone. Online retailers are open 24/7 and no appointment is needed. Shopping for cabinets online has become so easy and affordable that you cannot let this opportunity to pass, which is why the final phase in the evolutionary process is online ready-to-assemble cabinet.

Natural Selection

In cabinet evolution there is also natural selection, or consumer choice. Since the majority of people choose semi-custom cabinets or RTA cabinets, custom cabinetry is nearly obsolete. RTA cabinets have become one of the most popular breed of kitchen cabinets.
The online retailer allow you to choose from the nation’s most competitive retailers, other than from what is located in your areas. For this, consumers have naturally selected them to be the most fit to survive in the world of modern kitchen remodeling.


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