For many homeowners in Portland, cabinet design and installation can be a confusing ordeal. The two main types of kitchen cabinets – custom and stock – are as different as night and day, and both have benefits as well as faults. The following is a comparison of custom and stock cabinets that Portlanders can use when designing a kitchen space.



1. Better use of space.

Custom cabinets are built based on measurements of your kitchen, meaning they fit perfectly in the space in which they are installed. If you live in one of the many funky old homes found in Portland, custom cabinets may make better use of the kitchen space.

2. More design options.

Since customs cabinets aren’t built until you order them, you have a lot more options as far as building materials and features. Looking for a traditional face but fancy inside lighting? Not a problem with custom cabinets.

3. Easier to coordinate.

The whole point of going with custom cabinets is to be able to match your new cabinets to an existing décor. In Portland, cabinets and kitchen coordination can mean the different between an abomination and a reason to celebrate.


1. Price

Custom kitchen cabinets can run a pretty penny, especially if you choose an expensive building material such as wood or steel. Also, there are often fees associated with design, layout and installation.

2. Availability

Not all projects are created equal. If you want a very rare type of cabinet handle, for instance, chances are the manufacturer doesn’t have the part in stock. The availability of certain items directly affects both the price and the amount of time you will wait for your new cabinet.

3. Wait

Because your cabinets are being designed specifically for you, you may have to wait for certain parts or supplies to be ordered and shipped. If you have an intricate design scheme in mind, the wait may be even longer.

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1. Pre-assembled

Stock cabinets take the guess-work out of designing a kitchen – what you see is what you get. If you like it in the showroom, chances are you will also like it at home. There are also many styles to choose from, so you can still add a bit of personal flair to your design project.

2. Price

Even in thrifty Portland, cabinets can get pretty expensive. Luckily, stock cabinets are much more affordable than their custom counterparts.

3. Speed of installation.

Because custom cabinets are pre-made and ready to ship, you can go from store to installation in very little time. No waiting for parts or for design services.


1. Standardized sizes.

The standard sizes stock cabinets come in is a major drawback. Since you have no say over the size and shape of these cabinets, sometimes it is hard to match them perfectly to your kitchen.

2. Lack of design options.

While some may see the limited styles as a plus, many find it restrictive. If you have a grandiose, complicated kitchen design project in mind, stock cabinets probably aren’t for you.

3. Plain appearance.

Stock cabinets are usually made from very reliable materials, but they come in limited styles. Stocks work best for someone who is looking for a sturdy, attractive cabinet that doesn’t feature any frills or gimmicks.

While home design projects are popular in Portland, cabinets are one area some home owners shy away from. But by arming yourself with information about the different styles of kitchen cabinets, you can be sure you’re making a smart design decision.


Source by Benjamin Nystrom

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