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Helping you plan your home improvement project, from start to finish

How Much Does It Cost To Build Cabinets?

Get free estimates from local kitchen & bathroom contractors.

Keeping a home well organized requires good cabinets; and building your own cabinets or employing a contractor to install custom units for you is a great way to get the look and functionality you require. Such projects have the potential to reinvent your kitchen, bathroom or office, but often come with a considerable price tag. Taking the time to learn more about the costs of making and installing cabinets makes it easier to plan your project and calculate a realistic budget.

Once you’re ready to add new cabinets, ImproveNet can help you can in touch with kitchen remodeling contractors near you.

Table of Contents

  1. Cabinet Building Cost
  2. Cabinet Building Cost Factors
  3. Advantages Of Building Your Own Cabinets
  4. Disadvantages Of Building Your Own Cabinets
  5. Cabinet Materials
  6. DIY Or Hire A Pro?
  7. How To Build Kitchen Cabinets
  8. Find A Pro

Cabinet Building Cost

The cost of building your cabinets varies based on how many cabinets you need, where you intend to install them, the materials you use, your geographical location and whether you complete the project yourself or hire a contractor. The cost to employ someone to build a single cabinet typically ranges from $886 to $1,077, including labor and materials. Installation incurs additional charges.

If you are paying for someone to build and install kitchen cabinets for you, the cost of constructing the cabinets accounts for approximately 75% of your project budget. If you choose to build and install the cabinets yourself, your overall costs are significantly lower, as your only outlay is for tools, materials and your own time.

Cabinet Building Cost Factors

Cabinet Building Cost Factors

Many factors affect the cost of constructing a cabinet:

  • Preparation: If you are creating custom units to fit specific areas within your home, there is a certain amount of preparation and planning involved. Measuring up for space, and considering specific requirements such kitchen layout or other kitchen remodeling projects, increases the length of the project and drives up the total price.
  • Cabinet Type: Cabinets come in various styles, including base cabinets and tall cabinets (pantries). The size and style determines the cost of materials and construction.
  • Materials: Certain types of wood are more expensive than others. Domestic woods harvested locally are the least expensive, due to availability and low transportation costs. Imported woods are more expensive. Cherry is a luxurious option for cabinets, and is one of the most expensive options, while maple and alder are much cheaper. Choosing good quality materials increases the time before the cabinets need refinishing.
  • Pulls & Handles: There are many types of handles, ranging in quality and price. The least expensive options are as little as $2 each, while more elaborate options are as much as $29 each.
  • Glass Inlays: Custom glass inserts for a cabinet are expensive, adding as much as 50% to the price.
  • Special Features: The more features a unit has, the more expensive it is. Pull-out shelves cost approximately $150 each, while a pull-out garbage unit is approximately $175.

Advantages Of Building Your Own Cabinets

Custom kitchen cabinets give you the chance to create storage solutions that perfectly match your space and requirements. Purchasing ready-made cabinets for awkward spaces isn't always easy, but by making the cabinets, you get a perfect fit. Furthermore, you have complete control over the look and functionality of the cabinet.

Advantages Of Building Your Own Cabinets

Disadvantages Of Building Your Own Cabinets

The main disadvantage of custom cabinets is the price. Bespoke furniture is far more expensive than buying ready-made furniture or even refacing the existing cabinets. This is especially true if you employ a contractor to build the cabinets for you. Additionally, it's often harder to find replacement parts and components for custom-built units.

Cabinet Materials

A simple kitchen base cabinet comprises a wooden box shape with a wooden cabinet door or drawer fronts. Pre-finished plywood is a good option for the carcass, as it is easy to work with and has an attractive finish. Finished doors and drawers are available in cherry, alder, maple, pine and many other types of wood.

You also need to choose hardware, such as door pulls and hinges. There are many types of drawer slides, but ball bearing slides are a common choice due to their durability and reliability over extended use.

DIY Or Hire A Pro?

Making cabinets is a fun and rewarding DIY project, and by doing the work yourself, you have an opportunity to significantly reduce costs. However, this kind of project requires good carpentry skills to measure, cut and finish the units to a high standard. If you only have limited experience working with wood, the finished cabinet may not be as attractive as you hoped for. Making cabinets also requires a wide range of specialist tools, such as jigsaws, miters, belt sanders and planers. If you need to purchase all of these tools before you start, it may be more cost-effective to hire a professional.

How To Build Kitchen Cabinets

How To Build Kitchen Cabinets

If you have experience installing or building your own furniture, then you may enjoy starting from scratch when it comes to your kitchen cabinets. The carcass for a custom kitchen base cabinet is relatively easy to assemble as a DIY project:

  1. Rip a piece of pre-finished plywood to make two side panels.
  2. Mark out a toe kick on the bottom front corner of each panel.
  3. Cut out the toe kicks with a jigsaw.
  4. Drill pocket holes every 8 inches on the outside face of the panels above the toe kick.
  5. Attach two body support pieces to the bottom of one side panel with screws.
  6. Affix the bottom shelf to the two support pieces with screws.
  7. Attach the remaining side panel to the base.
  8. Attach two top supports with screws to create a rigid structure.
  9. Drill shelf pin holes at required heights, making it possible to adjust the shelf height.
  10. Attach the back with nails and glue to finish the carcass ready to add the face frame.

This instructional video provides lots of useful information, and clear instructions for beginners:

Find A Pro

If you want new cabinets that look fabulous and completely reinvent your living space, the best option is to find a kitchen pro in your area using our free lead generator. Professional contractors have the skills and tools to do the job correctly to a high standard, so you end up with cabinets that look good and work well for years to come. Try to get three or more quotes so you can pick the contractor who offers the best value.

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Last updated on Dec 20, 2016

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