An extensive guide on everything you need to know about semi-custom kitchen cabinets – the best of both worlds when it comes to customization and affordability for your dream kitchen.


Kitchen cabinets represent one of the most important investments when renovating or building a kitchen. The cabinets set the tone for the room’s style and functionality, while also making up a significant portion of the kitchen’s total budget. When trying to strike the optimal balance between personalization and value, many homeowners opt for semi-custom cabinetry.

Semi-custom kitchen cabinets offer more customization options than stock cabinets but don’t require the same lead times or commanding price tags of fully bespoke cabinetry. With semi-custom cabinets, you can select the door styles, finishes, storage solutions and other details to suit your vision and needs without breaking the bank. Keep reading to learn all about the pros, cons, costs and design options for semi-custom kitchen cabinets.

What Are Semi-Custom Kitchen Cabinets?

Semi-custom kitchen cabinets provide a middle ground between stock and fully custom cabinetry. As the name suggests, semi-custom cabinets offer some personalized options while relying partly on pre-set cabinet configurations.

Here’s a quick rundown of the three main cabinet categories:

  • Stock cabinets: Pre-fabricated cabinets with no customization, outside of limited size and color options. Stock cabinets are the most budget-friendly option but offer the least flexibility.
  • Semi-custom cabinets: Offer mix-and-match options for sizes, materials, finishes and storage solutions within a curated selection. Semi-custom cabinets strike a balance between customization and value.
  • Custom cabinets: Bespoke cabinets built entirely from scratch to your specifications. Fully custom cabinets offer endless personalization but have high costs and long lead times.

With semi-custom cabinets, manufacturers rely on existing cabinet boxes while letting you customize the aesthetics and storage. Set cabinet sizes and configurations are blended with made-to-order doors, drawers, inserts and accessories.

This allows you to tailor the look and functionality of cabinets to your kitchen’s layout and your family’s needs, creating a more personalized design than stock cabinets can offer. Semi-custom cabinets are produced more rapidly than fully custom cabinets and come in at lower price points, while still letting you put your creative stamp on your kitchen.

Pros and Cons of Semi-Custom Kitchen Cabinets


  • More affordable than fully custom cabinets
  • Shorter lead times than custom (typically 6-8 weeks)
  • Wide variety of door styles and finishes to choose from
  • Flexibility to modify sizes and interior configurations
  • Can be coordinated with stock cabinetry in more budget-friendly hybrid approach
  • Provides a middle ground between customization and value


  • Less flexibility than fully custom cabinets
  • Limited to manufacturer’s pre-set cabinet box sizes
  • Still a more expensive option compared to stock cabinets
  • Need accurate measurements since made-to-order

Cost of Semi-Custom Kitchen Cabinets

The cost of semi-custom kitchen cabinets varies based on materials, door styles, brand and more, but generally falls between stock and custom cabinetry.

Here are rough starting points for average semi-custom kitchen cabinet costs per linear foot:

  • Economy/value lines: $100-150
  • Mid-range: $150-300
  • Premium: $300-500

Keep in mind, more elaborate door styles, finishes and storage features will increase costs. Unique kitchen layouts and large projects may also command higher price points.

While more affordable than custom, semi-custom cabinets are still an investment. Carefully weigh your budget and aesthetic goals to decide if semi-custom offers the right balance. Consider mixing semi-custom and stock cabinets or starting with a semi-custom quote and scaling back as needed.

How to Design and Purchase Semi-Custom Cabinets

Ready to explore semi-custom cabinets for your kitchen? Here are key steps for the design and buying process:

Choose a Manufacturer

Quality, selection and pricing can vary significantly amongst brands. Research manufacturers’ reviews, browse door collections and get sample door chips to assess options. Lean on a kitchen designer if needed.

Select a Door Style

The door style makes the biggest aesthetic impact. Consider your kitchen’s style – traditional Shaker or sleek contemporary? Do you prefer painted, stained or foil wraps? Get samples to visualize options.

Pick a Finish

Along with the door style, your finish selection affects the overall look. Stained, painted, glazed or foil door finishes each create distinct looks.

Modify Interior Configurations

Maximize storage with organizers, roll-outs, adjustable shelves, spice pull-outs and other semi-custom interior upgrades.

Plan Cabinet Layout

Work with your kitchen designer to plan cabinet configurations and modify sizes to suit your specific space. Design around plumbing and appliances.

Choose Hardware

Hardware pulls the whole look together. Select knobs, pulls, hinges and handles that complement your style.

Order Samples and Receive Quotes

Order door samples, review final layouts and obtain quotes from manufacturers. Adjust designs if needed to meet budget goals.

Top Tips for Semi-Custom Kitchens

  • Use semi-custom for visible areas and stock for unseen spots to save
  • Add functional interior fittings like pull-outs and organizers
  • Seek help designing your kitchen and ordering cabinets
  • Get quotes from several brands before selecting a manufacturer
  • Order door and finish samples to visualize options
  • Leave wiggle room in your budget for modifications and changes
  • Measure carefully and double-check layouts before finalizing orders
  • Allot 6-8 weeks for production and delivery

Frequently Asked Questions

How much more do semi-custom cabinets cost versus stock?

Semi-custom cabinets generally cost 25-50% more than stock cabinetry. Stock cabinets average $75-150 per linear foot, while semi-custom ranges from $100-500+ per linear foot.

What are the most popular door styles?

Some of today’s most sought-after door styles include Shaker, slab, flat panel, raised panel, inset and European styles. Choosing between traditional and contemporary door designs often comes down to personal style preferences.

What cabinet sizes are typically offered for semi-custom?

Common semi-custom cabinet box sizes include:

  • Base cabinets: 9″-48″ wide x 24″ deep
  • Wall cabinets: 12″-36″ wide x 12″-24″ deep
  • Tall cabinets: 24″-36″ wide x 84″-96″ tall

Widths usually increase in 3″ increments. Some brands offer more size customization than others.

Can you mix stock and semi-custom cabinets?

Absolutely! Using semi-custom for main kitchen runs and visible areas, with stock cabinetry for invisible spots like pantries helps save money. A kitchen designer can seamlessly blend cabinet lines.

How long does it take to receive semi-custom cabinets?

Once your order is finalized, allow 6-8 weeks for manufacturing lead time. More complex projects may require 8-12 weeks. Communicate timelines with your kitchen designer and contractor early on.


While not as customized as purely bespoke cabinetry, semi-custom kitchen cabinets empower homeowners to craft kitchens that cater to their style, storage and workflow preferences. With an array of materials, finishes, storage accessories and sizes to tailor to your needs, semi-custom cabinets can bring your dream design to life at accessible price points. Taking the time to explore and order samples from quality manufacturers is key to achieving success with this route. With careful planning and design consideration, semi-custom cabinets can yield kitchen spaces that delight for years to come.