Benefits of Custom Cabinets vs. Builder Grade

Benefits of Custom Cabinets vs. Builder Grade

When remodeling your bathroom or kitchen, it can be hard to choose whether you want custom cabinets or builder grade cabinets, but what exactly do those terms mean? What are the pros and cons? Depending on your budget, desired look, and personal preference, either one could be right for you.

What are builder-grade cabinets?

In general, builder grade means the product is made with the most cost-effective, bare bones materials for every component of the item. So, a builder grade cabinet might be made with particle board doors and a plywood backing.

Builder grade cabinets are essentially the “default” in terms of their look and construction. You can usually find the materials for builder grade cabinets for cheap ($75 to $150 per linear foot) at chain home improvement stores.

But lower cost doesn’t have to mean “plain” or boring” – there are a number of different ways you can upgrade them if you’re up for some DIY projects. However, painting or priming your builder grade cabinets ultimately adds to the overall cost.

Another aspect of builder grade cabinets is their average durability. Most builder grade cabinets can last up to five years but are easily damaged by things like regular use and water/sun damage. With proper care, however, you might be able to stretch that five-year life span.

So what are the pros and cons of builder grade cabinets?

Pros of builder grade cabinets

  • Cheap materials
  • Able to upgrade to some degree
  • Easy to access

Cons of builder grade cabinets

  • Prone to damage
  • Limited customizability
  • Can look very uniform
Get your FREE 3D kitchen design today!

Get your FREE 3D kitchen design today!

Start Now

What are custom cabinets?

Custom kitchen cabinets are at the highest end of the spectrum in terms of value, price, and durability. Custom kitchen cabinets not only allow you to choose the wood, style, and finish of your cabinets, but they’re also measured to fit your kitchen or bathroom perfectly.

Unlike builder grade cabinets, with custom built cabinets you get to have the choice of materials for your cabinets. You can customize your kitchen cabinetry exactly to your liking as well as to the overall space you are installing them in.

Some special elements you can add to your cabinets include things like a pull-down spice rack, rotating shelving, or even include space for a coffee bar.

The freedom to choose what you want in your custom built cabinets does come at a price. Depending on the space, custom kitchen cabinets can run anywhere from $500 to over $1200 per linear foot, which makes an entire bathroom full of custom built cabinets worth anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000.

Looking at the pros and cons of custom cabinets side by side might help you get a clearer picture of what they’re all about.

Pros of custom cabinets

  • Completely customizable in material, color, and style
  • More durable and last longer
  • Made to fit your space

Cons of custom cabinets

  • More expensive with the price increasing as space does
  • Delivery and installation take longer as they are custom made
  • Too many choices might leave you feeling overwhelmed

But what about RTA Kitchen Cabinets from Lily Ann Cabinets?

Our RTA Kitchen Cabinets are Unrivaled in Cost and Quality compared to both custom and builder grade cabinetry!

Our RTA kitchen cabinets arrive ready-to-assemble and require minimal tools to save you the hassle when it comes to installations. We’ve developed a proprietary dovetail assembly process that results in a much more durable cabinet, while simultaneously ridding the cabinet of unsightly metal hardware. We also offer metal clip assembly cabinets as a more affordable option.

Our cabinet materials vary slightly based on style, but all cabinets feature solid grade-A plywood boxes. Also, the doors and drawers on our painted cabinet lines feature premium HDF engineered wood to prevent any cracking. These are materials that beat out builder grade cabinets in durability and quality.

Our superior building materials play a huge role in the overall quality of the RTA kitchen cabinets we sell and separate us from the majority of our competition. Lily Ann RTA kitchen cabinets are simply stronger and better suited to endure wear and tear, grease, heat, smoke, and the daily rigors of a kitchen or bathroom environment.

There are only a handful of companies that manufacture RTA kitchen cabinets, and Lily Ann is one of them. The majority of RTA cabinet retailers online are selling very similar products made by a few manufacturers, but many of their cabinets are composed of fillers, particle board, and inferior hardware (like builder grade cabinets).

With complete control of the design and manufacturing of our ready-to-assemble cabinets, and with no middlemen to add to the price tag, Lily Ann can offer extremely well-built RTA kitchen cabinets at a fraction of the price you’d pay from other cabinet retailers.

We also want you to have the same experience with choosing your cabinetry by allowing you to customize each part of your RTA cabinetry from Lily Ann. You can choose the style, hardware, and inserts for your cabinetry, and we will make them exactly to your liking.

You don't need to pay an arm and a leg to get the kitchen cabinets of your dreams, you just need to know where to look. Get in touch with us today to buy your new kitchen cabinets or get started by designing your dream kitchen with our Free 3D Kitchen Cabinet Design!

Pros of Lily Ann Cabinets

  • Completely customizable in color, style, and hardware
  • More durable and last longer
  • Made to fit your space
  • Come ready-to-assemble
  • Less expensive than other custom cabinet companies
  • Contians no particle board
  • Some cabinets also contain items suchas soft closing drawers and doors
  • Fast shipping within 2 weeks of ordering

Cons of Lily Ann Cabinets

  • We can’t even think of any!

Ultimately, the cabinets you choose are up to you and your preferences on style, price, and customization ability. We just wanted to make sure you had all the information on your cabinet options when going into your kitchen cabinet upgrade.

Learn more with Lily Ann Cabinets

For more DIY and remodel tips, check out our blogs here on our website or shop our extensive catalog here. Have further questions on builder grade vs. custom cabinets? You can also contact us through text at (361) 524-1105, or give us a call at (800) 551-1438.

3D Kitchen Visualizer Tool

3D Kitchen Visualizer Tool

Bring your dream kitchen to life with our free kitchen visualizer!

Design Now


What are semi custom cabinets?

According to Dean Cabinetry, semi-custom cabinets are manufactured with standard sizes, styles, and finishes. Here at Lily Ann Cabinets, we consider ALL of our cabinets "semi-custom" excluding our Summit Shaker and Madison cabinets styles which we consider builder grade.

Semi-custom cabinets have many options for customization like stains, glaze, and paints. You also have the capability to adjust the dimensions and depths of your cabinetry.

How to paint builder grade cabinets?

  • Clean your cabinets
  • Sand down your cabinets or use deglosser to get rid of the shine.
  • Prime the cabinets with a bonding primer which will adhere to the wood making it easy to paint your cabinetry.
  • Paint your Cabinets with cabinet-grade paint.
  • Let your cabinets dry!


Top 5 Kids Bathroom Ideas for Your Family
Top 5 Kids Bathroom Ideas for Your Family
6 Ideas to Create an Efficient Laundry Room