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One of the first questions you’ll encounter as you begin to consider ordering new cabinets is whether you should get factory cabinets or use a custom cabinet builder.  At CCU we primarily order factory cabinets, but we also have a partnership with a local custom cabinet builder.  We can help you no matter which you prefer.  That being said, you may wonder what the difference is and what advantages/disadvantages there are to both kinds of cabinets.


What’s the Difference?

Both types of cabinetry are built in “boxes”.  Even though you see a long wall filled with cabinets you are actually looking at many boxes that are seamed together to create a full set.  Both factory and custom cabinets would be built into separate boxes and installed in your home by seaming them together to fit your space. 


There are multiple types of cabinets including “framed”, “frameless”, and “inset”.  Most cabinet builders and factory cabinets use “framed” cabinetry.  Framed cabinetry is typically priced lower than all other types of construction as well.  At CCU we can provide both “framed” and “frameless” cabinetry  in both factory & custom cabinetry. 


“So what is the difference?” you may ask.  Well, to put it simply—factory cabinets are built in a factory using high-tech machinery capable of mass producing pieces.  Custom cabinets are typically built by local shops and finishes are applied by the cabinet builder or your painter.

What are the advantages/disadvantages?



  • Typically can be ordered and installed within a much shorter period of time.

  • Built using uniform construction methods and factory materials, as well as individual cabinet sizing, which reduces imperfections.

  • Baked-on factory finish resulting in a highly durable finish that resists stains from food and liquids, which will keep them functioning and looking great over time.

  • Options—inserts/pull-outs etc built especially for the cabinets that each vendor provides.

  • Limited Lifetime Warranty



  • Limited sizes/door styles available.

  • Some vendors have limited colors available, but most offer custom finishes.

  • Box sizing—most factory cabinets come in standard sizes in 1.5-3” increments.



  • Fully customizable sizes & styles available (certain restrictions apply)

  • Custom paint finishes available.



  • Finishes must be hand painted or sprayed on & aren’t as durable as factory finishes.

  • Time—custom cabinets typically take longer from order to install. 

  • Door style limitations—most custom builders have a limited catalog of doors they can build or order.


If you still are unsure which type of cabinetry is right for you, please call our cabinet designer to discuss options and your layout.

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