Semi Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Stock kitchen cabinetry is pretty limited, and custom kitchen cabinetry can cost several arms and legs.  In the middle though are semi custom kitchen cabinets.  These are built to order, but without so many options as their completely custom brethren.  Here are some things you ought to know about semi custom kitchen cabinets.

The cabinets are only manufactured in a few dimensions and finishes, and there aren’t a whole lot of options in a stock cabinetry line. The nice thing about stock cabinetry is that it’s generally cheaper than semi custom or custom cabinets, and sometimes you can build a kitchen with a stock line, if you don’t mind too many fillers and if you don’t need a lot in the way of advanced interior configurations.

Bertch Marketplace Visage Wall CabinetsSemi Custom kitchen cabinets are available with more options than their stock counterparts. You can get a variety of door styles and finishes in semi custom cabinet lines, but not as many as in a totally custom line. For most people, semi custom is enough.

Cabinets generally come in three inch increments (these are widths) and wall cabinets in most semi custom kitchen cabinet lines are made in a few different heights; 30”, 36”, and 42” are the most common.  One of the nicer things about semi custom kitchen cabinets, speaking of dimensions, is the ability to reduce a cabinet’s depth.  In some instances, manufacturers will also alter the width of a cabinet, making them almost a totally custom line.

Bertch has an interesting model. There’s Bertch Legacy, which is a semi custom line, and there’s Bertch Custom. There’s also something called Legacy Plus… Suppose a customer is buying a Legacy kitchen, and there’s a 32” space to be filled. They refuse to have a 30” cabinet with 2” of filler. Legacy only comes in 3” increments. Oh NO! Such a customer might have been out of luck once upon a time.

Now though, that customer's kitchen dealer can order specific custom cabinets and the customer doesn’t end up paying for a whole set of totally custom kitchen cabinets. Nice, eh?

There are other features of semi custom kitchen cabinets that might be of interest. I’ve already mentioned depth and sometimes width options, but there are also finishes to consider. Many a manufacturer offers a few glaze colors to enhance their already generous stain and paint color selection. This is handy for those of you who found a company’s stain you just loved, but didn’t want it with a black glaze, which was all they offered.

Semi Custom Kitchen Cabinet Toe-Kicks

Some manufacturers offer different shelving options. Full depth shelves and all wood shelves (as opposed to particleboard covered in maple looking skin) are just a couple of the choices I’ve seen in semi custom kitchen cabinet lines. Toe space modifications are another nicety allowed in the realm of semi custom. There’s quite a difference in how an end of run cabinet looks with a flush end and the same cabinet with a recessed toe kick on that exposed side.


Unless you’ve got a space where stock cabinets will fit perfectly, or you don’t have many needs for special features in your cabinets, you will probably end up buying semi custom kitchen cabinets. The number of options varies from one manufacturer’s semi custom kitchen cabinet line to another’s. Remember that if you don’t see something you want in one manufacturer’s line, you’re apt to find it in another manufacturer’s spec book. Ask your designer to help figure out who makes what.


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