One of the questions I get asked most often is “What is the difference between custom cabinets and the cabinets I can buy at my local home improvement warehouse?” Many potential clients ask this question because they are hoping to justify purchasing one product over another, rather than investigating what each offers for their particular needs.
For more than 25 years, I have designed and built a wide range of custom cabinets in Toronto for residential and business clients, and one of the best answers I can give is this: The main difference between custom cabinets and models sold at retail stores is the manufacturing process. Most cabinets and accessories sold at home improvement centers are constructed in a factory, through the use of automated systems, and often use common design templates.
Handmade custom cabinets in Toronto – Quality Designs
At my company, Gil Avivi Ant Man Woodworking & Design Ltd., no two designs for custom cabinets or finished products are the same. Each client has unique needs and goals, and those are best addressed through an individualized consultation where we can meet to discuss your vision and how to incorporate it into your home’s existing decor.
In order to craft truly unique custom cabinets for my clients, I try and educate them about how my woodworking products differ from mass produced cabinets and accessories. To begin with, each piece is made from the finest quality solid hard and softwoods available — such as ash, beech, cherry, hard maple, red oak, and many others. This means we do not use particle board or Medium Density Fiberboard in any of our cabinets, mostly because such wood composite materials are not as durable or long lasting as true hardwood or softwood species.
Another defining characteristic of custom cabinetry is uniqueness of design. There are no “cookie cutter” templates used in my woodworking projects. All projects start with a blank page and a whisper of an idea that the customer and I dig up and uncover through one conversation to the next. By getting to know each customer — their styles, how they expect to use a cabinet and how often — I can create a design that is functional, aesthetically pleasing, and will meet any budgetary or other constraints the client is limited by.
Some of the other popular features of custom cabinets that customers ask for are purpose specific shelves, drawers, and accessories. Each of these allow for a greater range of organization, particularly in a kitchen where plates, cookie sheets, utensils, small appliances, and other items require different sized or shaped storage areas.
A final point to remember: Each piece of furniture or custom cabinetry that I create is handcrafted, protected by high quality hardware and durable finishes, and tested to make sure they can withstand the rigors of daily use. Cabinetry bought at a mass market retailer may be attractive for reasons due to price and availability, but my custom woodworking offers uncompromising value when you consider how durable each piece is over time.