Price Per Foot for Custom Cabinets?

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Forum topic by Sailor posted 10-23-2012 01:36 PM 24646 views 2 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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543 posts in 3264 days

10-23-2012 01:36 PM

I have a family member who’s house has flooded and ruined his cabinets apparently and is asking me for a general estimate of the cost of cabinets. He doesn’t want to get screwed.

So, do any of you have guese for what you would charge for kitchen cabinets-

-all oak front
-raised panel oak doors
-solid oak drawer fronts
-slide out drawers in the bottom cabinets
-one lazy susan cabinet in a corner
-stained and sealed

Also, how much do you typically tack on for installing?

Does anyone know what they might charge (per foot) for just staining and sealing the fronts of oak cabinets?

Thanks! Your time is much appreciated!

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

16 replies so far

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2803 days

#1 posted 10-23-2012 03:18 PM

I have been told that the total of the cost of materials times 2 would be a good starting place, but, know that this doesn’t include your labor.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2285 days

#2 posted 10-23-2012 03:58 PM

Custom built cabinets around here (western NY, buffalo/niagara falls) go around $250 a linear foot installed. That’s for uppers and lowers. They can be lower than that but a lot has to do with the hardware/drawer material, etc. The $250 figure has all dovetailed drawers.

If you need to go fast, consider the Blum Tandembox drawer system. It’s about 33% more per drawer for the hardware, but it’s very fast and very slick. You cut a bottom and a back and you have a drawer. Make a drawer front and it clips on. Done. It sounds cheap when I read that back but they are VERY sturdy. I have a 35 inch drawer loaded with dishes. Glides like it’s empty.

View Loren's profile


10396 posts in 3647 days

#3 posted 10-23-2012 05:20 PM

He’s unlikely to get screwed by going with a skilled cabinetmaker,
but there is some range of pricing because there are a lot
of qualitative variables some people appreciate and some people

If his wife gets a look at all the crazy new pullout hardware
available (some of it borderline sci-fi) she’ll want it…. and it’s
not cheap. All the euro stuff installs in “system” holes drilled
on 32mm centers. That said, it doesn’t play too well with
face frame designs.

Your friend may have face frame cabinets, but should be made
aware of the advantages of frameless. $250/lf is a good
starting figure for either style. You can outsource the drilled
and edgebanded carcase parts pretty affordably if you don’t
want to set up to do it. If you go with face frames, the
system holes become mostly useless.

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2674 days

#4 posted 10-23-2012 05:28 PM

It is a regional thing. I think $250 is the going price in the central USA. I have a door place I use that doesn’t charge any extra for drillin the holes for the Euro hinges. On the other hand maybe he doesn’t discount for not drilling them. He also sells the hinges at a very reasonable price. Thos hinges are nice because they are adjustable. I think if they get a price in the $225 to $250 range they will be getting a good price. Now pick a good contractor. Get references and talk to those people.

View Sailor's profile


543 posts in 3264 days

#5 posted 10-24-2012 01:13 AM

Thanks everyone, great replies!

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3284 days

#6 posted 10-24-2012 10:42 PM


This is really a tough question to answer. I’m sure if you checked with every cabinet shop that would be willing to build and deliver cabinets to your area and you gave them detailed drawings with all the spec. that you require for the kitchen, you would see such a wide range of pricing.

Cabinet Maker Magizine does a pricing survey every year; getting price quotes from cabinet shops from all across the country. I participated for a number of years until I retired. They would send out a set of drawings for 4 or 5 different projects, with specific materials and hardware to be used. They asked us to quote a price just as we would if we were quoting it to a customer. It usually consisted of a couple different style kitchens, a home entertainment center or wall unit, a commercial project and usually a smaller piece of furniture. We were able to bid on any or all of the projects, but had to quote it just the way we would in our business based strictly on the spec. they gave us for each.

They also asked how long we were in business and how many employee’s we had. It was amazing to see the results. The wide range of pricing was wild and it usually had nothing to do with where they were located, how long they where in business or how big they were.

The typical kitchen would vary in price by thousands of dollars. Each project that was in the survey was actually built by a shop and they would share what they sold that project for when the magizine posted the results of the survey.

I’ve designed, built and installed custom kitchen cabinets in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. I’ve designed and built custom cabinets for a customer from California and delivered and installed the project in Myrtle Beach, SC.

My pricing was always based on my same rate and by no means was I the lowest price out there. The main thing your friend should do is make sure they check out each cabinet shop very carefully, ask for a lot of references and make sure they actually check out the references and check out the better business bureau to see if any compaints have be filed against them. If they find a big price difference from one shop to another, make sure they are comparing apples to apples and they where very clear on what materials and spec. they expect.

-- John @

View waho6o9's profile


8191 posts in 2576 days

#7 posted 10-24-2012 10:46 PM

$250.00 per linear foot lower cabinets.
$150.00 per linear foot uppers cabinets.
Average west coast prices in Southern California.

View MarionTPennington's profile


1 post in 2027 days

#8 posted 11-06-2012 05:40 AM

Hard to say. When doing a custom job it will depend on the level of customization. Plus different cities different prices, location will produce different prices.

-- Local Cabinet Installation and Custom Work Cost Estimator -

View cabmaker's profile


1731 posts in 2808 days

#9 posted 11-06-2012 09:24 PM

Sailor, thats not arelly tough question, however without having specs. or you not knowing anything about what caliber cabinet your soliciting pricing on it may be meaningless. I know precisly what it cost me to build what I typically build and also know how long it will take me. A pretty close average for me today in my region would be:

base cabs. 220l/f
standard uppers 97 l/f
full hgt uppers (43 inch) 115 l/f

These rates include a few bells and whistles and using one of 3-4 dominat species.(would not include exotics)
Includes 32mm hardware and BTW these are full faceframe cabs, trimmed and installed.
Finishing runs from 35-45 L/F of cab. (not wall run)
Oh and no particle board ! And raised panel doors in house/raised panel ends where needed.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2109 days

#10 posted 11-07-2012 12:05 AM

One thought…

Think hard and long about the pros and cons of shelf pullouts.

In some cases, say with tall items like large soup pots, they can make sense. In many cases, drawers make a lot more sense. Who wants to open a door to pull out a drawer, when they can simply open the drawer?

In recent kitchen remodels, I’ve replaced several base cabinets, that were going to include pullouts, with chests of drawers. The feedback has been 100% positive.

Don’t blindly go where big box “custom” cabinets go.

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3546 days

#11 posted 11-07-2012 01:07 AM

Here in San Antonio custom cabinet pricing is a little less then maybe what the average is across the country. I agree with JB, my prices are similar but we are only 5 hours apart from each other. The one thing I would add, you mentioned that the base cabinets are drawers. In kitchens where all base cabinets are full of drawers, the prices will be a little higher, especially if using costly undermount slides. A common base would have 1 or 2 doors and one drawer, which to me typically cost less than a whole stack of drawers.

-- .

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2285 days

#12 posted 11-07-2012 02:34 AM

I have all drawers in my full depth lowers. MUCH more efficient and we don’t lose stuff at the back of a cabinet and have to get down on hands and knees to find stuff.

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2960 days

#13 posted 11-07-2012 05:59 PM

When I sold custom cabinetry a few years ago, we were getting at the tops about $90 per linear foot for upper and base cabinets. Lot of options with cabinets. Seriously look at the previous posts and suggestions.

View cabmaker's profile


1731 posts in 2808 days

#14 posted 11-07-2012 08:58 PM

Knothead62 I dont know how long yu have been retired but my out of pocket is now 63.00 l/f for the standard line I build. Frameless is near half that !

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2354 days

#15 posted 08-23-2013 05:30 AM

Though Dothan isn’t too far off from me as the crow flies, it’s way outa the way, the way the road drives. Sorry :/

Knot, if you’ve been out for about 7 or 8 years, the price of plywood has gone from about 20 dollars a sheet to danged near 50, depending on what part of the country you are in, and depending on species. If you did a job for that now, you’d either have to do a poor job, or lose your backside. I learned from someone who priced as you do now, and learned a harsh reality that those prices are no longer viable.

However oak plywood is about 55-60 bucks for 3/4, 1/4 is approximately 45 bucks, half dunno, not readily available. 4/4 red oak about 2.50 a bf 3.50 for the 6/4 to make crown. white oak is a lil more dunno, but these are reasonably close to what materials would be looking in your area, I think. You might have to have Georgia prices where you are at though.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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