There’s a lot to cabinets. And this is a big plus for your budget. It means that you have lots of roads to reach your budget and still get the look you want. Tony Pearson of Classic Custom Cabinets has been building exceptional cabinetry for all budgets for many years and he shared some of his suggestions for stretching your dollar and still getting what you want.

1. Save on wood choice
There are three basic price levels for wood. Oak, alder, maple, pine and birch are all in the most economical category. Cherry, mahogany and walnut are in the second tier and exotics like zebrawood and birdseye maple are the most expensive.

2. Choose based on location
If you choose a relatively inexpensive wood for the laundry room, kids’ rooms and guest rooms you have more money for a nicer grade of wood in the kitchen, master bath, entertainment center and bar.

3. Choose doors instead of drawers
Drawers are always more expensive than doors. If you choose doors whenever possible with pull out shelves, you can save a lot of money.

4. Save on drawer boxes
A high-end dovetail drawer with Blum Tandem undermount drawer guides cost about $100 per drawer. If your home has 100 drawers the total cost is $10,000. By choosing a nice plywood veneer drawer with a solid wood edge and 100# rating soft close ball bearing drawer guide, you spend $25 per drawer for a total savings of $7,500.

5. Type of panel
The style of door can change your budget, too. The most economical is a flat panel door. A raised panel is more expensive and a raised panel with an inlay is the most expensive. If a flat panel works with your overall design, you’ll see some savings here.

6. Type of door
A door that is inset into the frame takes more precision and man-hours in fabrication. An overlay door requires much less labor so they also save you money.

7. Finish choice
A nice, two-step faux and glaze usually averages around $25 per square foot. If you choose a paint and glaze, you can save money by using a less expensive wood, but you still have to pay for labor for two steps. However, if you use a good natural alder stain, you can still get a glazing effect without having to actually glaze the cabinets. This saves a step reducing the amount of labor. For a kitchen with around 200 square feet of cabinet surface, you can save $5,000.

Curves will cost you

8. Go straight
Any time you include something curved or arched, you just multiplied the cost. If you’re looking to meet a budget, only use a curve on the focal point of the kitchen and don’t repeat it on other places.

9. Pick your company
Do not send your project out to bid and choose the lowest bidder. The best way to avoid disappointment is to pick the company you want to work with and let them help you design to your budget. Even companies who do the finest work can make the kinds of choices we’ve outlined to be able to design and create a cabinet system for you that maximizes your budget and leaves you with a kitchen you’ll love.