Designing Semi-Custom Cabinet Layouts

By Todd Fratzel on Cabinetry, Interior Decorating, Kitchens

Semi-Custom Cabinets

Semi-Custom Cabinets From KraftMaidI’ve designed quite a few kitchen, mudroom and bathroom cabinet layouts over the years using semi-custom cabinets. Semi-custom cabinetry allows the designer quite a bit of flexibility in the design to give any room a custom look and functionality. As you can see in the adjacent photo our new home has some very elegant and functional features that were possible using semi-custom cabinets.

Online Cabinet Resources

Designing your own cabinet layout isn’t as hard as you might think. This is especially true today because most semi-custom cabinet manufacturs have online resources full of design ideas and dimensional information for all of the cabinets and accessories. The kitchen, bathrooms and mudroom in our new home have KraftMaid cabinets and I was able to download all of the cabinet specifications online. For example they have one document that has all the wall cabinet specifications showing every possible wall cabinet they offer. Most cabinet manufactures offer some type of online resource so you can design your own layout.

Design Requirements

Kitchen Cabinet Design With Center IslandBefore you begin designing your new dream kitchen or master bathroom it’s a good idea to create a list of design requirements. This is even true if you plan on working with a kitchen designer so it makes sense to make this list early on in the design process. The list really is a method of accounting for all the critical design elements. For example you will most likely need to consider the following design elements for a kitchen:

  • Number of Sinks
  • Number and Type of Stoves / Ovens
  • Number and Type of Microwave
  • Islands and / or Bars
  • Type of Refrigerator / Freezer
  • Dishwasher
  • Garbage Storage
  • Specialty Cabinets, i.e. Wine Bottles, Decorative Plates, Spice Racks, Cutlery, etc.

Use Scaled Drawings

Once you come up with your list of design elements you need to draw a scaled layout. The cabinet specifications will you show the dimensions of each cabinet so you can create a layout. Be sure to leave EXTRA space on each run of cabinets to allow for variations in the framing. The extra spacing can be taken care of using solid wood fillers during installation. The last thing you want is to have a wall that’s too short for the cabinets that you ordered!

Use Semi-Custom Cabinets For Built-In Furniture

Office Desks KraftmaidSemi-custom cabinets can be used for much more than just kitchens and bathrooms. You can use semi-custom cabinets to build office furniture, entertainment centers, pantries, walk-in closets and pretty much anything that requires shelving, drawers and storage space. There really is no limit to the possibilities with semi-custom cabinets.

So next time you’re thinking about a renovation or new construction project that requires cabinetry take some time to look at designing your own layout. With all the resources available online it’s very easy to come up with great cabinet designs.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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