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How Much Do Kitchen Cabinet Makers Cost?

Last Updated Apr 10, 2017 · Written by

Kitchen Cabinets|Renovation Costs

Every home has a kitchen and Australians renovate their kitchens more often than any other room in the average house.

A dedicated kitchen cabinetmaker can help you get exactly what you want in terms of storage for your kitchen including a dedicated pantry, deep drawers and all the latest hardware like soft close drawers. Don’t forget to plan for that wine rack, a must for any kitchen! Expect to be charged a premium for custom cabinetry, and if you are on a tight budget you can opt for a flat pack kitchen.

This article will help you work out:
 

  • Planning your kitchen cabinetry
  • Choosing a kitchen cabinet maker
  • How much do kitchen cabinet makers cost?
  • Does your kitchen cabinet maker need to be licensed?
  • Hiring the right tradies
  • Getting quotes from kitchen cabinetmakers

A cabinet maker is at work in a residential kitchen

Planning your kitchen cabinetry

The first step is to measure your kitchen and get an idea of your kitchen design. You need to figure out how many cabinets and drawers you need and their sizes. A typical kitchen has some or all of the following elements:

  • Base storage cabinets.
  • A drawer cabinet.
  • One or two corner cabinets.
  • A fridge cabinet.
  • A pantry.
  • A sink cabinet.
  • Overhead cabinets.

Kitchen cabinets half fitted in a residential kitchen

 

Choosing a kitchen cabinet maker

 

Many kitchen builders have large workshops with modern equipment to streamline the cabinet making process. Others may be small, local operations that compete with the larger services by having lower overheads. Quality, price and service will depend on the kitchen cabinet maker you choose, not necessarily the size of their business. Any kitchen builder or cabinetmaker you get a quote from should offer:
 

  • Free measure and quote
  • Free kitchen design
  • A choice between a wide variety of kitchen benchtop materials
  • A variety of door and drawer front materials
  • Installation

During the design stage, pay attention to the service you receive from your kitchen designer. Do they give you good design ideas? Are they willing to help you stay within your budget? A good kitchen designer is there to help you get the best possible kitchen without breaking your budget.

If you're building a new kitchen or doing a complete kitchen renovation, you might also need the services of a licensed carpenter or builder.

 

If your dream kitchen is outside your budget, consider buying a flat pack kitchen and having a local cabinet maker install it for you. IKEA sells flat pack kitchens and can arrange to have them installed for you. Doing it this way can be quicker and less expensive than hiring a custom kitchen builder.

 

Read more: How much does a flat pack kitchen cost?

finished cabinets in a kitchen

How much do kitchen cabinet makers cost?
 

In terms of what to expect to pay for your kitchen cabinetry job, these costs are approximate and will vary depending on the materials you choose:

  • $2,800 for flat pack kitchen cabinetry suitable for a small kitchen (excludes installation)

  • $4,300 for budget kitchen cabinetry using melamine fronts
  • $6,600 for a mid-range cabinetry using polyurethane
  • $10,200 for mid-range custom 2pac kitchen cabinetry
  • $15,200+ for high custom timber or 2pac kitchen cabinetry

Most of the difference in cost can usually be traced to the quality of materials they're made from and the techniques used in their construction. The vast majority of kitchen cabinets today are constructed from melamine. "Melamine" refers to the tough outer coating. Underneath the usually white surface is either particle board or medium density fibreboard (MDF). Better quality cabinets are made from MDF because it is a stronger material than particle board. Expect to be charged a premium for custom cabinetry, anywhere from $120 per hour.

In terms of costs for a flat pack kitchen, expect to pay:

  • From $2,600 to $10,000 depending on the size of your kitchen and what manufacturer you opt for

Flat pack kitchens are typically priced on a per unit basis - so every drawer, cabinet and cupboard is individually priced.  

Read more: How much does kitchen renovation cost?

Does your kitchen cabinet maker need to be licensed?

Yes, most states require a cabinetmaker to be licensed, and could be covered by a number of licences including joinery, carpentry and builder. There are also kitchen builders and dedicated IKEA Kitchen installers who can carry this work out for you. They all need to be licensed.

#hiptip: Get at least three quotes before you commit to hiring anyone, so you can compare price and level of service

 

kitchen drawers designed by a cabinet maker

Hiring the right tradies  


When it comes time to hiring tradies make sure they are right for your job. Some questions to ask include:

  • Are you licensed?
  • Are you insured to work in my home?
  • How long will my job take?
  • Can you provide a written quote?
  • Do you have references I can follow up?
  • Can I see examples of your work?

designer kitchen draws

Getting quotes from kitchen cabinetmakers

The best way of finding out the cost of your kitchen makeover is to get quotes from local kitchen cabinetmakers. This will give you a sense of what market rates currently are.  

To be sure you're getting truly comparative quotes, choose your preferred benchtop and door front materials first and get quotes for the same kitchen design and materials. You will probably find that quotes even for identical kitchens can vary considerably. Before choosing the lowest quote, find out more about the quality of construction. Better quality cabinets, hardware and other fittings will make your kitchen more pleasurable to use and last longer.

When you compare your quotes, make sure they are itemised and include everything, including plumbing and electricity. The quote should also include start and completion dates and a payment schedule. Reputable kitchen cabinet makers do not require a final payment until the job is completed to your satisfaction. This is your best guarantee of getting the kitchen you expect to get for your money.

Need visual inspiration? Why not browse our Kitchen Cabinetry Designs pages for what elements appeal to you the most.


*Cost and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.

 

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