Building your cabinets can be significantly cheaper, with some estimates saving you up to 2/3rds of the cost of new cabinets. However, it’s not as straightforward an answer as it looks at first glance. The hidden costs here are time, tools, and expertise. In theory, cabinets are just big and little boxes, so it should be relatively straightforward. But, as anyone who has tried some woodworking projects knows, there’s a learning curve to making them look good. The other thing is that it will take most people hours more work and gathering the materials than the average professional. And lastly, if you don’t already have many of the tools, buying them new will eat into those savings rapidly.
You need a table saw, a mitre saw, an orbital sander, a stacked dado set of saws, and a pocket hole jig to make the craftsmanship look good. The other thing to consider is that lumber prices also fluctuate with the market, so the cost may be more than initially thought. Building your cabinets probably isn’t the best route unless you’re a competent carpenter with the tools and know-how already in place. That said, hybrid systems are available for purchase with specific components already in place, which may be a good middle-ground option for those looking to do some of the work but not all of it.
In general, it’s best to always get a few quotes from local cabinet suppliers to see what the actual costs are for the project. Suppose you’re considering remodeling on a budget and don’t mind putting in a bit of sweat equity. In that case, it may be worth considering resurfacing your existing cabinets or painting them instead of building them from scratch.