How to Choose a Custom Cabinet Maker in San Francisco

Residential  | 
Custom cabinet in a home in the San Francisco Bay Area

Have you been dreaming of custom cabinets for your kitchen or bath? Maybe you’re ready to transform your entertainment room or home office with custom shelving. Whether you’re renovating, upgrading, or building, working with a custom cabinet maker in the San Francisco Bay Area is the best way to ensure you get exactly what you want.  

Two of the biggest benefits when working with a custom cabinet maker are the attention to detail in the design phase and the ability to seamlessly match millwork, trim, or furniture pieces. Custom cabinets bring an unmatched element of complete flexibility to your project. Special sizing constraints, unique wood and finishes, and complex design elements are not an issue when you choose to work with a custom cabinet maker. 

If you choose stock cabinetry, you’re limited to standard cabinet sizing and fillers to accommodate unused space. That means you will end up not getting the exact look you want, and waste a lot of valuable space. 

A custom cabinet manufacturer uses superior materials, hardware, and construction methods. You pay more, but the cabinets will stand up to the wear and tear cabinets receive with daily use. Not only do you get the best materials engineered to last, but you also get something that reflects your style and fits how you intend to use your space. 

Once you’ve decided that working with a custom cabinet maker is the best choice, you’ll need to know how to choose one. Anyone making cabinets in their garage can call themselves a custom cabinet maker. It’s important you choose a custom cabinet maker in the San Fransico Bay Area with a strong reputation for quality and consistency. They should have their own facility with the latest equipment and experienced craftspeople. 

In this article, we’re going to explore why working with a custom cabinet maker is a great choice and how to choose one for your next project.    

Table of Contents 

  • What Can Custom Cabinet Makers Do? 

  • What Kind of Technology Do Custom Cabinet Makers Use? 

  • What to Consider When Choosing Custom Cabinets 

  • How Do Custom Cabinet Makers Determine Cost? 

  • What Should You Know about a Custom Cabinet Maker Before Hiring? 

  • How Can Homeowners Know if a Cabinet Maker Is Qualified? 

  • Choosing the Best Custom Cabinet Maker  

What Can Custom Cabinet Makers Do? 

A lot of homeowners understandably think kitchens when they think of custom cabinet makers here in the San Francisco Bay Area. However, custom cabinet makers can design and build cabinets and storage for any part of the home from the kitchen and bathroom to the garage and basement. 

They have the skills to build furniture-style bathroom vanities, swinging bookcases, and master closet organization systems. It’s true custom cabinet makers spend the bulk of their time designing, building, and installing kitchen and bathroom cabinets, but you’d be surprised how many entertainment wall units, fireplace surrounds, home offices and pantries are the results of a custom cabinet maker. 

What Kind of Technology Do Custom Cabinet Makers Use? 

Custom cabinet makers have a lot more than wood, glue, clamps, and cutting tools at their disposal. The best custom cabinet makers use design and manufacturing software to help clients visualize detailed floor plans and elevation views of a project. The best software can create photorealistic renderings so you can feel confident in your choice of style. 

Software programs allow cabinet makers to rotate the computer rendering of a room so you can get a feel for the 3D space one of the most important aspects of your cabinet design. You can even see the details of the millwork, such as detailed crown molding or glass-door mullions. 

Once the design is finalized it’s given to a skilled cabinet engineering team to ensure the designs are accurately synced with the state-of-the-art computer automated CNC machines that will do the precision cuts for each piece. Although the final touches are done by hand, skilled cabinet makers use modern technology to ensure precision and optimal efficiency. 

What to Consider When Choosing Custom Cabinets 

The main things you need to focus on when choosing custom cabinets are budget, materials, wearability, longevity, style, and appropriateness to the space where they are built. If you feel like this is a lot to take into consideration, you’re not alone. 

There are a lot of variables that go into choosing cabinets that not only look great but maximize your space and meet your desired functionality. The best way to navigate all of these variables and get the best possible outcome for your investment is by working with an experienced custom cabinet maker.  

How Do Custom Cabinet Makers Determine Cost? 

Custom cabinet makers have different ways to determine costs; they don’t all follow the same formula. Some may use a general pricing structure based on lineal footage for standard cabinets. But even with that, the price would vary depending on the construction method, including whether it is frameless, inset, and the type of wood and finish chosen. 

Some cabinet makers may charge by the project. A client may present a budget and the cabinet maker would provide options that meet the clients’ tastes within that budget. Material costs, labor, and finishing can vary greatly depending on what you choose. 

Choosing exotic wood species, hardwood dovetailed boxes, custom glazed or distressed finishes, and radius doors and moldings are examples of upgrades that increase the cost. 

What Should You Know about a Custom Cabinet Maker Before Hiring? 

Just like you’d do before hiring any professional you want to do your homework before hiring a custom cabinet maker in the San Francisco Bay Area. When you first meet the owner or salesperson of a custom cabinet company try to gauge their passion for their craft and the problems they’re trying to solve for you. Take note of the quality of questions they ask you, as that will often reveal their level of expertise and how enjoyable they’ll be to work with. 

Have your own set of questions ready. Look for a clear explanation and response to your questions. You’re paying for more than superior materials and hardware you’re paying for expert guidance and support from design to installation. 

Does the cabinet maker have the resources, capabilities, and bandwidth to take on your cabinet project? Many smaller custom cabinet makers are limited by space, equipment, staff, and older technology. 

If possible, see if you can visit some of their recent projects. If they’re pleased about their work, they’re usually happy to show it to a potential client. If you’re touring their showroom or facility take note of the organization, cleanliness, and worker energy. Are people dragging their feet or do they look like professionals working with purpose? 

How Can Homeowners Know If a Cabinet Maker Near You Is Qualified? 

The homeowner can start by looking at how many years a company has been in business in the community. The more years in business, the more experienced, and the better the reputation. A company that’s survived multiple recessions typically knows what they’re doing. Companies in any industry can’t last in a community if they don’t satisfy customers. 

Ask other well-established builders and subcontractors about the cabinet shop in question. Homeowners can ask for referrals and ask those referrals about their experience with the cabinet maker. They can ask how the cabinet maker responded to challenges during the project. Were they good with updates and overall communication? Were they honest and up-front or did they try to hide issues? The construction business is messy, and there are almost always some bumps along the way. It’s how those bumps are handled that is important. 

Choosing the Best Custom Cabinet Maker in the San Francisco Bay Area

You have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a custom cabinet maker. The important thing is understanding what you’re getting. Working with a fully custom, large-scale custom cabinet shop will make your new build or remodel a joy. 

Choosing the design for your dream kitchen, bathroom, or entertainment space is a lot of fun. Seeing your design come to life after the project is complete feels amazing. 

Although working with a custom cabinet shop can come at an initially higher cost, the cost can outweigh the limitations and potential pitfalls of using standard off-the-shelf cabinets and smaller custom shops with limited resources. 

Segale Brothers is a San Francisco Bay Area custom cabinet maker that’s been helping homeowners and builders with their cabinet design, build, and installation since 1976.  

You deserve to love your custom cabinets. 

See the Segale Bros. Custom Cabinet Gallery 

Interested in working with us?

The time we take to work with our customers starts with a consultation to discuss your needs and how Segale Bros. experts can help.

Because we value our time with each and every customer, we have limited capacity to take on new clients. To reserve your spot on our schedule, give us a call today,