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5 Ways to Make Your Cabinetry Budget Friendly

Creating beautiful and functional cabinetry doesn't have to break the bank. With the right approach and a touch of creativity, achieving a budget-friendly yet stylish cabinetry solution is entirely possible. Whether you're revamping your kitchen, bathroom, or any other space in your home, there are numerous strategies and tips that can help you optimize your cabinetry budget without compromising on quality or design.

Here are our top 5 things to consider when trying to stay within your budget:


At Sullivan's, we offer both unfinished and prefinished cabinetry. In terms of saving money on your project, unfinished is the way to go. Obviously, you'll have the added cost of materials and possibly labor to finish them onsite, but it could be more savings for you in the long run.

An example of a beautiful unfinished project that the customer finished onsite.

If you choose to have Sullivan's prefinish your cabinets, there are still tips to saving here, too. For example, a single step paint or stain will be much cheaper than a multi-step process such as sandblasting or a bleach/glaze/stain.

Left: Sandblasted cabinetry; Right: Cabinetry with a multi-step bleach, glaze and stain


The type of construction method can also save you money. One of the biggest examples of this is overlaid drawers and doors versus flush inset or frameless construction.

Examples of projects with overlaid doors and drawers - a much more budget-friendly construction method.

Left: Flush-inset cabinetry; Right: Frameless cabinetry


When it comes to doors, budget friendly leans towards more classic choices. Basic shaker doors as well as slab doors are the least expensive options and both are very much trending choices.

Adding details around trim, opting for a thicker door and raised panels all start adding costs to your project. For example, we often see clients using a reverse raised panel on their doors. This raised panel will make your doors more warp resistant and stronger in the long run, but again, this added detail increases your bottom line.

Examples of painted shaker cabinetry in beautiful AND budget friendly kitchens!

From our "Door Wall" in our showroom, an example of a raised back panel (left) and extra detail on the front panel (right). Although wonderful design and functionality features, both of these can add extra cost to your project.

Examples of intricate door styles that can add extra cost to your bottom line.


As with any project, the materials you use will definitely affect your budget. Here's a general breakdown on wood types from least to most expensive:

Least Expensive:

  • Paint grade poplar or maple - recommended if you plan to paint your cabinetry as you usually would not stain these.

  • Knotty alder

  • Red oak


  • Plain sliced white oak

  • Clear alder

Most Expensive:

  • Cherry

  • Walnut

  • Rift cut white oak

  • Rustic white oak

A recent knotty alder project

Left : Plain-sliced white oak; Center: Clear coat Maple; Right: Clear coat maple with Walnut accents - a great way to keep costs down, but create a beautiful design feature, too!

For interiors, we build our cabinetry with MDF and plywood which makes for a strong and durable interior used in almost every kind of construction project for both indoors and outdoors. Important note - MDF is NOT particle board.


Although interior gadgets and space optimizers are helpful and fun, they can get expensive. If you're trying to stay within a budget, our advice is to plan now and buy later. There are many after market items you can add after the initial cost of your cabinetry project.

Interior gadgets and optimizers can make your cabinetry much more functional, but can be pricey. Don't completely remove them from your cabinetry designs, just plan them for a later date!


When it comes to crafting budget-friendly cabinetry, we believe in resourcefulness and making sure our clients know all of their options. Staying within your budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style or functionality. From clever material choices to strategic planning, our team can help you design your cabinetry project that not only meets your aesthetic desires, but also aligns with your financial considerations.


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