Making the decision between a modular kitchen or a carpenter-made kitchen is not easy. As the heart of your home, your kitchen is the most important space when it comes to getting the interior right! If you are confused about which one to opt for, we’re here to help!
What is a modular kitchen, and how is it different from a carpenter-made one?
A modular kitchen has pre-made cabinets and accessories that are fit together to suit the dimensions of your kitchen. The cabinets come in standardized sizes, and are available in different pre-determined styles. The woodwork is factory-made and finished, brought to the site and assembled.
A carpenter-made kitchen, on the other hand, is one that is built by hand by local carpenters who follow their age-old traditional methods of woodworking. These carpenters cut, plane and finish the boxes by hand and often work at the site itself.
Plus points of a Modular kitchen:
- You will get perfect finishes with neat edges and accurate dimensions.
- The cost estimates given to you initially will not change (provided that you do not change your basic requirements during the execution phase).
- What you see in the showroom, or as a 3D drawing, is exactly what the end product will look like. There is no guesswork and absolutely no hidden surprises.
- You will get maximum functionality, as the sizes of the cabinets are matched to the accessories available in the market.
- Quality and durability are always high.
- There is no mess at the site, as carpenters will not be working there. When carpentry work happens at the site, the chances of the flooring and walls getting ruined in the process is much higher.
- Timelines can be easily maintained as factory work is very quick.
- Assembly at site takes just a week at most. No carpentry will be done at the site, only fittings will be done there.
- The cabinets can be dismantled and re-used elsewhere.
- Once you approve the design and make the payments, you will not be involved in the hassle of execution of work at the factory or at the site.
On the minus side:
- Unless you choose an established interior provider, there is no assurance of quality of material used as the inside material for boxes will not be visible once finished.
- If the design options are limited, your kitchen will not be unique and will look like any other kitchen that is built using the same design.
- There could be pockets of space that are left out, as the cabinet modules come in prefixed sizes. (However, a skilled designer will be able to work around this issue and give you maximum utility.)
- Costs are usually much higher than for a carpenter-made kitchen.
Plus points of a carpenter-made kitchen:
- You can get woodwork that is custom created to your exact specifications and you will not have to choose out of a catalogue.
- Your kitchen will be completely unique, with spaces created according to your exact specifications.
- You will be able to get the custom-created heights and widths that you need to match your appliances or utensils.
- You can keep control over the quality of material, especially if you are handling the purchases yourself.
- The cost can be less than that of a modular kitchen, especially if you can get carpenters who are reasonable with their rates. (However, watch out for hidden costs on extras that may not have been discussed initially due to your inexperience!)
- Customisation and alterations can be easily accommodated.
- You can get traditional woodworking designs with panelling, mouldings and cornices.
On the minus side:
- Timelines may not be maintained, as carpenters may take leaves out of the blue.
- Costs can go haywire, as carpenters will not tell you the exact material costs at the start. There could also be many hidden costs which are not factored in initially.
- The quality depends on the skills of the carpenters.
- Finishes will not be perfect and precise as the work is done by hand.
- Some machine techniques like edge-banding, membrane finished shutters and so on will not be possible.
- The cabinets cannot be reassembled anywhere else as they are created for a particular space only.
- If the carpenters are staying at your site, you may face issues at the end of the day when they are not supervised.
- If the building is already occupied, your neighbours may complain about the noise and dust. (You will be asked to stop the work during afternoon nap times for babies, if there is a function in someone’s house, if the management is cranky or for a hundred other unique reasons!)
- Power connections and water supply for work at the site could prove to be a hassle.
- You have to be involved at every stage of the execution as well, right from obtaining permissions for site work to utility connections, ironing out issues with workers and neighbours, breakages at site, cleaning up after the work is completed and much, much more. The list is of tasks that you will be faced with can seem endless.
We hope that this article has helped you to make an informed decision about which route you would like to follow! While modular kitchens are becoming more popular because of all the advantages they have to offer, if you have a carpenter who is very well known to you and who is guaranteed to give you excellent quality at a very competitive price, then you could definitely consider that option.