How much do kitchen cabinet makers cost?

Kitchen cabinet makers cost R500-R750 per hour, depending on your location and your project. For individual cabinets, expect to pay around:

  • R1000 to R3000 per cabinet for small to mid-range renovations
  • R3000 to R5000 per cabinet for major renovations
  • R6000 or more per cabinet for custom cabinets

South Africans renovate their kitchens more often than any other room in the average house, and kitchen cabinets can take up a surprising amount of the renovation.

A dedicated kitchen cabinet maker can help you get exactly what you want in terms of kitchen storage, including a dedicated pantry, deep drawers, a wine rack and more.

Read this guide to find out how much kitchen cabinet makers cost and how to find the right professional for the job, including:

  • Planning your kitchen cabinetry
  • How much do kitchen cabinets cost?
  • How much does complete kitchen renovation cost?
  • How much does a flat pack kitchen cost?
  • Choosing a kitchen cabinet maker
  • Does your kitchen cabinet maker need to be licensed?
  • Hiring the right tradies
  • Getting quotes from kitchen cabinet makers

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, which could be more than you expect.

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

How much do kitchen cabinets cost?

Kitchen cabinet makers charge R500-R750 per hour on average, depending on your location and the needs of your project. Expect to be charged a premium for custom cabinetry, anywhere from R1200 per hour.

For individual cabinets, expect to pay around:

  • R1000 to R3000 per cabinet for small to mid-range renovations
  • R3000 to R5000 per cabinet for major renovations
  • R6000 or more per cabinet for custom cabinets with personalised features

Most of the difference in the cost of kitchen cabinets can be traced to the quality of materials they’re made from and the techniques used in their construction.

Most kitchen cabinets today are constructed from melamine, which 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, which is a stronger material than particle board.

How much does complete kitchen renovation cost?

For professional installation of all cabinets in a kitchen, expect to pay around:

  • R43000 for budget kitchen cabinetry using melamine fronts
  • R66000 for a mid-range cabinetry using polyurethane
  • R100,200 for mid-range custom 2pac kitchen cabinetry
  • R152,200+ for high custom timber or 2pac kitchen cabinetry

How much does a flat pack kitchen cost?

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.

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.

Kitchen cabinet maker costs can vary between businesses and isn’t necessarily based on the size of their business. Any kitchen builder or cabinet maker 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.

Does your kitchen cabinet maker need to be licensed?

Most provinces and territories in South Africa require a cabinet maker to be licensed. They can be covered by a number of licences, including joinery, carpentry and builder licences.

There are also kitchen builders and dedicated IKEA Kitchen installers who can carry this work out for you, who all need to be licensed.

Hiring the right tradies

When it comes time to hiring tradies, you need to make sure they’re 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?

Getting quotes from kitchen cabinet makers

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 in your area currently are.

Get quotes from local cabinet makers now

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 vary considerably even for identical kitchens.

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.

Also make sure your quotes are itemised and include all the services you need, 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.

To see more ‘price of’ guides visit the ‘Cost of homes services‘ page to see a full list.

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