Create Character and Optimize Storage with Built-ins
Built-ins, which are installed as permanent features in a home, can add charm and supply needed storage space for homeowners. Some popular options for built-ins include bookshelves, cabinets, desks, entertainment centers, and window seats. The cost of built-in cabinets can range from $1,000 to $10,000 or more, depending on the materials used, the space’s size, and the design’s complexity, but because built-ins often negate the need to purchase particular furniture, they can be an economical option. Given the variety of styles, finishes, and uses, built-ins can be a smart choice for many design projects.
Types of Built-ins
Custom built-ins: These are built to order and are designed and constructed specifically for a particular space within a particular home. They are typically the most expensive option, are best able to meet homeowner wants and needs, and offer the most flexibility in terms of design, materials, and finishes.
Semi-custom built-ins: This option is pre-designed and pre-constructed but can be modified to some degree to fit the specific requirements and preferences of the homeowner. They are generally more affordable than custom built-ins but typically are available in fewer designs, materials, and finishes.
Pre-fab built-ins: This choice is pre-designed, pre-constructed, and pre-fabricated and can be installed in whatever space or room is desired. This is the most affordable option but designs, materials, and finishes are limited. Pre-fab built-ins are usually available in standard sizes and designs, are readily available and are often sold at big-box stores or furniture retailers.
Materials Used for Built-ins
With many choices for material, there is plenty of opportunity to make built-ins fit with the look and feel of any space.
Drywall: Drywall can be used to craft built-ins, as it is relatively inexpensive and easy to work with. Once completed, it can be painted the same color as the walls, creating a seamless transition.
Glass: Glass can also be used as a component in built-ins. Glass works well for floating shelves, display cases, or cabinets, to give a sense of airiness and spaciousness.
Laminate: Laminate is a budget-friendly alternative to wood and is available in a wide range of colors and patterns to mimic the look of wood, stone, or other materials, so it provides endless possibilities.
MDF: Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is a composite material made from wood fibers and resin. It is more affordable than solid wood and can be painted or laminated to look like solid wood.
Melamine: Melamine is a laminate made of paper impregnated with melamine resin. Melamine is often used in cabinetry and built-ins and is known for its durability and resistance to moisture.
Metal: Metal, such as stainless steel or aluminum, can be used for modern and industrial-style built-ins and is often used for contemporary kitchens, home offices, or libraries.
Wood: Wood is a classic and versatile material for built-ins and can be stained or painted to match the existing decor.
Built-ins can change the look and feel of a space while providing essential storage, display, and/or workspaces. Available in a variety of types and materials, the best built-ins are those that match the homeowner’s style, budget, and functional needs.