Thursday, July 28, 2022 / by Margie Wright
Whether you're building your home from the ground up or just looking at remodeling and redecorating your current home, you have the option of going for ready-made options or tailor-made options. You can even do a combination of both or have semicustom pieces. Whatever you choose, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of custom versus non-custom pieces. Don't forget to ask the professionals you're working with for their honest opinions as well!
The Pros of Custom
1. Custom-made items can elevate and personalize your space
With the freedom to design and build custom items, spaces can be truly tailored to your specific needs and preferences. It adds a layer of empowerment to your space by making it feel more personal, special, and truly unique. They can also make the spaces more dynamic. Something as simple as a custom headboard in your bedroom can make the room overall feel higher-end and more like a fancy hotel. Built-in cabinets are another popular option as you can get as much space as you want.
2. Sometimes, custom pieces are the best solution
Depending on the project and client's needs, custom pieces are the best solution. The dimensions of a room can limit ready-made products. You may have had your eye on a ready-made piece, but, come to find out, it doesn't fit in the room you wanted to put it in. The solution? A custom piece!
Custom pieces not only fit perfectly, but they make a more cohesive look. Depending on your vision and what you're wanting to achieve with the room design, ready-made selections may not fit just right for the theme/design. That's when a custom piece is perfect.
3. You can support local artisans and makers
Ready-made pieces are normally factory made by larger corporations. With one-of-a-kind pieces, you get the opportunity support local businesses, makers, and artisans. This might help you incorporate sustainable elements or ethically made furniture into your home. Many local artisans use locally sourced and/or recycled materials in their items.
The Cons of Custom
1. Custom items can be more expensive
It's easy to underestimate what it costs to build and ship made-to-measure items. Certain materials can raise the cost of the project from the beginning. It's not always the cost-effective route to go with custom pieces. Always have pricing explained early on so you can weigh your options and decide what you may want to do. The benefits nearly always outweigh the downside of higher costs.
2. Custom pieces can have longer lead times
Since custom pieces require custom work, they will likely have longer delivery times. In some cases, longer lead times can mean an increase in price. This is especially true for custom kitchen pieces. Those can take longer to achieve, so if you really can't wait, then you may want to go with a ready-made option or semicustom option.
But beware. Lead times for stock items can be just as long as they are for custom options. Depending on what you're wanting and where it would come from, the ready-made items could still take some time to ship.
3. Custom isn't always the best fit
Sometimes, entirely custom isn't the way to go. Especially if you've seen something that's ready-made and want to base your designs around that. It's possible that the ready-made option is more cost-effective while also being exactly what you need, want, and fits the space. If it's beneficial, then go for that ready-made item.
Some Alternatives to Consider
1. Modify or customize ready-made items
Many home professionals can modify or reconfigure stock items such as furniture and lighting. This path can give your space a more tailored feel without the high cost of entirely custom-made pieces. Stools, chairs, and ottomans can all be easily reupholstered with a beautiful fabric and still be cheaper (and perhaps the better option) for your room.
2. Mix and match
For an even layered look, mix and match custom-made pieces with manufactured pieces. This can also help with creating a more eclectic look to a room. Your custom pieces can be more for functionality. Think custom bookshelves, built-in shelving, etc. Then you can add the ready-made pieces like seating and tables to match or mix up the design.
3. Buy vintage or secondhand items
One way to find great pieces that stand out and are unique is to go thrifting for vintage and/or secondhand pieces. There's no long lead times or labor costs involved with these pieces. If you decide to update a piece, you may have the cost of labor and materials to deal with, but it won't be nearly as much as having the piece custom-made from the beginning. Plus, you'll have a wonderful statement piece!