There are basically three different ways to get cabinets into your kitchen. You can have them custom-built to fit the space. This is very expensive. You can get pre-made cabinets delivered, already assembled, and install them yourself (or have a contractor do it for you). This is less expensive. Or you can order ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets, and assemble them yourself. This is the most budget-friendly option of all. Plenty of people know that you can buy ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets at IKEA, but there are also a lot of other sources out there.
The RTA store lives up to the promise of their name, offering a few different varieties of Shaker cabinets, as well as quite a few more traditional styles. The thing that impressed me most about the RTA store was their selection. Within the individual styles, you have quite a few different choices for cabinet varieties, widths, and heights. Many are available already prepped for use with glass doors (although the glass is not included), and you can also purchase specialty cabinets like wine racks and range hoods, as well as accessories like moldings and filler panels. The website is well-organized and makes it easy to find the parts you need — or you can take advantage of their free professional design service.
Above: Brit of House Updated used cabinets from the RTA Store in her kitchen renovation. She goes over their pros and cons in helpful detail.
You'll find a variety of ready-to-assemble cabinets at the Home Depot, including more contemporary styles (which seem to be harder to find at other stores). You can also choose to pick up your cabinets at your local store and pay no shipping. One downside is that Home Depot styles don't offer quite as much variety in cabinet types, sizes, and accessories, so you may find yourself limited as to what you can do.
This company offers ready-to-assemble cabinets in framed and frameless (doors attach directly to the cabinet base) styles. They have a huge variety of sizes, which can be sorted by width and height, as well as a free design service.
People who have used these cabinets attest to their quality, and to the company's customer service. They aren't as inexpensive as IKEA and other RTA options, but you still might shave a couple thousand dollars off your cabinetry budget, instead of going custom. The lead time is long however, so factor that into your renovation schedule.
Designers White Arrow used Scherr's doors on top of IKEA cabinetry in this 1900s Rowhouse in Ridgewood in New York City. You can see examples of their actual cabinets in this other kitchen renovation on Design*Sponge.
The selection here is similar to other RTA manufacturers: a few Shaker styles, plus lots of more traditional styles with paneled doors. Lily Ann Cabinets offers free samples of up to four styles, plus full-sized door samples, in most cases for less than $20. Plus, you can get free shipping if you order more than $2,499 worth of cabinets.
CSH offers a good selection of (mostly traditional style) cabinets made of all wood, instead of MDF or particle board. They have standard base and wall cabinets, along with specialty options for appliances and pantries.
Above: Sarah Sherman Samuel used cabinets from CSH in her Michigan cottage remodel, choosing a Shaker-style door to finish them off.
The selection at this online retailer isn't particularly extensive, but their prices appear to be a bit lower than those of other stores. They also offer a free design service, as well as quotes to compare with equivalent designs from other retailers.
Costco offers ready-to-assemble cabinets through a partnership with Euro RTA. If you're looking for contemporary styles (with non paneled doors), you'll find quite a few here. If you have to have your kitchen cabinets RIGHT NOW, their quick ship styles can be on their way to you in 2-3 days.
Have you used RTA cabinets in a kitchen? If so, which brand, and would you recommend them to others?