- Built-in - These are usually built on site except for unfinished cabinet bodies. Laminates are glued on site, adjustments are made on-site. Backs of cabinets and other hidden sections remain unfinished to save costs. The finished cabinets look snug against walls and ceilings. This cabinets are usually difficult to recycle and usually remain permanently fixed for their lifespan. Storage is fully maximised. However the cost is high especially hidden ones. Site environment is the most messy and dusty. Installation may take several days or weeks.
- Modular - These are based on modular carcasses with fixed widths and heights. They only look snug only after being boxed up. The box use partitions or face boards. The partitions and face boards can be quite broad. Storage is not maximised. Site is relatively clean. Cost is reasonable. May not fully meet your requirements. They are usually transportable.
- Standalone - This refer to furniture casegoods. Installation is the simplest and cleanest. Storage is the least efficient of the four. This is however the most flexible. Rearranging a room is simple and convenient. They are very transportable. You have accept the designs as-is.
- Made to Measure - These cabinets are mostly made off site and installed within a day on site. Boxing up is an option. Storage is fully maximised. Boxing up is done by grouting or a narrow face board. They are usually transportable. Cost is reasonable. They will fully meet up to your requirements. Site is relatively clean
So what do you think is ideal for you.
- Built-ins are currently very popular. But costs have been increasing rapidly due to the shortage of carpenters. Many of the local carpenters with small operations treat cabinet making as a craft and don't usually do technical drawings. Project management can be difficult. Such cabinets are ideal for commercial work such as restaurants, hotels and bars. For residential projects they are used for kitchens mostly. Highend homes also use them as they are the most customisable.
- Modular cabinets are less popular in smaller homes. Their storage efficiency is only about 70 to 80% of built ins and made to measure types. Their fixed designs are also very restrictive. Ideal for larger homes of 1500 sq ft or more.
- Popular standalones pieces are sideboards and TV units. Wardrobes are not popular. They can however be the most beautiful and of the highest quality. Ideal for luxury homes and larger houses.
- Made to Measure is now the trendiest type. Cost is reasonable and storage efficiency is the highest. Design is flexible. Technical drawings are available to the client. Providers tend to take a more technical approach that makes project management much easier. Highly recommended for apartments, condominiums and HDB flats.