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Cabinet Makers

Quality cabinetry not only enhances the functionality of your home, office, or business, but can add a striking visual element to a space. While you can install pre-made furniture as your chosen storage solution, pieces specifically made for the area by a cabinet maker can prove to be a worthwhile investment.

Their role involves creating custom-built furniture pieces, such as cabinets, bookcases, and shelves, by using traditional woodworking techniques and modern machinery. It’s a highly specialised trade that requires patience, precision, and creativity to turn raw materials into stunning and functional furniture.

We go into all the details of cabinet making below and how to hire a professional for your next job.


  • What is a cabinet maker?
  • Common types of cabinets
  • Cabinet making materials
  • How much does it cost to hire a cabinet maker?
  • How to choose the right contractor
  • Questions to ask your contractor
  • FAQs


What is a cabinet maker?

A cabinet maker is a skilled tradesperson who specialises in designing, building, and installing cabinets and other furniture pieces made of wood, metal, or other materials. Cabinet makers use a variety of tools, including table saws, routers, drills, sanders, clamps, and hand tools like chisels and hand planes, to create custom pieces that meet the specific needs and requirements of their clients.

Cabinet makers may work independently, for small businesses, or for larger manufacturers, and may specialise in a particular type of cabinet making, such as kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, or bookshelves.

Common Types of Cabinets

A cabinet maker can construct a wide variety of cabinets depending on the brief from their clients. Here are some common types of cabinets that your tradesperson can construct:

  • Kitchen cabinets: These are the most common type of cabinets that cabinet makers will build. They are typically made of hardwoods, softwoods, or engineered wood products like MDF or particleboard.
  • Bathroom cabinets: These cabinets are made to fit in a bathroom and can be customised to hold towels, toiletries, and other bathroom essentials.
  • Entertainment units: These are designed to hold TVs, sound systems, and other media equipment.
  • Bookshelves: This type of cabinet holds books, and can be customised in size and shape to fit any space.
  • Office cabinets: Office cabinetry is designed to hold files, supplies, and other office equipment.
  • Display cabinets: These cabinets are created to showcase collectibles or other items, and often have glass doors or shelves.
  • Storage cabinets: This form of cabinetry can be used in any room of the house to provide additional storage space.

Cabinet makers will create custom cabinets based on your specific needs in the space. They can design and build cabinets in a variety of styles, from traditional to contemporary, and using a variety of materials, finishes, and hardware to achieve the desired look and functionality.


Cabinet Making Materials

Cabinet maker jobs usually involve a variety of materials, which can vary depending on the desired style, functionality, and budget of the project.

Here are some common cabinet making and joinery materials:

  • Wood: Wood is one of the most popular materials for cabinet making. Cabinet makers use a variety of wood species, such as oak, maple, cherry, and walnut, to create cabinets with different colours, textures, and grain patterns.
  • Plywood: Plywood is made by gluing layers of wood veneer together, resulting in a strong and stable sheet material that is less likely to warp than solid wood. Cabinet makers often use plywood for cabinet carcasses and shelves.
  • Medium-density fibreboard (MDF): MDF is a composite wood product made by breaking down wood fibres and combining them with resin and wax. It is an affordable and versatile material that is often used for cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
  • Particleboard: Particleboard is similar to MDF but is made from smaller wood particles that are bonded together with resin. It is a less expensive material that can be used for cabinet carcasses and shelves.
  • Metal: Cabinet makers may also use metal materials, such as steel or aluminum, to create cabinet frames, legs, and hardware.
  • Glass: Glass can be used for cabinet doors, shelves, and panels to add a decorative element or to showcase items stored inside the cabinets.
  • Plastic laminates: Plastic laminates, such as Formica or Wilsonart, can be used to cover cabinet surfaces to add durability and design options.

Overall, the materials used by a cabinet maker will depend on the specific project requirements and the client's preferences.


How much does it cost to hire a cabinet maker?

The cost to hire a cabinet maker in Australia can vary depending on several factors such as their experience, location, the complexity of the project, materials used, and the duration of the job.

The hourly rate for a cabinet maker ranges from around $60 to $130, with an average of $80 to $90 per hour. 

For larger projects, such as the installation of custom cabinetry or complete kitchen renovations, the total cost can range from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

It's best to obtain quotes from several different cabinet makers to compare prices and find the one that suits your budget and needs.

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Learn more: How Much Does a Kitchen Renovation Cost? | 2023 Cost Guide

How to choose the right contractor

Determining the most suitable contractor to build your cabinetry means finding someone who can complete the job to the highest standard within your budget.

Here’s how to find the best contractor for your needs:

1. Get Several Quotes

Enter the information outlining your timber flooring installation on, and we'll provide you with a list of local tradespeople who can help do the job.

2. Narrow Down Your Options uses a three-tier badge system to help you make the best choice.

We recommend selecting a tradesperson with the highest level (badge 3 – ‘recommended’) from our three-step verification process.

3. Do Further Research

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, check out the company’s online presence to get an idea of its reputation and service offering. View their website and social media pages to see customer reviews and the quality of their work in photos.

Questions to Ask Your Contractor

Here are some questions that can be helpful to ask when hiring a cabinet maker:

  • Can you provide references from previous work?
  • Are you licensed or insured?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you have specific experience and training to repair certain brands or types of appliances?
  • How do you communicate with customers during the process?
  • Are you flexible with your schedule, and can you work on weekends if necessary?


Cabinet Making FAQs

How long does it take to make custom cabinets?

The time it takes to make custom cabinets varies depending on the complexity of the design, the materials used, and the skill level of the cabinet maker. It could take anywhere from a few days to several weeks or months.

Can a cabinet maker customise existing cabinets?

Yes, a cabinet maker can customise existing cabinets by adding new doors, drawers, or other features. However, the level of customisation may be limited by the existing structure of the cabinet.

Does my contractor need to be licensed?

In Australia, the requirements for cabinet makers to be licensed may vary depending on the state or territory. Generally, a cabinet maker does not need a licence to operate, but some states may require them to hold a relevant trade certificate or qualification if completing work over a certain value. 

Therefore, it’s essential to check the specific licensing requirements of the state or territory where you plan to work as a cabinet maker.

Cabinet Makers Near Me

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All the costs quoted were sourced at the time this article was written. They are to be used as an AUD cost guide and may vary locally, and are subject to market changes.

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