Modular Versus Carpenter-Made Kitchen: Which Is Better?
New-age experts are sure to suggest you upgrade to a modular kitchen if you want to enjoy a “hassle-free” cooking experience. In continuation, any suggestion on our part to stick with the traditional carpenter-made kitchen might be booed and dismissed for the perceived “hassle” it may cause. By the end of this cryptic discussion, if there is any, you would start entertaining the thought that the two are mutually exclusive.
We live in a world, where hassle-free is the main key word defining the merits of all things. Such is our desperation to live a life free of hassle that one often ignores the high price one pays to enjoy that luxury. In the world of home construction and design, hassle-free is the pitch that is used to market all sorts of product. However, giving an undue importance to the word “hassle-free” would be a mistake if you have only a vague idea about the real advantages of going modular.
Also read: Tiles That Are Perfect For Your Kitchen
Let us try to understand first what they mean when they tell you a modular kitchen would offer you a hassle-free cooking experience.
Modular kitchens: The ease of doing business
Around the world, many a carpenter-made kitchens have made way for their modern counterparts i.e. modular kitchens because of so many factors.
Let us count from the start.
You have an option galore to pick from: Everybody seems to be opting for modular kitchens. And, the supply in this market far exceeds the demand. Consequently, homeowners have a thousand of options to pick from, depending on their requirements, preference and budget.
You get the perfect finish: If modular kitchens are a remarkable success today, their beauty and finish play the lead role in scripting that story. When you pick a modular kitchen, you certainly are getting something that is easy on the eye and not at all rough around the edges. The machine-made edge-banding is brilliant, too, which is not the case with man-made edge banding.
You get what you see: You know right from the start how your modular kitchen is going to look like. The company would provide you 3D drawing of the design. The final product would be what it looked like in the picture.
You pay what you commit to: There is a fixed price you pay when you take your pick. There would not be any surprise escalations striking you like a bolt from the blue. It would also be wrong to assume that they cost dearer than carpenter-made traditional kitchen. The difference between the costs is not huge. The starting price for a modular kitchen is Rs 1 lakh onwards. You will have to pay a similar amount for a carpenter-made kitchen.
You save time: Everything is already built and all that would be done at your place is fixing. It would take only a day or two to get that job done.
Also read: Essential Baskets For A Modular Kitchen
Your kitchen gets closer to you: You are no more looking for your stuff randomly in your kitchen, pressuring your mind to remember where exactly you kept that pickle jar. There is a set place for everything. You just have to open that compartment and bring the stuff close to you. This saves times, energy and mind boggling, too—the ladies would completely agree to the last bit.
You would find it easier to clean: Kitchens are prone to getting dirty and regular cleaning is quite necessary. Since all fittings could be detached and attached again, it is much easier to clean a modular kitchen.
If you mind is made up to upgrade to a modular kitchen, you may also like to know that—
Flexible has its limits: Customers of modular kitchen products brands are often told they would simply uninstall the entire kitchen in case they shift their place in future and get it reinstalled in their new abode. While there is the possibility that this feat could be achieved, the specification in your new kitchen might now allow you the freedom. In such a case, your old kitchen would go waste. Modular kitchens might be flexible, but not to the extent to which they are often marketed.
Quality could be questionable: The you-get-what-you-see thing works only in case of the look and feel of modular kitchens. The same is not true of the quality of the material used in building the modular kitchen. The materials used to build the cabinets are often engineered wood, which is actually made of waste material accumulated while building other wooden products. Similarly, the fitting used inside may be of poor quality, in case you are not going for the best of the brands that cost you a bomb.
Maintenance is tough: In case the materials used in building the modular kitchen are of questionable quality, it would start falling apart, one bit at a time. Since the market keeps getting updated every year and old designs make way for new ones, you would find it extremely hard to get a replacement of the part that has fallen apart. Even if the material is of fine quality, the hinges would loosen after a couple of years and would need fixing. This naturally would have cost-related implications, too.
Cooking needs are different: The move to get a modular kitchen is often aspirational. One often mistakes one’s desire to be like their peers for their requirement when one takes such a decision. In Indian households, modular kitchens are often more of a hindrance than help. TV dinners, for instance, are not common in India unlike in the west where weather conditions are different and so are eating habits. Cooking and eating fresh food is considered ideal here. Grilling, roasting and baking are also not a regular affair in an Indian household. In such a scenario, keeping large space for humongous refrigerators and big ovens does not make sense.
Carpenter-made kitchens: Keeping the tradition going
Not all of us are in a hurry to avoid hassle and are willing to give our 10 per cent to get the 100 per cent of our cooking space. Some of this lot may actually think carpenter-made kitchens are better option because—
You are the designer: They may make it sound mutually exclusive, but you could have all the features of a modular kitchen in your carpenter-made kitchen if you so wish. The assumption that there are only so many designs to pick from is also wrong. Give a good carpenter any design, and he would do the job for you.
You oversee the entire process: The carpenter would come home and do the job for you. Each product could be hand-picked and that would leave no room for any doubts about quality of the material.
You make changes: You can make any changes at any stages while the process is on. The alterations could be done keeping in mind your budget as well as taste.
You get a life-time job done: You pick a trusted carpenter, use all fine quality material and get a kitchen which may not need any major mending for years. This also means there is no regular spending on the maintenance as such.
You are in context: You stand out with your man-made kitchen. You also apply the best features of cooking processes that are most relevant to you.
You decide the budget: You let the carpenter know your budget, and ask him to stick with it. They would do that for you. The best of modular kitchens costs in several lakhs. The same is not true of carpenter-made ones.
In case carpenter-made traditional kitchen is your pick, you must also note that
Process would be messy, lengthy: It would take at least a month to get a carpenter-made kitchen done. During this time, the house would be in a mess. A good deal of time would be spent in hand picking materials. For this, you have to do a good deal of research in advance.
Coordination is a must: You will also have to pick coordinate with the workers to get the job done. In case of working couples, it might be a problem to oversee the work. In case you are not able to oversee the work, the entire purpose of going for a carpenter-made kitchen would fail.
Carpenter is the key: You have to pick only the best carpenter to get the best results. The end result would be a reflection of his skills. A bad carpenter could totally derail your plans.
Finish may not be as impeccable: There would always be a difference between a man-made and a machine made product. You have to be able to appreciate man-made products to appreciate a carpenter-made kitchen.
Cleaning is slightly tougher: Cleaning a carpenter-made kitchen is not as simple as cleaning a modular kitchen unless one has opted for detachable fittings.