Find out how much we spent on our custom pantry build and whether we think that price tag was worth it one month later.
It’s been a little over a month since we built our custom pantry in an old unused laundry closet. It’s safe to say that I am beyond in love with the pantry and how it turned out. But was the cost worth it? Let’s dig into how much we spent on materials and organizing products and whether it was worth the investment.
A Look At The Pantry
Quick little overview of our custom pantry build: this was a laundry closet in our kitchen that was not being used for laundry. It was really just a catch-all/temporary pantry but had no rhyme or reason to the storage systems. I drew up some build plans and brought in my handyman to help me with the technical parts of the build that I’m not as experienced with. It turned out exactly how I imagined it, and you can tour it in this post.
Quick disclaimer before we start talking about money…material costs range quite a bit based on the time of year and the location you live in. I am based in East Tennessee, and my local prices are very different from someone based in the western U.S. As you read the rest of this post, please keep that in mind.
Materials Total Cost
The materials we chose were predominantly reliant on availability. I was on a tight timeline with this project, so I didn’t have a lot of time to shop around and wait for sales. If you don’t have a hard due date, you can save a lot of money by taking your time to get the best deal on the products you really want.
For example, I had planned on using cheap stock cabinets from The Home Depot. The app said there were four in stock, so we headed to the store the day before the handyman arrived to pick up two. But when we got to the cabinet aisle, there were only three and they were ALL damaged. So I had to pivot and buy finished cabinets instead.
The stock units would have been $100 each, but the finished units were almost $300 each. That was a hard hit to my budget, but I had no time to wait so I had to just get what I could.
Total Material Cost Breakdown:
- (2) 18″ Base Cabinets With Drawers $590
- (2) Sheets of 4×8 Beadboard $48
- (10) 1×12 Pine Boards $340
- (1) 2×12 Yellow Pine Board $58
- (1) 2×4 Yellow Pine Board $8
- 100pc Pocket Screws $7
- Pint of Wood Stain $18
- Pint of Polyurethane $0 (already had some in the garage, valued at $12)
- Pint of Paint For Beadboard $18
- Gallon of Cabinet Grade Paint $54
- Cup Pulls x6 + Outlet Cover $0 (gifted from my friends at Amerock, valued at $50)
Materials Total: $1203 (I personally spent $1141)
Organizing Products Total Cost
I already had a lot of pantry organizing products on hand that we were already using. But since I want to give you a full idea of how much it would cost to replicate what we’ve done in our pantry, I’ll give you those totals as well as what we actually had to buy. Anything marked with an asterisk is something I had previously bought in the past and already owned before starting this project.
Total Product Cost Breakdown:
- (2) 24ct Spice Jars* $64 (I owned one set but had to buy another)
- Expandable Spice Jar Riser $15
- Airtight Food Storage* $280
- Shelf & Drawer Clear Bins $160
- Adhesive Labels $30
- Baskets* $40
Product Total: $589 (I personally spent $237 since I already owned a lot of this)
Labor Total Cost
The final piece of the budget puzzle was labor. I’m a pretty handy chick, but these shelves were going to hold heavy containers of food items and needed a custom design, so I decided to hire my handyman to help me out with this. He’s a pro builder and I knew it was worth it to hire someone to help me do it right versus mess it up and have to tear it out and start over.
Hiring a handyman does add quite a bit to your overall cost, but in my opinion, it was well worth the extra money. Not only was it done super professionally, but he taught me along the way so I’m more confident to try some of his techniques later on down the road in my home renovation journey.
A handyman or cabinet builder typically charges by either the hour or the project scope. My handyman charges by the hour for most things, and it took three sessions to finish. My hours billed included the hands-on time, as well as the time we spent at The Home Depot buying supplies and hauling them home. I spent a total of $660 on contract labor.
So How Much Did My Custom Pantry Cost?
When we add up the three categories, I spent a total of $2038 on this pantry build. Since the drawer pulls were gifted and some of the containers and paint supplies were already owned, I was able to save a little on the overall cost. If you were to replicate this project yourself, you’d spend around $2452 but keep in mind that prices for materials, taxes, and labor vary based on location.
So was it worth it? I have to say yes. I could have put in some stock shelving or a wall-mounted pantry system and saved a lot of money. But after a month of living with this custom pantry, our food is getting consumed before it’s expiring, we’re more inspired to cook meals, and we feel safer about eating our allergen-friendly food because we know there’s no way it can get cross-contaminated.
If you’ve been on the fence about building a custom pantry, in my opinion, it’s worth saving up to get it done right and to be able to design it to suit your needs. No store-bought pantry system could give me these results, and they definitely wouldn’t look this nice. This pantry will outlive us and go on to serve many families after we’re gone. It really is timeless.