Build or Buy: Pros and Cons of Custom and Ready-made Furniture


Individual styles and preferences are a reflection of one’s personality. Your choice of furniture speaks volumes of who we are whether directly or indirectly.

The long drawn debate of going the custom-made or ready-made route when it comes to furniture shows no signs of letting up in the near future. What is clear, however, is the home owners’ consensus of form, function, and affordability.

Whether off-the-rack or made-to-order, they want their furniture beautiful and unique, useful and fuss-free without burning a hole in their pockets.

To aid in your decision-making, let us take a look at the positives and negatives of both.

Uniqueness and Customization

These are the two main selling points of ready-made furniture. Large retail stores will carry rows and rows of the same item where the chances of you seeing the exact same display rack you just bought sitting in a different living room very likely.

Whereas for made-to-order ones, you can go as far as to claim that you are the only one who has this product especially if you were extremely involved in the design process.

Given that off-the-rack furniture is already pre-made, there is very little to no room for customization. This poses a problem for areas in the home that have specific measurements. While there are some pieces of furniture, such as couches, that allow you to choose from different swatches, this is as far as it goes for customization.

Meantime, custom furniture gives you free reign from the size, to the material, to the tiny drawers, hooks, and racks you want in place. This gives way for optimal function and use of space.


On the other hand, price is a primary advantage of mass produced furniture. You have the ability to choose from a wide range of price points, from the low-cost to the very high end depending on your budget.

Online stores give discounts while retail stores also hold sales that further reduce the price which you can take advantage of.

As expected, custom furniture costs more due to design specifications, materials, and labor cost. You will be paying not only for a finished product, but also for the craftsman’s time and skill. But since you have a say on materials, you may opt to choose cheaper materials to scale down the cost, but that is not without its repercussions.


One cannot be guaranteed when it comes to the quality of ready-made furniture. Mass production and the need to be more affordable can take a toll on the overall quality of the product. Store-bought items are generally not expected to last for a very long time. As a precautionary measure, make sure to get good warranty when buying.

Since the craftsman’s focus will only be on your furniture, quality assurance is a given especially when you are also involved in the process. There are even furniture makers who hold certificates that attest to their expertise and years of experience.

Time and Ease

There is no question as to which will be easier to buy between the two. As long as stocks are available, you can check out a piece of furniture and bring it home with you or have it delivered without spending more time than necessary.

Online stores take it a step further by allowing you to purchase in the comfort of your own home with just a click of a button – easy and hassle-free.

The step by step process in ordering custom-made furniture can be a bit time consuming. This still not taking into consideration the prior research you have to do to find the right materials and furniture maker. Add this to the actual manufacturing of the piece. The bigger and more customized the furniture the longer it takes to be delivered to you.

All these considered, as mentioned above, choose furniture that is a reflection of who you are – your needs, design preferences, and inclinations. Whether custom-made or off-the-shelf, just make sure that it is money worth spent.

Here at D Interior Xpert, our custom carpentry work is top-notch and of the highest standard. Our interior designer can also help you in choosing the right ready-made furniture or decorative items that suits both your budget and home design. Contact us now for a friendly non obligatory discussion!