Carpenter – Off the Shelf v Bespoke

Off the Shelf v Bespoke

As a Carpenter, I am often asked what the difference is between “Off the Shelf v Bespoke?”

Both have distinct Advantages

Off the shelf

  • readily available or can be ordered for quick delivery
  • cheaper solution as items are produced on mass which reduces production time
  • Materials are purchased in vast quantities and there will be little wastage which will reduce costs too.


  • All sizes can be produced.
  • Any material is possible within the limitations of the design.
  • The customer can choose a specific design of their choice.

Both have distinct Disadvantages

Off the shelf

  • Limitation of sizes and choice of materials
  • Restricted choice of design – the cheaper the item the less choice given.
  • Items are usually supplied flat packed and need to be assembled.


  • Longer lead time
  • Overall cost – Materials will be more expensive because smaller quantities are being purchased to produce each item and there will be some wastage.
  • Items are assembled by hand which increases the total cost.

In summary, this is the difference between buying a new car off the production line or commissioning a new vehicle.

Article written by:

Mick Wheatland
Carpenter and Joiner
Tel:          +34 615 493 761