In this article we will take a close look at the steps and costs involved in designing, building, finishing and installing a custom home entertainment TV cabinet.

A custom built in entertainment cabinet is a cabinet built to hold the TV and other electronic entertainment equipment in a particular room of a home. With proper planning all the wires and electronic boxes can be properly concealed into a decorative custom built cabinet that matches your tastes. Below we highlight some of the steps we’ve gone through from inception to a finished product.

Design – Beauty & Function

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0071377964″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” popups=”default” tag=”wwwallabouc00-20″ width=”123″]The design of a custom cabinet can come from a number of sources. You can design it yourself. You can hire a professional interior designer to design the cabinet for you. Or, you can ask your cabinet maker to design a cabinet for you. Each situation has its benefits. When you design it yourself you can make the design entirely your own; however, without the input of a professional designer you might be missing out on decorative touches that ultimately give a cabinet the style you are seeking. By hiring a professional designer you often get the benefit of new creative ideas as well as looking at the designer’s portfolio of prior design projects and picking out things you like and pointing out things you don’t like. Your cabinet maker, generally a local trades person having a local shop, can also provide valuable input in design. The cabinet maker can help you decide upon what materials to use and which materials take certain finishes best. If you want an all white cabinet then the material you choose can come from a wide selection. If however you want stained cabinets your selection of material options becomes fewer because certain woods take stain well.

If the plans call for housing Home Entertainment electronics special consideration must be given to the design for two critical factors. One factor is the accessibility of the equipment and excess Connection Cables etc. The other factor is the dissipation of heat. Alot of heat will build up if the cabinet is not properly ventilated. The build up of heat can and will damage electronics and can pose a fire hazard in some cases. Ventilation ports and slots designed behind the cabinet can allow heat to automatically flow out and up the back of the cabinet. As well, special, very quiet home theater cooling fans can be integrated into the design to only turn on when needed. As a general rule of thumb, when designing the cabinet, extra room should be planned for more than you think you might need for electronics.

Building and finishing the Entertainment Cabinet

If you are comfortable with your own skills you can build the entertainment cabinet yourself. Its alot of work and you need to have all the right tools. But before you begin make sure you have a really good plan and that you make sure you work out all the dimensions. Typically however, a local custom cabinet trades person is hired to build the cabinet. The process often takes several weeks with the first meeting to sit down and review your design or ideas. Usually a meeting or two will follow to make sure you approve the actual materials going into your build along with the finishes. You don’t want the finish to be too dark or too light for your taste so a meeting to approve a finish is important.

How is the Custom Built In Entertainment Cabinet Installed?

Depending on the size and complexity of your custom Built In Entertainment Cabinet will determine how the installation proceeds. Professional installation can take anywhere from as little as 4 hours up to a few days. Considering professional installation is important because no matter how well a house was constructed the walls and floors aren’t perfect and a professional installer has all the right tools, installation parts, and experience to make adjustments to a particular home.

Depending on the complexity, the entertainment cabinet will be comprised of multiple pieces. As is the case of the design drawing in this article. This completed cabinet was delivered in 9 pieces plus 6 shelves. Installation with the addition of trim took one full day.

How much does a Custom Built In Entertainment Cabinet cost?

The cost of a custom built in entertainment cabinet will depend on several factors. Who designed it, what material, how extensive, what finish and what appointments such as door pulls and drawer guides. Cabinets that are smaller than the one depicted in the drawing can be self built for around $500 but can range up into the tens of thousands for high-end custom designs.

The Custom Cabinet Features

  1. The example cabinet pictured above can be painted any color or stained any color and constructed from different wood types.
  2. All the wiring is fully concealed and heat is fully released out the back and up.
  3. A shelf located immediately below the TV supports gaming devices such as Xbox Kinect, Wii sensor and can also be put away when not in use. As well, Surround Speakers and Subwoofer can be attractively installed and/or concealed.
  4. The door styles can be designed to suit any taste to include glass doors, both clear and smoked or tinted glass.
  5. The installation can be permanent and performed Do It Yourself or Professionally. Or, the installation can be as furniture as depicted in the photo whereby nothing is permanently affixed to the walls.
  6. The number of pieces can be increased or decreased. In this example the cabinet is comprised of 6 cabinet pieces and 3 custom wooden counter top pieces
  7. The finish trim can be installed to suit your taste.
  8. Electronics can be pre-installed, programmed and tested as desired to include One Remote Control. All preinstall electronic components are securely fastened, wiring management and labeled. This work can be performed prior to installation and makes for a very neat, clean job.
  9. Shipment can be made in individual precut piece or assembled in Modules and shipped.
  10. Construction could be performed DIY using the drawings.
  11. Designs, door styles, or hardware can be modified to suit personal preferences.

Retail Entertainment Cabinets

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B003B2ELO0″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” popups=”default” tag=”wwwallabouc00-20″ width=”160″]You can typically find pre-made  entertainment cabinets at most home good retailers and online. There are an endless number of designs including countless material choices and finishes. They come in two general styles which are an entertainment equipment stand and a entertainment cabinet. Basic store bought entertainment cabinets consist of a few shelves to hold home entertainment electronics along with a TV. Pre-made cabinet are available at most furniture retailers and are designed to blend in with current furnishings in a home.


How difficult is it to setup a store bought entertainment cabinet?


How difficult to setup will depend on how complex and how large the pre-made entertainment cabinet. Pre-made entertainment cabinets bought from a local retailer or online tend to come packed in one or more boxes, with extensive assembly instructions and assembly parts. These kits contain all of the components and can take many hours in some cases to assemble because of the vast number of parts it takes.


When purchasing a pre-made entertainment cabinet from a furniture retailer often the furniture retailer offers delivery service right into your home. Set up can be as simple as placing the cabinet into position up to assembly of several components of a large wall unit system.


How much do store bought entertainment cabinets cost?

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B005EGVGXA” cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” popups=”default” tag=”wwwallabouc00-20″ width=”160″]The most basic entertainment cabinet or equipment stand can be purchased for around $150. Pricing varies upward from this point at any level depending on the quality and size and features up to $5,000+ dollars.