Big Box Shower Kits vs Custom Shower Enclosures: Comparing Your Options

In today’s world, where every aspect of our homes reflects our style and a daily part of our lives, aesthetics and functionality go hand in hand. Most homeowners want sleek and modern products that offer style and sophistication to make their lives easier or more comfortable. When it comes to upgrading your bathroom, there’s nothing more luxurious than a shower enclosure. But whether you want a fully frameless enclosure or something less extravagant, you have two options: choosing an off-the-shelf enclosure or commissioning a custom shower–which both offer their advantages.

In this blog, follow along as we explain the pros and cons of standard pre-made shower enclosures vs custom shower enclosures. That way, you can understand their different features to determine which is better suited for your bathroom project.

Understanding the Basics: Pre-packaged vs Custom Showers

When it comes to selecting a shower enclosure, the market presents two primary options: pre-packaged kits and custom showers.

Pre-packaged options, like the widely recognized VIGO shower kits available at The Home Depot, offer convenience and immediate gratification. They come in standard sizes and designs to meet the needs of common shower layouts, which makes them both cheaper and more accessible than a custom build. However, their one-size-fits-all designs make them less suitable for uniquely shaped or styled bathrooms, or for homeowners who want a truly personalized look and feel.

Custom showers, on the other hand, are designed from the ground up to meet your specific bathroom layout and aesthetic preferences. These shower enclosures aren’t just off-the-shelf products but personalized solutions that, when done well, are designed so that every inch of your shower meets your needs. Made using custom glass that's cut to fit your space and hardware to match your taste, custom showers offer endless design possibilities and can completely transform your bathroom into a luxurious retreat.

Key Considerations When Choosing Between Pre-Made vs Custom Showers

When deciding between pre-made and custom showers, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. Keep the following points in mind to help you make the best decision for your bathroom. 


While it’s true that pre-made shower kits are generally more affordable than custom showers, that doesn’t mean they’re for everyone. Pre-made showers come in standard sizes and designs, which make them easier to mass-produce and sell at a lower cost. This makes them a great option for those on a tight budget or for a quick and easy bathroom remodel, but not so great for those who want a truly unique and personalized shower experience. 

Custom showers, on the other hand, offer unlimited design options and can be tailored specifically to your needs and preferences. While the cost of materials and labor for a custom shower contributes to a higher price tag, the result is a shower designed specifically for you and your space. 

Ultimately, it's important to consider your budget and weigh it against the level of personalization and uniqueness you desire for your shower.


One of the most critical challenges homeowners face with pre-packaged shower kits is the fit. No two homes are alike, and the assumption that your bathroom space is perfectly square or level can lead to unsightly gaps, potential water leakage, and a huge compromise on functionality and aesthetics. 

It’s also important to ensure that every corner and wall is precisely aligned and perfectly vertical–a condition known as being “plumb.” Unfortunately, this is hard enough to achieve with custom shower enclosures, even for experienced installers. With standard kits, the challenge can be even greater, making for a frustrating if not impossible task for DIY homeowners.

Custom showers shine in their ability to overcome these challenges. At Southwestern Home Products, for example, we follow a meticulous measurement process to ensure that all of our custom showers perfectly fit your space. This level of precision not only guarantees a perfect fit but eliminates the common headaches associated with DIY or one-size-fits-all solutions.


Beyond the tangible aspects of fit and aesthetics, the quality of materials and service will also play a significant role in your long-term satisfaction–which is why it’s important to consider how you'll feel about your new shower after it's installed. Standard shower kits might appeal for their upfront cost savings, but they often fall short in the durability and longevity that custom solutions offer. 

At Southwestern Home Products, we select the highest quality materials for our custom shower enclosures, ensuring that our enclosures not only look beautiful but are built to last. Plus, our installations are handled by our team of shower enclosure experts and covered with a 1-year labor warranty, so you can rest easy knowing every part of your new shower enclosure installation will be performed with precision.


Perhaps the most compelling reason to choose a custom shower over a pre-packaged option is the limitless potential for personalization. Pre-made shower kits are designed to fit a standard size and style, which is convenient but can be limiting in terms of design.

Custom showers allow homeowners to bring their vision to life, and allow them to choose everything from the layout and glass finish to the hardware and accessories that go into their shower. For homeowners who appreciate quality, custom detailing, and an outstanding design aesthetic, a custom shower enclosure is the obvious choice.

Why Choose Southwestern Home Products for Your Custom Shower

Considering a custom shower in El Paso? You won’t find a better partner than our team at Southwestern Home Products. With our years of experience, we know the ins and outs of custom showers and can guarantee that everything comes together just right. Plus, with our commitment to customer satisfaction, we proudly offer the following complimentary services to ensure your project is a resounding success: 

- Personalized Design: Each custom shower is designed to meet your specific needs and aesthetic preferences, ensuring a result that is uniquely yours.

- Superior Quality: We only use the highest quality materials for our enclosures, guaranteeing that your new is as beautiful as it is durable.

- Expert Installation: Our team of professionals ensures a seamless installation process, with attention to detail that guarantees a perfect fit, every time.

- Customer Service: From the initial consultation to the final inspection, we offer unparalleled customer service, ensuring that your project is as seamless and stress-free as possible. 

A custom frameless shower enclosure built by Southwestern Home Products

Conclusion: How to Make the Right Choice for Your Home

When it comes to bathroom renovations, choosing between a standard shower enclosure and a custom one is a big decision, one that can impact not only the look and use of your shower but also how you feel as you use it. While standard shower stalls come in all types of designs, shapes, and sizes, they may not be the best option for your bathroom. On the other hand, custom showers are a little more expensive but they offer many benefits that shower kits simply don't–which might make the extra cost well worth it.

For homeowners ready to elevate their bathroom with a custom shower enclosure that fits perfectly, looks stunning, and lasts a lifetime, contact us today. We’ll arrange a time to discuss in detail exactly what you want, answer any questions you may have, and provide you with a no-obligation estimate you can be comfortable with.

Interested but not sure if you want to dive in? No problem. Learn more about our custom glass shower enclosures or check out our gallery to see if you can find something that suits your style!

Custom shades and glass in El Paso Texas

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