Many people who decide to integrate furniture into their home or office feel that built-in work surfaces, storage cabinets, and file pedestals are the best way to go. Without question, built-in furniture can be very beautiful and can fit your workspace perfectly. However, most people find modular furniture preferable to built-in units.
Built-in furniture offers very little flexibility to meet changing work needs. The desk you need today may be dramatically different from the one you'll need in the future given the rapidly changing nature of office technology such as computer monitor and CPU sizes.
Once your furniture is built-in, it is almost impossible to modify it or move it without considerable expense when your needs change. In contrast, modular furniture is constantly evolving. Should you have a specific furniture need in the future, you'll be able to plug in the appropriate piece of modular furniture that might not even exist today. In fact, the best modular furniture manufacturers are constantly adding pieces to their extensive furniture collections as computers and other electronic equipment evolve.
A built-in furniture system may work well for you. However, when you sell your house, you will likely have trouble finding a buyer who will appreciate your investment in built-in furniture. In fact, Remodeling magazine revealed that built-in home offices offer the lowest return on investment of any major home improvement. On average, the magazine found that people realized only a 42% return on the money invested in customized home office furniture.
In comparison, investing in high-quality modular furniture makes good economic sense. High-quality modular office furniture systems present a much lower initial investment than their built-in counterparts. Furthermore, when you move, you'll be able to take your modular system with you and re-use it and/or re-configure it. People buying your home will likely find greater value in an empty room rather than one outfitted with built-in office furniture that doesn't suit their purposes, especially if they don't even plan on putting a workspace into the area that has your built-in office furniture.
Since high-quality modular furniture lines are produced on mass production lines, their efficient production costs are low while their quality is high. In contrast, built-in furniture is quite expensive because it is manufactured in very small production runs.
In short, manufacturers of modular furniture are prepared to give you the best product at a reasonable cost. Their mission is to create ergonomically sound, convenient, and durable furniture that combines both form and function and can be easily modified when your needs change.