My cabinet maker is using MDF for the inset panel on the shaker style doors. How will this fare in durability and longevity. Should I have him change it to wood insets instead?
As long as MDF is not exposed directly to moisture it is more stable than solid wood which will expand and contract with seasonal changes much more so than MDF or plywood, cheaper too.
I pretty much do not like MDF at all, except for this type of application. It also finishes out very smooth, some solid wood and plywood will show the grain of the wood through the paint finish.