2 contractors have begged me not to use IKEA cabs

chicagoerinSeptember 12, 2013

I am in love with the Ikea adele door and am pretty sure I want to use it. I have seen so many great comments on here, and to me, they look well made! The first contractor told me he would put them up but strongly advised against it. The second begged me to go somewhere else and told me he would not install. Has had them "Falling off the walls" after 5 years. I have a local IKEA installer that I will use if I go that route, but what gives? The second guy was giving me un unbiased opinion, as he is labor only. I get my own materials. Why would contractors be so anti-IKEA if they were a good product?

I still REALLy want to use them...

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lascatx

I don't have experience with IKEA cabinets, but I do have experience with contractors. They don't want to slow down, so they won't read instructions, can't look at a plan that is different and many don't want to learn a new skill because they think they know more that you do and that's plenty. Said simply -- they probably don't know how to install them properly. Get someone who does or will take time to learn.

1 Like    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 8:38PM
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smiling

One of the important variables is the quality of the initial assembly of each cabinet box. If the homeowner has done a careful assembly, meaning that the boxes are square and true, and the back panels have been nailed properly, these are good strong cabinets, and they will hang level and plumb. On the other hand, if the assembly is sloppy, whether by homeowner or contractor, the result will show.

A second variable is the hanging rail for the wall cabinets. This is a simple system that allows all the wall cabinets to be bolted onto a horizontal rail that is itself screwed firmly into the studs. Some contractors just think they know better and will screw the Ikea cabinets right onto the wallboard. They are incorrect, as lascatx says they won't bother to even try it they way it's designed, then they blame the product.

You may want to keep looking for someone more open. My contractor hasn't ever done Ikea before, either, but he's very willing to do this one. He offered to go with me to the Ikea store to study the various trim options in the display kitchens, and he's already studied and handled the hardware, cab boxes, and panels I've gathered as examples for us to see.

That Adel door style you like is so nice, it looks great in so many settings. Best of luck finding someone who will listen.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 9:16PM
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writersblock

>Has had them "Falling off the walls" after 5 years.

I'd bet money he's one of those contractors who thinks the rail is a stupid waste of time. It's not.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 9:50PM
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heidihausfrau

I would find someone else. While I didn't go IKEA ( and I wanted to but got out voted) several contractors I interviewed put them down, one said he liked them, and one guy admitted he had never installed them but "always wanted to". I agree with what others have said--they probably aren't familiar with them and don't want to learn.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 9:52PM
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jellytoast

Honestly, I'm not sure I'd want to be the house they "learn" on, especially if they are a T & M contractor. I'd look for someone with experience installing the type of cabinets I wanted to use.

1 Like    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 10:32PM
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kitchenredo08

We put Ikea Adel in our last kitchen (DIY) and loved them - there were NO problems after 5 years - they were certainly not falling off the wall. In fact - our new home has Kitchencraft and we're finding issues after 3 months.

1 Like    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 8:55AM
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kitchenredo08

We put Ikea Adel in our last kitchen (DIY) and loved them - there were NO problems after 5 years - they were certainly not falling off the wall. In fact - our new home has Kitchencraft and we're finding issues after 3 months.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 8:56AM
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khj20

We had the same issue. However, it became clear to us that our contractor was getting a kick back from the kitchen designer, besides just not having any interest in installing them himself. We went with an Ikea specific installation company and have been very happy with the result. Our contractor begrudgingly admitted they did an excellent job and that he "didnt think they would look that nice. I may have to change my opinion about Ikea." What it came down to in the end was what others have said- most contractors have ties to kitchen companies, they have no interest in spending their own manpower opening flat pack boxes and building cabinets themselves, and lastly, are not familiar with the product and rather than looking foolish, try to steer you away instead. Go with your gut, and work with a knowledgeable installer. Everyone will be happy in the end.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 9:28AM
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zeebee

I don't have experience with IKEA cabinets, but I do have experience with contractors. They don't want to slow down, so they won't read instructions, can't look at a plan that is different and many don't want to learn a new skill because they think they know more that you do and that's plenty. Said simply -- they probably don't know how to install them properly. Get someone who does or will take time to learn.

This. We're doing walk-throughs with GCs right now for our project, and my antennae went up when the first guy sneered, "this kitchen isn't going to have Ikea cabinets, is it?" Probably not, but knowing how good their quality is, I had a negative reaction to someone willing to dismiss them out of hand like that.

1 Like    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 10:22AM
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smalloldhouse

I experienced this problem too. The difficulty is that our local Ikea sends you to one installer, who is affiliated with a bigger Ikea installation firm that has very mixed feedback (Traymond.) I could find no reviews on the local guy, and he took weeks to return emails and hinted that he didn't care too much about permits. I fled. If I could have found another Ikea installer with a good reputation, I would have jumped at the chance. But my feeling is that with Ikea in particular, you really want a contractor who knows the system well and understands how to tweak things to make the most of it.

(In the end, I went with another firm that recommends other cabinets and it imploded before the project even began, which is another story.) Good luck!!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 10:52AM
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scrappy25

My basement kitchenette was the first Ikea kitchen my contractor did and he has done several more since then, really likes them. We did the assembly, he did the modifications needed with my ideas (ikeafans is an awesome source for mods), and had to build the pantry in place standing up since the height of the pantry was exactly the height of the space allotted. On the pantry, he had to use conventional techniques for the carcass but we still had the Ikea pullouts (fabulous) and the ikea doors. Any experienced and creative contractor should easily be able to put in ikea cabinets. The hanging rails are integral for the upper cabs, they are put into the studs and the upper cabs are not going anywhere when they are hooked into that. Our contractor preferred the ledger board against the wall for leveling the base cabinets and using the adjusting feet in the front. There is a video that can be reviewed
http://www.ikeafans.com/forums/ikea-brochures-documents/6337-akurum-installation-dvd.html

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 10:59AM
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writersblock

That link goes in circles now, scrappy. Here's a direct link to the video on youtube, where you can see how easy it is when an impossibly perfect family with impossibly perfect children installs ikea in an impossibly perfectly squared off room.

If your contractor hasn't used ikea before, the willingness to watch this video is a good test for whether or not he should be installing your cabinets.

Here is a link that might be useful: ikea installation video

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:42AM
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beverlyfla

I have IKEA kitchen cabinets, and my BIL, sister and I assembled & installed them ourselves. It's not rocket science. We hired carpenters to frame the walls, drywallers to install the drywall, electricians to do the wiring, plumbers to run the pipes and install the sink, & tile setters to install the ceramic tile, so we basically GC'd the project ourselves.

Being a designer, I have often found resistance among certain 'carpenters' to do this work. Carpenters, especially Finish Carpenters do not view themselves as 'assemblers'. IKEA kitchens are assembled, because the concept in Europe is that kitchens move with the people. The cabinets do not become part of the home. They're more like furniture......moveable & changeable.

Finish carpenters want to take out power tools, compressors etc and build things. It's what they are trained to do. In most cases that is not what goes on in an IKEA kitchen installation. Assembling the carcass boxes can be a bit boring for these guys.

I've found looking for installers, who have experience with cubicle office furniture, often a better fit for this type of work if you're not going to tackle the work yourself.

1 Like    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 12:18PM
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bicyclegirl1

I'm using IKEA cab's in my kitchen & am having Traemond install them. I had paid $50 to have the designer come to my house to measure, since I didn't trust myself. She wasn't the most personable person & her measurements on one wall looked to be off by 3". I thought that could make a difference, so I went back to IKEA & expressed my concern. They sent out one of the installers. I was very impressed w/ the guy that came out to remeasure. He was very professional & all he does is install IKEA cabinets. I'm going to request him to do my installation. The cabinets have a 25 year warranty on them, so that should tell you something. Plus, I actually had a custom cabinet maker out last week to discuss a custom hood for my range. I told him I was doing IKEA cabinets & he said they were great. He mentioned how the hardware is really good. Not the handles & pulls, but the hinges & such. Said they were very strong. Also, I've been to a couple of renovation home tours in my city & some very reputable contractors had IKEA cabinets in the houses they were showing & they looked very good. Sarah Richardson, great Canadian designer uses them in some of the houses she has redone on her show. Sometimes she has them custom painted, which is what I'm doing. I'm not worried in the least bit. And, you can't beat the price! Use the IKEA installers & just let them know you want to make sure they're installed by their best installer! Good luck. I think you'll be very happy you did this.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 6:00PM
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sreedesq

Scrappy, I am considering Ikea cabs for my rec room kitchenette and I would love a pic if you would post! I see them more in kitchens than rec rooms.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 7:26PM
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