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Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Posted by caveman_mike (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 22, 13 at 18:08

Any tips for my first visit to Ikea to spec out kitchen: lower & upper cabinets, and counters (maybe quartz, or something nicer than Formica)?

Make apt.? (Do they even accept)?

What to bring?

What to consider before I arrive?

Any other tips or thoughts would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,!

Mike in Philly


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

BTW, this is what I have in mind for the new cabinets on my presently empty 7 foot wall:

(Upper & lower shown here)

BTW, the middle of the upper will have several adjustable open shelves.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Do you want to order this trip, or are you investigating?

If you want to order, I suggest downloading their kitchen planner tool and doing the layout prior to going.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Hope for a genial order taker. Mine was rather grumpy. I don't know if they take appointments but you should find out and make one if so. I don't know why I didn't! If you are doing any hacks (see ikeafans.com), research until you know every part you need. Using Ikea's design program is great for getting an itemized list and getting familiar with the different parts. Do not expect (grumpy) sales person to know, although this is not so important if you are close to Ikea and can make repeated trips. My under sink trash pullouts didn't pullout nor have doors for over a year because of missing key deep drawer parts. Eventually we hacked around it. If you are close to Ikea I would hold off on buying the finishing items. End panel's etc. Also I wish I had paid more attention to the finishing details in their display kitchens while at Ikea.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

My experience with IKEA was very pleasant with a salesperson who helped me plan every detail. Very knowledgable and sweet.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Are you showing lowers with 2 cabinets with doors? If so, you might want to reconsider. Lower drawers are so much easier to deal with!

Regardless of what you map out at IKEA, I would definitely bring the plan back to your house and think through every portion of it before actually ordering. This presumes that IKEA is a relatively close to your house. I recall seeing the wall you have in mind, but I don't remember if you have an electrical outlet there for instance. In any case, check and check again on all measurements, just to be sure you've got it right. Wait, did you have a pantry on the other side of your kitchen? If not, this would be a great time to acquire one.

P.S. I think you're going to have to suck it up and actually get rid of the wallpapers currently in your kitchen. A pain, yes, but you'll have a whole new look when you choose a paint color. I'm a fan of wallpaper, but I think your paper has seen its day come and go.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

I have installed five or six IKEA kitchens and they are a great value for the price. I advise planning as others have suggested, but once you make your decision I would buy everything at once. My suspicion is that others might not have experienced what happens when IKEA discontinues something. I am certain that their staff doesn't know when something will be discontinued. So get it immediately, because returning for a few end panels turns this usually fun place to shop into a nightmare. Also, open up every box right there at the store to be sure that they have loaded up the right item. Two of the kitchens I did had mis-marked boxes so we ended up with - for example - a brown door and a brown under cabinet light molding piece in a white kitchen. IKEA happily fixes this, but if you don't discover it until your cabinets are discontinued..... Well, you all get the idea.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

I have installed five or six IKEA kitchens and they are a great value for the price. I advise planning as others have suggested, but once you make your decision I would buy everything at once. My suspicion is that others might not have experienced what happens when IKEA discontinues something. I am certain that their staff doesn't know when something will be discontinued. So get it immediately, because returning for a few end panels turns this usually fun place to shop into a nightmare. Also, open up every box right there at the store to be sure that they have loaded up the right item. Two of the kitchens I did had mis-marked boxes so we ended up with - for example - a brown door and a brown under cabinet light molding piece in a white kitchen. IKEA happily fixes this, but if you don't discover it until your cabinets are discontinued..... Well, you all get the idea.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

The absolute first thing you need to do is to download the planner and try to plan out the space using their cabinets. They have limited sizes and styles and you may not be able to do what you want to do without compromising. For instance, you will not be able to take your cabinets to the ceiling without some hacks. And 7' doesn't divide evenly and symmetrically into their available cabinet sizes. You'll have to figure out where you want to compromise with that one as well.

This post was edited by hollysprings on Fri, Feb 22, 13 at 19:57


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Go on a weekday when it is less busy. You will get most help customizing then. Also ditto what others have said about the planner. But understand that IKEA is like a giant parts catalog. The planner helps you understand what is available and to some extend what's possible. But an experienced IKEA designer can easily figure out additional drawers, how to double stack cabinets etc. Order in 1 order to keep returns and parts easy.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

I think you should get everything in one order too. I would try the planner it is easy to use and the designer will use that as a base to start your kitchen with. It gets pretty busy in kitchens, so I would check in right away and not walk around the store. That way if there is a wait you can do it while waiting.

We did a few hacks such as I did not like how the upper drawer was split in 2 on the 30" cabinets. Our designer was knowledgable enough to help me find the correct 30" oven cabinet drawer to use for the top. If you think carefully you might be able to find a solution.

I am not sure what everyone else thinks that has done Ikea, but the feet are useless. We built 2 x 4 frames with a sheet of plywood on top to put the cabinets on. We were able to level the whole row out easily with shims.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Put it into the kitchen planner software. You can pull it up on their computer when you get there. It also gives you a list and price of everything, so you know how much it'll cost. The Ikea people helped me tweak a few things (removing the individual cover panels on the back of each peninsula cabinet and replacing it with one solid piece cover panel) that I wasn't able to do in the software. But the process itself was pleasant, they went over each cabinet and what pieces it needed.

I am lucky enough to be in zone 1 delivery, so it was $59 for them to deliver and bring the boxes inside the house, and I could get it delivered the same day. We did that, and thoroughly checked everything that day. We live close enough that returning wouldn't be a big deal.

The hardest part was finding a countertop since many of the Cambria's were backordered and actually my top 5 picks were all unavailable. I ended up finding a nice stone from a local granite store and cancelling the Ikea countertop. The local granite store's price ended up being cheaper than the lowest Ikea granite price (including their discount) since they do their own fabrication.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

You have a store in Philly, don't you? If so, I would just go with nothing but a notebook, and no intention of ordering. Wander the kitchen displays and take note of what you like and don't like (both style-wise and layout-wise). Play with their hardware and feel the different counters. When you see something that strikes you, write down what it is. Then, when you're all done, go home and sit down with your notes and see what your kitchen is starting to look like.

I wouldn't give this advice if you had a long trip to get there, but if you have a store in town, they are wonderful playgrounds for kitchen design--even if you end up getting your cabinets elsewhere (as we did). The time we spent with their displays was still invaluable.

(You don't want to buy right now anyway because they will have a spring kitchen sale soon, if I remember right!)


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

I'd wait until their next 20% off sale, which should be in April.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Wow! I got excellent advice here! I'm very excited. It's all falling into place.

I live only 15 minutes from Ikea in Philly, so yes, I'm going just to look tomorrow.

Based on the suggestion here, I found the ikea online configurator:

http://kitchenplanner.ikea.com/US/UI/Pages/VPUI.htm?Lang=en-US

Really cool!

Using that, things really fell into place.

For my 7 foot area, I'll use a 3 lower cabinets with pull-out drawers (not doors you open and reach in) - really good point, thank you!

That will be 24+36+24 ; Wow, that's easy!

For the uppers, I'll use 39" tall cabinets (24" on each side), and maybe 36" open shelves in the middle. I want to look around more tomorrow at the options.

Then, I just need a 7' slab of counter. Even with installation, I bet that's well under the $9,000 estimate I originally got.

And, thanks for mentioning a sale next month. I will certainly wait.

Thanks again everyone!

Mike


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Well, maybe a 36" wide drawer is too wide.

Maybe two 18" instead?

Thoughts?


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

The sale is in March.

Bonnie


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

If you haven't done so, check out the IKEA fans forums. And thanks, Bonnie, for the heads-up.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Take pictures. And pull out and open all the drawers, etc. to see the inside configurations. And I took close-up pictures of all the tags which lists the components and prices needed to put together each cabinet configuration.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

And I purchased a couple 15"x15" doors to take home for samples (were only $38 and $42), and can be returned within 90 days (save receipt!)


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Once again it seems like you are rushing into things a bit. The key to shopping around for kitchen items is to figure out exactly what you want so you can get comparable quotes. Figure out what you want before you go rushing off to Ikea. You'll save yourself a lot of time and trouble.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

I may have been unclear from my thread, but I'm not rushing to buy anything at Ikea today.

In fact, my personality type is much more likely to agonize and end up in analysis paralysis rather than make a big impulse buy.

When the kitchen magic guy wanted me to sign on the bottom line with his quote being the one & only, I said no (even though he tried to entice me with a 10% discount).

His sketch, pictured above, had doors on the lowers. As was aptly pointed out in this forum, pull out drawers would be better (and I agree).

Because I'm a total novice, the only way I'll figure out exactly what I want is by browsing around.

I do have the impression, however, that Ikea level pricing will be what I want for this project. I don't have a showplace fancy condo so I don't need to spend $15,000 on oak cabinets.

At least now, I have a general sense of what this project might cost. Imagine needing a car, wandering into a BMW dealer, then concluding you can't afford a car. That's what nearly happened with the initial Cambria quote.

I'm really delighted to have found this great resource, and am profoundly appreciative for all the great tips, ideas, observations and advice I've received so far.

Thanks!
Mike


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

IKEA also has kitchen counter tops, and frequently special pricing on certain types. Just saw birch butcher block for half price and some of their quartz for 59.00/sqft installed in our local IKEA.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

The Twin Cities MN Ikea has a sign up saying the next kitchen sale is March 1 - April 30.

Before you go I'd take some time to consider what you really do like and what you really don't like about your current kitchen. Then see if you can replicate what you do like and fix what you don't with Ikea solutions.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

I had an excellent day at Ikea. I really refined my idea of what I want, and it is dramatically less money than my first quote (of course not apples to apples).

Here's what I learned:
They will assemble and install the cabinets for $119 each. There will be 6, so that seems like a bargain!

Estimating on the high side, I'm guessing the average cost of the base & wall cabinets to be about $300 each. Again, that seems like a bargain.

They have Cambria quartz at $80/sq foot.

They will be having the 20% sale (minimum order $4,500) starting the first weekend of March!

Delivery is $59 flat (for as much as you buy).

It sounded like they will come onsite to confirm measurements, and the $200 or $300 fee will get credited back if you proceed.

It sounds like the sequence is to place the order for the 6 new cabinets, get them installed, then have the ikea counter folks show up to do the precise measuring and template the existing formica , and measure for the new counter.

It seems like I'm supposed to pick out the sink and have it delivered before the counter folks arrive.

I guess at that time they can estimate back spash options (I don't know what I want yet).

The ikea guy did warn me that sometimes in old installations (like > 10 years), they sometimes glued the formica to the base cabinets and sometimes, the cabinets get destroyed trying to remove the formica counter.

I was told that because Cambria adopted a flat price for all their quartz, they have had some supply chain problems keeping some in stock.

Of the 3 brands Ikea carries, it sounds like the cambria is the cheapest, with dupont and caesarstone being more expensive.

Anyway, I just wanted to document what I learned in case anyone else is in the same boat.

Thanks to everyone for your help!

Mike


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

I'm glad you had a good day at ikea, but this part:

>They will assemble and install the cabinets for $119 each. There will be 6, so that seems like a bargain!

Who will? Ikea used to offer lists of all the certified installers in the area, then they switched to using the infamous Osprey Bay (do a search on their name if you don't know why infamous) for most of the country, which they finally abandoned in most markets because of all the terrible complaints. So far, they haven't designated another company.

Do not assume that because ikea gave you a name that you are necessarily getting good service. Do your research on the installer, exactly the same way you would if you were hiring them independently, because that is what you're doing, essentially.

EDIT Just as an example, in my part of the world the company ikea will currently hook you up with is not a kitchen company at all, but a service that specializes in assembling flat-pack furniture (putting desks together for offices, for example). Just make sure about who will be doing the work. Ikeafans can recommend good installers in many markets.

This post was edited by writersblock on Sat, Feb 23, 13 at 20:38


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

It used to be that you could assemble the cabinets yourself and then pay the company IKEA works with to install the cabinets.
But yes, find out, who does the installation or hire your own person. You can get some advice on the ikeafans web site.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

No one answered your question about the 36" drawers. No, they are NOT too wide. Many of us have drawers that wide or wider, and love them. You may want to look into heavy-duty slides for them, however, depending on what you wish to put in them.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Does Ikea offer all the colors of Cambria or other brands of quartz? I was walking through the kitchen area there once and it looked like they only had samples of a limited number of colors. I didn't bother to check whether they sold all the colors as I wanted to select my own fabricator rather than having to put up with whoever gave Ikea the cheapest bid to be their fabricator.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Assembling and installing Ikea cabinets is easy, even for a novice. Look at online videos to get an idea of the skill level. It's pretty minimal. You don't even really need many tools. If you don't own a level, drill, screwdriver, etc,, well, as a homeowner, you really should so I'd put that on the list of things to be acquired.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Realism, ikea is like other big box stores--for granite, quartz, and corian they just contract out to a separate fabricator. What's available varies depending on where you are and what the fabricator that your store uses happens to offer. Except at sale times, the countertops aren't usually much of a bargain, except for the DIY ones they sell in the store, like the Butcher Block. (They also stock a number of interesting laminate colors, which is too bad because their laminate is very shabby compared to what you can get at HD or Lowes.)

And I'd agree with Angie_DIY that 36" drawers aren't too big at all.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

I understand that Ikea contracts out to a separate fabricator. Thats what turned me off about them. I want to select my own fabricator. I have heard stories about the kinds of fabricators that work for big box stores. Although there may be some good ones out there I have heard most of them just bid low to be selected as the fabricator of the store and then hope to make money by doing a large volume of jobs. As a result customer service suffers. Unless I was getting an amazing deal I wouldn't go with Ikea for counters. You could probably get the same product for the same amount of money elsewhere or for just a little bit more money without any headaches.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Right, so the answer is that it depends on where you are even which products are available.

Our local store is one of the smallest ikeas and they have very few colors on display. Basically, I think that if you happen to want caesarstone (the quartz they currently tout) you could get anything the fabricator can get in, but they only have about 6 colors on show in the store.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

I put IKEA cabs in my kitchen 6 yrs ago now and they still look like new - Adel white. I used their referred contractor to assemble and install, which they did perfectly in one day and I had more cabs than you do. Assembling cabinets drives me up a wall, so I put outsourcing that in my budget.

I just ordered a whole new walk-in closet of IKEA PAX cabs and innards and am excited as heck! Good luck with your kitchen!


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

That's a really good point about the installation not actually being done with Ikea.

Does that mean if there's a problem, there's no recourse with ikea?

It just seemed simpler to deal with ikea for the entire project, rather than get a separate counter guy, and separate cabinet assembler/hanger.

As to researching the installer, I'm not exactly sure how to do that.

Would it be better if I signed up with Angie's List and researched that way?

There are a bunch of other things I need done (finishing off drywall around the laundry room door frame), wall paper removal, painting.

Should I find a small handy-man type guy on Angie's list with good reviews and see if he's willing to assemble and hang the ikea cabinets too?

Great points, thanks for making me think about this.

Mike


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

There are some nightmare stories about the IKEA installer on the IKEA fans website, and, no, IKEA i snot responsible for that, so you'd have to deal directly with the installer.
You should ask IKEA who they're working with in your area and then research that installer.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

C'mon Mike! If an 8 year old girl and a 80 year old woman can put together and hang Ikea, I'm sure that you can do it. DIY is really and truly within your capabilities. And I'm not kidding about any homeowner needing to own the tools that I suggested. Drywall repair and wallpaper removal is within the ability of most as well. It is the best way to stretch your budget. When you are a homeowner, you either learn to do all of those things, or you learn to work overtime to pay someone more than you make to do them.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Really, ikeafans is a good place to look for feedback on installers, both good and bad. If you post there and say where you're located, if it's a major metro area often one of the pro ikea installers who post there can give you some referrals. Angie's list is kind of hit or miss. It varies a lot, depending on where you are.

Finding a general handyman type person or someone who installs other cabinet brands may work well or not. The vast majority of big problems with ikea cabinets come from wrong installation, and that's very often a problem with experienced cabinet installers, because they know how they hang cabinets and don't want to learn the ikea system, which is different, so they just do what they normally do and then the cabinets fall off the wall because they didn't use the rail or something like that.

Further to what LWO is saying, here's a link to the ikea installation video, which shows you how to install ikea cabinets in a preternaturally square room with preternaturally accommodating children to help out. Incidentally, although they show using the ledger board in the video, the installers at ikeafans generally prefer to use four legs for easier leveling.

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


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

How hard is it to install the counter tops, especially doing the cutouts?


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

I did not see many cambria samples at the store.

I asked and they said you can get any cambria color you want.

However, I really want to touch, hold and look at ALL the possible choices.

That might be one reason to get the counters from a separate show who has all the samples.

I won't look at one showroom and order cheaper elsewhere.

Mike


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Thanks for the installation video @writersblock.

Based on your comment, I'm leaning towards a certified ikea installer for the cabinets.

I haven't decided yet on the counters.

Since the 20% March Sale has a $4,500 minimum, and since the 6 cabinets won't be over that amount, I guess I should really work hard to get it at Ikea, unless other installers charge the same as their sale price.

Mike


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

@live_wire_oak , I'm sad to admit it but I'm indeed less qualified that your average 8 year old or 80 year old when it comes to stuff like this.

I live in a 1 bedroom condo in a high rise in Philadelphia. There's not the same large opportunity to do stuff around the house as perhaps someone with a big house in the burbs.

Watching the video on the installation, I'm totally convinced and happy to pay someone to install it for me.

In fact, even the worst installer would be 300% better than whatever I did :-)

Mike


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

>a certified ikea installer

Just to clarify, ikea stopped offering certification for installers a few years ago when they switched to trying to get a revenue stream from installations, so you may find a very competent installer who is an ikea specialist but not necessarily certified these days.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Mike, if you're in Philly, I believe you are in the area covered by Chuck, who often posts on Ikeafans and seems to know everything there is on installation and modifications and has probably put in dozens of Ikea kitchens by now. I wish I was in his area because I'd definitely hire him to do my kitchen if I was doing Ikea (and having such an expert installer available would increase my likelihood of using Ikea). I don't know him except from reading those forums and having him answer some of my questions.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

@scrappy25 that's a great idea. I will definitely check out the ikeafans website. Being able to connect to an installer who posts there would be a major plus !!!

Thanks!
Mike


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Mike, I'm in SoCal and the IKEA-referred contractor who assembled my kitchen did a fantastic job. My own contractor didn't want to touch it as he was not familiar with it. Could I have DIYed it? I honestly don't think so. If I had, it would have taken a long time, lots of frustration and sore knees from bending and squatting. I got all the pullouts and other innards as well, so it would have taken even longer. So yes, I COULD have DIYed but I'm sure happy that I didn't. If you have the budget, have it done and over with.

My days of putting RTA furniture together are gone! Your mileage may vary!

This time with my PAX closet, I am letting my current contractor do it as he is familiar and comfortable with it, so I decided to pay him instead of the referred installer. And, no, I am not working overtime to pay for it. An L-shaped walk in closet with mirrored doors and all the nice organizational innards cost me $1200, and any other similar closet system would have been $8-10k. We built the closet to fit the PAX so that it will look custom when done.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Are you in Philadelphia, Mike? Really, you can't do better than Chuck, if he's available.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Chuck is now in the SF Bay Area - at least part time. He has partnered up and works with Kayla (a popular bay area Ikea expert installer).

He and Kayla are coming over this afternoon to finalize my kitchen cabinet order. I can find out if he's still in Philly part time.

P.S. I'm really excited about moving forward with this. I've been waiting for the sale. I just need to find a reasonably priced counter top I like, and new appliances (neither of which I'm getting from Ikea).

Bonnie


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

We finished our Ikea adel birch kitchen mid 2010 and it still looks new. We assembled and installed 23 cabinets with 27 drawers ourselves. We were in our early 60's then. We also purchased all of our appliances, sinks and faucets, and butcherblock for our double island from there. We were happy to get 20% of on everything. Everyone who sees it loves it. We did go with the legs they offer and loved the snap on toe kicks. Great quality Blum (German) hardware. They will be going with a new cabinet box system in 2015.
You can do it!!! Oh, we had our other counters fabricated and installed by a local company.


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

What will this new cabinet box system look like? And does it mean that the new doors won't fit the old cabinet boxes?


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RE: Any tips for Ikea visit to spec out kitchen?

Bons - Can you send me contact info for Chuck? I am in SF bayarea as well and am looking to do some IKEA cabinetry.


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