And the cabinet nightmare/sweet dream begins……

There should really be a warning and a book handed out when you purchase your Ikea cabinets. Now, I did hear from some people that you should definitely google instructions and/or hire a professional when installing. Since we are both pretty handy (and they charge $100 per cabinet to install), I figured we could handle it.  That is, until 143 boxes showed up for 14 cabinets. Not a mistype, 143 boxes. That is because each item is packaged separately, right down to the hardware. Thankfully we had room in our basement for all of them, since we were going to originally put them in the dining room or porch.

So two important notes-

1. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OFF EVERYTHING, when the delivery comes. All the boxes have the corresponding 8 digit item number on the outside of the box. Make sure you keep track as they are unloading (since we opted for the delivery) or as the guys are bringing them out of the back and loading them on your cart (if you choose to pick up yourself). We ended up with pieces missing and some items damaged.

2. YOU ONLY HAVE 48 HOURS TO REPORT damaged or missing items. Now, we went about 50 hours or so, but they still took care of everything, I just wouldn’t push it with any longer. The pieces that were damaged, we may have gotten away with still using as it was the ends of the toe kicks, but to me, you paid for brand new, undamaged items, so that is what you should start with. It took a few days for the new pieces to arrive and they took the damaged ones with them. That process was a bit of a pain and can’t say I was thrilled with the delivery company, but I think overall, generally speaking, they were fine.

What Ikea also isn’t very clear about in their instructions is that the toe kick is also your filler piece and the crown molding and the bottom molding of the wall cabinets, are the same you just flip them when using on the top to the bottom. Again, I would HIGHLY recommend youtubing video of cabinet installation where it will all make more sense, from how to install the paneling (you screw in from the inside of the cabinet using the pre-drilled holes) to how to add the filler pieces. I would skip the official Ikea one, as just like the instructions, they don’t really talk you through it and basically just show pictures of it put together.

You will need to have some carpentry skills and a good table saw with a finished blade. I would also suggest picking up drywall screws and anchors. They are not included and unless you are a magical genius, some of your cabinets will not hit studs and you want to make sure they are secure to the walls.

I will say, once you figure out how it all goes together, the process of assembly is much easier. BUT WATCH THE VIDEOS FIRST.


The other thing that did not come with the delivery was the countertop. Since we opted for Quartz, that has to be done separately and they give you the name and number of the company to call when you are about 2/3rds of the way done to set up an appointment for them to come out and measure. I think, it’s probably about a two week lead time. This is where we messed up, somewhat because at this point, we will have all the cabinets up and won’t have countertops until the end of August. I am not sure there was much we could have done to expedited that since we had to wait for walls to go up, plaster to dry, etc… Perhaps if we weren’t renovating on a part-time basis we could have had the cabinets assembled….but can’t change that now.

What I did want to make sure of is that I spaced everything correctly, so we did end up assembling a few to make sure the plumbing and electrical would fit the way we set it up in the plans. Yes, I am awesome like that and everything ended up being perfect and we have two inches of play on the sink wall. Which is amazing since I really didn’t know how the walls would turn out. The old cabinets, they ended up having to notch the wall to get them to fit. But with the removal of all the old plaster, we gained some footage in both ceiling height (went from 8′ to 8′ 4″ )and the length of the sink wall (7’11’ to 8’2″). I have to say, that 100% made my day.

photo 28

Lining up of the base cabinets. From left to right there will be, the cooktop cabinet, a pull out trash cabinet, the sink cabinet and 3 drawer cabinet.


Because of the delay in the countertops, my plan now is to just get everything assembled, hung/attached and get the floors in. Counterops will now be the last thing to go in (well actually the pendant lights we ordered will be last since they don’t arrive until October!). The wall with the fridge, oven and microwave can be fully assembled because there will be no countertops there. So at least we can use the microwave and oven.


Another note when installing the cabinets, double check your hanging height. The only thing I failed to take into account was the hanging height. I thought the tall cabinets next to the fridge were 88″ total, they are actually 95″ taking into account the legs of the cabinet!. So, when we measured to hang the wall cabinets, I wanted the top to also be 88″ to match the tall cabinets, which is how they were first hung. We will now have to change that to the 95″. Thankfully we gained that ceiling height so there is some room on the top of the cabinet. It was a minor error (to me anyway because I wasn’t the one hanging them;) ), as the cabinets could have gone all the way to the ceiling and looked just as good. We are adding lighting inside the wall cabinets though, so having that extra couple inches helps.

photo 25

I also went with the Benjamin Moore Intense White over the Revere Pewter, which just ended up being too dark for the look I was going for.

I will update as the process continues. We took a break today to get the screws that aren’t supplied  and to pick up an extra panel we didn’t realize we needed.


Until then……




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