All posts tagged renovation

Kitchen Renovation: DIY Installation: IKEA Adel Cabinets

ikea akurum adel cabinet bases installation diy

After running into a rogue vent, having some odd city inspections and a handful of other road blocks, we finally have our drywall and tile in and are installing cabinet frames. This is when the kitchen starts to look like a kitchen and not a tool shed. When we were bidding the project with our contractor, he said multiple times, “if you run into trouble with the cabinet installation, give me a call.” This was the major line item we decided to DIY and his faith in our ability to do a decent job was slim. I don’t blame him: these cabinets are not a simple DIY. They require some serious planning. 80% of our effort was spent on planning. Experience in assembling IKEA furniture really won’t help you on this project. What will help you is research… and a good tape measure… and a great drill, some extra screws… a laser level, etc. etc. etc.

Mr. Los Angeles has one of the best brains I’ve ever seen and the only contribution I provided was an extra set of hands and some basic suggestions. Even after paying someone from IKEA to come and measure our kitchen, he double-checked that every cabinet would fit and every door would have the right clearance to open. He also took into account that there’s not single wall that’s straight in this joint and we’d have to buy enough shims to build a tree house for The Brady Bunch. And in the true spirit of a remodeling project, there would be problems that need solving.

This process might seem obvious to any/all of you who’ve done this before, but I thought I’d include them anyways since we wouldn’t have known to do some of these things without researching it first. The way I see it, you can go about installing your IKEA kitchen in two ways:

  1. Get the cabinets and follow the directions while installing them. Done and done.
  2. Research the ins and outs of IKEA cabinets. Search YouTube for installation suggestions. Get the proper tools. Measure measure measure. Add all of the end panels, toe kicks, plinth pieces and details that finish off the kitchen.

We went with option two and, at times, it was difficult. I’d say about 60% of our knowledge base wasn’t contained within the IKEA directions but found in online forums and videos. Our contractor offered us a few tips we didn’t find elsewhere and that saved us big time. And it’s not that the IKEA directions are really lacking. In fact, it’s amazing how they’ve organized the whole process.

Before I launch into this, I’d like to recommend a few tools, some of which are specified in the directions and some that aren’t. It’s worth suggesting at this point that if buying all these tools and spending all this time installing the cabinets will outweigh the cost of having someone install them for you, then you might want to rethink a DIY installation:

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Kitchen Renovation: Demolition! And why we decided to not DIY this part

Kitchen Demolition


Finally! We’ve started our kitchen remodel today and our old, nasty kitchen has been demolished. I was dreading this day for a while but it just means we are one step closer to the finished project. I think we’ve chosen a great construction company (TME Construction Inc.) who can get this done in a reasonable amount of time. Barring any unforeseen disasters (which are probably inevitable) this should take about three to four weeks, start to finish.

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Kitchen Renovation: Preparation (and 3 ways to keep your sanity during a renovation)

There are a few things that really grind my gears: hypocrites, formal shorts and moving. I absolutely loathe moving. I’d rather do a strangers laundry for a month than pack up my stuff into boxes and move. Perhaps it’s the disorganization that bothers me:

Kitchen Renovation chaos

Kitchen Renovation chaos

This is my office right now. It’s usually a nice little room big enough to be an office, a place for my plants, and a place to do a little post-ballet class yoga. Right now it’s storing everything that was in our kitchen cupboards, plus our home theater stuff since the living room is the staging area for the kitchen. See the knife block just hanging out in the middle of the room? ISN’T IT FABULOUS I THINK IT TIES THE WHOLE ROOM TOGETHER!!!

Add to this the fact that we are without hot water until the renovation starts, the whole situation makes me a little on edge. It would be awesome to be able to stay in a hotel for a month, but that could get a wee bit expensive, no? And I wouldn’t impose upon a friend to house me during our renovation, so we’re staying put. I’ve come up with a few ways to cope with the stress and keep some semblance of order during this process:

1. Carve out a niche that’s your personal, organized space. Even if it’s just a closet or your desk, keep that space absolutely spotless and in order. Right now, that’s about one sixth of the office that includes the desk and the space next to the window where I can take care of my plants. That brings me to…

2. Maintain a relaxing hobby. Maybe it’s meditation, but I’ve taken to indoor gardening as something to focus on. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that’s NOT involved with the renovation.

Keeping my plants nurtured during the kitchen renovation might just keep me sane

Keeping my plants nurtured during the kitchen renovation might just keep me sane

3. Plan some “going out” activities. There really should be a line item in a renovation budget for mental health. Plan an outing to a park or dinner and a movie. And then vow to not talk about the renovation. That’s easier said than done since it’s consuming your whole life. Renovations can be hard on relationships, especially if you and your partner have a hard time agreeing on decisions and are constantly making compromises. That way when your contractor calls and says something like, “structural issues,” you’re ready to handle it.

Making an IKEA kitchen look custom made

The LA Lady's IKEA Adel DIY Kitchen

When you talk to contractors, you keep hearing the same thing over and over again when you mention an IKEA kitchen:

  • We don’t do those
  • My cabinet guy can match their prices per linear foot
  • They look cheap
  • They are poor quality

I disagree with all of that.

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Kitchen Renovation: Buying an IKEA kitchen

Well low and behold, we have purchased the IKEA kitchen! I’ve been mentally preparing myself for a while, knowing that many people have experienced some frustrations during the purchase process (not to mention the assembly) so I came armed and ready. You can find plenty of posts on the subject, and one was even posted on one of my favorite blogs The Kitchn the very day I went to go buy the kitchen. If that isn’t a sign…

Here’s my take on buying an IKEA kitchen:

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Kitchen Renovation: Phase One Planning (part 2)

So we’re getting closer to deciding on a contractor. Our salesman at the counter top company (which I’ll be reviewing when this process is done) is actually a reputable contractor and we’re getting a quote from him. It’s amazing how difficult it is to find someone who is licensed and insured (per the HOA’s and just a smart thing to do) and who will take a job under $15k-ish.

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Kitchen Renovation: Phase One: Planning (part one)

If there’s anything my DH and I will ace in this whole project, it will be the planning. We’re both meticulous when it comes to design and between the two of us we’re a small design firm. Mr. Los Angeles can model in 3D like he’s scratching off a lottery ticket. I can visualize and mock up and can find ANYTHING on the internet. In addition, we both have very similar tastes. Deciding on furniture, paint colors, decor, etc. has been the easiest part of our new home.

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