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The Start of something new


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Hey everyone.

Some of you may know that the Mrs and I are currently in the process of buying our first house. It's kinda exciting and I can't wait to move in. Hopefully, in a close future, we'll be more than two to live under this roof. Can't wait for that.

But before all that fun, there are a few things to work out as some of you, house owners already know.

I'll post a few pics later but we need to do some little work before moving in. Thing is, I know absolutely nothing about that :lol:

I can use a hammer and put together some IKEA furniture but that's about it :D

So, I'm coming to you for some advice. I have tons of questions but I'll ask them one at a time if you don't mind.

Something to keep in mind before we engage in some intense conversation about all this, we won't spend all our life in this house. This is a first buy, we plan to spend maybe 10-12 years in it. If the family grows, it will be very small very fast. It's something we keep in mind for all the money we'll have to invest in renovating the house.

We've been kitchen hunting the past week and we have to make a decision by the end of the week if we wanna meet the delay for a move by the end of september.

We've been to kitchen stores and of course, we also visited a certain blue and yellow store from Lann's country :D

Obviously, the costs are much cheaper at IKEA.

Now, today's question is this :

Do any of you have any experience with IKEA kitchens and would you recommend it ?

Go !

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I've put in 3 or 4 IKEA kitchens, @Fido_le_muet.  Two on my current house, one or two on other peoples houses.  Also installed a couple other "flatpack" kitchens from other manufacturers. (Laminex I think)  They were fairly easy for me, but I am a carpenter so I had the right tools and knowledge to deal with all the little problems along the way.

IMO, the IKEA ones are good quality and can look really good if you get the design right, but can look a bit cheap and nasty if you don't.  IKEA has a good team of people to help you choose the right type and size of cabinets and features in your design, and if your kitchen area isn't too complicated, then you shouldn't have much trouble selecting something that looks good.  You really need to take accurate measurements and do your research though.  The devil is in the details, as they say.

As far as installation goes, there are tips, tricks and guides provided by IKEA, as well as tonnes of YouTube videos to watch and learn from.  If you take your time, do your research, have the right tools and a general level of skill, (and someone who can help out if things go pear shaped), then it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

As with most building work, it's the little unexpected things that generally cause the biggest headaches and add to the cost, especially if you change the layout too much from your current kitchen.  It could be a waste pipe that doesn't work with the new layout and may need to be moved by a professional, or the cabinets may need to be altered to make it fit etc.  If it's just a basic copy and paste of your old layout and you keep the design and features fairly simple, then it can be done quite easily without too many complications.

If your old kitchen has a complicated layout or you want your new kitchen to be a bit fancy (floating cabinets, waterfall-end bench tops etc), then I recommend getting a quote from a professional cabinet maker in your area.  Their initial quote may be dearer than IKEA, but in the long run all the little extras and complications that can happen on the IKEA kitchen can add up and make it a dearer option - plus all the stress and hassle of doing it yourself.

I'll be able to give you heaps of advice and help once you post some pictures. :)


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Exciting is right!!

Let her pick what she likes. In a few months you wont care about the faucets, but she will smile at them everyday. 

Thats like basic stuff i learned. lol

Good luck with everything!

Edited by ConGamePro
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I've only installed one idea kitchen and another flat pack laundry, so I can't compare it to much else but there are no faults with it. Easy to install (I'm a carpenter, but a handyman could do it) the base cabinets and there's a huge range of doors to suit the style you're after and you can get a stone bench top too so it will look likes it's worth a lot.


The best thing with Ickes is all the extras you can add on to make things convenient. Like soft drawer and door closer, hanging racks and turntables to make accessing corner cabinets easy. They all clip together and can be done at any time so that makes it handy.


As with any building work, there will be times you need to make something custom to suit an area or to get it the way you want. There's also plumbing and electrical in the kitchen so if you're doing it yourself you need to coordinate with them to get it done right. 


Now for the hard part.. Choosing it! Hope you don't get lost in there haha

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Thanks for the answers guys ! Good thing we have some carpenters in this crew :D

Here are the pics of the kitchen. I'll put before and after pics so you get an idea of what we're planning.




As you can see, there is no kitchen yet. We have to create one.

We're planning on removing a big part of a wall, to open the kitchen on the living room. It's a drywall, so fairly easy to remove. Like I said, I don't know shit about this kind of stuff so a friend will do it. We also need to remove the door frame. We'll make some kind of bar on this part. We'll have to move some plugs and a switch. again, we'll have someone who knows his stuff do it. He'll also put some plugs all around the kitchen cause we need them badly.


The existing sink will be removed. The water pipes are under the sink obviously. We're not moving them so the new sink will be roughly where this one is. We also have to put a washing machine and dish washer in this kitchen. We don't have a choice but to put them on each side of the sink. So basically, that side of the kitchen is already filled as you can see in the IKEA kitchen planner pics above.


This beautiful yellow wallpaper will be leaving us as well :D We'll remove it, get the electricity part sorted (new plugs mainly), we'll fill the holes used to bring the plugs where we want them, put a layer of hydroproofing stuff on the wall and then put some paper on the walls that we will paint afterwards. The wall below will be painted red. 

About the furniture itself, we'll go with a white glossy look with classic door handles. The countertop will have a wooden look. It's not real wood of course as that's too expensive but it looks like it.


The implantation we have in mind (see above) shouldn't be too hard to put together. We don't have too much of a choice anyway, with the contraint of the pipes and all, a classic 'L' configuration should be good. It's still miles ahead of what we currently have :


What do you think ? Any advice ? Things we might not have anticipated ? Don't hesitate to ask questions, I'm sure that will make us think of something we forgot.

We got quotes from kitchen stores but they are at least 1000€ more expensive than IKEA. What we have planned here is 3000 - 3500 € at IKEA. the others were 4500€, 4800€ and 5200€.

Our budget is around 4000€ for the whole thing.

Edited by Fido_le_muet
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It's gonna look awesome, @Fido.  You'll have heaps more storage and preparation room. 

Was going to mention the range hood power outlet.  It's easy to forget that one, but I see you've already got it on your plan.  See, you guys will do just fine. :)

The "L" shaped layout is perfect for your first big project, and having the appliances (fridge and washer) on the ends will mean you don't have to worry about customising the last cabinet to fit against the wall.  Same for the overhead cupboards.  You shouldn't have any problems with the cabinet installations.  Just make sure you've allowed enough clearance for the fridge and washer.  You'll need to allow for the thickness of the skirting boards that run along the side walls etc.  

Opening up part of the wall will make a huge difference too.  You'll be amazed how much bigger and lighter the kitchen will look.  Glad you've got a friend who has some experience with these things.  Don't be afraid to ask them for help if you get stuck.  It's better than trying to do something tricky by yourself and running the risk of making a costly mistake or hurting yourself.

I would keep the yellow wallpaper.  It just needs light blue as a secondary colour, like my race cars. :lol:

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7 hours ago, no_snacks said:

You'll need to allow for the thickness of the skirting boards that run along the side walls etc. 

That part has me worried a bit. I think I measured it correctly, on the ground by taking those into account but I don't remember :lol: It should be OK though cause we still have a bit of space after the fridge and after the washing machine. I'll measure again soon just to be sure.

We'll definitely have friends or acquaintances do the heavier parts (opening the wall, electricity and kitchen installation). They know their stuff and we wanna be sure it's done properly. We'll keep the paint part :D

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Make sure to check the height and dimensions of the washer box; where the washer's water supply and waste outlet are located. If this is all Ikea designed, then it should not conflict with the counter tops. You won't want that in a difficult to work with spot also.

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  • 1 month later...

I am live from the new house so the most important thing is done :D

Moving in tomorrow. Still a bit of electricity to be done and then well start painting the Kitchener. Kitchener should be installed a week from now so it's gonna be pizza every night :D

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  • 2 months later...

I think I may be late about updating this...

A lot has happened since last time :D Actually, all the works are done. Just need to put on some finishing touches here and there.

Here's the rundown of what we did (very long post incoming).

We got the house early september and starting working on it immediately. The biggest thing to do was the kitchen. We started removing the wallpaper with my dad. It came pretty easily so that was pretty cool.


After that, I was pretty confident that things would be done fairly quickly. That was my first mistake... When we moved on to the tiles on the other side of the room, things got a little less cool. At first it seemed manageable. Ugly but I thought I could mask it fairly easily with some filler coating (don't know the technical words so that's Google translate).


Unfortunately, I was dead wrong !


The entire wall was coming apart ! The plaster was glued like crazy to the tiles and there was no way of removing them cleanly. I was really depressed seeing my beloved wall destroyed like this. And since I have zero experience in works like this, I had no idea how I would fix it. My dad and others acquaintances advised us to remove the plaster entirely and that we would put some brand new plaster back after cleaning up the "holes". So that's what we did :


That was much better looking. In the meantime, a friend was cutting the kitchen wall (see my first post). Some guy was supposed to come to do all the electricity but he cancelled just two days before. Asshat ! I had to find someone else in emergency. Fortunately, a colleague of mine made himself available and was able to come the following week. He is a saint. (I asked him for many tools since then) :D The electricity was a bit of a pain, we hit several setbacks but eventually it all worked out in the end.

Back to our holes in the wall. My friend put some plaster on them and it was all good again :


We moved in the next day. With no kitchen because of the electricity delay. We lost almost a week because of that. Looking back, the timeframe I had in mind was definitely too optimistic anyway :D Day one, the kitchen was like this :


With that over with, all was left to do was the painting. 3 layers of paint did the trick and we could start assembling the kitchen.

No problem with the furniture. That was easy to put together. But now that everything was going nicely, we hit another setback... The kitchen worktop that was delivered wasn't the right size ! It was too small. God dammit I wanted to kill that woman at the kitchen store ! I called here many times so she would fix it and eventually she agreed but we had to wait another month before the correct element was delivered. So we spent a month with half a kitchen :


My friend still managed to set us the water, oven and the cooking plate so we were able to function almost normally. That was mid-october. By then, I thought all the kitchen/living room part would be done. The initial plan was to get this done, in order to move on to the bedrooms during my vacations (oct 17th to nov 2nd). I was pissed at the dealy, even though I knew it was (almost inevitable). We started working on the bedrooms floor with my dad right after that, as planned.


That was actually easier than I expected. We put some laminate flooring on all 3 bedrooms. We completed two with my dad in two days, and I finished the 3rd one by myself the following week. The most boring thing was to remove the carpet.


I'm pretty satisfied with that cause I had never done anything like this before. I know what I did isn't perfect, but for a first try, it's pretty decent. I'll definitely do some things differently next time but that's what first times are for :)

Back to the kitchen ! The correct worktop finally arrived late last month so we were able to finish. We had to remove the sink, oven and cooking plate to fix the worktops together. We put everything back in place, mounted the kitchen hood and finally, the furniture on the wall. And voila !


All done ! We put a small tablet on the wall that was cut down (main door is on the left on the pic above). Since then, I have finished the small drawer under the oven. I want to use the space between the fridge and the furniture to make a bottle shelf for my wine. Still have to figure out how to do it but I will get to it this winter (maybe).

Next step is decorating. We bought a lamp for the main light but we need a bracket lamp on the wall over there where the wires stick out.

During that time, I also cleaned up the garden. It's a small garden, about 60-70 square meters but the hedges had never been trimmed before. Took us more than a day to do it. But now it looks good. When spring comes, we're gonna remake the lawn and create a bigger/nicer terrace.

Feels good now that everything is done or almost done. We're happy with the house and can't wait for spring/summer to enjoy the garden.

But of course, now that all is good, a new problem is starting to appear. And I'm afraid it's gonne be our biggest problem yet. Some cracks have appeared on the facade. We had a builder look at it and he says we have to monitor it closely. If they're getting larger/longer, we'll have to take care of it.

Anybody needs a kidney ?

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