Friday, March 01, 2013

How to Save Thousands on an IKEA Kitchen Remodel

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To save a lot of money on an IKEA-type kitchen, it's not who you know, but what you know.

The research you do, the articles you read, the comparisons you make, the hands-on inspection of cabinets, countertop and appliances, and the advice you gain from experts in this field, will add up to a lot of money saved. I guarantee it.

Here is an obvious example. You have a contractor come out to do a bid. He cannot make a profit on IKEA cabinets (since you buy them directly from IKEA) unlike some other brands where he gets a commission for selling them to you. So he tells you bad things about IKEA cabinets. He says he would not install them for you because "they are such junk." He offers you framed, traditional cabinets. Homey but you want a more modern look or a transitional look

If you have done your research, checked Consumer Reports, compared some other brands hands-on and by price comparison, you realize the contractor has a vested interest and you thank him and find another contractor. The remodel he is offering you has a $29,000 cabinet cost. For a lesser quality cabinet. You have knowledge, however, and you know you can get more beautiful, better quality cabinets at IKEA for $7500. or from us for $6500.

I would like to offer one caveat to you, the reader, and to myself: Don't go looking for bad things on the Internet. If you are like me, when you get a "suspicious" red dot on your leg, you run to the computer to search "red dot on leg." Don't go looking for angry or highly critical reports. On IKEA kitchens or on anything else, although there is very little bad stuff about IKEA kitchens. Perhaps the architects who design $150,000 kitchens would have worthwhile input, but if your budget is $12,000, why bother with it?

OK, so how do you save thousands on an modern kitchen? Here are some well-tested suggestions, for today. Our design team is compiling their best tips, additional ones, which I'll post on this blog very soon.

1) Research, as above. Decide what is true in what you read, and what is hype or unproven.

2) Buy materials during a sale, IF the timing is right. Sometimes it is not for a cabinet sale. But you can buy appliances anywhere, look for sales and discounts on flooring, tile, sinks, etc. These don't have to come from IKEA, of course, so look for sales!

3) Make sure your kitchen layout is correctly designed. Layout errors can be VERY costly during installation. Invest in professional design. Read this post:

4) Shop around for appliances. IKEA sells Whirlpool appliances. Any brand can work, you don't have to buy IKEA appliances if you don't want to. Same with countertop.

5) If you have an IKEA expert (like my company, hint) to work with, ask about the best way to order, the best time to order, and how to maximize your discount and minimize your costs.

6) If your budget is really tight, consider using laminate or butcher block and replacing it in a few years. Your new kitchen will still be beautiful. It is easy/low cost to remove laminate or wood and replace it. It is not easy to remove solid surface countertops.

6) Finally, note that this writer surely has a vested interest insofar as your choice to invest in professional design, but note that it is heartfelt (and it is not a big cost, and it is a much better way to do a kitchen remodel). However, you should generally be on the lookout for contractors and other sales people who have a vested interest (are you smiling or grimacing at me now?). Don't ask the appliance salesman at Lowe's what he thinks about IKEA appliances.

If you'd like to discuss your project with me, I can offer you a free, 30-minute phone consultation. Here's my calendar, just pick a time that works for you.

-Susan Wain
Owner, Modern Family Kitchens