Wednesday, May 07, 2014

IKEA Kitchen Projects: Do Your Homework

(Request my free eBook, How to Budget for an IKEA Kitchen Remodel)

The most common error I see homeowners make with IKEA kitchen projects is failing to do their homework, or research. It is very rare to find a turnkey solution for IKEA kitchens where you can sit back and let someone else figure things out for you. Only in the rarest circumstances does someone hire a company to do the entire project, from planning and design through kitchen preparation and then installation. Most homeowners choosing IKEA cabinets have modest budgets, $10-$20,000 or even less, and the type of design-build firm that can remodel your kitchen while you vacation is Hawaii typically does $50,000-$150,000 kitchens. I've seen IKEA stores offer a "project management" service for a thousand bucks or more, and I cannot understand why anyone would pay another to make decisions (because that's what it comes down to) for them. 

For the vast majority of IKEA kitchen projects, homeowners will plan and budget, work with a designer to create an optimal configuration of cabinets and appliances, order their cabinets, interview and choose contractors, and oversee all the work, day to day, start the finish.

To get a beautiful result at the lowest cost, you have to take the time to learn about kitchen remodeling, about IKEA components, about permits, about contractors suitable for your project, and about the real costs and process. 

Unless you have done a lot of remodeling before, you’ll want to spend some time reading up on these various aspects. IKEA cabinets are different than some brands that come pre-assembled, but other than that, the factors are the same. There’s design, demo, repair of walls or plumbing, electrical prep, cabinet and appliance installation, flooring, lighting, countertop choice and installation, sinks and faucets, back splashes, and other subjects which a smart homeowner who wants the best kitchen for the lowest price will take the time to research

If you have a busy life, and feel you need help to get your project done, that's fine. But to remodel a kitchen well, it really takes a commitment of money and time. You can do it hurriedly, with minimal attention to detail and with a "fingers crossed" approach, but for most, taking the time to learn about how the process will work, the choices you have, the product options available within your budget, the layout possibilities you may not have considered, will result on "the best bang for the buck" every time.