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Old Feb 27th, 06, 8:29 pm   #1
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We're gutting our kitchen and we're trying to decide if we need to hire a contractor for the gut/rehab and a separate Ikea installer for the cabinets, or let our contractor handle the whole job.We only require one modification (microwave shelf). But a friend with an Ikea kitchen insisted that we need an ikea installer. Any thoughts?



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Old Feb 27th, 06, 8:37 pm  
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Can't help you with that one...we did it all ourselves! Most people do, since it's so easy.

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Old Feb 27th, 06, 8:38 pm  
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Welcome to the forums!

Depends on how you feel about your contractor? If he/she is a fairly flexible competent sort I'm sure thay can handle installing an IKEA kitchen without missing a beat. A lot of folks here have done their own installs and WE didn't need an IKEA installer... No reason a good contractor would either. That said, there may be some advantages in having someone that's done a lot of IKEA kitchen installs be involved with your's, as they're likely to be able to spot potential problems before they BECOME problems, but it's really not too hard to install IKEA cabinets. Talk to your contractor and maybe point them to this website or loan them an IKEA install tape/DvD and see what they think?

James

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Old Feb 27th, 06, 8:39 pm  
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That's actually very helpful. I'm no do-it-your-selfer. But I'm hoping that this means a competent contractor should be able to handle it.



Thanks!

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Old Feb 27th, 06, 8:54 pm  
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Welcome to the forums!

Be aware that you may encounter contractor resistance to IKEA cabinets. Read up on the Why IKEA forum for counter arguments.

There's nothing difficult about installing IKEA cabinets, except that you have to be able to wrap your mind around another method. Most contractors are used to KitchenMaid or whatever the heck Evil Orange sells. IKEA cabinets are frameless, not framed. They use confirmat fasteners, not typical screws. The base cabinets sit on adjustable legs, not a box. The wall cabinets hang from a suspension rail, not from...whatever they hang wall cabinets from? Suffice it to say: It's different.

And sometimes, we fear the different. And big burly contractor types (WAY over-generalizing here) don't like to admit they're afraid of something, so they say that A.) It's going to cost a whole bunch of money to do it, B.) It can't be done or C.) Those cabinets are crap. Arm yourself with knowledge, and you'll be fine.

That said, you may want a general contractor for your gut to the studs, and then an IKEA certified installer for the cabinets, but you may find that the GC you select is openminded, or has experience. Or, you may get lucky and find an IKEA certified installer who does everything. Where are you located?

Susan

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Old Feb 27th, 06, 9:28 pm  
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I hired my brother (a contractor) and his helper to install my Ikeacabinets, so I knew exactly what I was getting. My brother is really smart,and readily understood what needed to happen (except on the tall pantry cabinets, which is a long story told elsewhere on this site His helper has a tendency not to read directions, but is really good at doing things by dead reckoning. I had a few moments of exasperation at this "no directions" approach, but it all worked out in the end. They grumbled about how brittle the black plastic legs are, and the cuss words came out whenever something wasn't plumb (but that was usually the fault of the house, not the cabinets, of course). The first day I thought was painfully slow, but after the helper had assembled a few cabinets, the installation flew by.

With Ikea installers, you no doubt get efficiency, experienceand expertise, but my guess is that some of them could be a bit blase about the overall fit and look - not from firsthand experience, but just because they aren't living through the entire project. My brother's perfectionism sometimes slowed things down, I suppose, but that's why he's also the ideal person to have working for me. So if you have a contractor you trust and who seems happy/eager to try installing Ikea cabinets, you're probably fine sticking with the contractor. At least he will have the big picture in mind, and will be able to deal with any problems as they arise. In my case, assembling the cabinets and putting them in place was a tiny part of the project. Getting the electrical right and getting everything level and plumb was a huge part of the project. That's where a more versatile contractor would really be an asset.

By the way, my bro came out quite impressed with Ikea quality. He came into it a skeptic, but wouldn't hesitate to do another Ikea kitchen.

Kathy

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Old Feb 28th, 06, 9:05 am  
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Thank you so much for the advice. Oh, and I'm in central New Jersey.

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Old Mar 1st, 06, 9:25 am  
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I have been thinking of calling these guys because I am so afraid I will measure wrong and mess up the layout and design. I dont even know how to figure out where I should put the toaster, microwave and toaster oven!

http://www.knopkadesign.com/services.asp

I think they work in central NJ. Has anyone heard of them?

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Old Mar 1st, 06, 10:26 am  
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Thanks for the info. I ran across this site too. I could certainly use the full-service help.


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Old Mar 1st, 06, 10:48 am  
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A friend of mine raves about her experience with this service.

http://www.traemand.com/Public/index.asp

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