Discuss Jess's Adel Beech Kitchen Remodel on IKEAFANS.com. We're Personalizing the IKEA Experience. Jess's Adel Beech Kitchen Remodel - Project Blogs are returning - better than ever! Tabsets and Photosets and Notes, oh my! Forum open for POSTING!.
After over six months of a very difficult real estate process, my wife and I finally closed escrow on a house in the SF Bay Area in California. It's just a generic 1962 ranch-style house, but because of some specific things we were looking for, it had to be this house, not any of the ones that look exactly like it (more on that later).
Unfortunately, the kitchen was, errr... not to our liking. My wife and I both cook moderately well, and the kitchen in this house was overdue for a refresh. Here's the kitchen as it was when we bought the house. You can still see the collection of agent's business cards on the counter.
Being naturally over-ambitious, the first thing I did upon taking possession of the house was to rip out the kitchen. After getting the cabinets out, I turned my attention to the floor and quickly realized I was in over my head.
At some point (I can't remember whether it was before or after I ripped out the cabinets) I started planning the new kitchen. In trying to understand all the things that didn't work about the kitchen as it originally stood, I quickly recognized that the door to the garage, placed squarely in the middle of the wall, was the source of the entire problem. Because of the placement of that door, the kitchen had to be squeezed into a tight little square, with lots of wasted space on the other side of it.
I set about planning a new kitchen with the assumption that the door would move to a more advantageous location.
I tried to leave the plumbing where it was to minimize cost, but we ended up replacing all the plumbing anyway, as it was decrepit. I also decided that the range needed to move, since it was literally right next to the main entryway into the kitchen. The opportunity for people burning themselves as they entered the room seemed just wrong, and the lack of a work surface to one side seemed equally awful.
Once I hired a contractor (someone we were already acquainted with, as it turns out) the serious construction began. The plumbing needed updating, as it was a mix of copper and galvanized. The sewer was cast iron, and it was 49 years old. Since cast iron sewer pipes have a lifespan of about 50 years, we ended up replacing all of that as well.
And of course the electrical was woefully inadequate, so we put a new subpanel in the garage and rewired the entire kitchen.
For lighting, we went with recessed cans. To comply with Title 24, we skipped over CFL (which I despise) and went straight to LED. I chose the Cree CR-6 fixtures, which produce nice incandescent-like light at 2900K. Cost was about $50 apiece, but they'll last 20+ years and save loads of electricity over their lifespan. And I'll never have to change a bulb. Yay!
Next up was the paint. We went out on a limb and chose a rich red ("Vintage Claret" was the name) for the kitchen, reasoning that once the cabinets were in and the backsplash was on the wall, most of it would actually be hidden.
For the dining area (which is really just the L of the kitchen) we chose a color called "Light Coffee".
About two weeks before the paint went on the walls, we took our plans to the Ikea store and ordered all the cabinets and hardware. They estimated that the delivery would be about two weeks (which we had inquired about before) and they confirmed that at the time of the order.
Two weeks go by, and we had heard nothing from Ikea. So we started calling. Unfortunately, getting ahold of anyone at our Ikea store on the phone seemed impossible, so we went to the store. The kitchen area staff were sympathetic, but said they couldn't help us. They gave us a phone number and a couple of extensions we could call to inquire, but these proved to be unanswered, "dead" numbers. Nobody ever picked up at those extensions, and nobody ever returned our calls despite increasingly desperate messages.
Two more weeks went by.
Frustrated, and with our entire remodel project on hold, I started getting imaginative. Remembering that the phone number I was calling had an option to "stay on the line" and wait for an operator, I did. When I got her on the phone, I explained my situation, and she transferred me to home delivery.
Two minutes later (I timed it) with no answer, I hung up and called the operator back again. This time, I explained my situation more forcefully, explained that nobody was picking up at Home Delivery, that every attempt we had made to contact Ikea had been met with a dead end, and that we would be pursuing civil action shortly, the operator connected me to a real live breathing human being. Her name was Edwina.
I explained my plight to Edwina, and she promptly looked up our order in her computer. She found that the order had in fact been ready for two weeks, save for a single item -- a 36"x39" wall cabinet, to be exact. I explained that I would really like the bulk of my order delivered immediately, and she agreed.
Fast forward 24 hours, and a delivery truck rolled up in the driveway and unloaded a very large number of boxes.
Thank you, Edwina. I appreciate it. Curses to the rest of Ikea for refusing to help us and acting like we were lucky just to give them our money.
My wife and I took it upon ourselves to build the cabinets. I'm actually pretty handy, and given a weekend I can accomplish plenty. It's the workweek that prevented me from doing more of this project myself.
You may or may not be able to tell from the above pictures, but we also put a new sliding glass door in. The old one was incorrectly installed, and had allowed some water damage to the house as a result. It was one of only two "section one" items on our house inspections. We chose an Anderson wood-trim slider, and changed the opening direction to allow better access. Much, much better in every way to the previous one.