The Kitchen Progresses


It’s been a frenzied day (and last evening) of building IKEA kitchen cabinets.

Our handyman finished the sealing of the new tile floor and today marked the start of cabinet installation, so I had to get them ready.

I’m actually quite impressed with the ingenuity that IKEA has engineered into their cabinet system – with the exception of the backboard. That seems the rickety excuse, just nailing that flimsy faux-wood cardboard, or whatever it is on the backside. Everything seems engineered, the back just seems flung on there as an afterthought.

Still, after you build 9 or 10 of the things, you can crank them out pretty fast, assuming you’ve got the right ones.

We had a little comedy of errors with the ordering of the parts. I originally laid out the kitchen using IKEA’s kitchen planner software (Windows only – those jerks), and, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, had arrived at a workable combination – recognizing that my house wasn’t built in an era of standardized cabinet sizes. In the end, along the base we needed four 36″ cabinets and one 30″, unfortunately, the technician at IKEA didn’t download my project file, he just manually re-entered it off the print I had, and he got it wrong – he put us in for five 36″ cabinets. Unfortunately, we didn’t notice either.

They weight a ton, and my back is worthless these days, my wife is small. my usual fallback lifting person has a broken arm and I prefer not to get my 77-year old father to do heavy lifting, so we just had them deliver the stuff. Pity they wouldn’t bring it in the house, so we (and when I say, “we”, I mean my wife) ended up carrying it in piece by piece.

That’s when we discovered the mistake. To IKEA’s credit, they arranged for the right piece to be delivered and the bad one picked up the next day, which was Thursday.

This morning, I cracked the box open only to discover it was bright white, not the natural birch color of all the rest of the cabinets. This time calls to IKEA weren’t as immediately satisfactory, but they were willing to fix the problem, but they couldn’t do it fast enough. In the end, Irene had to take the bad part to the local store and they replaced it.

By the end of the day, all the cabinets are in place (although, they still need securing) and the countertop is being prepared. Tomorrow, we should have the cabinets secured, the countertops installed, the sink and dishwasher installed and functioning. We might not have all the drawers, doors and shelves in place, but we should have a working kitchen again – not a moment too soon.

We can already tell that the new arrangement is a lot better. There’s more cabinet space and the kitchen is more spacious. It’s going to play havoc on continuity shots on the next episode of Fusion Patrol: 1999, but I’ll just have to live with it.

Another thing that’s really exciting – we finally have an ice/water dispenser in our refrigerator! Our “new”: fridge, now over a year old, has a built-in icemaker. That’s nothing surprising in a modern fridge, but this house was built before such things were even dreamed of, and so the “fridge spot” is absolutely nowhere near a water supply. That has been resolved! Cold, fresh, filtered water. Ahhhhhhhh.