How IKEA Kitchen Projects are Different

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I've been wanting to write about the difference between an IKEA kitchen project, aka a kitchen remodel in which the homeowner is using IKEA kitchen cabinets, and other types of remodels.

First, and most obvious, there's the cost. A typical remodel you can see in a magazine is $50,000-$80,000. A typical IKEA kitchen project is $8,000-$25,000.

Why the wider range? Some condo kitchens, rentals, and other small city apartment kitchens, require very few cabinets and thus less labor. The variables are appliance choices and countertop type.

Some average-sized (for the US) kitchen projects have to start with rewiring and new plumbing, or could include laundry areas, or more expensive appliances or countertops than average.

But cost is obvious. IKEA cabinets cost less than many other brands, and are almost always better quality, too.

The difference I mean to bring up is this: with IKEA kitchen projects, the homeowner wants to great result at an affordable price. The way this is achieved is by running the show yourself. As compared to turning over the project to a contractor, or to Home Depot or a cabinet company, the homeowner has to learn about, choose, manage and control all aspects of the project.

It's dream only to hire someone, give them a key to your house and a big, big, check, and go to Hawaii for three months and return to a beautiful new kitchen. Would you even want to do this if you could?

Most homeowners, in my experience, want to choose products, want to work on the design, want to meet, agree to and oversee the contractor, in person. It's a hassle, it's time consuming, and if you haven't done it before, it's a bit nerve-wracking. But it's the way to get a great result for the least cost. It's much easier the second time, your next kitchen in your next home!

This said. there can be this odd middle ground, where someone, often a single person or someone who is unfamiliar with remodeling or who doesn't speak English comfortably, turns over a lot of the project to a contractor, often a guy with a small company, some laborers he pays. This can be risky and we have seen some clients get bad advice from these guys, in regard to IKEA cabinets, in regard to the design and installation process, in regard to real costs.

The basic idea is that you are only buying some materials from IKEA. Cabinets, maybe appliances or countertop. It's a source, a store. It can't remodel your kitchen for you. IKEA measuring, design and installation services are available, they are not the best way, nor the least costly.

The best way to do an IKEA kitchen project is to research, learn all you can, appoint yourself the In-Charge of the project, choose your own materials, manage your contractor, or at least keep in mind that you hired him, create your own timeframe, and troubleshoot any problems. Be the boss, get the elegant result you envision, at the lowest cost and with the least stress.


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