Setbacks and Comebacks
After last week’s transformation, I was in high hopes that we would be able to install the cabinets and by now be waiting for our countertops to be installed. Cabinet installation turns out to be harder and more time consuming than I had originally estimated, especially when things don’t go quite as planned.
The first sign that things were not going to according to my schedule was that our brand new refrigerator arrived with a big dent on the side. Now, if it had been the side facing the wall, we would not have cared, but it was on the side that would have been in full view of anyone coming into the kitchen. So, we had to refuse it.
Next, we had to install the sink cabinet so that the electrician could come and finish his work. However, in order to install the sink cabinet, we had to install the corner cabinet. Everything looks installed in this photo, but it is not.
Ikea cabinets are installed using a rail system, which is supposed to make it easy to level your cabinets and line them up just so.
That all works great if your walls are perfectly straight and at 90 degree angles to each other. Now, our plasterer did a fantastic job. These walls were as straight as they were going to get with the shape they were in before he began. However, there are still slight variations in the wall that made lining everything up a bit more challenging. Just hanging and leveling those two cabinets took an entire evening.
And then there was a cabinet we were trying to modify. We have an extra 6 inches of space to use up between the corner cabinet and the oven. Now, most people would just move the oven next to the corner cabinet and make the cabinet to the right of the oven a little wider. However, we wanted a little bit more space to the left of the oven. Before, when there was only the corner cabinet there, the space to the left of the stover felt cramped and difficult to use. If we had a little more counter there, it would make working at the stove easier. So, we decided we would try to modify a base cabinet to fit that 6 inch space. However, as often happens when DIYing, we were just winging it and made a mistake in cutting which made it impossible to build that cabinet.
At that point, I think we both realized that we were not going to make our Monday deadline of having all cabinets installed and leveled. We had family arriving the next day for a little spring break visit and we were exhausted, mentally and physically. So, we decided it would be wise to push back our schedule a week.
Which turned out to be a good choice, because the next day I discovered that the outlet in the wall that was supposed to be for the microwave hood had been installed at the wrong height.
Ikea cabinets are limited in the size ranges they offer. For wall cabinets, they only come in 15, 20, 30, or 40 inch heights. If we wanted our cabinets to go up to the ceiling, which we did (wouldn’t you?), we needed to have that outlet fully above one of those pieces of tape on the wall. As you can see, it would not fit in neither the 15 or 20 inch cabinet.
Thankfully, the electrician we hired has a satisfaction guarantee and warrantees his work for up to a year afterwards, no questions asked. He came the same day and moved the outlet. I was sad to have our pretty wall blemished, but it will be covered up by the microhood once it is installed.
At this point, we took a couple of days off to enjoy time with the husband’s sister and her two delightful daughters. It was really nice to have a break from working on the kitchen and a little time to ruminate on next steps. In the meantime, our new refrigerator, sans dents arrived and boy is it big!
After another trip to Ikea to buy some more things to make the 6 inch cabinet and also to buy the wall cabinets, we were ready to start working again. The husband carefully cut the pieces.
And then joined them together.
It did take a little adjusting, but we finally got it to fit and be level with other cabinets.
We still have a long way to go before we’re done. There are at least 16 more cabinets to install and a new deadline of this coming Monday for the base cabinets. Stay tuned!