Installation of your new Ikea kitchen; should you do it yourself?
The Ikea kitchen installation brochure says, “You can do it all yourself, but you don’t have to” could give you the impression that installing an Ikea kitchen is as easy as assembling an Ikea bed or dresser.
However, let me be honest with you and say; it isn’t.
The way I see it, there’s more than just one problem with that claim. Not only could it lure you into believing that you could get it done by yourself in a weekend, which you, of course, cannot. More importantly, it could also make you believe that anyone with a few screwdrivers and a hammer can do it. I think that the claim from Ikea suggest that no special skills are required. Incorrect again, I am afraid.
Call a friend.
Because of this misconception, you might call on a friend, a family member, or a helpful neighbour. You might even pick a random handyman found in the local newspaper, or on the internet, to get the job completed.
Of course, it could be that you and your helper are qualified to do a perfect job, but often, this is unfortunately not the case. This error in judgement will usually result in many visual flaws that are bad enough and not desired, but it might, in the worst-case scenario, result in much bigger problems.
I have seen several Ikea kitchen installations where the result was far from perfect, yeah, even far from being acceptable. In some cases, the job was done so poorly that it had to be redone from scratch completely.
How do you make sure you don’t end up in that situation?
If you’re planning on installing the kitchen yourself, make sure that you are up for the task and have all the tools necessary. Feeling inspired isn’t enough. For example, if it takes you a whole evening to put a bed frame together, taking on a complete kitchen installation might be too big a mouthful for you.
Also, if your toolbox only holds a drill and a handful of other hand tools, that could be an indication that you should consider leaving the job to a professional kitchen installer.
That brings us to the next big question; how do you go about finding one who can install your new Ikea kitchen to meet your expectations?
Well, that can be a difficult task as most “kitchen installers” use phrases as “kitchen expert” and “certified by Ikea.”
The best tips I can give you when you’re looking to find an installer are:
1 - Ask for references and call at least two of them.
Of course, references can be bogus, but if you stay on the phone long enough to ask questions like “Which model did you chose?” or “How long did it take to install your kitchen?” or “How many cabinets did you have installed?” you’ll get a good feeling if you are talking to a real customer or not.
2 – Never pay the full amount upfront.
If your installer cares about his work and knows he’ll do a good job that will make you satisfied, he will not ask you to pay in advance. Some installers ask for a deposit, which is fine as long as it is only a small amount, e.g. $500.
If he asks for the full amount before the job is completed, that might indicate problems, and your warning lights should come on.
When I install kitchens for my customers, I do not ask them to pay a deposit, and I never ask them to sign a contract or similar. I believe in honesty, and I think one must show trust to receive trust. Until now, I have installed more than 60 kitchens and received payment on time for every single one.
3 – Never accept bad quality
If there is something about the kitchen installation (or any other service you receive) you’re not completely satisfied with, let the service provider know and ask for it to be rectified to your satisfaction and approval. Don’t settle for “Oh well, I guess we will not call him again.”
You want to do this for two reasons. The first and apparent reason is that you want a perfect kitchen. The money you are paying is worth 100 cents to the dollar, and so should the result be.
But you also want to hold the installer responsible for the quality of his work and not let him “get away with it.” Be letting him off the hook, he has learned nothing and will proceed to do shabby work in the future. The overall quality is low enough as it is, and only by demanding higher quality will we be able to raise the standard.
After this advice, I will ask you to reconsider the question, "Should you do it yourself?" Maybe you should or may not. You are the only one who knows if you have what it takes.