Ikea Delivery Drama

Having chosen ikea cabinetry for our remodel has been, how can I say it… a learning experience.  It hasn’t been an easy, straight-forward process, and Monday morning, I was a serious doubter (for about 30 minutes).  An hour later than expected, the truck carrying the contents of our kitchen, couldn’t make it up the incline half-way up our driveway.  The driver made several attempts at a running start, with no luck.  I thought they were close to giving up, and then the truck veered off the cleared drive, and into the deep snow.  They were stuck.  Half-way up.  My heart sank.  I thought we were going to have a delivery truck blocking the driveway until the spring thaw!  Here’s a visual for you:


My kitchen project depends on getting this truck up the driveway. The tree miraculously was unharmed. That would have been a bummer!

Here’s another view of the truck’s location:


You can see headlights reflecting on the glare ice.  We can’t leave to get some sand, so we search the garage for something that could help provide some traction.

And one more photo for ya:


Yay! After about 30 minutes of shoveling, snow-blowing, and the traction from a large piece of plywood, the truck breaks free of the snow! Oh, yeah, we also sacrificed a West Elm jute rug, and here you see it on a second mission to cover the iciest portion. It was only a 5×8, and dirty anyway, so no tears involved. Just glad it got my kitchen to its destination!!

I applaud the delivery guys for never giving up.  I seriously thought they were just going to back up, and get the heck outta there, leaving me high and dry.  Had they not made it up the ice, it would have been a huge undertaking to cart the boxes the rest of the way on foot.  You could barely walk!  So, it all turned out okay, and my kitchen install commenced as soon as the truck pulled away!  Here’s what that looked like:


Ikea kitchen delivered. Whoo-hoo!

A little side note about the planned installation:

I was not satisfied with the Ikea installation company (out of Chicago) who bid the project over $5,000, and could not accommodate my requested dates.  So, I searched online, and found a guy who advertised installing ikea kitchens, and called him up.  He came the next day, and prepared a bid that night.  He appeared confident and said he had done something like 25 ikea kitchens, even having worked a stint with Ikea, until he started his own business.  And!  He could start work my preferred week.  Jay, our builder, just suggested I make sure he is insured, and he promptly provided that information.  Sweet!  His name is John J. and he and his partner have been doing a fantastic job!

Here’s how things were shaping up on the first day of the install:


John and Brendan at the end of Install Day #1. Great start!

Yesterday, John (architect) and Jay (builder), spent time addressing a few minor issues that came up during the install.


Install Day #2:  Sharing ideas…


Early afternoon of Day #3 (today). It’s really taking shape! I think it’s going to be awesome!

I know I have probably exhausted you with all these photos, but here’s just three more:


This is Brendan, working on the few base cabinets we are installing in the basement. (See that painted floor? I did that last week!)


And this has been my project this week. Removing staples left from the carpeting on the stairs is not a job for the faint-at-heart. About an hour per step, with a screwdriver and pliers. It basically sucks (as my 9-year-old would say).


Here’s the back side, where the tiny staples (a real bear to get out) were used on 2+ carpeting forays.

Thanks for taking a look at some of the highlights of the week.  So much is happening, and we have unofficially set a move-in date of March 8.  Yowza!  It’s going to be busy!


Lighting Decisions and Ikea Trip #3

I know it’s been about a week since you have heard from me, so I hope I haven’t lost your interest in following my renovation project!  You haven’t missed much, as there was a delay (three days) in getting the city inspectors into the house to sign off on the preliminary work of the plumbers, electricians, and the heating/cooling guy.  So it has been a quiet week.  With the inspections complete, the exposed walls were insulated, and prepped for the sheetrock.  That’s what was happening when I popped in this afternoon.



I wonder how many times I will take a pic of this wall during the renovation.  It must be 25 times already…

Mark, the head electrician on the project, was back for a few more adjustments.  Decided to lose a couple of lighting cans (some that were just wired last week) in the new space and a few more old ones in the entry and under the loft in the living room.  I thought a low profile ceiling light would be a much better look for the entry.  The placement of the cans and other ceiling fixtures has been a bit tricky.   John (architect) drew up a lighting plan, and there were a few things obstructing the exact spots specified, so there was some fudging of the plan, and I got talked into adding more cans by Mark and Jay (builder).  Over the weekend I came to the conclusion that I didn’t like the extras.  The ceiling was getting cluttered, some cans were too close to others of another zone, and I didn’t like the “close, but not quite” alignment of the cans and my future pendants.  I know Mark and Jay are skeptical, thinking I will want more light, but John is not concerned.   I think I will be happy with a cleaner looking ceiling, and my white cabinets, counters, and walls will bounce the light around adequately.  We will see (maybe not very well) who had the better advice when the kitchen is complete!


Mark removing one of 2 existing canned lights from the entry. John has suggested an awesome fixture for this space!

Ikea Cabinet Update!

I thought I was going to be purchasing my cabinets on my last (2nd) visit to Ikea two weeks ago.  No, ikea explained, better to purchase when you are two weeks out from the install date.  So, John and I spent some time going over the plan, making a few adjustments, and left.  Yesterday, I was back.  We are roughly two weeks from our target install date, and I was ready and excited to make the purchase.  I approached a nice Ikea employee in the kitchen planning department, and we went over the entire project together.  John had done a great job drawing the kitchen cabinet design using the ikea software, so there wasn’t much to change.  Although, it was comforting to have it all double checked!


Ikea’s kitchen planning department. I know it too well!

More questions were asked as to a timeline, and I said “Two weeks from tomorrow, please.”   Then it got complicated.  “If you purchase today, we have to deliver everything within one week.  Can we put a gazillion boxes to one side of the kitchen?”  (No…next week the new wood floor is being installed throughout.)  “Do you have a garage?”  (It’s already full of stuff.)  ” A basement?”  (It is being worked on.)  “Hmmmm.  We could try to schedule it for further out, but then your cabinets will come from our distribution center in New Jersey.”  (?)  “Or, you can just come back in a week or so, when you are within a week of your install date.”  (Can do!)

From what I understood (it’s still just a bit fuzzy), I just need to bring my cabinet “shopping list” back, and we will be ready to rock.  Set the date for delivery, which could be as soon as the next day, and pay.  Done!

We are saving our builder Jay (who normally builds custom kitchens) the headache of assembling the cabinets and installing them, by having ikea arrange that work for us.  This was Jay’s idea.  Our kitchen will arrive in 246 packages, and unless you do it often, putting ikea stuff together can be more than challenging!  The assembly/install portion is done by a local independent contractor who does ikea kitchens exclusively, so I think it is definitely the way to go.  Now, if scheduling that work has as many restrictions and is as confusing as the cabinet purchase, it may be a few days before I know what’s up.