While I’ve slowly started getting this blog going, we’ve been working hard on our IKEA kitchen remodel. We started in August and hoped to get it mostly done by Christmas. Both of our mothers are coming to stay for the holiday, so there’s even more pressure to get it done. Well, we’re a couple weeks out from them arriving and I can say with confidence that…*drumroll*… it will not even be close to being done! Yay for cooking Christmas dinner without a finished kitchen!
The good news is: we’ve gotten more done than the pictures here show, and I’ll have another post up shortly with those pics.
Demolition begins! Turns out, living in a house during a kitchen remodel is pretty difficult to do when you only have one kitchen. Because, you know… we need to eat food and stuff. Our solution was to work on sections at a time so our entire kitchen wasn’t out of order all at once. The cabinets were surprisingly easy to take down without damaging, so they’re getting donated to Habitat for Humanity. They have a location nearby that will come pick up the old cabinets for free – plus we get a tax credit!
Upper cabinets were the first section to go. Yes, there’s a hole in the drywall. Yes, I put it there. My plan was to remove the dropped soffit ceiling so we could have taller upper cabinets. Upon further inspection (aka, the hole via sledge hammer), there is a load-bearing beam hidden within the dropped ceiling. So glad I spent hours in the IKEA kitchen planner tool only to have to redo it! Learn from my (obvious) mistakes – if you have plans to make changes to your walls, look to see what’s hiding behind them before designing your room layout.
Our first major issue:
One really important thing to note about the IKEA SEKTION system when planning your kitchen is the wall cabinet depth. IKEA wall cabinets are 15″ deep, while most standard wall cabinets are about 12″ deep.
We realized after we started hanging the cabinets that the dropped ceiling was not deep enough for the new cabinets, and had to be extended by about an inch. So I decided on adding another layer of thick drywall to give it just enough depth. I know this sounds like the lazy way to fix this issue, and it is. But I did a lot of research to make sure doubling up on drywall is an acceptable solution, and from what I gathered, many contractors will do this for certain jobs if it’s necessary. And I was really not up to the challenge of tearing down all of the drywall, extending the soffit frame by just a single inch, and then drywalling it all back up again.
This is the beginning phase of getting the extra layer up (with lots of adhesive and extra long screws). I had zero experience with drywall prior to this, so it took up a lot of time I didn’t plan for. This picture doesn’t show the joint tape and mud texturing I had to do, but you can sort of see the finished look in the following pictures. I’ll include a detailed close-up in my next post.
This is a loose fitting of the upper cabinets to make sure they all lined up and were level. Spoiler alert: they weren’t. Also, it seems the number of wine and liquor bottles on the counter increases with every photo. Hmm…
Things really started to get interesting once we finally pulled the plug on the counter tops and base cabinets. We have had no dishwasher, kitchen sink, counters, or stove for the last month. We’ve been living off of take-out and microwaveable meals. I began having dreams at night that I was stuck in some endless loop of measuring and leveling and re-measuring and re-leveling, over and over. So now this living nightmare has turned into literal nightmares.
That being said, our quartz counter tops have already been measured for cutting and are scheduled for installation before Christmas. This has given me a little hope, and I finally feel like our microwaveable meals are coming to an end. Another progress post is soon to come!
Check out the kitchen before the remodel started here.