Garage Conversion Week 15

This week marked the beginning of the IKEA kitchen cabinets installation. As we expected, it hasn’t been the smoothest experience and likely the last time we use IKEA for custom cabinets.


The IKEA software is easy to use and quite advanced. It gives you a great 3D rendering of how the cabinets will look, including opening the doors to see how the drawers will pull out. Everything is modular and fits together neatly. We went to the store a few times to talk it out with an IKEA kitchen consultant before placing our order. Plus, they gave us a heads-up that the 10% off kitchen sale was happening in a week, so we were able to take advantage of getting a few hundred dollars back.


When it came time to place our order, it was chaotic (like any big IKEA purchase tends to be). The kitchen consultant takes the mouse from you, clicks around to double check everything, and then escorts you to checkout. Meanwhile, an unsupervised child was running around us and printing out an excessive amount of pages (and we happened to be standing right next to the printer). It was really annoying and distracting, especially when we were in the middle of making a big purchase. A few of the pieces were out of stock too (like the drawer handles), so we had to pick them up from another IKEA location.

In the next few days, Alex received phone calls to schedule the installation and fabrication appointments. They were booked up more than we would have liked, so the earliest appointment we could snag was in 2 weeks. Luckily our contractor said it was ok, but it was still a little inconvenient.

The day before installation, we didn’t receive a phone call to confirm. So Alex had to call customer service himself and get redirected a few times before solidifying the installation time. On Monday morning, two installers arrived. But as they were placing everything in, they realized they were missing a couple pieces. So Alex had to go back to IKEA again and purchase the additional legs needed (a $7 purchase that took 2 hours of his day).

And like we expected, the drop-in cooktop caused a headache (and is still continuing to be an issue). At first, it didn’t fit and couldn’t drop in even though it was an IKEA brand cooktop. So the fabricators came back and cut more of the cabinets to drop it in smoothly. Then the downdraft hood needed special measurements so the fabricator had to come back twice to figure out how to get everything flush against the counter. As of today, we’re waiting to hear back on their recommendation for extending the cabinets.

While all the kitchen drama was happening, we got the side fences installed – which means we can finally let the dogs run freely around the backyard! To celebrate, we hosted a 4th of July barbecue for about 15 friends. Alex was so excited to grill burgers and bacon wrapped hotdogs, while I made a strawberry pie, sangria, and showed our friends around the ADU.

Our good friend Albert also stayed with us for the weekend and helped stain the wood fences and beams. In return, we grilled him a fat rack of Costco ribs. :)