Mary’s Big Remodel – Part 9

Now into month three of my home remodel, wherein my husband and I are doing this ourselves (truly, he is doing all the work), I am right on the border between “I have really had it with all the mess and disorganization” and “I’m so excited I can hardly sleep at night!”

Wait. This is not my kitchen … I just wanted you to see the cabinets we have selected.

Last week I told you that we’ve settled on these cabinets, due in part to the unbelievable price of about $3,500, which is one-fourth the price of our first quote. But also because these are beautiful all-wood, birch cabinets with high-end hardware and drawer glides―and they come prefinished. Gorgeous. And you’re dying to know the source, aren’t you.

You’re going to be shocked, because I know we were. IKEA. Not kidding.

We went to the ginormous IKEA in Costa Mesa, just to check it out. I’ve been seeing ads recently that piqued my curiosity. Wanted to make sure we hadn’t overlooked anything.

We were shocked. And a little worried. What would people think if we put in IKEA cabinets? After all, my husband Harold is a master cabinet-maker/hobbyist. He’s a weekend warrior and does gorgeous work. But if he’d made them we would be doing Update #52 before they were ready to be installed, and that would be an optimistic estimate.

All that to say, he has very high standards. And he is amazed at the quality and the price of these cabinets.

There is one little catch: We will be assembling and installing all of the cabinetry. But the way we look at it,  we’ll be paid nicely in savings over having this all done by the first company we met with (yes the ones who quoted us $12,000).

Another great thing is that IKEA has everything in stock about 10 miles from our home. And if we get something wrong, we can return it for exchange or refund. No 9-week lead time once we order. In fact, we picked up on section this past weekend.

And I am pleased to tell you  Flooring Concepts will be installing the new floors on 9-24. We’ve selected  Cherry Chocolate in the Imperial Engineered Collection, if you want to check it out. Total price including materials and installation? $5.50 per sq. ft. (slightly higher than the $4.99 you see on the link above because of some prep work they’ll be doing).

We have figured this thing every which way, and are convinced that if we purchased the flooring materials and installed it ourselves, it we would not save a thing over the price quoted by Flooring Concepts.

As of this moment, the walls throughout the family room and kitchen are complete. We’ve applied 250 lbs. of “mud” and sanded off at least 200 lbs. of it. Seems quite strange to me, but I’m told that’s the way to do it. It’s been such hard work. But it’s lookin’ good!

By the way, paint color #3 won the vote.

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5 replies
  1. Robert Smith
    Robert Smith says:

    Who ever told you that was how you did drywall mud was not right. Done properly there is very little sanding. You can also sponge the joints smooth after final coat. I have done rooms in a occupied house and sanded nothing, just use damp drywall sponge. The trick is using thinner and thinner coats with wider and wider knives. I guess your comment was journalistic license! Good luck with this project!

    • Mary Hunt
      Mary Hunt says:

      Thanks for your insight, Robert. We’re not professionals, maybe that’s the problem? Only the kitchen has received new drywall. Taping and applying the joint compound there was quite simple. In the large family room we have a completely different story. All of the walls and ceiling were highly texturized in the past.

      It would have cost a fortune to remove all of those walls and ceiling. So we used did a skim coat which required applying many coats of JC to every square inch, sanding between. The room is 17 x 21. Those walls and ceiling are now smooth as glass and as of last night, primed as well.

      As for my weights and measures, we purchased five 50 lbs. boxes of compound. My math says that’s 250 lbs. And if I could show you the dust I cleaned up and hauled out … well I’m sure you would agree. Yep, gotta’ be at least 200 lbs.

  2. Anne
    Anne says:

    Love the cabinets. You are going to be so happy with your new kitchen it will all be worth it. My son has just renovated two of my bathrooms and laid a new floor in my bedroom. Don’t turn your nose up at Ikea, people. They have some good stuff and some is just practical like the bed I just bought. Storage in the bed is much needed and not a lot of money-it will never be heirloom but meets my needs.

  3. Joy Thomas
    Joy Thomas says:

    We are huge D-I-Y-ers & assembled & installed Ikea cabinets in our kitchen & kitchenette six years ago. We had previously installed Home Depot cabinets in our first house. It was totally worth the assembly because of all the money we saved…the 2nd kitchen was twice the size as the first & we paid less for the cabinets! We couldn’t be happier with the quality even after these six years. A huge help was the site There are many ideas & Solutions for customizing your IKEA kitchen as well as troubleshooting. Have fun!


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