Sunday, February 3, 2008

Ikea Upper Cabinets and Flavorful Ceiling

The SuperBowl is on, and I'm not really a fan of either team (although I'd rather see the Giants win because I think Randy Moss is the biggest a-hole in the game).

To kill a little time I decided to build one of the upper cabinets we just picked up from Ikea today to see how the construction will be compared to the lowers.

The main "box" itself is no difference other than it being smaller than the base cabinet's box. Also, instead of drawers it's got two doors and interior shelves.

The only real decision we had to make was the orientation of the handles. At first, we planned to install them vertically (the base cabinet handles are horizontal). After looking at it a little while, we decided to match the base cabinets and mount them horizontally.

On this picture you can see how the grain of the wood doesn't flow from one door to the other. Some people wouldn't like this, but it doesn't bother us. I've seen pictures of finished kitchens with these doors and I like how it looks like this. Realistically, 98% of people out there would never even notice it.

The hinges were included with the cabinets, and overall, I'm very impressed with them. There is a lot of adjustment available in each hinge, allowing you to tweak each door as needed to make sure everything is lined up properly.

Each hinge has two screws for adjustment. One screw pushes the door attached at that hinge in or out, and the other hinge adjusts the door left or right (when the door is closed). In theory, this will allow you to make sure each door is exactly flush with the door next to it and also allow you to make sure gaps are even all the way around.

This cabinet is going over the refrigerator, and what amazes me is that this cabinet is bigger than any of the current upper cabinets we have on either side of the kitchen. What mainly accounts for this is that we're removing the existing soffits.

On this side of the kitchen alone, we are going to lose about 2 square feet of floor space to the larger cabinets (space we really won't miss), but in return we are going to gain about 12-15 cubic feet of storage. We will also gain 2 more square feet of new counter top space plus regain about 2 square feet of space currently used by the microwave which sits on the counter.

I threatened earlier to post a picture of the ceiling above our stove. This picture shows why it's so important to not only have and use a vent fan over the stove, but to actually vent it outside! The fan above our stove is not connected to the ductwork in the attic, meaning somebody in the past did some really half-ass work and never completed the job.

Any time you use our stove top, even if you run the fan, all the smoke/grease goes right up to the ceiling. For contrast, I put a clean sheet of paper in the picture. I'm hoping I can de-grease this mess enough for new paint to stick.

The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!

The Ikea Cabinet Fairy Paid us a Visit

In my never-ending quest to crush the suspension on the family truckster, we took a drive down to Ikea today to get all of the cabinets which will be installed in 1/2 of the kitchen.

With the third row of seating removed, everything fit well and I could have fit in a couple more boxes if needed.

After this half of the kitchen is done I'll make another trip to get the cabinets for the other half.

Why not get everything in one trip? Because there is no way it'd all fit without breaking the suspension.

Plus, even though I'm fairly sure I know what items are needed, I know there will be some waste and I don't want to go overboard on scrap. By doing this in two trips I should minimize material waste, save the van, and have less material taking up space in the house.

Plus, Mrs. Muskego Jeff likes to shop the store and since it's over an hour away, she doesn't get to go there often.

I mentioned in the previous post about Ikea cabinets that we were given a wrong piece when I got the first test-cabinet. Two cabinet drawer doors were missing and I was given a side trim-piece by accident. Today, I was shorted the same pieces and given the same wrong pieces. The part numbers aren't even close together, so I don't know how they made the same wrong mistake twice in a row, unless the pieces are stored in the same spot in their warehouse.

This time, however, I was smart enough to take inventory as I was loading the van. The workers there are either very trusting or see this problem often, as all I needed to do was go back to the merchandise pick-up desk and tell them I was missing two pieces and they got 'em and handed them to me. If I had less impressive morals, I could have gotten some extra door fronts by simply lying.

Regarding the purchase of the cabinets, everything went ridiculously smoothly. I'll credit a lot of this to my anal retentive attention to detail. Instead of just using the layout program available on Ikea's website, I downloaded a small CAD program (Delta Cad) and drew everything to scale. Their layout program is useful, but notoriously quirky. Here's what I came up with:

Something that isn't really clear in the planning program is that side trim-pieces are sold separately, so you only buy what you need. If you have a row of cabinets side by side, you don't need outside trim for each. In my case, I needed trim for most pieces.

I also had listed pricing from the catalog in the drawing so that I would know approximately how much this trip was going to cost. I was pretty much dead-on accurate until the trim was added (it wasn't listed in the catalog, so the price was a guess for me).

The dude at Ikea who took care of the sale for me needed a total of about 7 minutes to get everything rung up, including the mounting hardware for the upper cabinets (which I forgot). Since I listed part numbers all he had to do was type in what I had already listed.

This was probably the easiest sale he had to deal with all day, and also saved me a lot of headaches because the kitchen area at Ikea is typically very busy.