Having undertaken a bathroom renovation four months earlier, I was feeling a little jaded at the thought of starting another reno but with my living room still in boxes, I figured there was no time like the present to get cracking.
Not owning a tape measure and being very unsure of my ability to correctly measure the space even with a tape measure, I decided to get the help of an Ikea Home Planner. For $99, a designer comes to your house for 2-3 hours and plans a kitchen with you. If you proceed with purchasing your Ikea kitchen, the fee is refunded.
I knew I wanted to go with flat pack cabinets and both my parents and my cousin had Ikea kitchens so the Home Planning service was a great solution for me. Other things on my list included polished concrete floors, granite benches and a tiled splashback but we'll get to that later.
I got the handyman who did some work on my bathroom to gut my kitchen. He started bright and early and with the help of his assistant (his son), was done by about 2pm.
In the week that followed, I had the plumber and electrician come to do the 'rough work' for the dishwasher and induction stove top. This wasn't without dramas. Despite telling them that the Monday was a public holiday, both booked me in on the Monday. The electrician didn't show up and only when I called them was I told that they realised it was a public holiday and had moved my job to the following day. The plumber did turn up but without the right parts and when he went to the shop, realised that it was closed.
On the Monday of the third week, I had a kitchen flatpack installer come over. Wanting to save some money, I had decided to get someone from Gumtree rather than go through the Ikea . This was a mistake. There are some great tradies on Gumtree, but the guy I picked was not one.
The major mistakes he made were not realised until later but the main issue was that he spent most of the morning on the phone, half finished the job and left just after lunch, then wanted additional money to come back and finish it later in the week. The major mistake I made (and knew I was making at the time but was trusting that he would do the right thing) was being bullied into paying a 50% deposit or he wouldn't pickup tools and start the job.
This is how my kitchen looked when he left.
I ended up finding the most wonderful installer and cabinet maker who finished the job for a great price, fixed all of the problems the first installer did and also put a custom little shelf into a space that was going to be covered with a plinth.
The next day, the granite benchtop company came over to do templating and this is how my kitchen stayed for three weeks until the benches were ready to be installed.
To be continued....