Rental Kitchen Mostly Installed Ourselves!

So yesterday I posted that we installed our Ikea kitchen cabinets (upper) ourselves, first time doing cabinets, and it was much easier than we expected. Putting the cabinets together was a cinch, and installing them was not super simple, but easy enough.

Today, my 9 year old son and I put together the rest of the kitchen cabinets, this time the ones for the rental unit upstairs from us. Mostly it was as simple as doing the rest of the cabinets, other than the corner unit that was harder but still doable (I just needed to look much more closely at the instructions and follow them very well, since unlike the rest of the cabinets we installed, this was not symmetrical so directions made a huge difference.)

Then it was time to install them on the wall. This was much harder than installing the upper cabinets in our kitchen. Because with the upper cabinets, we just had to make sure that the rail we put in was level, with this, it needed to be level and be exactly a precise distance from the floor so the cabinets were sitting with legs on the floor and secured in the back against the wall on the rail. Not simple stuff. In addition to all that, because there was a corner unit involved, we needed to do that on two walls simultaneously, which is much harder than it sounds.

There also was the electricity and gas and plumbing to deal with. Before we could put the cabinets onto the rail, we needed to cut holes into them for the sink hardware to fit in, as well as the plug for the oven and the gas line. 

We finished this late at night and got all the lower cabinets finally installed. (It looks smaller than it is in the above picture- there is 15 feet of counter space there.)

Now I just have to call Ikea's counter people, who will come install the granite counter top and the sinks, after which we'll connect the plumbing, install the doors and drawers, and the upper cabinets. We still have more work ahead of us in the kitchen, but we finished all that can be done now until the counter tops are installed.

I'm proud of ourselves.

Just out of curiosity, how many feet long is your counter top space in your kitchen?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I have a feeling you and your son are gifted in that you can deal with this. When looking at potential homes to buy in the past, I have seen the results, which aren't good, of people attempting to do it themselves, and they weren't up to doing it. So, I think people should be cautious in attempting something which is out of their capabilities. Sometimes it's cheaper in the long run, to hire professionals to do tricky things.

  2. I live in a small 2 bedroom basement rental (with 7 pple plus one on the way iyH...). Our kitchen is actually a pretty large square, but it only came with 6 feet of counter space. There was an empty wall and a half, however, which potentially could have had counter on it. Instead, I have a long skinny table flush up against the half wall and a moveable counter/cabinet piece against the other wall to increase my surface area. That added another 12 feet all together, giving me 18 feet of "counter space" in total. It's not tons, but its doable. I also have a large square table in the room (the size that can comfortably seat 6 and 8 if we squish) which also increases my work space.

  3. Thats a generous kitchen for a rental! Ive rented a few places in your country (never in your area though), and the largest I’ve ever had is 2 meters

  4. So proud of you guys! Keep it up!

    I have a galley kitchen. One side is 2 feet, then stove, then 3 feet. The other side is 3 feet, then sink, then 1 1/2 ft. Hope to replace them someday with something nicer than the old school formica I got now.

  5. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience, I found it really very helpful and interesting.
    These tips are to be kept in mind for sure while writing.
    Good one!

  6. Hi Penny, can you share an update on how your Ikea kitchen is handling wear and tear? I live in your country and we are considering an Ikea kitchen but nervous about the quality/longevity. I was looking for an old post from your blog, where I thought you discussed the pros and cons, and how you just got Ikea cabinets for the upper parts, which don't come into water contact. Just can't find that post of yours. Thank you so much for your time and advice.

    1. It seems to be handling the wear and tear pretty well. There's one thing that went wrong, in one place the coating on the particleboard came off a drop, in one of the cabinets on the lower cabinets for our rental unit. But thats it. Overall we're happy with ours. Ours are in perfect condition still.

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