We Finished Installing Our Ikea Kitchen

We did it! My kitchen is now complete! After 9 year old Lee and I built all of our Ikea kitchen cabinets, yesterday Mike and I installed them into our kitchen.  If I want to be honest about who did what, I went to the hardware store to get advice about what type of screws were best for securing cabinets and bought them, then I measured how long the rails upon which Ikea cabinets sit should be, and then marked them, then Mike cut the rails while I held them in place. I then measured and marked on the wall where the rails should go, and marked all the places to drill. After that, Mike drilled into the wall, and added the screws. The screws went in properly onto one wall, the one with the taller cabinets, however, the wall wasn't deep enough for the screws on side with the fridge, so Mike needed to problem solve and figure out different ways to secure the rails onto the wall, which he accomplished very well.

Once the rails were up, we lifted the Ikea cabinets and situated them on the rails- we probably did half half, and then I locked them into place, after clamping them and drilling them together. Mike and I then snapped the door mechanism together, then drilled where necessary, and got the doors up.
It was actually pretty straightforward. The hardest part, really, was adjusting the doors so that they sat exactly right, tightening and loosening the screws as necessary- Mike did that. Ok, also dealing with the problematic wall, but that isn't an issue for most people.

If you're handy, I'd say Ikea kitchen cabinets are pretty easy to install, and it is definitely doable to do it yourself instead of hiring "real professionals". Figuring it out and installing it probably altogether took a few hours, and went faster as we went along and figured out how to best follow the instructions provided. Most the holes were already there, so all we needed to do was screw or snap things in to the required holes. I'd say the level of difficulty for this project was actually pretty simple, easier than other projects we did, such as building beds from scratch. Of course, it had more parts so took more time, but don't be afraid to do this thing yourself. You don't need to be a professional to put together an Ikea kitchen.

The assembled kitchen cabinets upstairs, amidst
all the boxes of things that still need to be done.

Of course, this was just half of the work, since there still is the complete kitchen upstairs in our rental unit that we need to put together and install, but Lee and I already put together 4 of the units (and probably still have two thirds left) in about 45 minutes or less, and I see it is just as straight forward as the upper cabinets, and expect to have that kitchen completely installed by the end of today. I can't wait to show you a picture of that. As soon as the kitchen is installed, we have to call the counter top people who will come and install that, and our rental unit will be complete! (Construction finished yesterday, other than installing a front door, which is on the agenda today.)

So as as continuation from my last post- when someone or many people start telling you you can't do something (and that goes to my friends who joked that my rental unit's kitchen would come crashing down and I should warn renters), don't believe them. Ignore the naysayers. You could do it. Even big projects such as installing kitchens can be done relatively quickly and by people that aren't super handy. You just do one box at a time and piece by piece and you can do it. It feels great to say you put together your kitchen yourself, and of course, the money saved in the process doesn't hurt.

Next step, other than finishing to build the upstairs kitchen? Filling my new kitchen, and reorganizing it so that it is user friendly, intuitive, easy to keep clean, and my stockpile will be there, so I can use the storage space under the stairs (where my stockpile currently is) to store linens and other things, so I can get that out of my work room/guest room, and then make that room neater and more organized and easy to use. Can't wait!

Penniless Parenting

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


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  1. No need to hire anyone when you have ability to figure it out yourself and can save the money by doing it yourself! Way to go!

  2. Very nice !! Congrats you did a great job.

  3. How wonderful!! Very proud of you. A number of years ago, my son managed to move an upper kitchen cabinet higher before a new fridge arrived. He managed to hold it up with his shoulder, instead of calling a neighbor to assist.
    Your kitchen really looks gorgeous.

  4. The brown cabinets are OK, but it doesn't look good the way you've added black and white cabinets, especially how you've put in a long row of black cabinets on the fridge wall. They extend beyond the brown cabinets and look very unsymmetrical. It looks like you threw together a hodge podge of different cabinets and the end result is rather chaotic.

    1. The new cabinets are gray to match the floor, not black. I think I remember reading in another post that Penny is planning to change the backslash and/or countertop

    2. if they like it what does it matter to you?

  5. Your kitchen looks beautiful! Now you just need to add a new fridge!

  6. It looks fabulous! Modern and lots of counter space.

  7. Those cabinets look lovely! Well done!

  8. you are awesome! good for you for doing it all yourselves!
    why dont you put a cabinet and microwave on top of the oven?

  9. penny, I am sooooo happy for you guys! you did a terrific job! looks lovely! and large! good for you!! rochel.

  10. I would love to see more step by step pictures. But, well done! Enjoy!

  11. I think your kitchen looks lovely. Kudos to you for doing it yourself.

  12. So proud of you guys. Glad it all worked out. And now, if you wish, you can brag..."I built and installed my own kitchen cabinets." You go girl!

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