From April 2015

IKEA 3D Planner and Ordering

Once I had the floorplan I used the 3D Kitchen planner from Ikea which works for their older kitchen line as well as the new. This model allows you to drag and drop cabinets from the actual inventory of cabinets and position them within the space.

Tips:
(1) Start with the corner base cabinet if you have one and work out from there
(2) Get your corner cabinet right as this will help preformat the subsequent cabinets. Correct paint color, door style, hardware etc.
(3) Search Ikeafans (oops edit… not sure why this site was taken down) and other sites for solutions to layout problems. Our layout ended up fitting the exact dimensions of our wall framing after carefully planning the cabinet sizes. If this is not the case there are plenty of filler strips you can add in the model.
(4) Research easy ways to use the appliances that you want. We will show a method for using a sink cabinet to install a high end range top with nobs on the face.
(5) Generate your parts list from the 3D kitchen planner software. Include your ovens/microwave and diswasher if you like.
(6) Wait for the 20% off sales before proceeding to purchasing. Personally I’d recommend getting wall ovens and microwaves from Ikea since they are a fraction of the cost of Home Depot, Lowes and Sears on the 20% off sales. Thats what we did.
Press this button to generate the parts list:
Listbutton
The parts list we generated and used for our order is below:
Item_List

Once you have this itemized list, wait for the Ikea kitchen sale to get the 20% off. Its usually in March and October I think. Then you call, Ikea and talk to a kitchen specialist who can pull up your design and automatically order the entire parts list. We had Ikea deliver all of the order to our place in Idaho (bonus, no sales tax for out of state shipments) for $300 delivery fee. The wait for the parts was extremely frustrating but overall the price couldn’t be beat. We had Cabinets, microwave and wall oven delivered for around $4000 for the kitchen you see in the previous posts. The next best price I had for this from the local custom cabinet makers capable of doing nice painted Shaker cabinets was about $15k inclusive of wall oven/microwave.

Next post we will start looking at the box construction and initial stages of layout (note, there was about a 2 month delay in delivery from Ikea. Thankfully this was for a vacation house)

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Turn Your Sketch into an IKEA 3D Model

So, once you have a sketch (see prior post) you can do the same thing in your IKEA 3D Model . The IKEA modeling software starts by having you dimension the room, then add windows, doors, partition walls, flooring etc. I highly recommend also making the doors/windows and interior partitions accurate to the actual space as this will affect your design. In addition I would recommend including the window trim in your window dimensions as the IKEA software doesn’t automatically account for that in designing your upper cabinets. Below is a comparison of our Google Sketchup (I mentioned in the prior post) and the Ikea Model:

Sketchup_vs_Ikea

If you click on the photo above and take a close look at the two models you will see that the Sketchup model (left) has little cabinet detail and the Ikea model (right) is missing much of the island. Ikea cabinets can be a little plain jane for the islands and trim so we spent a significant amount of time building a custom island surround to match the Sketchup model as well as adding crown molding and custom raised panels. I’ll cover how we did that in a future post but here is the end product that we were working towards.

IMG_1204

Please ignore the diet cokes, ladder and various tools lying around. In future posts i’ll cover the big Ikea Hacks that we used to make this look like a custom kitchen while still keeping the budget way down. For now I just wanted to demonstrate the planning stage of Sketchup, Ikea 3D planning, and the end result.

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Get your dimensions and Make a plan

My wife and I have an agreement that she will get a reasonable drawing of the proposed project before we make any decisions about moving forward. This was very useful for planning in the ikea situation because after you draw the space you can use those dimensions to fill out the space using the IKEA Kitchen Planning Tool.

For making our initial drawings of the space we have used a variety of tools over the years (AutoCad, paint, powerpoint etc.) but the easiest and most flexible that I have found is the Sketchup from Google. Sketchup makes it incredibly easy to create a 3D rendering of your space, add furniture, windows etc from their library of preexisting drawings. Then you can visualize how the furniture and cabinets will work together. Here is what we came up with:
sketchup

This image is a reasonable rendering of the actual space, windows, doors, furniture and built-ins that we ended up with. You will see at the end of the project that we didn’t vary much from the plan. In a future post I’ll cover some tips for making the sketch as easily as possible but for now I’ll move on with the IKEA focus. In the next post we’ll take a look at what this kitchen looks like in the IKEA 3D planner.

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The Project: Build a $30k kitchen for $10k

My wife and I decided to take the plunge and build a Lake Cabin near Spokane WA to spend the summers. The idea was that we would have more family time together and be near my parents for more frequent visits with them. I acted as the GC, mostly because I couldn’t find anyone to take on the project at my low price point. So after 2 years of construction we will see if this work pays off this summer. Here are some quick pictures of the project we have a love/hate relationship with:

Capture

Since it was a second home we were constantly trying to optimize the budget for value without sacrificing quality (plus i’m a little OCD about saving money on construction…regardless). In our last house we use a custom cabinet shop to build our dream kitchen. We went back to them looking for similar quality, scaled way down. Unfortunately, even scaling back created “eye-popping” bids in the $15k range for the style of painted cabinets that we like. Unfortunately, painted cabinets are the most expensive due to surface prep and finishing but this is the style we are most comfortable with (and it also matches our painted DIY trim/door package). After adding up the install costs, applicances etc. we were pushing $30k which just was way more than we wanted to spend so we started looking for alternatives. My wife has always been a big fan of the Ikea kitchens for their streamlined looks. There are lots of other reasons to pick an Ikea kitchen in addition to budget (e.g. incredible hardware, availability of replacement parts just to name a few) so I started to work on a serious plan to do it ourselves and see what the cost difference would be. I’ll demonstrate the planning process and cost estimate in our next post.

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Steps to Getting a Blog Hosted

Here is how the backend was generated for this Blog. I’ll do a future post on the minor front end modifications that I’ve done.

I started at WordPress.org (their getting started page) after listening to a Tim Ferriss Podcast where he interviewed Matt Mullenweg who is the creator of WordPress and CEO of Automattic. Evidently it is quite the system and used by such sites as the NY Times, Washington Post etc. and now this humble site 🙂

So what does WordPress do? It appears to be an open source (i.e. free), set of tools/widgets/themes etc. for building websites that obviates most of the need for coding. I haven’t touched a line of code yet other than inserting the Matt Mullenweg hyperlink above. So far, no technical skills are necessary. It includes tools for generating html as well as a mysql backend that appears to store things (not sure what). At some point I’ll log into the server and see what it is doing. Either way, it was easy to set up although slow in terms of days to get moving and seems to be quite customizable. I selected WordPress.org after checking out several other solutions (Wix, Squarespace etc.) but found they quickly worked into more dependency on vendors than I wanted.
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Finished Setting up the site

I ended up adding a bunch of themes and plugins while testing out wordpress. Woocommerce appears great for adding a shopping service and many of the themes are compatible with it. As of now i’ve disabled the shopping features to focus on creating a little bit of content.