counter offer...

After receiving a(n apparent) counter bid from the Kitchen Craft folks of $30,000 compared to the presumed $15,000 required for IKEA cabinets, we sullied up to IKEA last weekend to take a closer look at their cabinets and a get a firmer quote. In the past, when I've looked at IKEA cabs online, they had a design program, but it required a PC (i.e., no Mac version). When we went to the store to talk to a sales associate last weekend, we found out that IKEA now has a browser plug-in with PC and Mac versions. Yay!  After plugging in an approximate realization of our kitchen (and finding that you can have 6-inch toe heights (yay!) and stainless steel kick plates (double yay!), we were quite pleased at the final cost: $5,000. We figure an extra $1,500 to $2,000 for installation. (Note that this is only for the kitchen and not the bathrooms and cabs in the living room).

The bride also found a quartz counter-top that IKEA sells that is the best we've seen so far, a pleasant fusion between the two countertops we've flirted with: whiter, grayer-bluer, with mini-mirrors. Nice!

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that IKEA sells samples of its countertops. That's problematic when trying to pick out other stuff (like backsplash tile). Furthermore, the buy-by-the-square-foot countertops are not available online (to check out specs and whatnot). That makes things a wee bit challenging.

As it turns out, there's a wee bit of uncertainty about the Kitchen Craft estimate (lots of weeing going on...). The cover letter from the Kitchen Craft folks says 30K, but the bid, as entered into the spreadsheet, says 23K (and the builder swears he put it in right). In case yer not good at math, that's a 7K difference. And instead of a 100% premium over IKEA, Kitchen Craft could (just) be a 50% premium. We need to get that figured out, because a 50% premium may be worth it to get custom features instead of circuit-bending IKEA's cabinets to work with our kitchen.

Wandering around IKEA, we gawked lovingly at this wall cabinets:

Wethinks these may go well above the east wall lower cabs in the laundry room. In fact, we're thinking that room (that wall) could double as a bar area.

We also gawked at these affordable scalable wine holders:

For the pantry?


  1. Just googled "specchio white" and found that it's made by HanStone. Sample coming!

  2. Maybe I'm not good at math (although I kind of think I am), but how is the KitchenCraft quote (possibly) only a 50% premium over Ikea? Is Ikea's quote in Swedish dollars? I'm not up on the conversion rate.

    1. Yay! Math lessons! By premium, I mean percent over the IKEA base cost. The IKEA is estimated at $15,000. The Kitchen Craft, according to what the builder put into the cost spreadsheet, is $23,000. The 23 minus the 15 equals the 8 divided by the 15 times 100 equals (about) 50 percent.

    2. Oh, so you're expecting the bathrooms and living room to total about the same as the kitchen cabinets? That was my confusion. (I was assuming the kitchen was the bulk of the cabinetry, so maybe another couple thousand for the rest of the house, which wasn't putting the total up anywhere near $15k.)

    3. The "big" numbers (15K, 23K [or perhaps 30K]) include the kitchen, master bath, guest bath, and laundry and, in the case of Kitchen Craft, the drawers in the bookshelves in the living room. Sorry for the confusion!

  3. Have you checked full custom cabinets?

    At this price, you can probably either save a few bucks or get better quality with custom. Things are pricier in Austin.


    They are in San Antonio and have done a lot of the UBuildit houses I have toured. Austin must have an equivalent or you call these guys.

    On Ikea, are you going to assemble the boxes? If you have an installer do this part, they will charge you an arm and a leg. If yu do it, schedule a week :).

    1. Only loosely, primarily because we are afflicted with a strong desire to have high-gloss machine-aesethtic melamine-ish fronts. Haven't found a local custom builder willing to do that... However, if someone is not tied to that, they definitely should check out the local custom cabinet makers. The banking crash created the opportunity for getting some deals down here, but the building seems to be back...

      Mr. Edwards needs to turn the tunes off at his site: Big internet faux pas. Or at the very least drop some Beastie Boys.

    2. As it turns out, we're now looking at custom as an option!