Even though I’d seen quite a few examples of folks’ living spaces once their Ikea cabinet delivery arrived, I wasn’t prepared for just how much space all of the boxes would take up. Let’s just say it was not (is not) insignificant for my studio apartment, and the boxes certainly weren’t arranged in any order by the delivery guys (they understandably don’t have the time to put the items in the most convenient lineup). Thankfully, we have a really good size storage unit in the building, so our couch has since been relocated to make assembling (and acclimating the new flooring) far more manageable.
While I ended up doing the cabinet assembly myself, one area I’d highly recommend spending some cash on is delivery, especially if you live on the top floor of a building with no elevator. (We ordered from the Ikea about thirty miles away and delivery only cost a hundred bucks with stairs — basically what a large enough rental truck would cost, without all the work.) Even though the pieces are packed separately and are flat, they are surprisingly heavy and awkward to carry — particularly the super tall cover panels and pantries (I know, like you need me to tell you that). Definitely one of the best service values I’ve encountered in the remodeling process so far.
Instead of hiring the local Ikea-recommend installer — in no small part because their license is suspended, sure to make the permit process extra fun — we hired a general contractor with a great deal of experience with Ikea cabinetry. The Ikea Fans service directory and forums were both helpful in pointing me toward a few other options, but Yelp is where I ended up finding our guy.
As for assembling the cabinets yourself, it is easy enough — particularly if you have built any ready-to-assemble furniture before. All you need is a hammer and screwdriver, nothing fancy. Does it take a good amount of time? Yes. (When all is said and done — I’ve yet to assemble the beast — I’ll have probably spent ten hours to assemble eleven cabinets.) But as someone who wanted to do as much hands-on work as possible with the kitchen remodel, it was worthwhile.
With that, I leave you with a photo of the assembled cabinets (most of them, at least) masquerading (minimally) as matryoshka dolls: