13 July 2011

Guest post by Becky Shankle: Three reasons not to buy an Ikea kitchen

Gold Notes' three-year-anniversary continues! Because of this special celebration, you're getting three posts a week throughout July. This is the latest, and the second of two IKEA-themed guest posts.

Last time, I shared Becky Shankle's insights on three IKEA kitchen benefits. This time, I'm sharing her IKEA concerns. Let me add an important caveat here: If you use an IKEA-savvy firm like Becky's Eco-Modernism, you can potentially overcome the negatives she shares here. Here then are Becky's thoughts on the matter:

RTA translates into time and labor

IKEA invented the flat packing (RTA, or ready-to-assemble) concept. It’s a way to significantly cut transportation costs since an un-assembled box takes up less space than an assembled one. That savings gets passed to the customer, but so does the responsibility of putting it all together.

Customer service

It’s hard to get a human on the phone, much less one in the kitchen department. Chances are very high that you will be unable to have an ongoing conversation with the same kitchen planner who helps you in the store. Either their schedule doesn’t line up with yours, or they’re busy with another customer at the store. Or they’ve moved on to another job – turnover is also a problem.

[On a related non-customer-friendly note], IKEA has a tendency to switch out vendors in the middle of production runs. Which is great if they get a better deal, but far from great if something needs replacing during an installation. More often than not, the new supplier’s product is not an exact match to the old supplier’s product.

Kitchen planner software

I’ve been a CAD designer for 25 years. I’m used to 100 percent accuracy of every fraction of an inch when I design. IKEA’s planner software leaves a lot to be desired. If I have trouble with it, I can’t imagine the hair pulling going on with people who have no CAD or 3D experience. Big learning curve, there.

Designed and installed by Becky Shankle and Eco-Modernism

Final thoughts

All that being said, for the money, IKEA cabinets are a great choice. We design and install with them every day. Having done custom work prior, they get the thumbs up for speed, durability and style. Everything else in the plus column is icing on the cake.


Be sure to check out Becky's first guest post: Three reasons to buy an Ikea kitchen.

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