I know kitchen cabinets are considered a splurge when moving into a new home. My brain said wait but my heart said now! Before I knew it, I was going around hunting for our kitchen cabinet with my husband.
Both of us agreed on one thing though: that the kitchen itself shouldn’t cost more than RM6500. A tall order for picky people like us.
After lots of research (visiting different shops, hours of googling and pinterest-ing) we decided to go for IKEA. There’s a few other factors that played into our decision which I’ll share here.
Cost of kitchen cabinets
Every time we went to IKEA, we’d stroll about in IKEA’s kitchen showroom just to, you know, check them out. And both us have, over time, slowly (but surely) fell in love with IKEA’s kitchen (who hasn’t? hehe #justifying)
When the time came to decide on our kitchen, our first choice was (naturally) IKEA. But, we didn’t stop there and instead chose to consider all other options before we made the leap which includes our local kitchen cabinet makers within the area. What we did was we drafted out what we envisioned in our kitchen in IKEA’s kitchen planner and brought the plan to several cabinet shops/makers to get a quotation from them. That way we were able to compare prices.
We really thought that IKEA would be super duper expensive but boy were we wrong. What IKEA estimated to be RM7000++ (our initial draft) cost RM9,000 to RM20,000 in our local shops. It’s worth noting that the lower range of RM9,000 used a worktop and door/drawer finishing made of a low grade Mika material – you know the kind that curls when it gets wet and if you spill turmeric on it, it will turn yellow forever so might as well smear turmeric all over your kitchen cabinetry if that ever happens. At least the cabinets color will be even. Hehe.
So for us, IKEA was definitely a clear winner in the cost department. It’s worth noting though, the prices for IKEA kitchens can go high pretty very quickly. I’ll share some tips and tricks to keep the cost down in the next post.
25 and 10 Year Guarantee
We use our kitchen a lot. We don’t really eat out much, both my husband and I prefer to eat home cooked food thus naturally we had have high demands and expectations from our kitchen. It must be able to take on high temperature, heavy weights, spills, everyday use and kids (picture kids slamming the door fronts)
We asked our local kitchen cabinets about their warranty/guarantee policy and surprisingly most of them said they didn’t have any. If there’s any defects, then we must replace it on our own (i.e. fork out extra cash).
IKEA on the other hand has a 25 year guarantee for the METOD kitchen cabinets and a 10 year guarantee for the sinks and taps which applied to domestic use and covers defects in material. If anything goes wrong, then IKEA will send someone over to your house and inspect the product if it’s covered under the guarantee and if it is, then they will bear all costs of repairs, spare parts, labour, travel and any additional costs. Say, if the replacement is no longer sold by IKEA, then they’ll provide an appropriate replacement.
So in terms of coverage, IKEA was the clear winner – hands down.
This was another significant factor for us. If you sign up for IKEA FAMILY CARD, you’ll be entitled to many benefits – the most significant to us, while considering our kitchen options, was that you are entitled to get 1 point for every RM1 spent at IKEA.
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Here’s the best part: for every 500 points, you’ll get a RM5 IKEA voucher. AAANDDD if it’s your birthday month then you’ll get 3x the points. So if you spend RM6000, you’ll get RM180 to spend in IKEA! I mean I know RM180 is nothing compared to RM6000, but when you’re moving into a new house, every cent you can save is worth it! Plus if you’re going to spend that RM6000 for a kitchen anyway then why not get RM180 back. Hehe. I mean think about it! RM180 to spend in IKEA! – Enough said:)
Easy, no hassle return policy
IKEA has a superb return policy. One that’s really hard to find in Malaysia. If you’re staying anywhere else outside Malaysia, you probably won’t think that IKEA’s return policy is any different from every other store in your area. But in Malaysia, there’s no such thing as a return policy. And if they do have a return policy, it’s…er. I hope it’d improve over time.
Boy do I miss shopping in Melbourne. We once managed to return and get full refund for all our unused pastas before returning to Malaysia for good since we kept the receipt! Haha cheapskate I know but it’s not good to waste right? Can’t imagine doing that here. Oops, sorry, I digress. What was my point?
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Oh yes, my point was IKEA allows you to return items within 100 days, together with your receipt for either an exchange or a full refund. This was such a big thing for us because we knew that we were stepping unto unfamiliar grounds if we decided to plan and build our own kitchen cabinet, but knowing that we could return the items gave us peace of mind. In fact, we did return a whole lot of things in which we got full refund (and used the refund to buy other useful items)
Payment options: 0% interest free financing
Moving into a new home requires a lot of money to spend – wiring, lighting, fans, grills. And more often then not they’ll cost you more than you initially though it’d cost you. All those little things, like a down light that cost RM5 each doesn’t seem to be a lot, but when you need to buy 30 of them and 30 light bulbs – the total increases significantly!
So if you’re tight and don’t want to pay credit card interest, or just prefer to not spend large amounts at once and simply preferring to invest the money instead, then IKEA has a 0% interest free financing which you can read up here.
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Accessories and interior fittings
IKEA has an awesome range of kitchen accessories and interior fittings which is a dream come true for all OCD’s alike. And they all fit in like a glove for IKEA’s METOD kitchen method. From little things like chopping boards that can rest nicely on their sink.
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to cutlery organizers and different sized bins for waste sorting that fit their drawers perfectly
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And the best thing is, you don’t have to buy it straight away. Its something you can accumulate over the years! A reason to make more trips to IKEA – sounds good to me. Hehe.
Having said all this, there were 2 big factors that was making us hesitant to make the IKEA kitchen leap. The first was labour effort. For one my husband and I have never assembled a kitchen before. We’ve assembled IKEA’s wardrobe, bookshelves and bed frames and all that before – but not a kitchen. This was definitely a bigger project.
We knew the kitchen will require tools outside our league like different types of power tools and some piping work. We weren’t confident if we could actually do it and we were unsure about the amount of time that would be needed to complete the project. Our aim then was to move into the house 25 days after we received the keys, so if we decided to build our own kitchen, then we would have to somehow work while the electricians do wiring around us, on top of figuring out how to er, actually build the kitchen.
Delivery and Labour Costs
Secondly we were also worried about delivery and labour costs. IKEA quoted RM1000++ for deliveries outside KL/Selangor. And a whole lot more for labour which also included costs for travel and accommodation. These costs alone were almost equal to the cost of our actual kitchen. In addition, the company IKEA outsources to build the kitchen were fully booked, so they could only build our kitchen a month after we moved in.
So after much discussion, my husband and I decided to make the leap and build the kitchen ourselves. We got IKEA to send our stuff to a family’s place in KL/Selangor area (which cost us RM85) where another 3-tonne truck was waiting and delivered our precious all the way to our place. Overall the delivery costs was way less than what IKEA quoted us.
And the kitchen building itself was actually a lot of fun! My husband and I took a few days off work to complete the project. We definitely spent a lot of quality time throughout the process. He ended up doing most of the work requiring power tools like saws since I chickened out. But I’m so proud of us (ok fine – him). He definitely did a good job! Best kitchen ever in my opinion because my husband made it just for me:)
I’ve split it into several posts so hopefully I can share a bit more for each part instead of cramming everything in one post:
Want to read the whole process?
Hope this helps if you’re planning to build your very own kitchen cabinets!