Flat No.2 – Renovation Progress

The title is a misnomer – there hasn’t been much progress and in part it is to do with Christmas. Mostly, it’s to do with IKEA.

Here comes our abysmal experience over the last 3 weeks, not so much as a rant (but, yes, a rant), more of a way for you to learn from the issues we’ve had, and how to deal with them. I’d like to claim that we’d never get an IKEA kitchen again, I really would, and we weren’t planning on it this time around BUT, they are phenomenally cheap compared to other kitchens, even when competitors have 60% off and the grey of the Bodbyn doors we’ve chosen was the nicest colour we could find. So, even though I want to give up with their kitchens I don’t want to make a bold claim in the heat of the moment that I can’t stick to.

For more information on whether or not to buy an IKEA kitchen see this post, although I would like to add, don’t get a wood top, they are sooooo much maintenance.

I’ve broken down our experience in a timeline, mainly to stop myself from going on an epic rant. If you can’t be bothered to read it, in summary – IKEA failed to deliver our kitchen on multiple occasions and it’s still only 98% complete.


November 21st

  • We ordered the kitchen, it takes 3 hours so be prepared for this, bring snacks and an energy drink

December 18th

  • The original delivery date. Delivery didn’t go ahead because the company IKEA use sent a lorry, even though we told them that one wouldn’t fit down our street. The delivery company first claimed they didn’t have enough smaller vehicles on that day and then claimed IKEA didn’t fill out the form properly. Anyway, it was their mistake, not IKEA’s.
  • I call IKEA asking for new delivery date – earliest is 28th. We feel that’s too late and so ask them what they can do.
  • IKEA advise us to get kitchen directly from Tottenham Hale store as they have most of the kitchen in stock – we reason that at least our builder can start on it. They tell us we can have it the next day. DO NOT DO THIS – IT IS A LIE. Never agree to your kitchen being delivered directly from a store, just accept the new delivery date, no matter how rubbish, you’ll see why.

December 19th

  • You guessed it, the kitchen didn’t arrive. IKEA can’t get hold of Tottenham store (you can’t call them directly) to find out what’s happened. They advise me not to go to the store to find out.

December 20th

  • Still can’t get hold of Tottenham to find out what’s going on.

December 21st

  • You guessed it, Tottenham employees have a phone phobia.
  • 3 phone calls later, by me not them, when they were supposedly calling back, I am told that we’ll have a delivery for 29th. ONE DAY AFTER OUR THE ORIGINAL RE-DELIVERY. Fine, we go with that.

December 26th

  • IKEA call to confirm the delivery will be going ahead on 29th and to make sure the items get sent out they need to delete off any items that aren’t in stock and order separately because otherwise an incomplete order gets automatically cancelled. I agree and go back to my glass of port.

December 29th

  • Obviously there wasn’t a delivery, what were we thinking? We call to find out why and apparently it was because the payment, which we made in full when we bought the kitchen back in November, didn’t show up on the Tottenham system, so they just decided not to call us and ask about it and cancelled the delivery.
  • At this point I’m telling them to please stop using Tottenham because they are the absolute WORST. They can’t, it’s too late. I rage silently to myself and later take it out on strangers on the street, like the good Brit that I am.
  • Jules’ usual calm demeanour breaks and after a 2 1/2 hr call with IKEA to find out how the f*ck they’re going to sort this out he tells the very pleasant woman (we know it’s not her fault, we’re not bad people) to stand up and physically find a manager because this sh*t has gone too damned far.
  • We receive an email later from one of the managers stating: “I have contacted the Tottenham store to see if there is any way we can get this delivery out for you any sooner unfortunately they have confirmed that they only have vehicle’s routed to your area on Tuesday and Saturdays so have no way of getting the delivery to you earlier than Saturday.” Yeah.

December 31st

  • 3 railings arrive from the Wembley store.

January 2nd

  • Most of the kitchen arrives from Tottenham. One base unit is missing. We do something that I recommend everyone does when getting a kitchen from IKEA, it’s something we learnt from the last time around – we ticked off every item on our list from when we placed the order and numbered everything. Every unit from IKEA is numbered and all the pieces for that unit are subdivided under those numbers. Our fridge was unit 4 – so all doors and cover panels etc had a 4 on them and then we wrote on the wall a ‘4’ where the fridge is supposed to go. We found that this really helped the builder as all inner drawers are where they’re supposed to be etc. Last time there were pieces missing and bits lying around that no one had a clue about. It takes a while – we have 136 items – but it’s definitely worth it.
  • We await the final delivery in 2 days…

January 4th

  • We had very specific instructions that when a delivery is on its way we need a one hour warning as we don’t live at our flat at the moment. The driver called (from the distribution centre we dealt with on Day 1) saying he’d be an hour. It was 5:15pm, I checked and our builder had just left so I decided to leave work early and go down. 5:25pm the driver calls to say he’s outside and won’t wait. I nearly explode.
  • Delivery company tell me they can have it sent the following day.

January 5th

  • Delivery company call to say it’ll be delivered on 7th. My body can’t compute the levels of anger I’m harbouring.

January 7th

  • Final delivery arrives. Base unit still missing.

January 9th

  • We get our builder to go through what we need that wasn’t sent. 2 doors, the base unit we already knew about and 5 cover panels that were never ordered but, and here’s the weird/annoying thing, they were on our breakdown from our kitchen design, yeah, the one created in November.
  • We call IKEA and although the woman is lovely, she can’t get us anything until 20th and we just CAN’T anymore. We get her to find a store with cover panels and the base unit in stock and Lakeside has some and it’s only 50 mins away.
  • We drive to Lakeside, by the bloomin’ items we need, except the 2 doors, which aren’t in stock and drop them back at our flat. Problem solved.

January 11th

  • IKEA call to tell me they can’t get hold of the Tottenham store to find the door we’re still missing and to get them Tottenham needs to sign off the consignment order. They also have to sign off for the base unit we ordered so that we can get it refunded. At this point, no one is surprised that Tottenham have been incapable of dealing with the ‘strange incessant ringing’ in their store.
  • To date, our kitchen is still incomplete and no one can know when our kitchen we be finished. Maybe May?

The biggest issue with all of the this is the knock on effect on the rest of our renovation, hardly anything has been done for 3 weeks and it has effected timings, which when you’re renovating, is very important. IKEA weren’t rude, they weren’t unhelpful – I know that sounds strange – they were trying to help but their system is flawed.

But, saying all this, after WEEKS of delays and issues and headaches and hair loss and hallucinations, we’ve turned a corner. Arlington worktops have come through for us and will template our Corian worktops on Thursday (everyone else takes weeks and are so unhelpful) and install the following week (everyone else couldn’t install until mid-Feb). They’re my new fave people. Rich especially, he just gets sh*t done.

The door that was holding up our bathroom wall being built, because it’s a sliding system, has been found and delivered.

The skip that refused to arrive turned up today and our flat is cleared off all the PILES of cr*p.

And, finally, the kitchen is being fitted and will be ready on Thursday (minus 2 doors) for our worktop template.

We did manage to do a couple of base coats in the kitchen and second bedroom this weekend, so at least we’ve made some progress on the flat that refuses to be renovated.

To summarise this whole saga as Jules has been repeatedly saying: “IKEA, the woeful every day.”


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