Tag Archives: cabinets

Building Bonanza Update: Kitchen Installation

It has been a full week of building.  The kitchen cabinets are in, the plumbing has been started and is almost complete inside the house, another order of lumber was done  for the bathroom siding, the ceiling under the loft and the remainder of the trim; the bathtub has been built and the fiberglass tub is ⅔ complete.

The kitchen cabinets went in beautifully.  It was a bit of a tight squeeze in some spots, the wheel well boxes had to be shaved down in size and there are shims in places I didn’t even know one would put shims.  The kitchen looks great. I was concerned that the house would feel smaller once the kitchen was in, but it doesn’t.  I wanted to be sure that there was a good amount of storage and counter space in the kitchen, but that there is also enough space between the counters so that two people can work in the kitchen and so that someone can still get to the bathroom if someone is cooking.  Mission accomplished!  There is just about 3′ of space between the kitchen cabinets and the comfort of that space has been tested thoroughly as construction continues.  It’s a great spot to work out the next challenge.  I can feel the kitchen parties happening already.

A word about my countertop. I have decided to go with a butcher block countertop.  Not the best choice weight wise, but a good choice as far as handling the stresses of the road.  We took a field trip after my last post to visit  a countertop supplier in Montreal.  They had gorgeous options in all things countertop.   They came in at twice to almost three times the price of Ikea for a solid wood butcher block counter.   To see the Ikea countertop, I had to buy the countertop sight unseen with the exception of well-worn sample in the kitchen department.  Another field trip to Ikea.  After watching the stock for the countertops  for a week, they were finally in stock on Good Friday.  So off we went to find the store packed.  We navigated through the maze of the showroom using as many shortcuts as possible to stand in a considerable line and wait to order the countertop. Once ordered, another journey to navigate through the rest of the showroom and then down to the stock floor and navigate out of the small items stock into the large item stock room to wait in a longer line to pay for the countertops.  Then to the returns/merchandise pick up counter, where I took a number, with only 41 people ahead of me to find out that I didn’t need to pick a number, just stand and wait in front of a large screen to watch my order travel through three columns of received, being prepared, and completed.  Fortunately, my order was automatically put in the queue when I paid and equally fortunate, I got another number about halfway through my first wait of 41 people, in case I had to return the countertops.  I got the countertops and decided to return them, despite the long wait to see them.  The joinery in the butcher block made for weak point that would be problematic in the road.  There was a wooden table like the countertop  in the As-Is department that was bowed out of shape.  I highly recommend staying away from Ikea on a holiday or weekend if at all possible, unless you enjoy long lines and lots of waiting.

Kitchen Layout and Siding

This past weekend has been happily filled with tiny house planning.  Some of it wise and some of it not so wise, but enjoyable for the most part.  I ventured out to Ikea on Sunday because their summer kitchen event was ending and I wanted to see if it was worth my while get my kitchen from Ikea.  Going to Ikea on a Sunday was probably not what one would consider wise.  It was a madhouse.   It took 15 minutes just to get on the waiting list  and then another hour to see an Ikea staff member.  In the end, I spent more time with their design app than with a staff member.  It worked out for the best, as I had figured out the larger elements of the layout of my tiny house, but not the details of the layout of each space.

So I spent a good chunk of time at Ikea with my plans and my scale ruler looking very official, playing with the layout of my kitchen.  My kitchen is important to me.  I love to cook and having a space that feels good to work in is a big deal.  I want to have as efficient a kitchen as possible.  I would like to have storage, counter-space to work on, a standard sized sink, and an apartment size fridge, and possibly have room for 2 people to work or be in the kitchen at once.  Much to my delight, I have found an energy-efficient apartment sized fridge with the freezer on the bottom, that seems to be made in Canada.  Much to my chagrin, after spending part of my afternoon at Ikea on Sunday, I am wondering if I have the space.

A word about the Ikea app, it has its limitations, but it also has some really useful things built in.  It has a series of warnings that let you know if you might be putting somethings too close together or too close to a doorway or window.  It was a bit annoying because my house will be too small to give heed to all of those rules, at the same time, it did make me think about my counter depths and whether or not I wanted cupboards facing each other that were both drawers or shelves.   I won’t go into the exact details of Ikea cabinets right now, as I will have to go back if I choose to order from them.  A couple of things that some might find useful, they only have 2 depths for counters, 26″ or 12 7/8″.  They do have a good selection of widths for their cabinets.

In the little time I did spend with an Ikea staff member, I discovered that they have another kitchen event in the fall and that they can only delay delivery of a kitchen for 3 weeks from the date it was ordered.  Just as well, I can let my subconscious play with my kitchen design and look at it with fresh eyes a bit later.

The exercise did force me to think about some issues that should probably be reflected in the framing of the house.  I have confirmed that I want my bathroom along width of the hitch end of the house and since I would like to have an exhaust fan, I will need to use 2 x 6 studs in the loft framing over the bathroom and that I will have to rework the framing for the loft so that there is room for the fan.

Monday, I ventured out to a sawmill. I had prepared myself decently well and crunched numbers for the amount of interior and exterior siding I need.  I felt prepared, but a little nervous because this was going to be my first time talking to a supplier who didn’t necessarily know what a tiny house was and I was not in the mood to defend or justify why one would even consider building tiny house, let alone live in one.  My fears were unfounded.  I will be getting my interior and exterior siding for a good price, they didn’t bat an eyelash when I asked for a 21′ 4×6 for my roof, they had 2 good options for flooring and their prices were good.  Yay!  I did forget to discuss getting my roofing material with them, but  I know that I can and I have to get back in touch with them to confirm my order so that they can pull it from their current stock and put it aside.

Next steps:  go through my lumber needs and start getting that order together, determine my wall width (now that I know what my siding will be) and start get some quotes so that I can order my windows.