Good SEKTION Advice + Do your Reno Right!

*edit: I updated this page with this post - you should read it too. Informative and eye-opening - 2020 predictions for renovating in Toronto.  


I have been getting tons of questions of about the IKEA's SEKTION kitchens. I've been getting calls and texts* too. And I've been dishing out a lot of advice to people - over e-mail. But having been asked the same questions over and over again I decided that it be better if I compile the answers all in convenient one place - right here!

Firstly, you should look up the selection of videos on my YouTube channel. It is quicker sometimes to produce a 10 minute clip, instead spend so much time writing. The title clearly describes the content - efficiency people - just like IKEA - click the VIDEO tab. 


A] Properly planned SEKTION kitchen reno takes at least 6 months BECAUSE it includes taking advantage of the IKEA kitchen SALE event.

B] Assemble your all your finishes samples - like IKEA door, tiles, paint chips, handles/knobs - on a large display board and keep it in a visually open spot in your kitchen - you want to see that arrangement everyday - at breakfast, dinner, lunch, on weekends, when you are socializing and entertaining - ALL THE TIME. That is what your new kitchen will look like. You want to make sure that you like your decisions and will be OK to live with it for the next, say, 10 years. You can always repaint after that - fresh start right there - or get new doors from IKEA [that's another great advantage of the SEKTION system - change doors on a whim!]

C] Never let your trades make design decisions - have pictures handy to show them exactly how you want things done. There can be large misunderstandings as to how your trades see the finished product and your vision for your space. Work together on it! Collaborate! Make sure you are both on the same page! It will be easy paying for a great looking renovation and your trades will be happy getting paid for a well executed project. 

D] Au contraire to popular belief, IKEA kitchens can't be installed by everyone. Occasionally I get random calls, usually on Sunday afternoons - if I can come over and help. I decline - just like the Lord, I am resting. I am a Shomer Shabbos kind a guy too... 

Know when to ask for professional help - this especially applies to plumbing and electrical.

E] Your IKEA SEKTION island or peninsula needs to be anchored to the floor! ALWAYS! 'I feel my island is not properly secured to the floor and I am hesitant to install the stone slab' - when I get a text or an e-mail like that, it is already too late. Talk to your installer - how will they be fixing that island to the floor? - better to ask before. 

F] I often get asked for recommendations - other trades. Typically on a medium size kitchen reno there will be the following trades involved:

- Demo guys; somebody has to demolish it and dispose of your existing kitchen;
- Carpenter - walls need to be taken out or a half-wall put in; maybe you need bulkheads;
- Electrician - valance lights, island outlets, dishwasher hookup; microwave; 
- Plumber - sink, dishwasher, fridge water hookup;
- there may be a need for a HVAC [ventilation/heating/cooling] specialist;
- Drywaller + Taper
- 'The tile guy' or the 'Hardwood flooring dude'
- Painter
- 'Technology specialist' - you want to make sure that your kitchen is ready for the future - this could be a chapter on its own;

PROCESS -  if I am considering hiring someone to do something for me, this is what I do:

- invite 4 potential candidates for the job - better 5;
- tell each one about the job and ask for feedback; at this point you should have a fairly good idea of what you want to achieve yourself - be educated!
- listen to each candidate, what each one has to say about the job; majority of the answers should overlap, indicating what the 'minimum' on the job would be. But then you look for differences - there should be a 'top pick' candidate which will distinguish themselves by offering more - offers better solutions, notices things that other don't mention, etc. - remember this is their time to shine, if they don't impress you now, are you going to give them another chance to impress you with their work....? which will likely be unimpressive... 

Go with your gut feeling - the pricing for identical jobs should not be wildly out of step with each other. 

G] Most annoying reality is the fact that trades, typically, don't care much for the work of other trades - I always do. It's important that the job each trade completes will leave the job of the next trade easier - not the other way around. It will go a long way to provide good service and reasonable pricing. So if a trade is telling you that 'the next guy' - whomever it may be - 'will do it', and in your reasonable opinion that should not be the case, speak out! It will save a lot hassle and costs later. Many times - as much as I can - I will attend to another part of the project - briefly - just to ensure that the parts being installed by others, that will affect my vision for the project are executed exactly as I want them to be - usually 'nice'. That's all. 

*yea, I get these random texts asking me 'what's the height of do I attach....yea, like out of the blue, at all hours of the day! On like Saturday night, when watching X-files on Netflix!

*edit: I updated this page with this post - you should read it too. Informative and eye-opening - 2020 predictions for renovating in Toronto.