Semihandmade Solution #2: A Simple Scratch

Welcome to the second edition of Semihandmade Solutions. In our first entry, we did a fairly extensive upgrade to some damaged Akurum kitchen cabinets. Today, we’re going to look at a project smaller in scope.


Problem: I just noticed a big scratch across one of my drawers (marked in red on the image below). I thought I could just go to Ikea and get a replacement, but Ikea has replaced their Akurum system with the new Sektion cabinets. I can’t afford a complete remodel right now. Can Semihandmade just replace that drawer for me?

Semihandmade Solution #2 Before

Solution: You’re going to need to be bold. In a perfect world, Semihandmade would make an identical drawer front and everything would look the same as before. The problem is that Semihandmade does not make doors that are identical to Ikea’s doors, past or present. Some of our materials are similar to certain Ikea materials, but none are identical. So, if we replace a single drawer with a Semihandmade material, it will stick out like a sore thumb.

BUT, what if you turn one damaged drawer into a vertical run? In the example below, we used our Impression Beach drawer fronts to create a bold accent to the existing cabinets. The Beach material adds a two-tone look, both between the light and dark shades and between the textured and sleek finishes. It may not appeal to everyone’s personal tastes, but by making a vertical run, the new doors look intentional and distinct. Check out similar techniques using wall runs or shelf run.

In the end, this Semihandmade Solution both replaces the damaged door and adds a trendy touch to the kitchen. The total cost for the project pictured below: $360 USD.

Semihandmade Solution #2 After

Take a look at these example images and other Semihandmade Solutions (part one here) to get a look at our products alongside Ikea doors, and send an email to info@semihandmadedoors.com with the subject line “I need a Semihandmade Solution” to get a quote started for your kitchen.

REMINDER: Semihandmade is not a design firm. We are happy to provide suggestions, but we can’t help you generate a design for your project. You’ll need to decide that on your own. There are also limits to what Semihandmade can provide. We want to help, but there may be some requests that are too complicated for us to handle.

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It’s Time to Update Your Ikea Kitchen: 10% Off ALL Supermatte and DIY Projects

Semihandmade Supermatte Black Ikea Cabinets

Do you have Ikea cabinets, but wish you could change up the look? Are you tired of your current kitchen and looking for a little extra inspiration to install new cabinets?

Well, the time is now to upgrade your kitchen! From now until the end of the year, Semihandmade is offering a 10% discount on some of our most popular doors—Supermatte and DIY.

Semihandmade Grey Supermatte Cabinets

First, our new Supermatte doors are about to launch on November 16. Even though these doors are already priced to match Ikea’s Ringhult doors, we decided to offer 10% off our Supermatte orders because we think they’re great and want to get them into as many homes as possible. You will love the sleek, even texture of our Supermatte Slab and Shaker doors wrapped in a durable, long-lasting thermofoil. You can choose from four colors (White, Light Grey, Grey, and Black) that can also come with matching panels and trim.

Next up, our DIY doors are one of our most popular selections. The bare Slab and Shaker doors are unpainted and unfinished so homeowners have complete control of their kitchen project. You can paint or stain the DIY doors whatever color you want. From now until 2016, you can find the perfect match for yourself with 10% off all DIY Slab, DIY Shaker, and DIY Alder orders.

Take a look at our Materials page and Project Gallery to see some other great Semihandmade work, and send an email to info@semihandmadedoors.com to get a quote started today!

Meet the Supermattes—Semihandmade’s Newest Doors for Ikea Cabinets

Semihandmade Supermatte Kitchen

We’ve finished our first batch of Semihandmade Supermatte doors and the verdict is in: they are a smash hit. There’s always more energy around the workshop any time we launch a new line of doors, especially when that new line comes in both Slab and Shaker styles and is priced to match Ikea’s prices!

That’s right, our Supermatte doors are priced to match Ikea’s Ringhult doors. Our Supermatte Slab doors are the same as the Ringhult, and the Supermatte Shaker doors only cost 10% more than Ringhult.

Supermatte doors feature a smooth, even texture that fits any type of room. It took us a long time to find a thermofoil that measured up to our standards, and we have exhaustively tested and retested these doors to guarantee they’ll look great for years to come. We also offer matching trim, panels, and appliance covers*—everything you need to complete your IKEA project from floor to ceiling .

* Our paneling does cost more than Ikea’s paneling. That’s because our paneling is thicker than Ikea’s at ¾”, our base and tall panels run all the way to the floor, and our panels sit slightly past drawers and doors for a more built-in look.

Semihandmade Supermatte Cabinets

Now that you know about our Supermatte doors in general, get to know them individually:

  Supermatte White

Looks Great in: A Posh Downtown Penthouse
Astrological Sign: Taurus
Favorite Food: Cupcakes
Dream Vacation: Tahiti

SM Light Grey Slab

  Supermatte Light Grey 

Looks Great in: A Rustic Farmhouse
Astrological Sign: Gemini
Favorite Food: Kale
Dream Vacation: Ireland

SM Grey Slab

  Supermatte Grey 

Looks Great in: A Beach House Getaway
Astrological Sign: Virgo
Favorite Food: Burritos
Dream Vacation: Brazil

SM Black Slab

Supermatte Black

Looks Great in: A Industrial Loft
Astrological Sign: Scorpio
Favorite Food: Filet Mignon
Dream Vacation: Australia

We are also going to roll out a fifth Supermatte color (Clay) soon. If you want to get a quote or learn even more about our new Supermatte Slab and Shaker doors, send an email to info@semihandmadedoors.com or fill out our contact form. And get ready to see a whole lot more Supermatte in action when we launch the doors on November 16!

Saving Money on Your Ikea Kitchen: The Simplicity of a Semihandmade Bid and the Additional Costs of Others

Question: I’m installing Ikea cabinets in my kitchen, but I want custom doors. I got another bid from another company, and their bid was cheaper. Why is Semihandmade’s bid so much more expensive than theirs?

Answer: Their bid may be cheaper, but that doesn’t mean their final price is too.

We recently heard this question twice in the same week from potential (and eventual) clients in regards to the bids they received from Semihandmade for DIY Shaker doors on their Ikea cabinets. These clients had requested estimates from multiple companies, and, at first glance, they saw clear price differences between the other bids and ours.  We asked to view our competitors’ bids, and we were not surprised to see why their bids were cheaper.

Ikea Cabinets with Semihandmade DIY Shaker Doors

Costs can add up when designing and installing an Ikea cabinet system, so we know that you are looking for both the best service and the best price. When Semihandmade puts together a bid we try to include absolutely everything you need to complete your project. This includes not only the doors and drawer faces but also the panels, filler strips, plinth, and trim. We then itemize every bid by cabinet so it is easy for our potential clients to double check the order. We then list the panels, trim, plinth, and filler strips separately with location descriptions from the get-go so that they too can be easily double checked. In addition to our attention to detail, we do not charge extra for drilling, we include free pieces of trim for unique cabinets (i.e. corner cabinets or those that hold appliances), and we include all of our shipping and handling costs up front.

Some of our competitors make literally hundreds of different styles of doors and sell these doors to various developers, builders, and other commercial interests. They are accustomed to potential clients that already have an understanding of the ordering process as well as an awareness of additional charges that may stem from potential holes or hiccups. The prices quoted by these companies are usually given in a dollar-per-square-foot ratio, with varying prices for doors, shaker-style drawer faces, and solid drawer faces. There are additional charges for drilling, setting up drilling, and packaging, and these initial bids do not include any panels, trim, plinth or filler strips.

When you calculate all of the additional charges for drilling, packaging, and extra panels and trims, their projects can end up costing a lot more than that first bid.

Ikea Cabinets Plus Semihandmade DIY Shaker Doors

Let’s take a look at an example.

When Client A received her bid from Semihandmade, the estimated costs for her entire Ikea kitchen totaled $5317.00. The estimated cost she received from one of our competitors totaled $3339.37. A pretty big difference! On top of that, they offered an additional 20% discount, bringing their initial total down to only $2671.50.  But which order is actually less expensive in the long run?

First, let’s look at the doors and drawer faces and any specialty trim that is necessary to complete this part of the installation. For Semihandmade, that accounts for $3485 of our initial bid. For the other company, that accounts for the entirety of their initial bid.

Next, let’s look at the panels, trim, plinth, and filler strips. Semihandmade takes these pieces into account, which adds up to $1757 of our initial bid. The other guys don’t, so these are all additional costs on top of their bid.

When you combine these totals, you get:

Semihandmade cost: $3560.00 + $1757.00 = $5317.00

Their cost: $3929.25 + $2276.41 = $6205.66

What about the discount? It just so happens that Client A’s project came during a time when Semihandmade was offering 10% off all Shaker jobs (we do this fairly often, actually). Let’s see what happens when we apply 10% and 20% discounts to the respective final bids.

After both discounts, the final total for Semihandmade’s project is still $325.25 less than the other company’s and actually $524.20 less than our initial estimate!

So, when you get a bid on an Ikea kitchen from Semihandmade and a bid from someone else, make sure you take a deeper look at the charges to find out exactly how much you’ll be paying in the long run.

Moving On From Your Ikea Akurum Kitchen System

Real Ikea fans take their love of affordable, modern furniture seriously. From the innovators that conjure pure imagination on IKEAhackers to the sorely missed debates on IKEAFans over that one guy in the Red Hook store, people feel passionately about their Ikea. So, when the yellow-and-blue powers that be decommission your favorite cabinet, it’s OK if you feel a little sad. And when it’s not just any cabinet, but the Akurum—the top-ranked system in JD Power’s Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction Survey for the last two years—there are going to be a lot of sad homeowners

Semihandmade Ikea Akurum Kitchen

The Akurum kitchen cabinet system may be gone for good, but there’s a reason for celebration because Ikea’s Sektion system is here and it’s even better. We here at Semihandmade love Sektion because it’s even more versatile and intuitive than Ikea’s former system. Sektion has more modular cabinet sizes for greater stackability, integrated drawer lighting, better interior storage fittings, and a hanging rail to make base cabinet installation easier.

Semihandmade Ikea Akurum Kitchen

Here’s the rub: Sektion’s new measurements do not match the old Akurum specifications. The systems do look alike with square boxes, high-quality Blum hinges and drawer slides, and many similar-looking door styles. The key is that the cabinet dimensions are different, which makes everything different. A 30” base cabinet, for example, is now almost a true 30” wide by 30” high (before it 29 15/16” wide by 30 3/8” high), and an 80” pantry is now actually 80” instead of its previous 79 1/2”.

There isn’t an Ikea cabinet that we haven’t fallen in love with here at Semihandmade, which is why we still make custom-fit doors and paneling for both Sektion and Akurum cabinets. So if you’re looking for beautifully crafted real-wood doors for a new Sektion project or a set of new doors and drawers to upgrade an old Akurum system, Semihandmade will always be your top destination for the best-looking doors you can find.

Semihandmade Ikea Sektion Cabinets

If you have Akurum cabinets and want to find out whether your cabinets are compatible with our doors, send an email to info@semihandmadedoors.com with the subject line “Cover My Akurum” to receive instructions on how to measure your cabinets.

So, IKEA Discontinued Your Akurum Kitchen…What Now?

You don’t know how much you’ll miss IKEA replacement doors until they’re gone, and Akurum kitchen cabinet owners know that fact better than most right now. After two decades of reliable service, the Akurum kitchen was discontinued in February to coincide with the launch of Sektion, and as of October 2015, there are no longer any official IKEA Akurum door fronts. At all. In the world.

If you’re feeling down as an Akurum owner, you’re not alone. A typical IKEA store sells 10 kitchens a day. With 51 IKEA locations in the United States and Canada, that adds up to more than 180,000 kitchens a year. Semihandmade estimates that there are more than one million Akurum kitchens in homes all across North America, and all of them are out of luck if they need to replace water damaged doors or if they just want to update their style.

Cue the Superman theme because Semihandmade is here to save the day.

We have been making beautiful, long-lasting doors specifically for the last-generation Akurum system for years, and we still make doors that fit those cabinet frames. While you can’t get the official IKEA styles, you can choose from our selection of more than 50 different materials. Outfit your cabinets with real-wood veneers from our ECO and CLASSIC lines or get creative and explore color with our paintable DIY Slab and Shaker doors.  We’re especially proud of our new IMPRESSION and SUPERMATTE lines (some doors even match IKEA prices).

IKEA may not have the supplies to get your Akurum kitchen in shape any more, but Semihandmade will always be here to make your cabinets look their absolute best.

The Latest on IKEA Sektion®

With the sun setting on IKEA’s Akurum kitchen system and the Sektion launch just a few weeks away, we thought we’d share what we know for sure (don’t hold us to it, but it’s all on good authority).

From IKEA’s website:

SEKTION will build on the great innovations that the AKURUM system has such as soft close drawers and doors, a wall mounted rail system for easier installation, and a 25 year limited warranty. However, SEKTION is a more modular system which will offer new opportunities to use the interior space inside each cabinet. Plus, it will offer a new system for integrated lighting. The AKURUM and SEKTION systems are NOT compatible systems. This means that you cannot use SEKTION components with an AKURUM kitchen system.

Intriguing, right?  For the record, yes, for companies like ours there is the challenge of having to recalibrate the measurements of each particular IKEA door, drawer and panel part to match Sektion.  The truth is, though, we’re kinda thrilled with the fact that once the current stock of Akurum fronts disappears from IKEA shelves (and eBay and Craigslist), they are absolutely-positively-one-hundred-percent gone for good.  Period.  No exceptions.  Look for that to happen around October.  At that point, anyone with Akurum that wants an upgrade or an extra door or needs to replace an old, faded or failing part… we’ll be here, we promise (there are a lot of Akurum kitchens out there!!).

Everything we’ve seen so far looks great (see the pics of the Metod system below that’s already in play overseas and a good barometer of what’s to come).

PH123460.jpg

Sektion1Sektion3Granted this stuff is sleek and contemporary (and not likely to be a huge seller in Middle America).  We’re still impressed.  For die-hards, almost all the old styles of doors should be back.  For everyone else, well, that’s where we come in.  Proportion-wise, things definitely make a lot more sense.  Think stylishly boxy.  Modular is the name of the game – it’s been that way forever in Europe, so it’s nice to see that finally catching on over here.

Anyway, without any further ado – and in no particular order – here goes:

1) February 2 is still the launch date.  That part hasn’t changed.  The fact that they’re releasing the new planner the same day is the real head-scratcher, though it wouldn’t be the first in the last few months (see our post on IKEA’s fight with IKEAhackers).  Really, what’s the harm in putting the design software up a month early so customers have time to play around with the design and be ready to order the day it debuts?  We get it: it’s new.  You want the mystery (that’s what we’ve hard from a few people).  Really?  Why?  This is a big investment, people spending a fair amount of change usually don’t like surprises, and anyway Metod has been available in Europe for a while now.

IKEA is actually debuting the Sekton line this week in Toronto at the massive Interior Design Show (Canada’s answer to ICFF).  We’re as excited as anybody to see all the whistles and bells; we’ll also be exhibiting, with doors for Akurum, Pax, Godmorgon, Besta and Kallax cabinets.  Stop by booth #320 if you’re at the show, otherwise stay tuned for photos in the next few days!

2) Akurum cabinets and fronts are getting tough to find.  If you’ve been to an IKEA in the US or Canada since December, the photo below looks familiar:

IMG_0081Yep, they’ve gutted most of the Akurum displays and what remains is pretty spartan.  It’s also noisy with all the hidden construction.  Cabinet boxes and hardware are still plentiful, but certain doors – especially the popular ones like Lidingo and Adel and some of the Abstrakts – you may have trouble pulling together for a complete kitchen.

3) Doors names will change.  It sounds like most of the material offerings will be the same with the exception of a few Abstrakt doors that are being swapped for new colors (we hear green and yellow accent doors are coming).

4) Dimensions have changed, too.  Cabinet box dimensions – width and height – are slightly different; we’re told a 30″ base cabinet will now really truly be be 30″ wide and 30″ high.  And standard wall cabinets come 15″, 20″, 30″ and 40″ high and are 15″ deep. That means you can stack two 20″ high boxes next to a single 40″ and they actually line-up (unlike stacking two 15″ tall horizontals next to a 30″ wall cabinet and, well, you know… not so matchy!).  Speaking of horizontals, there is now a 60″ wide door that allows you to cover two 30″ wide side-by-side flips-ups.

5) Interior hardware has been updated.  Hinges and drawers are still made by Blum, but they’re newer and sleeker.  Drawers have multiple options, and accessories like glass sides for the deep ones are there to prevent all those goodies from spilling out.

Horizontal BlumSektion56) Drawers now have the option of interior lighting.  See photo below.  PH123348.jpg7) Exterior drawer heights come are 5″, 10″ and 15″.  So you can have six 5″ drawers, or two 15″ drawers, or three 10″ drawers, or… yeah, you get it.  You can also hide drawers within drawers (as seen above) for a cleaner look.

8) Pantries now come 80″ and 90″ high.   These are small tweaks from the Akurum version, but with an 80″ you can stack two 40″ wall cabinets neatly beside it, and with the 90″ you can stick, for example, three 10″ drawers on the bottom – to stay consistent with your other 30″ high base cabinets/maintain the line – then add that aforementioned 60″ door on top (the old way had the taller door on the bottom, remember?).  And that same 60″ door works for the two side-by-side horizontal cabinets mentioned in #4.

9) Price is said to be only slightly more than Akurum.  We’ll see in a few weeks.  Hardware is where things can really get expensive, but obviously how fancy somebody wants to get with their project is totally on the homeowner.

10) That Limited 25-Year-Warranty on Akurum remains.  Never an easy proposition on a product that has been completely discontinued, but IKEA seems confident they can honor it.  Key is the word Limited.  For now, here’s the information from their website.

That’s all for now.  We’re definitely excited.  Check out our website for updates!