Family Kitchen Remodel - Fun or Nightmare?


If you look at pictures like this and there's something inside you that says, "I want to to that...I can do that, then you have every bit of skill set that you need to do what we do. The best training ground for future fixer-uppers and DIYer's is Your Own Home. This is the cheapest way to learn and master your trade and chances are, your quality will be just as good because you will take that extra time and attention the project needs to make it just right. It will always take a little bit longer and definitely cause some stress, but it's an option that definitely should be considered before hiring a contractor. I made this post because this is a very typical and telling progression of the average kitchen remodel. 1) Started as an easy 4 week project 2) Turned into a 12 week nightmare 3) Later turned into a very happy and pleased family. Hope you enjoy!

Our family hosts friends and family at our house 3-4 times a week at a minimum. After a few years of this, we began to save up some money because we knew the first big remodel project was going to be our kitchen. The end goal was to make our kitchen our second living room. To do this, our first project was to widen and raise all 4 archways around the kitchen to give it an incredibly open feel.

The pictures above are the before and after of the demo and framing portions. The hardest part of the demo and framing portions is not knowing where the electric and plumbing are being run. Just remember that every wall you want to "blow out" comes with extra cost and labor to move your existing plumbing and electric to another wall. 

Here was our full kitchen and dishwasher for about 10 weeks. I'm not saying that doing a complete kitchen remodel with a 1 and 3 year old was the best decision on my part but we definitely had to get creative. Needless to say, our eating out bill was maxed out for a few months. 

When you get to the floors, trim and cabinets, you start to feel like you are almost to the finish line. Everything starts to really come together. In fact, at this point, both Waverlee and I were pretty tired of this project and forgot to even take pictures of when we installed the appliances and painted the cabinets just because we were so ready to take our kitchen back.

We salvaged what cabinets that we could and matched the stain and tied into the existing wood floors to give it an even flow from room to room. We bought 1920's trim and molding as a nod to the neighborhood that we live in; which is predominantly all homes built in the 20's. Also, you can't pick up that type of trim at your local hardware store. Lastly, we installed 6 can lights in the kitchen to give it more light since we doubled the space. 

Naturally, I had my helpers with me. Their specialty is demo if you are interested in hiring. 

Below are the final touches. We painted the cabinets an _____ and the walls to the dining and kitchen ______. We bought used scratch and dent appliances and saved over 50% off the retail value. The one area we splurged on was the tile. We bought ____ Daltile for the back splash and don't regret a cent of it.  A few lights from Old Home Supply and our kitchen was set. Our nightmare was over and we learned a ton from it. Enjoy the final pics!