Sarah's Big Kitchen Renovation: An Adventure 18 Months in the Making.

$12000
18 Months
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This year, for our house's 110th anniversary, we decided to give it a huge present: to finally finish the kitchen remodel we began 18 months ago.
sarah s big kitchen renovation an adventure 18 months in the making, diy, home decor, home improvement, how to, kitchen design, A DIY kitchen remodel 18 months in the making
A DIY kitchen remodel 18 months in the making
I'll admit this up front: We had NO. IDEA. what we were getting into when we started demolishing our dining room wall back in November 2012.
sarah s big kitchen renovation an adventure 18 months in the making, diy, home decor, home improvement, how to, kitchen design, The view upon entering the kitchen
The view upon entering the kitchen.
We thought we knew. We came up with plan and a budget. Everybody said, "Everything's gonna take you twice as long as you think," and "Add at least 10% to what you want to spend." To be on the safe side, I doubled both to a whopping $6,000 and 6 months.
sarah s big kitchen renovation an adventure 18 months in the making, diy, home decor, home improvement, how to, kitchen design, Formerly a bathtub now a back entry
Formerly a bathtub, now a back entry.
We knew how inexperienced we were. We knew that we would have to DIY everything. We knew that our previous DIY experience of painting walls and refinishing floors was going to be woefully inadequate to the task. But, feeling like we had Google and YouTube on our side, we plowed ahead.
sarah s big kitchen renovation an adventure 18 months in the making, diy, home decor, home improvement, how to, kitchen design, The south wall before and what s left of it
The south wall (before) and what's left of it
For 18 months, we plowed ahead. We tore the room down to the studs, and then removed some of the studs. And still the roof stayed up. We learned plumbing and electrical and HVAC and drywall, and still the house passed inspections. We tiled painted and built counter tops from scratch. We bought appliances on Craigslist and doors from a salvage yard and windows from the "oops" bin at a building materials outlet. And we still weren't done.
sarah s big kitchen renovation an adventure 18 months in the making, diy, home decor, home improvement, how to, kitchen design, The new view from the dining room
The new view from the dining room.
We replaced a bathtub with a back entry, a back entry with a whole wall of cabinets, and a whole wall of cabinets with a long-coveted doorway between the kitchen and dining room. The only thing that didn't move was the stove.
sarah s big kitchen renovation an adventure 18 months in the making, diy, home decor, home improvement, how to, kitchen design, The stove wall before and after
The stove wall, before and after.
I did everything I could to make sure that the new kitchen felt like a natural part of the old house. I scoured a local salvage shop for doors that matched the others in our house, then spent countless hours stripping and re-painting them. Over the course of five months, I re-created 600 linear feet of moldings to match the house's original millwork, so that the new room would fit in as seamlessly as possible.
sarah s big kitchen renovation an adventure 18 months in the making, diy, home decor, home improvement, how to, kitchen design, The east side of the kitchen
The east side of the kitchen.
You might call it a labor of love, but I'd respectfully disagree. Instead of demonstrating that I have a heart, I think perhaps it simply demonstrates that I have no common sense. When the dust finally settled, we had spent nearly double our budget and triple our time...but we had managed to do the entire renovation without hiring a professional.
Future buyers, beware.
sarah s big kitchen renovation an adventure 18 months in the making, diy, home decor, home improvement, how to, kitchen design, The old chimney newly exposed
The old chimney, newly exposed.
You can see more before-and-afters (lots more "afters"!), as well as 18 months' worth of DIY stories, on my blog: http://www.sarahsbigidea.com/2014/05/the-kitchen-reveal/. Thanks for reading!
Sarah's Big Idea
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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