Big project on a budget

So as I was doing some research for my next home improvement project I did a little internet search on kitchen remodels. Did you know that the national average for a “minor” kitchen remodel is $18,500!!! The price ticket on a kitchen overhaul is $54,000!!! Does that seem a little pricey to anyone other than me? I’m sure I just pissed off every general contractor in a 100 mile radius. Which if your paying someone 50k you better get one hell of a kitchen. Well it’s my kitchen so it’s my project. The great thing about this plan is that it’s not only going to be the kitchen. It will almost be the whole downstairs of our house. If at this point you still don’t think that is crazy let me up the excitement a little. I need to do it all for under 5k.

So let’s talk about the plan. First off is the flooring. Currently there is a mix of carpet and vinyl on the ground floor. The plan is to install Pergo laminate flooring in the foyer, office, and living room. The kitchen, dining room, half bathroom, laundry room, and mudroom leading to the garage will get tile in place of the ever so stylish vinyl. With roughly 500 square feet of each flooring required that will eat up a good portion of the budget. Once the new flooring is installed it will get new baseboard and quarter round trim.

The kitchen is where most of the magic has to happen. The upper cabinets are shallow and don’t go all the way to the ceiling. The plan is to replace the upper cabinets with custom made ones, refinish the lower cabinets, and then build a island. The counter tops will be replaced with a solid walnut counter top. The dining room will get a fresh look with a wainscoting chair wall. I am going to save a lot of money by refinishing the lower cabinets. I will replace the doors and drawers so they match the new custom upper cabinets. Once we get these project done we will continue checking items off the list  (The list keeps getting longer)

I will try and post updates as we go along. Please feel free to send me a message with any questions or comments.    

It’s just like drawing… But different

So I recently started using Google Sketch up for woodworking and home improvement projects. Now I’ve only drawn up a few of them and I am still learning. But what a difference it makes in the visualization of a project. Maybe I just really sucked at coloring as a kid or my talents has boundaries. Either way having a 3D scale representation really is nice. My last paid commission I was able to show them what they were getting for their money.

My wife and I are looking at doing some upgrades to our kitchen and I was able to draw the whole thing out.

Like I said before I am still learning myself but if you are interested here is a couple sites that tutorials for Sketch Up. You can download the free version from Google. I’m not sure what extra bells and whistles come with the paid version but I doubt unless your designing a city the free version will work just fine. You can also find a plethora of woodworking plans drawn on Sketch-Up online.

You can find plenty of videos on YouTube also at can walk you everything from the basic operation of the program to making detailed joinery. So whether your a DIY adventurer or Woodworking warrior this is a definite addition to your tool box.

The list keeps getting longer

Does it ever feel like the list of things that you want/need to get down around the house is getting longer? I’m feeling that way right now. Now most of things on the list do fall in the want category… But it’s time for some much needed upgrades. So I thought I’d write down my list and see where I’m at.

Laundry Room
1. Paint
2. Build cabinets and shelves
3. Build drying rack

1. Tile floor
2. Build walnut counter tops
3. Refinish lower cabinets
4. Rebuild upper cabinets
5. Tile backsplash
6. Build kitchen island with walnut countertop
7. Redo shelving in pantry
8. Build kitchen table with benches
9. Build kitchen hutch

Living room
1. Install laminate wood flooring

Mud room
1. Build cabinets
2. Build countertop

Now I’m sure I’m missing a thing or twenty and this was only the downstairs. I’ve already started pricing around for materials. I sure hope I can find some deals to help cut the cost. With having a day job I should have this list down to nothing around mid century.

I’d love to hear your comments or suggestions. How is your list looking?