The Kitchen Renovation of 2013 – 1 Leak. 1 Year. 1 Woman.
2013 Could be called the year of the kitchen renovation in our house. Or the year that nearly killed me. Or the luckiest year of our lives. I’m still debating the title. What I do know is that, I decided to take on my biggest DIY project to date. I re-built my own kitchen from bare studs and subfloor.
It started one morning as I was confronted with a foul odor. It’s only describable as that odor that usually lives in the high school gym locker room. I thought my 9 year old son’s feet were starting to stink. Unfortunately a stinky pair of shoes wasn’t the culprit, it turned out to be a very minor leak that turned into a very big kitchen renovation. We persevered through 45 days without a washer and dryer and many months without a kitchen. But, it was like being a contestant in Survivor. I lasted the year of construction; the set backs and sore muscles; and in the end I was rewarded with a brand new kitchen!
Today, I walk into our beautiful kitchen and I know it was all worth it! It was worth all the sweat equity, the daily Advil doses, and the tree falling on the house. If you want to reminisce with me as I recap my kitchen renovation of 2013, here’s your ticket to all the tutorials and posts:
The Water Leak (and What You Should Know about Mold and Polybutylene Pipes)
The Asbestos Discovery and What You Should Know about Asbestos
The Moment I Decided to Take a Kitchen Renovation into My Own Hands
How to Level a Concrete Subfloor
Installing Warmly Yours Radiant Floor Heating Mats
My Design Plans for the Kitchen
Words from the Trenches: How to Survive without a Kitchen
How and When to File a Building Permit
Ahhh, Just when we thought things were moving forward:
Termite Damage: How to Spot it and How to Protect Your Home from Termites
Progress! Framing Out the Wall and Moving the Ventilation
How to Install and Trim a Casement Window
How to Install Drywall (Sheetrock)
How to Install Recessed Lighting
How to Paint Your Ceilings Like a Pro
How to Make a Smooth Chalkboard Wall (even if you have imperfect walls)
How to Install a Herringbone Cork Tile Floor
Protecting the Refrigerator Ice Maker Line from Future Leaks in 2 Simple Steps
How to Build a Wall Mounted Hutch
Building a Counter Height Desk with a Habitat Desk and Free Table Top
How to Re- finish an Old Table Top to Make a Desk Top
The Distressed Painted Side Panel Tutorial
How to Move a Floor Register (into the front of a Window Seat)
How to Install a Hard Wired Pendant Light
How to Build a Custom Wood Range Hood
Final Touches! How to Hang a Keybox
Faux Painting Aged and Chippy Corbels
How to Install Shelving on a Tile Wall
The Final Reveal (& Holiday Home Tour)
And that my friends pretty much sums up 2013! It was a very productive year. Thank you to everyone who left me comments and cheered me on. Your faith in me helped me persevere.
Now that the kitchen is done, you’d think I might take a break. Nope, not my style, I am looking forward to another DIY-ful year! How about you? What are your plans for 2014?
While I think you have a great writing style, great content and especially great photography/markup … one thing drives me nuts. This bit about how you did the remodel yourself.
I’m not trying to be mean, but seriously …
The very first picture is of a man plumbing. The kitchen design? A kitchen designer (mentioned). The radiant flooring? Some dude. Lots of contractors and designers. That’s not really doing it all yourself.
I, on the other hand and doing my kitchen over myself. If it took you a year, I’m really scared how long this will take me in my spare time.
PS: I love how you’ve managed to create this site with sponsors while still maintaining the integrity and feel of an unbiased DIY. Envious about your sponsorship!
Yes, seriously! There were less than five tasks that I did decide to hire out in the interest of getting things done quickly so we could start living in our house. Most people will need to hire a subcontractor or two. Although I don’t owe any explanations, here they are: The plumber was called because I was in the middle of finishing the bonus room for a sponsored post. I did lay the radiant floor myself. I hired a tile setter to put in the mudroom floor, because at that point we’d been without a washer and dryer for 45 days and had to get it done quick. I regret that decision because he was not a perfectionist. I tiled the backsplash in our kitchen and everything else except hanging the cabinets and installing the countertops (both services that were part of the package deal.) I hired an electrician and worked by his side to make sure everything was done to code.
That being said, I do find your comment mean and demeaning. There were many hours spent on my hands and knees pouring self leveler, sanding the floor, laying the flooring, tile, re-framing a wall because of termite damage.
Oh my god Brittany –
I have stumbled across your blog via a ‘pin’ and have spent two days checking out every knock and cranny.
I am UTTERLY blown away with your skills, in-depth tutorials, photography & generosity.
I will glean so much knowledge from your past (& future) posts, and will be sharing your blog with all my friends.
I am SO grateful to have found you – you rock!
Pia, thank you so much for your comment. It means a lot to hear from you.
Hello there! I just discovered your blog after a friend pinned this post. So far, I’ve only read the the water leak post, but I found it so well written, that I think I may have found my first ever blog to follow. Can’t wait to keep reading!
Thanks and welcome Heidi!
WOW! Love your kitchen. Your kitchen has undergone an amazing transformation – with all the credit to you. You should be very proud. And you have shared a year’s worth of tips, how-to’s and DIY’s with all of us. It is really inspirational to see someone turn their vision into reality. Makes it a little less scary to tackle those big jobs. Thanks for taking the time to share it all.
LOVE your kitchen. When I re-do mine can you come help me? Maybe a nice visit to Colorado would be good for you!??? Thanks so much for sharing your journey, I can’t wait to see what’s next. Victoria
Fantastic! I love everything about your new kitchen. You should thank that leetle leak for making all this possible. 😉 You did a beautiful job!
Jake’s a Girl
Oh my! How beautiful! You go girl. Your kitchen is beautiful. I love all of your accents too, you did a great job.