My Before, During, and After Story, Part 4

This is the story of our renovation, the toils and victories through a sweltering summer of blood, sweat and tears. Read all the gory details of Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Our kitchen project was finally coming to a close. Yet even now, three months since we moved back in, there are many unfinished projects awaiting me. Now that I am back to a normal schedule with kids’ schooling, my online job, and such, I can only chip away at these remaining projects, slowly but surely. My goal is to batten down the hatches for an Upstate New York winter, and I’ll pick up the hammer and saw again in the spring.

After we tackled the butcher block countertops, we collapsed for a few days. Almost all of the really intense physical labor was done. Except the flooring. We’d installed plywood sub-flooring over the 70s hardboard subfloor over the 50s linoleum over the 1855 pine planks…. thank God, they’d removed the funky 40s carpeting somewhere in there (although dregs of it appeared from time to time as we removed partition walls). I love wood, just LOVE it, but it is so expensive. I decided to go with TrafficMaster allure vinyl planks. It looks like wood– for a second or two, anyway– but it’s durable and easy to install. Cost me a small fortune, though, I’ll tell you what. But I had been waiting SO LONG for a new floor.

Vinyl Flooring

Very easy to install. I guess that's why it's so pricey.

Island

It took me about 8 hours (straight) to install the dining room floor, 10 hours to do the kitchen.

Once the floor was done, the room looked like a real kitchen again. We moved in shortly after. Oh, the JOY!

DeltaH20_5

BeverageArea

This is our beverage area, which I conveniently tucked under the stairwell. Note the painted pantry shelf to the left. Still has no doors, though...

TheKitchen1

dishwasher90273

Our favorite appliance. Oh, how we dreamed for this moment! LOL, six adults in a home make a lot of dishes.

I’d mentioned before about the sink and window as the room’s focal point. I carefully crafted the trim around the window to reflect the home’s Greek Revival architecture. The Greek triangular pediment and fluted trim is repeated throughout the house. I stained this wood extra dark to make it stand out. Cellular blinds soften the hard lines. I need more color and decor here, but all in good time.
Window1

2010 was a wild, crazy ride for us.

MyFan1

I’m spending the winter quietly, taking things slower as best I can. I work at home to pay off the kitchen. If we had hired out to have all this work done, the job would have cost us a small fortune. By doing everything ourselves, we saved a ton of money. It was a lot of work, sure, but I think everyone was enriched by the experience, especially my kids. Here’s a quick breakdown of the economics:

According to this chart, we saved over $36,000 by doing this ourselves. That is a HUGE savings! Yes, I took time off from work to work on this renovation. I worked on reduced hours for four months. However, consider this: a kitchen renovation gives you an average of 70% return on the cost of the project, so I basically “earned” $25,200 on the value of the home. That’s more than I make in a year, let alone four months. So even though I’m not seeing a liquid $25,200 cash in hand, it’s part of my real estate investment. It was well worth it, I think, to go reduced hours on my job (with which, I figure, I lost about $2000 income) to earn $25,200 in capital investment on the property. Moreover, improving the electrical and water supply reduces our insurance premium, the insulation in the walls reduces our heating bills,  and everything in general improves the quality of our lives here.

I think my DIY project was worth it. But I’m SO GRATEFUL it’s over!

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6 Responses to “My Before, During, and After Story, Part 4”

  1. Marg Says:

    Great pictures. We really like seeing the finished project. We know you are too. Take care and have a restful Sunday.

  2. Yvonne Perry Says:

    Happy Blog Jog Day! We gutted and renovated our kitchen in 2007. What a huge task.

  3. Jean at The Delightful Repast Says:

    Lovely job! I like your beverage station. When I remodeled the kitchen a few years ago, I would have had just such a spot for all my tea paraphernalia if only I had had the space. I designed the kitchen and acted as general contractor but did not do any of the actual labor. I would love to be a kitchen designer–maybe in my next career!

  4. Carole Says:

    ***STANDING OVATION***!!!
    ***LOUD APPLAUSE***!!!
    Awesome job, Rebecca!
    God will surely bless you for your perseverance, good stewardship with your money, and HARD WORK!
    Beautiful job!

  5. Karen and Gerard Says:

    Jogging along and just had to stop by. Great job on your house renovation!

  6. Lin Says:

    WOW!!! It is unbelievable what you have accomplished–you must be (and should be) very, very proud!!! It is soooo lovely–I officially have kitchen envy. 🙂