Have you ever thought about undertaking a renovation in your own home? You aren’t alone. Check out the story of The Mitchell family who undertook their own dream kitchen renovation on a budget. Perhaps you’ll even be inspired to give your own dream renovation a go!
If you are a fan of HGTV or TLC home makeover shows, you are probably all too familiar with the seemingly insane process, not to mention the outlandish budget it typically takes to complete an amazing renovation. All too often people want to undertake projects themselves with no previous experience in construction. And all too often there are horror stories of horrendous outcomes. However, this one such case is the exception to the rule when married couple – The Mitchells, undertook their own dream kitchen renovation. Whenever you search for a new home, you are often faced with a nearly perfect home with only one room you would want different.
Previous Owner’s Funk
Having a room you want different can often be a deal breaker especially if it’s an important room like the kitchen. As many real estate agents would tell you a kitchen is often the room that “sells the house” so to speak. Look at this kitchen for instance, it looks like a decent sized kitchen, a place where you could make and serve a great meal for your family. However, the Mitchell family wanted a totally new look. Husband Nate Mitchell summed it up a little more concisely when he said, they wanted to “get rid of the previous owners’ funk.”
Soon began the monumental task of completely renovating the kitchen. They were looking at switching out almost everything in the room so it was almost difficult to figure out where to start. As soon as The Mitchells moved in they got started on tearing apart the previous kitchen and planning how their new dream kitchen would look. This couple decided to forgo hiring any professionals and undertake the entire project on their own. Now, their main focus was figuring out where to begin on such a project. The couple decided on the cabinets, which are certainly one of the first focuses of any kitchen.
The Cabinet Process
The Mitchells decided to use the current cabinets but in an entirely new way. The couple said they thought the originals weren’t horrible but they wanted a totally fresh look. So they began by removing the cabinets, which is not as easy as it looks for anyone who has ever undertaken such a task. Once the cabinets were removed, they painted the existing cabinets with a beautiful cream shade. Of course, repainting them also proved to be quite the endeavor. Nate said that he chose to use an oil based paint, which meant he could only do one coat per day. So perhaps choose a different kind of paint for all you at home self-renovators.
Would you have the kind of patience it needs to watch oil based paint dry? The Mitchell’s decided to keep the layout simple and return the cabinets to their original space as opposed to completely re-arranging the layout. If you happen to be handy in do-it-yourself construction you could also create a new layout with the existing cabinets. (There are plenty of ideas across the Internet.) The next undertaking for the couple was the fridge panel. Nate decided to cut some MDF and was able to secure it without the aid of professionals.
A Butcher Block Counter
The next step for the couple was to get themselves what is currently a highly-desired feature in kitchens, a butcher block style counter. This undertaking almost proved to be too much for the couple. Nate admitted that the work was extremely difficult. He also said that half way through the job, he “regretted the decision”. However, even though he was overwhelmed he didn’t let that stop him and he continued on his renovation journey. Nate said that it actually took an entire day to fashion the butcher block style counter. Although he almost wanted to give up, Nate continued on.
A Stressful Process
In order to fashion the butcher block, Nate undertook a variety of steps. First, he cut the wood into strips, it was extremely important for the cuts to be as precise as possible. Then he lined them all up closely together and superglued them together. It was also very important to do this part quickly as the powerful glue dried very quickly. Nate admitted the process was definitely difficult saying, “This process was stressful!” After everything was good and dried, he sanded down all of the pieces. At some point, it also looks like he added a varnish on top.
The end result of the butcher block project is absolutely stunning! Nate did an amazing job. Actually, it almost looks like it was a professional job as opposed to a do it yourself job by a non-professional married couple. Throughout his process, Nate photographed the work and uploaded his progress photos to imgur. The photos show all of his work and the steps he took. Multiple people left comments praising Nate for work. The comments ranged from congratulations to astonishment over new ideas. For instance, one commenter said, “Nice job, never thought of using solid wood as a kitchen countertop before.”
The Kitchen Sink
Now that the cabinets and countertops were out of the way, it was time to face a new challenge. The kitchen sink. Nate cut a hole in the freshly made countertop which was two inches thick. Cutting through such a thick surface is never an easy task. The result was magnificent and definitely looks as though the work was done by a professional. Nate oiled and finished the countertop with butcher block wax and situated the counter around the sink. The beautiful kitchen The Mitchell’s dreamed of was so close to being finished yet still there was more work to do.
Now while all of the wood projects had gone so great thus far, the couple also wanted to bring other textures into their dream kitchen. The Mitchell’s decided to bring in the texture to focus on the centerpiece of the room, which is the island. The Mitchell’s had their heart’s set on a granite countertop. However, finding granite proved quite the tricky situation. As many homebuyers know, granite is quite the expensive addition. The Mitchells lucked out and found an amazing deal. They came across a piece of granite in the remnant section of a local hardware store, basically the leftover section.
Unfortunately, The Mitchells couldn’t find the exact color they wanted. However, the piece they found in the remnant section was pre-cut and came out to only $300. Bargain! Do you know where granite comes from? Granite is a substance that makes up 70–80% of the Earth’s crust. It is an igneous rock (meaning it formed from lava) and is made up of interlocking crystals of quartz, feldspar, mica, and other various minerals. Granite forms deep underneath the earth, which probably accounts for how expensive it is to have true granite in your home. The Mitchell’s definitely lucked out on their find!
In addition to the countertops Nate also created some shelves for an in-kitchen coffee station. He installed brackets in one corner of the kitchen, and then two shelves made of reclaimed oak. To finish the coffee station they of course adorned it with everything one needs for coffee. Including coffee, teas, sugar, a coffeemaker and everything else that one would desire for their perfect coffee haven. Who wouldn’t love to have one of these in their own kitchen?! By the way, that reclaimed wood is currently a super popular trend, but not only is it stylish it is also environmentally friendly!
Reclaimed wood is exactly what the phrase suggests, it’s wood that is being used differently than it’s original purpose. The idea of reclaimed would has been around forever but has definitely gained traction in recent years. First wood is salvaged from a variety of sources like shipping or crate materials, deconstructed buildings, old gym bleachers, et cetera. Really, the sky is the limit, as far as reclaimed wood options goes! The wood that is salvaged is then dried and stabilized in a kiln. Then, it is milled to renew its old exterior. At this point you can really see all the different beautiful colors in the wood.
The reclaimed wood industry is also good for the environment. The entire industry was actually created due to the concern of over-harvesting various species of hardwood trees. So essentially, because you are choosing to use reclaimed wood rather than purchasing newly harvested wood you are saving some trees in the forest somewhere. Our planet, of course, could always use more trees. Not to mention, it’s always a good practice to recycle no matter what the material might be! Producing reclaimed wood also uses thirteen times less of the energy that harvesting organic wood does. The EPA also estimates that various demolished buildings in the United States provide about 1 billion feet of lumber to use every year. Wow!
Almost Final Product
The cabinets looks nearly brand new with their new layer of cream colored paint. The color also nicely opens the entire room. The addition of natural wood color countertops, with only a wax varnish on top add beautiful natural texture to the kitchen. And of course, the amazing granite centerpiece is absolutely breathtaking and stands out against the other softer textures of the wood. If you notice photos from earlier slides, the wood previously appeared to be bare natural wood. Now, you can see that they have also been re-stained and re-finished into a dark espresso brown color. Absolutely gorgeous!
Tons Of Compliments
Nate Mitchell has said that he has received tons of compliments over his work and especially over his choice to combine various materials. For instance, one imgur reader commented, “Awesome work! I really like the butcher block countertops with the granite island.” Nate’s hard work certainly paid off and by posting all of his progress photos he certainly inspired some people along the way. The Mitchell’s can also be proud that all of their hard work was done on their own without the help of any professionals. Of course you know that any kind of home renovations can also be extremely expensive.
Twenty Grand Kitchen Renovation?!
Did you know that on average for a kitchen renovation the price is estimated somewhere around $20,556?! Yikes! That is quite the expensive undertaking. This was the national average for 2016 based on over four thousand plus reports of people who had kitchen renovations. Of course, this probably does take into account the cost of what it costs to do it on your own versus how much it costs to hire a contractor to do the work for you. The Mitchell’s also re-did almost everything in their own kitchen but were able to forgo a few costs for instance instead of buying brand new cabinets they repainted their old ones.
The Risks Of Renovating
All too often people completely forgo the idea of having their dream kitchen because of the scary idea of costs. Another factor of course is that construction takes time, and during that time you will be out a kitchen. That means a mess in the house and you don’t have a place to make your meals and will probably end up eating takeout food quite often. And if you have a large family to feed the costs quickly multiply. What a headache! However, sometimes the rewards definitely outweigh the risks. For instance, in the case of the Mitchell family who now get to experience their very own modern kitchen that looks ripped straight out of a HGTV show!
The Finished Dream
The finished product of the Mitchell’s dream kitchen is an addition any homeowner would be ecstatic to own. The kitchen is modern without being too outlandish and most certainly still appears to be absolutely homey. The best part about the entire endeavor the Mitchell’s undertook has yet to be revealed thus far however?! We’ve already discussed all the ins and outs of renovations in the home particularly with a kitchen. However, when you undertake a project yourself you also don’t pay a flat fee but rather have to account for your own personal time, all of the tools, and all the materials needed.
Dream On A Budget
The best part about this beautiful kitchen, is that Mitchell’s only spent $2,000 to get it! Wow! Talk about saving some cash! The national average is almost $20,000 more than that and their kitchen is certainly on part with professional work. The Mitchell’s can certainly be proud not only of saving a huge amount of money but that their work also turned out fantastic and they now have a kitchen they can be proud of that they did all on their own. The Mitchells also shared that it only took them two weeks to completely transform their kitchen. So they are both thrifty and time efficient. Maybe the talented couple should think about switching professions and opening their own kitchen remodeling service!