The Long-Awaited And Highly Anticipated Final Kitchen Renovation Post, Six Months Later.

Alternate Title: How to Remodel a Kitchen for under Three Grand.

Or: Next Year, I’m Using My Tax Return For A Friggin’ Vacation.

Step One:
Do the majority of the work yourself, or find someone in your family that will do the work for cheap. And by cheap I mean: will work for lunch, beer, and a nice dinner out when all is said and done.
Enter Big Poppa.

Honestly and truly, if it weren’t for my father, this project would have never gotten done, because I simply did not have the budget to hire a contractor or handyman.
My daddy is awesome. I love him dearly. I owe him a steak. And possibly some King Crab legs.

Step Two:
Realize that you will not be able to do everything. My main goal with the renovation was to install a new floor, and maybe get a fridge. I told Big Poppa going into the project if anything else was to be done, I would want to do it right; remove the wallpaper, install new countertops, paint the cabinets, replace fixtures, new sink…I knew I would never be able to afford brand new cabinets, and I was okay with that. I think they came out pretty nice anyway. I ended up not getting the new fridge yet, deciding instead to focus on the big picture since the fridge is still in working condition. I’m going to do some bargain hunting after Christmas, maybe then.

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I got extremely lucky with the new countertops, which brings me to…

Step Three:
DO NOT be afraid to bargain hunt. Do your homework when you’re shopping for materials. Do the leg work. Look online for coupons, check craigslist, poll your coworkers, comparison shop. If I hadn’t done that, I would have never found the remnant sale at the stone yard, and therefore would never have gotten my gorgeous countertops.

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Sigh. So pretty….

One good tip: Look on eBay for coupons for Lowe’s and/or Home Depot. They can usually be bought for about two dollars each, and can save you a buttload of money.

Step Four:
Be prepared for mistakes. For foul-ups. For cussing, for fighting, and for whining. Oh, good lord, the whining.

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Mostly on my part. (Yes, that is a Hello Kitty toaster. Don’t judge me.)

Step Five:
Be patient. Don’t expect the project to get done over night. We started the renovation back in early May, and just finished last weekend. Six months, start to finish.

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Not that we were working every weekend for six months straight, obviously. Just be aware, life gets in the way. I didn’t want my dad’s summer to be taken away from him. I made sure he wasn’t pressured to get the floor finished. I understood he had things at his house he wanted to get done as well. Something to think about when relying on friends/family to help or to do the work for you.

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Frustrating? You bet your ass. There were weeks when I just wanted to finish the work myself. When I wanted to throw my hands up in defeat and say, “Screw it, I’ll just live with the crappy linoleum.”

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But I was patient. And I waited. And finally, three weeks ago, we began the final stages of this project, this renovation. This labor of love.

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Because I loved this project, no matter how frustrating it got.

Finished, finally. by you.

I love my dad. For taking on this project, for dealing with my incessant whining, and for helping me realize my ‘vision’ for my kitchen (why, hello, melodrama. Welcome to my blog.).

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And I really love my kitchen.

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