Our Major Remodel

After years of saving my husband and I finally decided to renovate.   We decided to remodel our main level.  So that meant a complete kitchen gut, all the flooring on the main level, and a tiny half bath was also gutted on the main level.  At first we were not going to do the half bath, but we ended up including it as well.

We had originally wanted to also add more lights. It can get really dark on the main level.  Most of the windows we have face North and don’t get a ton of sunshine.  However after pricing it out.  To add 12 additional lights would come to a cost of about 10,000+.  The biggest expense would have been to take down the ceiling on the main level to install the lights.   There would be no point in just cutting holes in the ceiling due to not knowing where the existing electrical components were.  So we scrapped that idea.  We just could not afford it.  Not even after saving for 11+ years.

There were several other problems I wanted to address.  Storage was a huge concern. We had so many things out in the open due to no space.  I really wanted things to be put away.   The second was durability.  The previous owner of our home had dragged things across the real wood floor, marking it up beyond repair.  In addition, we had the traditional “builders white” carpet in the home.  Needless to say that after 25 years it was no longer white.  We needed durable flooring that could withstand just about anything. The same was true of the counter tops. I also wanted a new more modern paint color.  As you can tell from the “before” photos I’m not afraid of color.  I just wanted something more current.  I also wanted color that was a little more “me.”  I prefer the neutral tones. So we went with grey.

The next thing I did was draw up what I wanted on a mock floor plan.  Our kitchen is small.  It does not have a lot of storage space or counter space. I always thought our kitchen was not a good use of space. So we did a complete gut job.  I kept the kitchen “triangle” the same.  The triangle is a work space that consists of the sink, oven and refrigerator.  That way we didn’t have to replumb or redo electrical.

I took the cabinets all the way to the ceiling.  I also removed our pantry and put in cabinets.  The pantry was also another poor use of space.  It also was not big enough.  I put in cabinets to use as the pantry.  I added a peninsula for extra counter space.  I also made it so we could sit at the peninsula and do work or eat.


We booked our remodel through a major brand name hardware store.  We used their normal contractor who they always use. What we didn’t know at the time is we are the last job they are doing together.  This will come into play later.

We started demo of the entire main level in mid-May.  We were told that they would be done with the complete remodel by the end of June/early July.  We figured it would be early July because almost every remodeling job runs over.

Demolition of the entire main floor started and it took two men two days.  It was so loud!  The men got a little carried away and demoed my half bath sink/vanity.  Since they had removed it, we decided to go ahead and replace it too.

Everything was delivered at once.  Our entire garage was filled with either furniture from our home or materials for the job.  Our upstairs and basement was filled with everything else. Sometimes I feel like I am in a hoarder home with little trails everywhere!

Since our kitchen is unusable I have been eating out too.  Honestly, I never thought that I would hate eating out or eating take-a-way as much as I do.  I guess when you have been doing it for months it can get a little annoying!

Here is what it looked like before:



Check back soon to see our “during” and learn about our remodeling nightmare.


Leave a Reply