One of the biggest motivators for our kitchen remodel was the fridge breaking. Because when a major appliance starts leaking water all over your floors and subflooring... you need to replace it. We did try to replace just the fridge (but y'all know how that turned out) and when that didn't work out, I was able to figure out a solution where, for about $2,000 more, we got ALL new appliances. All. New. Appliances. WHEE! Here's a how it all went down.
After our debacle at Best Buy, we decided to take a bit and really find a great deal for ourselves - not rush into anything. I happened to tell my mom about it and she told me about a flyer she had just received from Home Depot. Over Memorial Day weekend, they were having a huge appliance sale with up to 30% off PLUS an extra 10% off for veteran's (which The Boy is). She also mentioned that if you bought appliances on your Home Depot account (credit card) that you'd get another 10% off on top of all that (and no interest for 24 months). Needless to say, that got me thinking. See, we had just finished paying off all the hardwood floors for our house which we bought through Lumber Liquidators and their credit program - 12 months at no interest. It worked out to us paying $200 a month and paying it all off in less than a year. So, I wondered, could we do the same thing here and also invest in ALL new appliances.
The answer - yes! I got online and did TONS of research on the kind of appliances were we looking for and their average cost. Here's a rundown of what we were looking for and how much I roughly figured we could spend on them (we were very flexible on sizes since we didn't have any cabinets configured):
That came to $4,000 or just under $170 a month for 24 months. That was less than we'd been paying per month for our hardwoods! So after I showed The Boy my research and numbers, we agreed that it made sense for us to invest in all new appliances rather than just the fridge. Then we spent the next week looking at every single appliance at Home Depot and researching every review, price, and maintenance guide on it. When the Memorial Day weekend arrived, we had narrowed our choices down to two different models of each appliance and applied for a Home Depot card online.
And were approved... for $500. D'oh!
That just wasn't going to cut it. So The Boy got on the phone and called the finance department to explain the situation. After they double checked a few things with him (interestingly enough, they were more concerned about the accounts we had paid off early than anything else), they upped our credit limit to $4,000. Woot!
So off we went to Home Depot and picked out our appliances. We had left ourselves a little bit of room to save on one appliance and "splurge" on another. Meaning, as long as we stayed under our total budget, I didn't care if we went over on our fridge and under on our dishwasher. And that's a good thing since that IS what ended up happening. As a reminder, here's a few our before appliances:
And here's what we have now:
Fridge: We picked up this Whirlpool Gold French Door/Bottom Freezer one for $1,800. It's a stainless steel finish and has an external ice dispenser (with a child lock!). We did have to buy a water line separately (about $9). A year later and I'm still SUPER happy with this appliance. My only con is that I wish the dispenser had a drain or grill to hold the ice cubes/drips that sometimes miss people's glasses. What We Spent: $1,998
Stove/Oven Range: I picked this Samsung range out purely because it was the one that looked the most like a gas range. We did have to buy the power cord separately (about $20). My only complaint with it is that the oven's temperature ranges a lot. I got an oven thermometer and that helps me better understand what the difference is between what the range says the temperature is and what it actually is. What We Spent: $798
Microwave/Vent: I straight up picked this Samsung model because the stainless finish matched our stove and it had buttons. My husband liked the power of the vent though I think it's a bit loud (but we don't use it that often so it's not a big deal). What We Spent: $223.20
Dishwasher: This was our splurge. Since we came in under budget on our range and microwave, I was comfortable adding the difference to the cost of this LG dishwasher than my husband fell in love with. It IS really cool. The interior is completely stainless steel and has these awesome racks that are completely customizable. It also has a food chopper upper thing inside (like a food disposal system) which means even less scraping beforehand. We did have to buy the installation kit/cord adapter separately (about $27). It's been a year and my only complaint is that, while the child lock stops Melanie form turning it on and off, it doesn't stop her from randomly pushing the other programming buttons and changing the wash cycles. What We Spent: $699
My husband also decided to purchase an extended warranty on the fridge which came to $120.
So, all in (with tax), our total was $3,992.68. Not bad! We've been earmarking $180 a month so that we can pay it off early (or have a small buffer in case we can only pay the minimum one month).
It took about 10 days from our purchase date to get the appliances delivered. The delivery guys were excellent (and VERY concerned that I not do anything since I was hugely pregnant) and super patient when I insisted on opening and examining every appliance (installation was also free but since we didn't have any counters or cabinets in... that was pointless). He also programmed the fridge and freezer and gave me a quick tutorial on how to use it. All and all, this was a great (abet L O N G) experience.
Any of you in the market for new appliances?
I discussed a little bit about our kitchen remodel and shared some inspiration but today, I'm going to really get down and talk about all the nitty gritty details. We had always planned on remodeling the kitchen down the road but then, I got knocked up and down the road became "Um. NOW.". The kitchen was workable but several factors all came together at once to make remodeling this room something that needed to happen right away.
Actually, it was three big things. First up, I insisted that before the baby came, the laundry needed to be moved from a shed outside and into a room inside our home. This was a must (remember the old laundry shed?) and entailed remodeling a weird, narrow room off the kitchen into a mechanical/laundry room. And, in order to remodel the laundry room, we had to start install our hardwood floors... which would run throughout the entire house (including the attached kitchen). Initially, we were just going to run the hardwoods in the laundry room and then stop at the doorway and add more flooring once we got to the kitchen but then... the fridge started leaking.
The fridge was ooooold so this wasn't a complete shock but it was a major blow to our finances. We really hadn't planned on buying a new fridge until well after the baby was born. But now, we really need to get one, well, NOW. And to add to it all, the fridge had leaked through the old flooring and into the subfloors so we had to tear up all the old flooring immediately so we could check the condition of the subfloor. Which meant that the cabinets had to come out. It was the snowball effect for sure.
We immediately started talking about a kitchen remodel, After a lot of discussion, we decided to try and do a full remodel in three stages as opposed to just bandaging up the problems and making things work. Our thought process was that the money we spend trying to patch the problems could just be used to gut and fix the whole thing upfront. Sure, we're doing this whole thing on a shoestring budget but we might as well do it right from the beginning than try and put lipstick on a pig. Here's our plan:
Phase One: Gut the kitchen (but keep the cabinets and working appliances), buy a new fridge, install flooring, paint and rearrange the old cabinets, new hardware, new countertops, new sink, backsplash
Phase Two: Add a pantry, add a desk area and small TV, create a dining area with a new banquette and tables, add two windows to dining area, trim doors and windows, add small pony wall between kitchen and living room, add baseboards and toekicks
Phase Three: Add crown molding, install lighting, add faux beadboard and beams to ceiling, decorate
We tried to split up the phases into manageable chunks defined by how much the would cost + the order that things needed to happen (i.e. countertops before backsplash). And this was totally our plan...
Until we got declined for a payment plan for a fridge at Best Buy. We went in, picked out a fridge for $1,500 and... were told no. And not told why (the group they finance through never tells) which was frustrating because we have good credit. Needless to say, by this time, it was nearly 9PM on a Saturday and all we were able to do is look at each other helplessly. We headed home and tried to figure out what to do - we needed a fridge but couldn't keep ours in the house since it was leaking everywhere. And then, my husband got his redneck on. When we got home, he moved the old fridge outside - through the old front door and on to our new porch. Then he flipped the front of the fridge around so that when you opened the old front door from inside the house, you could reach out and open the old fridge's door to access the contents. And we lived like that for nearly a month while we sorted out a new fridge.
Check back in on Friday and I'll tell you all about how we ended up replacing all of our appliances!
Have any of your remodeled a room in stages? How did it go?
Now that I've shared a bit about our front porch and entryway addition, I'm moving this party inside and sharing my entryway design inspiration!
Right now, the entryway is a hot mess. It's got insulation hanging out of the walls, a shit ton of tools and remodeling supplies piled up everywhere, and is pretty filthy. However, SOMEDAY it will be beeyootyfull. But, in the meantime, here's a little peek at what we're dealing with right now:
I know. It's awful (and frankly, embarrassing as hell). But I've got plans! Someday, it's going to be so organized and pretty and filled with light. I've been pinning ideas for a while now and think I've come up with a good entryway design. Keeping in mind that this isn't our forever home and I need to stay on top of resell value and the budget, here's what I came up with:
Nice and clean. The design is mostly focused on storage but I'm also trying to keep the room's sight lines into the kitchen in mind as I design it. Here's a rundown of the design:
As far as what exactly we need to DO.... well, here's the list:
Phew! Right? Any of you tackling an entryway this year?
Now that we have the structure of the front porch and entryway addition, we get to move forward with the finish work. Well, actually, the reality is that we stopped working on the addition once it was livable because we got married, got pregnant, and had a baby. But shortly after Melanie was born, we got a jump-start on the finish work thanks to a delightful group of slaves volunteers.
Here's a rundown of everything we need to do for the front porch/entryway addition (and links to projects we've already done):
The awesomest part was that we were able to knock-out a bunch of the big stuff during a long work weekend with friends. The next chunk of work came a few weeks after Melanie was born. A group from the church that my mom attended while she and the kids visited volunteered to come by and caulk, trim, and paint the house as a service project, We weren't 100% done with everything (the old front door still needed to be swapped out for a window and the front door was no bueno) but we weren't going to pass up the offer of free labor.
The group came on a Saturday and caulked all the seams on the addition. Then they trimmed out around the existing windows and door. They also trimmed out the corners of the addition with some amazing chunky trim which looks great! Lastly, they painted the addition in Sherman-Williams "Rain" and the trim in Behr "Ultra White". It was a solid day's work and, while it looks odd to have the addition trimmed and painted nicely and the old house still a salmon pink color, I'm thrilled.
Now... let's discuss the front door. I was determined to have a really great, non-run-of-the-mill, vintage farmhouse door for this house. I also wanted to paint it bright green and add some custom vinyl house numbers. We looked all over one day (at ReStores, junkyards, salvage sales) and everything we found was either to farmhouse-y or too modern or too granny-ish. Disappointed, we drove home. As we passed an antique shop and I glanced out of corner of my eye and saw a door! We turned around and checked it out. I loved it. It was a little vintage and a little contemporary and just perfect. We asked the owner about it and she said that some guy just dropped it off one day (original hardware and all) because it was in his way. Then she offered it to us for $20! SOLD.
The door had layers and layers of badly done paint on it so I spend days scraping and sanding it off. Then I taped the off and prepped it for painting. This is where the awesomeness ends. Because, when we did a dry fit in the doorframe, it fit perfectly... except someone had cut off the bottom foot off the door! UGH! It was too late to find another door so the guys just screwed a piece of scrap wood on to the bottom and called it good. And, nearly three years later, it's still like that.
It's functional so we're running with it until I find a new door (edited to add: I DID!). Until then, this is how our front porch/entryway addition stands.
Do you have/want a cool front door for your house?
We have an addition! And it's going to be gorgeous. But before it can be gorgeous, it's got to be built. Normally, building an entire (abet small) addition would be cost-prohibited on our teeny tiny budget but, thanks to some amazing deals and even more amazing friends and family, we were able to make it happen.
Here's a rundown of everything we needed to do to build the front porch/entryway addition on to our house:
Phew! It looks overwhelming but it's actually coming together pretty well. The most overwhelming part really was figuring what the plan was and then getting the supplies. First off though, we had to determine a budget... or in this case, the budget determined the project! See, The Boy and I paid for our own wedding and so my mom told me that she and my dad had decided to give us the money that they normally would have contributed to the wedding as a wedding gift. And that's how we got $1,500 to do something on our house. It didn't take long for us to determine that, if we didn't pay for labor and scored some great deals, we could construct the front porch addition for that amount of money. We knew that we couldn't really do any of the finish work or decorating for that much but we could try and get all the foundation and framing done.
So, The Boy called his friends and family and made arrangements for everyone to come for a long four day weekend and hammer this thing out. In the days leading up to the work weekend, our friends Billy and Willard, would text or email me supply list estimates and I would scour the Materials section of Craigslist looking to score... wood and siding. And score I did! I learned that lots of contractors overbuy materials for their projects and then post all the leftovers for sale on Craiglist a couple of times a year. A little driving later and we had all the lumber we needed to frame the entire addition, the footers (pre-made which saved us having to pour them ourselves), and all the siding (which was an odd size and not in stock at our local big box hardware stores). That meant that the night before the work weekend, all we had to get from Home Depot was plywood, insulation, windows, a roof vent thing for the half bath, and the metal for the roof. At this time, we didn't need to buy any of the electrical or plumbing since the inside of the structure would be unfinished and we could add them later.
The first work day started early. I had to work but by the time I left, the crew was here and measuring out the addition. When I left, the house looked like this:
And when I got home, it looked like this:
A deck! And sides! OMG!!! The excitement was real. Seriously, I was giddy. By the next afternoon, it looked like this:
All the sides were up and the framing for the roof was in plus one of the windows! You'll notice that the old front door is still in place. Eventually, that will be removed and framed out to make a window but for now, it stays. And was kinda necessary for the first couple of days since the addition was completely framed, sided, and roofed before the wall between the old exterior and the kitchen was removed and framed out (that black area you can see).
By the next day, the plywood for the roof was being laid and both windows were in. They also started laying the composite decking on the porch (this was given to us for free by one of The Boy's friends who had some leftover from a project). All of this got done a little sooner than expected so The Boy used his downtime to run some electrical wire inside the framing (when you're married to an electrician, you tend to have random electrical supplies laying around).
The next day, the insulation and siding went in and the metal on the roof was started. Then the wall between the addition and the old house came down and got framed out! Here's a view from the inside looking out:
See how much light it let's in? Whee! Now, when you walk into the house, you look right into the kitchen and it's so open and inviting. And those windows? When I drive up to the house at night, light pouring out from them and it feels so welcoming. I just really, really makes me happy.
By the end of the weekend, we had:
All and all, it was a GREAT weekend. I am so completely and utterly grateful to every single person who helped make this happen. I know I have said it a million times but truly, this addition MAKES this house a home. It so much more functional and inviting and I adore driving up to my house and looking through those front windows. So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.
Have any of you hosted a work weekend during your remodel?
Last week, I total y'all about one of the most exciting things to happen to our little casa - a small front porch/entryway/half bathroom addition! Wheeeeeee! I cannot believe how much I adore just 100 extra square feet in my house but I do. I gave y'all a small snapshot and rundown of the addition and I'm back today to share the sketches and floor plans that we worked from plus the inspiration for the whole shebang.
One of the best things that happened to this project was our good friend , Billy. Billy was the best man in our wedding and is just an amazing person and friend. With Billy's help, I was able to make some truly sucktastic sketches (by me) and he turned them into actual measurements and supply lists for materials. Wanna see just how bad the sketches were?
See how he drew up his own CAD plan with actual measurements? Like a pro??? Yeah, without him - I'm pretty sure everyone would have been VERY confused about what exactly I wanted. When I was doing the sketches for Billy, I also collected some visuals on my Pinterest board so that he could see exactly what I meant by such things as "tall, tall windows" and "You know, just connect the roof lines with a little slope-y thing down". Here's what I came up with:
Yes, it's not that traditional Texas look but I like to think of it as an update on the farmhouse/Craftsman style that I see in so many of the small towns around here. The addition is mostly a huge overhaul to improve the home's traffic and function but that doesn't mean that I can't add some lovely design features. Here's a rundown of the design:
As far as what exactly we need to DO.... well, here's that exhaustive list:
Phew! Right? Any of you tackling an addition this year?
Now that I've brought you all up to date on the completion of our master bathroom remodel, I'm ready to blog about our next project. Well, technically, we remodeled the hall bathroom next but... I'm a little over bathrooms right now so I'm sharing the NEXT project after that project. It's a porch/entryway/half bath addition!
I cannot tell you how life-changing this addition is. It has completely changed the way we use our house and has really helped to add some visual interest to the front. Remember how the outside looked before?
And now after:
Even unfinished (that's like a theme with my husband), you can absolutely see how amazing the change is. Here's how it has altered the inside layout (besides adding a much need 100-ish square feet on to the house's footprint):
See the change in the traffic flow (I used this site to create the free floor plans)? Before, the door open directly against a wall (thus removing about 2 square feet of usable space) and due to the kitchen's layout, the dining area had to be shoved against a wall. When we wanted to eat at the table, we'd have to pull it out and block all traffic paths into and around the kitchen and living room. It was ridiculous. With this new addition, we relocated the main entry to the other side of the kitchen - which now leaves a great space for a future banquette and dining area. It also allows traffic to easily move from the kitchen to the living room. This has been so HUGE to our way of living, I cannot even tell you.
I love this new addition, not only because it improves the flow and space in the house, but also because it adds more usable space plus it's just prettier to drive up to a welcoming porch than a bare door. The addition's layout is small but simple. The porch is just a big rectangle added to the front half of the house. Then a smaller rectangle was framed out and created a new front door + small entryway with a half bathroom.
The new porch is fab. It is completely covered and has a nice area for seating plus two sets of stairs - one to walk up to the house and one on the side to access trash and the A/C unit. We added a new front door and I picked out a couple of tall, narrow stock windows to flank it. The windows weren't exactly what I wanted but we're on a budget and could only afford stock (not custom) so I made due with what I could afford.
The inside of the addition is wonderful! I grew up in Alaska where every house has an Arctic Entry - a small room built on to the front to collect the cold winter air and stop it from cooling down the main house. A lot of people trun these areas into full mudrooms. It completely weirded me out when I first moved to Texas to not have this little room on people's houses - you would open the front door and BOOM, be right in there home. It felt so sudden and intimate to me. So, I definitely wanted a mudroom/entryway added to my house. Once this little room is done, it will have a bench and floor-to-ceiling storage along one wall and then a small console table and mirror on the other. I can't wait!
The other big feature of the addition was actually a wish list item that my husband totally made happen. Our little rural area is starting to be up-and-coming and since this isn't our forever home, we're trying to make the house as appealing as possible to buyers. And one of those things is to add a half bath somewhere off the common rooms. Once we started talking about the layout, The Boy realized that we had just enough space for a 36" wide half bath (the legal minimum for a bathroom in our area). Since a half bathroom is just needs a toilet and a sink and isn't meant for people to linger - we were able to carve out a small area for one along the side of the entryway. We'll be adding a pocket door to make the floor plan work. Also, while we were building, The Boy realized that we didn't need the full length for the half bath and that 2-3' could be stolen from the back and used as a pantry for the kitchen! Hola!
You guys. I just love my new addition. I have all kinds of decorating plans and cannot WAIT to share this process with you. I promise to be back next week to share my decorating plans and how this baby got built for only $1500 and in 4 days!
Have any of you added a small addition to your homes with great results?
This is going to be the final master bathroom update for a little while... because installing the hardware and finishing fixtures means that (save for installing a fart fan and actually decorating) it's D O N E! As a reminder, here’s all the stuff we've conquered on Ye Olde To Do List for the entire master bathroom:
First up, the toilet area. Since we've installed the toilet, we definitely need (at the very least) a toilet paper holder (bought at Target) over there. We also picked up a glass shelf (for around $5.00) at the Pottery Barn outlet and I had a framed art piece that I loved for this area. The biggest thing here is that, back when we were rebuilding the walls after gutting everything, we preplanned where these things would go and built braces INSIDE the wall framing for them to anchor into. All we had to do was make a few marks on the finished wall to indicate where they were and then full bang ahead! The toilet paper holder went in easily, as did the glass shelf. Then I hung the artwork.
The basket above is for period stuff and I'm going to try and add a vase or two and maybe even a plant. You notice that I also have a toilet brush and toilet paper roll holder down there, too. Both are from Ikea (the roll holder is actually a super big hurricane-style vase). The towel rod is also from Target (sorry, there's no good photo of it) and located between the door and the toilet (within easy reach of someone standing in the shower).
Next up is the sink area. While at the Pottery Barn outlet picking up the glass shelf, I also cruised the clearance section and found a soap dish + toothbrush holder in one set and this crazy ass expensive mirror for a crazy ass LOW price (got it for under $40 because it was missing the wall anchor hardware [which we bought for $5 at Home Depot]).
The soap dish/toothbrush holder is perfect for this space since storage is at a premium. We put an acrylic glass in the top part to hold the toothbrushes and this system works great. Also, you'll notice a free-standing storage unit to the right of the sink. At this time, we don't have the money to invest in a nice built-in storage solution so I picked this cabinet up on sale at Target and it is working just fine.
Finally, we installed blinds and curtains on the window. The window looks out over a huge ranch pasture so, since the only spying eyes we had to worry about where from cows, we opted to go with inexpensive bamboo blinds and sheer curtains from Target to let the light through. I got the curtain rod from the Pottery Barn outlet for under $2 (that's not a typo). The blinds are from Home Depot and come in a variety of colors and sizes. Our windows are stock so we picked out blinds in the Palisades color and our size and brought them home to install.
The blinds install right inside the window trim and look awesome. This is one of those lots of decorative bang for very few dollars things. Next, I installed the curtain rod at the top of the window trim and added the curtains.
I could have put the curtains up higher (and will do so in other rooms) but I really wanted them to just touch the floor. I totally love the layered look of the textured blinds with the soft curtains!
Whelp, other than installing the fart fan and doing some finishing decorating (we still need a good rug, towels, and small storage like baskets), we're done! Wheeeeeee!
How did y'all finish off your master bathroom remodels?
Today’s master bathroom update is all about the sink - the BANGIN' deal I got + the installation. Last time, I shared the install of Le Royale Crapper and, as a reminder, here’s Ye Olde To Do List for the entire master bathroom:
Wanna see the sink (in all it's glory)? Go ahead... admire it. THEN I'll tell you all about the incredible deal I scored on it.
Nice, right? Check out how much I paid for it:
$24.50. $24.50! I paid $24.50 for a $98 vessel sink and stand. I almost shat myself when I saw it at Lowe's. This is one of those things that you have to stumble upon. If you want to find the great deals at Home Depot or Lowe's then you must do two things that I like to call Wander and Weekly.
Wander simply means that you are willing to literally wander the entire store and look at every end cap and down every aisle. Yes, both stores do have actual clearance sections (usually a few end caps for small items and one area in the back for large ones - both marked by yellow clearance signs) but I have discovered that many times, there are clearance items hidden in the regular aisles. Generally these "hidden" items are large bath or kitchen items (like toilets, appliances, cabinets, etc.) and are in one of those particular aisles.
Weekly means that you need to be looking for deals at least once a week. The clearance stock turns over that quickly (on some things) so, if possible, hit as many stores as possible every week - especially if you're looking for multiples of a an item. Keep a running list of measurements and things you know that you're going to need (even much further down the road) so that you can snap up good deals. I actually bought this sink a year before we even started demoing for the master bathroom remodel.
Anyhoo, back to the sink. When we remodeled the walls, we knew the sink would go back in the same spot it was originally so we worked the wall around the existing plumbing. Like so:
So, all ready for the hot and cold water lines plus the drain. I unpacked the sink (it was simple, just the base stand and the sink basin) in our room.
Like buttah. I caulked those seams later and it looks great (the weird gap between the leg and the trim is covered up once the base's shelf is in so there was no real reason to try to redo the trim around it. Next up, we popped the vessel sink on top and started in on the plumbing. Because the pipes would be exposed, I ponied up for the more expensive satin nickel finish p-trap. This version was much easier to install than ones that required multiple pipes (less primer and glue was also a big bonus) so The Boy was able to install the plumbing in less than an hour.
We did attach the water lines at this point so that we could install the faucet. The faucet was another Home Depot clearance score (I think it was originally just under $200 and I paid about $40) and the first thing I did was open the box and lay everything out on the bed to make sure that it was all there.
For this one, we just followed the installation instructions. Pretty easy - just sliding this nut and washer on to this bit and then the whole thing gets fitted on. The biggest thing is that before you buy a sink or a faucet, you make sure that the faucet parts will line up to the holes in your sink (they come in different widths and number of holes). Just a heads up.
Another quick head's up - check to see how they want you to attach/seal the faucet to the base. Sometimes, they want you to use plumber's putty but other times, they'll be very clear about not using anything at all. Just double check and do what they say to do. Then, just attach the proper water line to the proper side and, after placing a bucket underneath, turn on the water and check to see if all your lines work and there are no drips.
And, after putting the shelf on the bottom, we were ready to go!
Any of you install your own master bathroom sink and faucet?
Welcome to Kiss My Casa.
My name is Cris Stone. I live in the Texas Hill Country (via Salcha, Alaska) with my husband (The Boy), our little girl (Melanie), puppy (Hank), and cat (Caira).
Kick back and read all about how one boy, one girl, one toddler, one dog, and one cat are trying to renovate one REALLY ugly house... without killing each other.