Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekend Projects

We've been working on our kitchen the past few weeks, and when it is all finished, I'll be posting some GOOD pictures. The white cabinets and marble (pink!) back-splash/counter-top is what we were living with for several years.
This started as a simple "Let's replace the cabinet doors and paint the outside of the old cupboards, Dear!" kind -of-project.... (see the new style cabinet door that Mr. Wonderful built on the left of the picture below)...
but then.... the simple project snow-balled into more of a "kitchen make-over" about the time we found live wires buried behind the appliance garage (Mr. Wonderful removed it to see if we could rebuild it into something a bit more aesthetically pleasing).

Since I've been doing "marathon job surfing" (I'm borrowing the term from another blogger - so fitting for our situation now!), this isn't the time for an all out tearing apart and replacing of everything in the kitchen. But, for any of you out there that may be contemplating doing some make-overs in your own homes on a budget, or if you got 'forced' into it, like we did, here are some hints we have used that may help you save some serious "coin", if you have the know-how to do it yourself.

First, assess the things you can re-use in your make-over, such as door hinges and other hardware, original cupboards, trim boards, window frames, flooring, etc. Door hardware looks entirely different if you remove it and spray paint it a different color. Hard wood floors can be refinished, hidden hinges are not seen, and can be re-used as is, or if they are visible, spray paint to match the hardware. Be creative in your thought process - you'll be surprised what you come up with when you "think outside of the box"!

Next, take measurements of doors or anything that might need replacing (flooring, trim, etc), and check out salvage stores. Around here, there is Pitch Wrecking, that has a salvage store with all sorts of goodies - pocket doors, stair railings, stained glass windows, wood moldings and trim - you name it, they very well could have it! A great place to find even vintage and Victorian trims and fixtures you might not have thought of using! There is also Goodwill stores or the Salvation Army Stores, where you may stumble onto new or used cabinet hardware that could be re-painted to go with your plans.

Check with friends - sometimes they might have materials left from a project they've completed - they might be happy to just get rid of it! (Mr. Wonderful got some great stone for the wall behind our corn stove free for the taking. That saved a bundle for us!) Check roadsides when you drive through the country - look for signs. We found a fella that had a "For Sale" sign by the road- and had a lean price on some oak boards we used for trim in our bathroom and kitchen, and some wood used for the corn stove project too. Check Craigs List in your state and city for just about ANYTHING you might need, new OR used. And, be sure to check to see what you may already have stashed away and forgotten about - boards, screws, hooks, paint, putty, etc.

The very LAST place to check would be sales flyers from the local Big Box Stores (Home Depot, Menard's, Lowe's) . We found specialty boards for the insets on our cabinet doors that were 'buy one set, get one set free'. Also, we found close out deals on faucets, since new styles were in and the discontinued ones were 1/3 the original price!

If you're tightening your belt like we have been, but you want (or NEED) to make some changes, follow the hints I've outlined today, and you'll save a lot of cash, like we did, by re-claiming where you can, and doing the work yourself.
Have a great Monday -


Carmen C. said...

Those are great $$ saving tips and don't all projects start out small and simple??LOL!

Chatty Crone said...

Great tips Monica.

Funny how it starts small and ends big. Thank God for Mr. Wonderful!

It looks awesome - can't wait to see the finished project with the doors up.

Good luck with your job searching!!


Stella The Fluff said...

Oh gosh, I SO know how little projects can balloon into big ones. Butt (Stella's is a bit scruffy looking), it's fun in a way. You get to be creative and really put your mark on something you can feel good about for a long time!

Angela said...

Hey Monica!

Your cabinets already look better without the white! I know from experience that it is a long job to do but it is well worth it in the long run! I wish we had more selections here like you have.


Diann said...

Great tips Monica!

I'm gonna add a few,

Check out the "Re-Store" (habitat for Humanity stores). Lots of construction items to be found there.

Watch for home construction sites Generally they have a dumpster full of odds and ends pieces of wood. talk to the person in charge of the construction and ask if you can have their cast-offs. We have gotten a lot of lumber this way!

check local apartment complexes. When they have to install new cabinets, they throw the old ones out. And since the complex has to pay to have the stuff hauled away, they generally are happy if you do it for them.

Ask about the speciality items that never got picked up or they came in wrong at the big box stores. sometimes they have a bunch of odds and ends in the backroom they need to get rid of. Sometimes you can get a good deal (sometimes, not so much).But, it doesn't hurt to ask!

I used to be a kitchen designer and learned a lot about cutting some $$ here an there from my contractors.

Good luck wth the remodel!!