Mary’s Home Remodel 2018 – Part 1

Part 1

Part 2

It’s been six years since we did it in California and now we’re gearing up to do it again in Colorado. We’re remodeling our kitchen and you’re invited to follow along. I’ll post here each week with photos and entertaining updates.

That California remodel boosted our home’s value by a whopping $200,000.

I’d barely had time to play in my new kitchen when we decided to test the market just to see what might happen. We listed the house for $200,000 more than any house had ever sold for in that zip code.

It was kind of a joke, really. Our Realtor thought we were nuts but went along for the ride. And BAM! the first couple through the Open House made an offer on the spot for more than the asking price. Of course, an offer or even a sale price does not a viable appraisal make. To our collective amazement, the appraisal came in even higher than the sale price.

Our $25,000 cash investment in that kitchen remodel paid off big and only because my husband, a hobby woodworker and talented designer, did the design, planning and all the work save for rough electrical and plumbing that always needs to be done by licensed professionals to current building codes.

Here in 17 Parts with Bonus: Mary’s Big Remodel 2012-2013

That sale pulled the trigger on relocating from California to Colorado. Our plan had always been to one day pay off our mortgage and pay for our next home with cash. It seemed like the impossible dream. But that is exactly what we did. We’ve been debt- and mortgage-free for more than five years. What a life-changer.

This house is about 14 years old now and yes, we closed on it in January. (Just wait until you see what spring and summer look like.). While a solid structure, clearly the original owners cut some corners in choosing the kitchen finishes.

The following pictures are from the Realtor listing and as the house was when we made an offer to purchase in 2014.


Take the kitchen. The cabinets look nice but they’re “builder-grade,” which means they do not function well. They would be the cheapest option on the developer’s list. The cabinet boxes are stapled together. The hinges are junk-quality.

Already, two drawers have fallen apart; one cabinet door fell off when its top hinge broke in half. Thank goodness for Gorilla Glue. I can repair just about anything with that stuff.

The kitchen has a quasi-island with the sink and useless bar. The bar top is so narrow (about 12-inches) it cannot accommodate bar stools. It has become an all-too-handy catch-all for clutter. Not good!

The black Whirlpool Gold appliances are 14 years old, which in appliance years is decrepit. Already, we’ve had to replace the microwave. The other pieces remain functional and could have years of service left in them. Or not. At this point, it would be most unwise to remodel around old appliances.

Now take a look at our inspiration picture for the new kitchen, plucked from somewhere online—probably Pinterest.

Harold has spent many months designing, figuring, measuring, calculating and researching in order to come as close as he can to duplicate this look in our space.

I’ll tell you a little secret: He picked up this talent, ability, and confidence by watching This Old House on public television for lots of years. One day he just stood up and said, “I think I can do that.”

And boy can he!

Next week: Part 2  – Demo Day