The Kitchen Renovation of 2013 – 1 Leak. 1 Year. 1 Woman.

How I Re-Built My Own Kitchen (after a leak) | Pretty Handy Girl

2013 Could be called the year of the kitchen renovation in our house. Or the year that nearly killed me. Or the luckiest year of our lives. I’m still debating the title. What I do know is that, I decided to take on my biggest DIY project to date. I re-built my own kitchen from bare studs and subfloor.

It started one morning as I was confronted with a foul odor. It’s only describable as that odor that usually lives in the high school gym locker room. I thought my 9 year old son’s feet were starting to stink. Unfortunately a stinky pair of shoes wasn’t the culprit, it turned out to be a very minor leak that turned into a very big kitchen renovation. We persevered through 45 days without a washer and dryer and many months without a kitchen. But, it was like being a contestant in Survivor. I lasted the year of construction; the set backs and sore muscles; and in the end I was rewarded with a brand new kitchen!

Today, I walk into our beautiful kitchen and I know it was all worth it! It was worth all the sweat equity, the daily Advil doses, and the tree falling on the house. If you want to reminisce with me as I recap my kitchen renovation of 2013, here’s your ticket to all the tutorials and posts:

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The Water Leak (and What You Should Know about Mold and Polybutylene Pipes)

What You Should Know about Water Leaks, Mold and Polybutylene Pipes

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The Asbestos Discovery and What You Should Know about Asbestos

What Everyone Should Know About Asbestos

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 The Moment I Decided to Take a Kitchen Renovation into My Own Hands

Gutted Kitchen, When I Decided to Renovate My Own Kitchen

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How to Level a Concrete Subfloor

How to Level a Concrete Subfloor

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Installing Warmly Yours Radiant Floor Heating Mats 

How to Install Radiant Floor Heating

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My Design Plans for the Kitchen

My Kitchen Design Plans

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How to Remove Soffits

How to Remove Soffits

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Words from the Trenches: How to Survive without a Kitchen

How to Survive without a Kitchen

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How and When to File a Building Permit

How and When to FIle a Building Permit

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Ahhh, Just when we thought things were moving forward:

Termite Damage: How to Spot it and How to Protect Your Home from Termites

Termite Damage: How to Spot a Termite Infestation and How to Protect Your Home form Termites

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Progress! Framing Out the Wall and Moving the Ventilation

Kitchen Framing and Moving Ventilation

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How to Install and Trim a Casement Window

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How to Install Drywall (Sheetrock)

How to Install Drywall (Sheetrock)

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 How to Finish Drywall Seams

How to Finish Drywall Seams

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How to Install Recessed Lighting

How to Install Recessed Lighting

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How to Paint Your Ceilings Like a Pro

How to Paint Ceilings Like a Pro

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How to Install Planked Walls

How to Install Planked Walls

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How to Make a Smooth Chalkboard Wall (even if you have imperfect walls)

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How to Install a Herringbone Cork Tile Floor

How to Install a Herringbone Cork Tile Floor

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Protecting the Refrigerator Ice Maker Line from Future Leaks in 2 Simple Steps

Protect Your Refrigerator from Costly Leaks in 2 Simple Steps

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How to Build a Wall Mounted Hutch

Build a Wall Mounted Hutch

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Building a Counter Height Desk with a Habitat Desk and Free Table Top

Counter Height Kitchen Desk Tutorial

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How to Re- finish an Old Table Top to Make a Desk Top

How to Turn an Old Table Top into a Beautiful Desk Top

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The Distressed Painted Side Panel Tutorial

The Distressed painted side panel tutorial

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How to Move a Floor Register (into the front of a Window Seat)

How to Move a Floor Register

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Building the Window Seat

How to Build a Built-in Bay Window Seat with Storage

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Choosing cabinet hardware

Choosing cabinet hardware

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How to Install a Hard Wired Pendant Light

How to Install a Hard Wired Pendant Light

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How to Build a Custom Wood Range Hood

How to Build a Custom Wood Range Hood

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How to Tile: Tilesetting

How to Tile: Tilesetting

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How to Tile: Grouting

How to Tile: Grouting

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Final Touches! How to Hang a Keybox

how to hang a keybox

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Faux Painting Aged and Chippy Corbels

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

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How to Install Shelving on a Tile Wall

How to Install Shelves on a Tile Wall

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The Final Reveal (& Holiday Home Tour)

Kitchen Home Tour | Pretty Handy Girl

And that my friends pretty much sums up 2013! It was a very productive year. Thank you to everyone who left me comments and cheered me on. Your faith in me helped me persevere.

Now that the kitchen is done, you’d think I might take a break. Nope, not my style, I am looking forward to another DIY-ful year! How about you? What are your plans for 2014?

PHGFancySign

Comments

  1. Oh dear. I am exhausted just reading through this list. You are a super woman!

  2. Girrrrrl… You are the MASTER! You owned that kitchen. It’s amazing. Go get a massage, and then get back to work. :)

  3. You did an amazing transformation!! I Love it! What an inspiration….now where’s my sledge hammer…oh and I might need to get more power tools!!! =)

  4. Amazing! I think the corbels stole my heart! Love it all, especially that dreamy floor!

  5. Mary Ellen says:

    Wow!!!!! You are impressive, out of this world, …. what a great job.

  6. Hi! The kitchen looks fantastic! I so badly want to do cork flooring in our basement. I just hope that the cost comes down a little :S….
    The picture of where you moved the vent ductwork, I trust you checked that your ring joists were not load bearing before you cut that big of a hole? I always get scared when I see big holes in joists!

    You do great work! Very inspiring.

  7. You are simply amazing! Thanks for inspiring me, and sharing the how-tos.

  8. You are amazing. AMAZING! Your finished kitchen is magazine worthy….gorgeous!! You are such an inspiration!!!

  9. Oh man, we were going through kitchen remodels at the same time. I wish we lived close to each other because I sure could have used some support from someone who knew more than me. I knew enough that it was a tough experience because I knew when the contractor was lying and manipulating me but that just meant I felt crummy about the experience. If I had more confidence I would have just shown them the door and done a lot myself. As it was, I did a lot and feel really good about it.

    Your kitchen is beautiful and you did a wonderful job! Nice work!

  10. You should be VERY proud of yourself!

  11. Brittany, I’m exhausted just reading this post! You have done an amazing job!

  12. I remember all this but to read over it & look at all the photos, it’s more than overwhelming! You must be incredibly gratified & pleased to say the least. How proud everyone is of you, I know I am! Rock on Brittany!!!

  13. This is going down in history of one my favorite posts of all times. It is like an encyclopedia index of awesome projects.
    I love your new kitchen.. and everything you did with it. It came out so wonderfully!

  14. this was such an informative journey to follow throughout the year.
    I was expecting to see an announcement of the next BIG DIY project for 2014. While I did not see a reveal of what it will be I am certainly going to enjoy following along.

  15. Stunning Kitchen! Thanks for sharing all the ideas, inspirations, and how-tos! You should be very proud of the result. I say you should look back at 2013 with pride at all your hard work!

  16. Oh my! How beautiful! You go girl. Your kitchen is beautiful. I love all of your accents too, you did a great job.

  17. Fantastic! I love everything about your new kitchen. You should thank that leetle leak for making all this possible. ;) You did a beautiful job!

    Jake’s a Girl

  18. LOVE your kitchen. When I re-do mine can you come help me? Maybe a nice visit to Colorado would be good for you!??? Thanks so much for sharing your journey, I can’t wait to see what’s next. Victoria

  19. WOW! Love your kitchen. Your kitchen has undergone an amazing transformation – with all the credit to you. You should be very proud. And you have shared a year’s worth of tips, how-to’s and DIY’s with all of us. It is really inspirational to see someone turn their vision into reality. Makes it a little less scary to tackle those big jobs. Thanks for taking the time to share it all.

  20. Hello there! I just discovered your blog after a friend pinned this post. So far, I’ve only read the the water leak post, but I found it so well written, that I think I may have found my first ever blog to follow. Can’t wait to keep reading!

Trackbacks

  1. […] After finishing the kitchen, I noticed that my body was really sore. Standing up after sitting for a while was a slow painful process. I figured it was one of three things (if not a combo of all three.) 1) Age 2) Too much hard labor or 3) I needed to lose a few pounds. After multiple trips to the chiropractor, and a whole bottle of Advil later, I finally realized that my hips and back hurt most after waking up in the morning. Then it occurred to me that our memory foam mattress was no longer providing support for my body. I pressed down with my hand on the middle of the mattress where I slept. It sank in. I felt little to no resistance. After 7 years, we were due for yet another mattress. Ugh. […]

  2. […] TWO YEARS ago! (Life’s been a little busy, okay. Forgive me, I’ve been wrapped up in a major kitchen renovation.) All I had to do was get the paint mixed and get painting. Instead, I was caught in the middle of […]

  3. […] It took me 13 months of literal sweat and tears (okay and some blood) with a healthy dose of Advil every day to build my kitchen back. The result is a beautiful new kitchen that we never would have embarked on had it not been for that water leak. Here’s how it turned out. […]

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