The end of the remodel or how we spent the last four months and $20,000

the kitchen sink


Well, it took a lot longer than anticipated (due to our failure to anticipate how long it takes to get kitchen cabinets, among other things), but our front house kitchen remodel is complete! And even better, the house has been rented. Okay, at a bit less than we had hoped, but still, rented! So double yay and yippee! Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

Pics of the whole saga are here: Our beach bungalow celebrates its 100th birthday this year, and now it can do so with pride!

Lessons learned:

  1. Order kitchen cabinets ASAP. They will take longer to arrive than you anticipate.
  2. A good contractor is worth his/her weight in gold. Listen to them, grasshopper, and learn!
  3. It’s going to cost more than you think/budget. No matter what. Suck it up.
  4. Sometimes okay is good enough. Perfection costs extra.
  5. Bathrooms. Look away. Stay focused. Don’t get sidetracked when you’re doing a kitchen remodel.
  6. You will get stressed. This is normal. Forgive yourself. Take a deep breath. It will eventually get done.
  7. There will always be something you wish you had done differently. So it goes.
  8. Color is hard. But really, purple is just flat out wrong.
  9. Don’t plan the remodel to coincide with tax season. That’s just stupid.

There are probably more lessons that I learned but those are the ones that stand out. I can’t stress number nine enough – we were dumb enough to do that and it really, really added to number six exponentially. We are, however, extremely pleased with the outcome, so pleased that it was hard to rent it out. It felt like giving up a puppy for adoption. I wanted to ask the renters questions like, “Will you take care of the house?” “Will you love it?” — in other words, we got emotionally caught up in the remodel and put a lot of ourselves into it. Dangerous to do in a place that you won’t be living in. So I guess I should add to the list: Don’t get emotionally involved in your remodel. Oh, and number five – oops. We didn’t look away. But we (mostly) controlled ourselves and kept it cosmetic.

Still, the results speak for themselves, IMHO:

the old kitchen, sink and counters


kitchen wall w/window before

kitchen cabinet & countertops, done!

from the dining room looking into the kitchen before


the small bathroom before

the small bathroom completed!

So now we start saving for our kitchen remodel. It’s a bittersweet outcome, but that’s life in the money pit.


  1. Having done this twice, now, I can say with authority “Don’t try to tackle a major remodel while pregnant.” It definitely exacerbates #6. I don’t know why we didn’t learn that lesson the first time around…

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