Full Episodes of Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford

Budget Kitchen Remodel

By: Danny Lipford

To remodel this kitchen and the adjoining family room on a budget, we reused the existing appliance and didn’t move any of the plumbing. Projects included:

  • Remove the old kitchen cabinets, pantry, and flooring.
  • Install wood cabinets.
  • Install granite countertops.
  • Lay ceramic tile floor in the kitchen.
  • Paint the existing wood paneling in the den.
  • Install recessed light fixtures in the den ceiling.
  • Install carpet in the den.

Read episode article to find out more.

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Danny Lipford: This space was a 30 year old kitchen but we’re about to modernize it.

Announcer: Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford, the voice of home improvement, with projects tips, and ideas to help you improve your home.

Danny Lipford: People remodel their kitchens for a lot of different reasons, in this case the homeowners have recently become empty-nesters so they thought it would be a perfect time to get just the kind of kitchen they’ve always wanted.

Now the plan is to really keep the budget in mind in the overall renovation so we started by removing all of the cabinets as you can see, but some of the ways we’re going to save money is the design allows all of the fixtures and appliances to remain in the same spot, that means the electrical work and plumbing work will be minimal.

Also many of the appliances that were taking out of the original kitchen will be reused because they’re in great shape, they were updated just 3 or 4 years ago. So that’s very important, anytime you’re planning in a kitchen keep that budget in mind with some of those considerations.

Now, the original kitchen was very typical for a 30 year old kitchen, it was a galley style and it had dark cabinets, laminate countertops, fairly simple but by the end of this half hour this room is going to look a lot different.

As I mentioned earlier the house we’re working on here is about 30 years old and the original kitchen really looked like the 70s. Well so does the den that’s adjacent to it, and we’re planning on doing a little work in here to modernize this space as well.

The old dark paneling of the 70s, very, very popular, and we also discovered what may have been the original carpet in the house. Look at this multicolored shag, I mean what were we thinking back then?

This was discovered under a built in cabinet section that we removed to open this room up a little bit. Now of course all of the flooring will be replaced and to brighten the room up a bit, we’ll be priming and painting all of the paneling.

Now, another effort to brighten things up, we’ve added a few recessed cans, we have four different recessed lights in this room and this is a special recessed housing called a remodel can.

You’re able to trace the line for the circle on the ceiling, cut it out, then it slips up into the ceiling so that you can minimize the amount of damage that occurs to the ceiling. That’s another effort to keep the cost down on this project by not replacing any sheetrock unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Now another trend to kind of modernize a kitchen and den combination is to create as much space as you can. Now we’re not going to be removing any walls but what we did remove was a pantry that was right here and it kind of blocked the view and took up a lot of space in the kitchen.

So by removing it, it made a big difference already in the feel of the space. Now a lot more demolition had to take place to get this project moving.

This kitchen was certainly in bad need of an update with its dark cabinets and ancient wallpaper, but the owners have kept it functional over the years with new appliances. Since these will be reused the crew took special care in removing them before wading in to the walls and cabinets.

The fur downs over the wall cabinets were made of paneling so they came out pretty easily. But the pantry, it was another story, it took a lot of effort to remove this. The cabinets were stout too, unattractive but very well built so they came out in a few very large sections.

And the very attractive laminate patterns on the counter had also been used to cover the walls, so when removed it left quite a glue residue on the drywall. Mark, our dry wall finisher, had to deal with this as well as a number of other small patches to get the walls in shape for painting.

Keeping the plumbing and electrical changes to a minimum saved a lot of time here, not to mention the money it saved the owners. Cleaning up the wall where the pantry was removed was the biggest chore but it went quickly too. As the last little bit of drywall sanding was wrapping up, the cabinets were arriving to begin filling up the space.

These cabinets were custom designed for this space so they need to go into a specific spot. An experienced installer like Ron will also have a plan for the order in which they’re set so they can speed up the process and ensure a pretty good fit.

Here he’s hanging the wall cabinets first so that he won’t have to climb over the base cabinets to do the rest of the work. These guys use a ton of screws but each one is placed so that it won’t be visible in the finished kitchen.

When the base cabinets start to go in, there are a few modifications here and there to be made. And whether the cabinets are custom or stock the cut outs for outlets and plumbing fixtures need to be made on sight just before they’re installed so the fit is just right.

Now a pro like Ron can knock this out quickly but if you’re doing it yourself you need to be sure to take your time and double check your measurements so that you don’t mess up a good set of cabinets.

When all the cabinet boxes are in place, there are just a few trim details left to finish the job.

As soon as the cabinet installation was complete our painter was out on the job to cover up all of the finished cabinets with a lightweight plastic so that the painting could take place.

Now some painters prefer to paint at least one coat on the walls before the cabinets are installed but really it’s kind of a waste of time and money to paint behind areas that you’ll never ever see.

Of course when you’re painting around finished cabinets like this you have to be very careful, and Michael, our painter, certainly has done this a lot, knows what he’s doing.

But he has a lot of challenges in this type of paint job where you have new drywall, old drywall, paneling. Well we’ll show you how he’s overcoming some of these challenges when we talk with him in just a little bit, right after our Simple Solution.

Announcer: It’s time for this week’s Simple Solution from home repair expert Joe Truini.

Joe Truini: Saw horses are invaluable when you need to cut large sheet goods like pieces of plywood but in order to make the cut safely you need to support the entire sheet.

Now you often see people put 2x4s or 2x2s on top of the saw horses to support the sheet, but that creates two problems: one they can easily be knocked off the saw horses and secondly as you make the cut the plywood has a tendency to sag in and pinch the blade. I’ll show you how I solved those problems here.

I simply took and notched each saw horse cutting 1 and a half inches deep, then knocking out the waste piece with a hammer, then I took two long 2x2s and just set them in the notches. Now not only does it lock them in place but you see it creates a smooth surface so the plywood lays flush across the 2×2 supports and the saw horse.

So now as you make the cuts there’s no pinching of the blade and you have a nice, safe, easy cut.

Danny Lipford: We’re back out on a kitchen renovation that’s really moving along very well. All of the old cabinets were removed, all of the new cabinets have been installed, and we’re right in the process of painting. We even have our countertop contractor out to measure the tops that’ll be going in in a few days, but before that there’s still a good bit of painting to be done.

Now like any painting project, you generally will start at the very top and work your way down, and the top here was a fairly stubborn ceiling that we had to deal with. Now our sheetrock finisher did a great job in matching up the texture of the acoustic or popcorn type ceiling but there was quite a color variation between the old and the new.

That’s where we had to call in for a rescue with Michael our painter, now how did you approach that? I’ve seen homeowners try to paint an acoustic or popcorn type ceiling and it wasn’t very easy, you made it look pretty darn easy.

Michael Burks: Right what I find that’s very helpful is to use a 3/8-inch nap roller, and it normally takes two coats to finish it, and the key to it is not to overload your roller now because it’ll pull the acoustic off.

Danny Lipford: Oh ok. Well I’ve actually done that myself.

Michael Burks: Right.

Danny Lipford: And then you end up with a third coat of paint on it after that, but it sure turned out nice and the texturing that our drywall finisher did kind of helped that part of it.

Michael Burks: Yes it did.

Danny Lipford: So once you got past that, this is where a lot of the work comes in, this old paneling from the 70s here. A lot of people are considering painting paneling in their own house, give us some tips on how to do it right.

Michael Burks: Sure, the first thing I’ll do is wipe it clean, come back and putty all the nail holes, caulk any type of cracks.

Danny Lipford: Right.

Michael Burks: Use one hundred grit sandpaper to rough the surface up.

Danny Lipford: So instead of smoothing with the sand paper you’re actually kind of roughing it up so that you get that adhesion that you need.

Michael Burks: Exactly. And what I’m using here is a tinted 100% acrylic latex primer and that will bond to the sanded paneling and then it’ll be ready for the finished coat.

Danny Lipford: Well, I tell you with the primer tinting it a little bit like that really does make a difference in terms of having that finished coat cover it up real well. I know that’s a great tip to go with but I know that after you do all of that you still have, kind of a different approach on the trim.

Michael Burks: That’s correct basically what I’ll do on that to prep it, same thing sand it down, caulk, putty and in this case the homeowner wants oil based finished coat so I’ll go with oil based primer and then put two coats of oil based finish coat on it.

Danny Lipford: I see, that should really produce a pretty high gloss then if you’re using oil on all of that, well I tell you every brush stroke and every roller mark takes a little bit more of the 70s out of this house.

While Michael continues with the painting the tile setter has gotten busy laying the new ceramic in the kitchen and the transformation is closer to completion, something the homeowners Jim and Peggy McEnery are excited about for a lot of reasons.

Jim McEnery: You know we have five kids and nine with a 10th grandchild on the way so, we entertain during the holidays especially. So you know the kitchen, the pull out drawers, we have a built in spice rack, and the countertops and it just provides a more, a newer look, a more comfortable look.

We’ll probably replace the dinette table we had, it’s been here since we’ve been here too, 18 years. So you know it’ll be just more functional during those times.

Nancy McEnery: Before we had to put all the food on the kitchen table to serve, and we’d serve a buffet style. Now we’ll be able to utilize that large, large, much larger counter space.

We had talked about maybe making the whole kitchen and dining room the kitchen area but we decided at our age we really didn’t want to go much larger and spend that much more on that type of any area because, you know, we were trying to ease into a what?

Jim McEnery: More of a relaxed, retired, lifestyle. A lot of people our age are you know approaching retirement, but really they want a down size or they want to get something newer, but you know now a days with the cost of housing it’s kind of prohibitive so this is something that was the answer for us.

Nancy McEnery: The paneling, painting the paneling has really opened up that area much more, it’s more open in lighting and it’s more modern looking that way.

So we’re really excited about that too and we’re going to re-carpet so it’ll be a whole new look. So you know we feel it’ll look like a new house for us.

Danny Lipford: Peggy’s right it’s starting to look like a whole new house but we still have plenty of work to do so while the painting and the tile work continue why don’t you check out this week’s best new product.

Announcer: Let’s join Danny at the home center to check out this week’s best new product. Brought to you by the Home Depot.

Danny Lipford: If you have a garage, you know how fast it can fill up and many homeowners are finding they can’t even fit their car in the garage anymore. The key to getting your garage back in order is getting things up off the floor.

The fast track system from Rubbermaid does just that by creating vertical and horizontal storage. There are a variety of accessories and shelves to hang everything from a bike to garden tools and sports equipment.

You just determine your storage needs and hang the fast track rail, then snap hooks, shelving, brackets, and other accessories onto the rail. If you can hang a picture, you can install this hook and rail system.

The rail system is pre-punched for all standard stud widths or you can install the individual accessories directly to a stud. The system is made of a heavy-duty steel so it should last a long time and the rubber coating on the accessories is designed to get a good grip on everything.

The 56-inch rail system will support up to 1,750 pounds and depending on the accessories you use, you can set up an entire garage for less than $100.

Our project this week is where we’re trying to breathe a little new life into a 70s style den and kitchen. Now we’ve moved right along on making a big difference in this room, the den, by painting the old dark paneling and Michael’s in the process of putting in a nice fresh coat of paint on the trim that originally was dark stain, now it’ll be bright white.

We’ll finish up this room by replacing all of the carpet and a big difference will be seen in this room. But most of the work on this project is being done in the kitchen where we started with a 35 year old kitchen that needed a little a help, especially after surviving 5 kids being raised in this house.

Now we’ve removed all of the old cabinets, the new cabinets came in and the homeowners Jim and Peggy are really excited about the progress that’s being made, but particularly one area where they splurged a little bit on the budget and that’s the granite countertops.

The granite Peggy has chosen is called white springs, and she’s counting on the colors in the stones veining to inspire some accents for the kitchen’s otherwise fairly neutral color pallet.

The cutout for the sink was made on sight in the McEnery’s front yard but everything else was simply glued in place and sealed around the edges. Peggy also made a wise choice for the grout that’s being used on the ceramic, because she selected a dark color she won’t have to worry as much about stains.

Now with the countertops and floors finished, the only things missing are the appliances and since we’re reusing the existing ones we don’t even have to wait on delivery.

Everything came together in this kitchen over the last couple days and the homeowners are already enjoying this updated space. Now that they’ve moved in we can kind of get an idea of how well this kitchen is working for them.

Now they chose a number of different things that were added in the kitchen to make it more convenient and allow access to every part of the cabinetry.

Now drawers are a great addition to a kitchen instead of having two doors to divide it up into three drawers like this with the top drawer matching the other drawers and then, the space then being made up by the other two.

Very accessible and that works very well for a roll out tray like we have on this side of the stove for all the pots and pans, very easy to get to any of these.

And to compensate for some of the space they lost when we removed the large pantry that was here in the original kitchen we did the same thing here to create a under counter pantry that works perfectly for all those canned goods.

Now rarely do we build a kitchen, or remodel a kitchen, that we don’t have one of these, a rollout garbage can, and this one has enough space for another can for recycling. And of course the tilt outs on the front of the sink, very popular because we always have something we can stick down in the little trays on the front of the kitchen sink.

Now about the only thing that’s left to complete in this renovation is the installation of all of the carpet that’ll go here once the old carpet is removed. And the homeowners have decided instead of replacing the carpet just in this room, they’re taking it down the hall and into several of the bedrooms.

Now it’s not uncommon when you roll back carpet and pad that’s been down for many, many years to find what can disturb a lot of homeowners is a large crack running across the room. Now this type of crack is an expansion/contraction crack which is just one of the properties of having a house like this that’s on a concrete slab.

Now to kind of get an idea if it’s a serious crack, which would be a settling crack, all you have to do is to put a straight edge across the crack itself and if it’s nice and flat you probably don’t have any problem at all. But if one side is a good bit lower than the other side it’s time to make your contractor aware of it or call in a structural engineer to take a closer look at it.

Hey, we’re going to show you everything complete and where we started on this project right after our around the yard.

Announcer: Let’s head outside for Around the Yard with lawn and garden expert Tricia Craven Worley. Brought to you by TimberTech composite decking.

Tricia Craven Worley: I love the look of moss growing on old stones or brick or block walls, and actually I like it so much I’ve even tried to get to grow on my pots, it gives it that old world look.

But you know one place you really don’t want moss to grow is on any kind of flat surface, including stairs. I know because one time I tripped on some moss and really hurt my hip really badly.

But you can see here we’ve got some moss growing on the side of the step and here’s some growing on this tread as well and up here. Now there’s a really easy way to take care of this and that is I take a scraper of some sort like a putty knife and you can just scrap it off.

After that I mix a concoction of equal parts of water and bleach together and then I scrub it on that area, now you can see we have some little volunteers growing here. Whatever this bleach mixture hits it’s going to kill.

So, if you don’t want it to get killed make sure you protect that surrounding area as well as your clothing. And one final thing is that once you’ve used this it’s really going to help prevent that growing back.

Danny Lipford: Jim and Peggy McEnery waited years for this kitchen renovation and now that it’s all complete it certainly looks like their patience paid off. This kitchen was over 30 years old and it was starting to show its age, plus the adjoining den was also a time capsule from the 70s so we had our work cut out for us.

We removed all of the cabinets, countertops, and flooring from the kitchen as well as a pantry closet that interrupted the flow of the room. After a few repairs to the walls and the ceiling we installed a great new set of cabinets and beautiful granite countertops and a brand new ceramic floor. We were able to reuse their appliances which were about the only part of the kitchen that was from this century.

Then the den got a bright new coat of paint over the old dark paneled walls and new carpeting minus the wear and tear from years of little feet and Kool-Aid spills.

The result is a beautiful space that the McEnery’s can enjoy themselves and share with their adult children when they come home. With the pantry gone there’s more countertop space for those big holiday meals and the new cabinets more than make up for any loss of storage space.

Jim and Peggy waited for their kids to grow up and move out of the house before they started this renovation, that gave them plenty of time to plan everything out and establish a budget for the project.

Now that’s important to really think about what you want to accomplish, put a plan together to make it happen and know exactly how much it’s going to cost because those are the keys to a successful renovation.

Now if you’ve been dreaming of ways to improve your home, take a few minutes, write them all down on a list and join us next week as we take care of a few of those. I’m Danny Lipford, we’ll see you soon.

In next week’s show, we’re helping a family create a better way to enjoy their new backyard.

Announcer: If you’d like to purchase a videotape or DVD copy of this weeks show visit our website at dannylipford.com or call us at 1-800-946-4420.



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