by Jordy Shepherd
As a professional Realtor in Canmore, Alberta Canada (www.CanmoreRealEstate.ca), and a real estate investor, I appreciate the upside of completing renovations and upgrades on my own home. Over the years I have gained substantial home renovation experience (and renovation tools!) from being a homeowner and landlord, and from flipping homes. This past November, my wife and I decided to do a full renovation of our circa 1992 kitchen. The original kitchen was in good condition still, and we sold it to people that were going to install and use the cabinets, sink, appliances and countertop. This was very important to us, as we did not want our old kitchen going to the landfill.
After living in our home for the past six years, we felt we knew what we wanted to do with the renovation. We planned well in advance, purchased and stockpiled materials, and scheduled several contractors. We hired an electrician to do the bulk of the electrical changes, but I finished off the final electrical work myself near the end of the project. We hired a tile contractor to install the backsplash, as there were many 3’x6’ tiles, and we had a local countertop company do the quartz countertop. I did the demolition, plumbing, flooring, cabinetry, appliance and range hood installation myself.
The renovation took about two months, with most of it being completed within five weeks. By doing much of the work ourselves, including being the general contractor, we saved quite a bit of time and money. We saved time, money and effort by purchasing pre-constructed cabinets.
The main change we made to the layout was to remove a closet that jutted into the kitchen from the master bedroom, and we purchased a free-standing wardrobe to use as a 2nd closet. This allowed us to move the fridge to where the closet had been, and then install a wall of cabinets that were less deep where the fridge has previously stood. This meant we gained quite a bit of floor space and a feeling of modern openness.
Some features that we installed were:
• A large French door fridge with water/ice
• Toe-kick dust vacuum
• Cork flooring
• Soft-close drawers
• Quartz countertop, an under-mount sink, and a modern tile backsplash
• A slide in gas range, with a modern stainless range hood
• A space for a mid-century secretary desk
• An overhang on the peninsula, that allowed for three modern stools
• Pendant lights over the peninsula, and wave-activated LED undercabinet lighting
• A tip-out in front of the sink, plus additional under-sink storage solutions
• An electrical outlet on the side of the peninsula, with USB and 110V plugs
We are quite happy with the result. It has opened up our kitchen area to the dining and living rooms, increased the functionality and lighting, and it has most definitely increased the value of our home!