Kitchen Remodel – Long three years but worth it – How to stay out of debt

The Day We Moved In
The Day We Moved In – home had been vacant for 2 years.

So we moved into our current home over three years ago. Wow it seems like just last month! When we bought the home we almost instantly started the remodel and began to tear down walls, rip out the carpets and chiseled out the old tile the day we moved in it seemed like. The plumbing done by the Perth Plumbers and the kitchen have taken the most out of us both in time and money. If you know anything about me (Matt – the hubby) I like to do things my self. Not that I would rather do other things, or that I don’t want to spend the money, I just like the feeling of accomplishment of doing things myself. Learning how to tile, or install all new wiring with the help of my electrical engineer Dad is what makes life fun. But my Dad also recommended me to check out this plumbing blog to find a plumbing company in our area that also offer leak repair, hydro jetting and other plumbing services. And you can also look for local los angeles plumbers, if I really would like to have the best plumbing system at home.

Looking at the walled off Dining room
Looking at the walled off Dining room

When we first looked at buying our current home the kitchen was a narrow galley type kitchen with a dining room separated in an attached room. The very first thing I knew we had to do was to take out these walls. And not to make it easy on our self because they turned out to be load bearing walls. If you need any materials you can find them online.

Looking towards the kitchen
Looking towards the kitchen
Removing the walls
Removing the walls
Kids had fun!
Kids had fun!

Then we had to install matching wood flooring. It took days just to color match the stain on the old and the new floor.


Next we had to move the water heater in the garage to make room for the new entrance of the garage door from the kitchen. And we wanted an island sink in addition to the normal sink under the window. And we wanted a “pot filler” over the stove, so we had to add a new plumbing system, do water heater repair and call local Plumbers similar from Paul The Plumber: Dover plumbers to help us out. Well in that process we found out the 40 year old pipes were so corroded we decided to replace the metal pipe with the new pex tubing throughout the entire house. And we added a “in-line” water heater to provide constant hot water with out running out with a family of 6 and maybe more in the future, plus any friends that stay over. And it has saved us money on each gas bill!  The plumbing was done by our neighbor. 

Next we did all of the sheet rock, and moved the garage door, took out a normal door into the laundry room and added a pocket door.


While shopping for flooring, we found the 3 slabs of granite that we always wanted. We were not ready for it because we didn’t have the cabinets through out the house for it. But both our granite guys and our cabinet guys (Heritage Cabinetry)were great working together. Our cabinet company (Sarah’s) brother did our home remodel in segments. He built all of the bases we needed for the granite. The island, the bathrooms, our computer desks and the bases in the kitchen. All over 3 months. We had to hurry because we had slabs just sitting at the granite shop waiting for us to hurry. But we wanted to make sure we didn’t go into debt so we paid it off as we went. Doing it this way was a risk of upsetting the companies working with us, and also a risk in the only granite slabs that matched each other breaking while they waited for us to build the cabinet bases.

Lived like this for three years!
Lived like this for three years!

Well we got all of the granite in through out the house. All of the bathrooms, the two computer desks, the island and the kitchen. But as you have seen in our Youtube videos, or in photos we had no upper cabinets or cabinet doors for about 3 years. We had to do so much so quick it burned up all of our savings. So we lived in a three year long construction zone. We had capped wires hanging out of the walls, for our cabinet lighting, Sheetrock dust every where, and it was a constant mess.

Between illness and business ventures that took the money away from us finishing our kitchen it was a long wait. Finally we saved up enough for our kitchen to be finished. The cabinet guys started to install and our whole family became so excited.


Once the cabinets were installed the tile back splash process began. I have installed tile many times in my home remodels as well as back splashes. With back splashes you need to be very careful of your choices and your install. Even though you spend so much on the cabinets, the back splash is what the eye is drawn to.


So finally our kitchen remodel is done. Maybe now we can make more Youtube videos, because we don’t have to feel like we need to hide the wires sticking out of the walls!

So next time you want to spend a ton of money. Think to your self – “Can I pay this off in segments to stay out of debt?”. Yes living in construction for years seems just terrible  but now that the remodel is done, and there are no left over bills we can enjoy every bit of it. No wondering if you spent too much or if you are ever going to pay it off, but you can enjoy it free and clear.

Related Post:

DIY Concrete Stained Flooring


  1. A kitchen remodel is a more substantial investment of energy but the pay-off is correspondingly greater.  From a simple makeover like new floor coverings and backsplash, to a complete remodel with new cabinets, appliances even a new layout…It just amazing post not share a informative information with us but also share so useful things to our kitchen,so thanks for this…

  2. would love to know about your stove. We are getting ready to remodel and have been searching for a large stove. I love to bake, cook and can our produce. Would you be willing to share what kind of stove and what your thoughts are on it…. is it worth the price? Thanks a million!

  3. Your kitchen is so big and beautiful. It may have taken 3 years to accomplish but you now enjoy it without debt. That is more than most people can say. May many wonderful memories be made with your family in your home.

  4. Congratulations on a job well done! We remodeled our first home the same way…without debt. It took awhile, (about 3 years) but I loved that kitchen all the more for the time we put into it. My hubby is a cabinet maker by profession, but we learned how to lay wood floors, tile, run electrical wiring, insulate, trim, etc. You are so right…it’s a good feeling to do it yourself!

  5. Wow!  This looks amazing! I’m so impressed with not only how the project turned out, but also that it was debt-free AND that you lived in that chaos for so long! I would go crazy!!  The kitchen is just beautiful and I’m totally coveting that stove & pot-filler!

  6. Sarah– Way to go!! I admire you for taking on such a huge task and paying for it all step by step… year by year!!  I hope you can now sit down and enjoy your kitchen every day!!  Love it!!

  7. Looks great guys!  Congrats on doing it right and not going into debt over it!  All of America should take note that it can be done, it just requires a little personal sacrifice.

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