Friday, September 28, 2012

Box Cabinets Become Custom

Hey all!  We were going to wait to blog about our DIY kitchen project(s) when it was completed, but the ants in our pants are just dying to get out!  It's a huge project (a lot bigger than what we anticipated), so completing it in more than one blog post is completely acceptable, right?  

As I had stated in our first post, the project is extending and painting the kitchen cabinets.  I know, don't ask why on earth we decided to start with a huge project like this!  All I can really come up with is; "go big or go home!"..ha.  Okay well enough with the ramble and onto the project!

The kitchen cabinet extension is completed so we will go over that part.  I am going to have to give credit to the idea to .  I absolutely LOVE their blog and read it on a daily basis!  Kevin and Layla have given us so many ideas it's unbelievable!  I think you should all head on over there sometime and check it out for yourself.

So our process went a little something like this: 

(Our builder basic kitchen)

1.  We measured the length and width of the kitchen cabinets so we knew how much MDF(medium density fiberboard) and crown molding needed.  We used MDF because that is what the other blog told us to use. 

2. We hopped in the car and off to Lowe's we went (literally the day we closed on the house..I know we are crazy).

3. At Lowe's, we bought 1"x6" MDF board to add height to the kitchen cabinets.  We picked out smaller molding (about 1" height) to hide where the MDF and the top of the cabinets meet.  Then, we chose the larger crown molding (about 3 " height) that will go on the top of the MDF board.  Lastly, we bought two 1x2 boards for support behind the MDF (pictures below).

4. Once we had all the materials, it was just a matter of cutting everything to size (Lowe's will do for you for free except anything that needs to be cut at an angle...score!).

5. Back at home, we started by nailing the 1x2 to the top of the cabinets.  

Sorry I don't have a picture of just the 1x2 up.  The guys started on the project when I was out at Sherwin Williams...but I think you get the point.

6. After the 1x2's were up, it was then time for the MDF boards.  We nailed the 1x6 MDF boards to the 1x2's.

(Jared is our long time friend and amazing handyman that basically did most of the project for us.  Being first time DIYer's, it's nice to have an expert hand right down the road!) 

7. Now it's time to cut the crown molding to size. The corner part of the crown molding needs to be cut at a 45 degree angle (FYI Lowe's doesn't cut anything at an angle).

We used a miter saw for cutting the crown molding to make sure the 45 degree angles were accurate.  Once again, it's nice having a handyman like Jared who owns all these tools!

8. Next, we put up the smaller crown molding where the MDF and top of cabinets meet.
Below is a good picture of why you definitely need the smaller crown molding where the 2 boards meet.

  Holding and nailing in the crown molding....

9. It was now finally time for the larger crown molding to be nailed on the top....yay!!  So once again, we measured and nailed the crown molding.

The small board over on the left hand side is what Jared used to measure the distance between the lower and higher crown molding.  Definitely a good idea because you want to make sure the molding isn't crooked!

10. Lastly, its time for the final touches, the caulking!  You want to make sure you caulk where the boards meet and the holes where the nails are.  If you don't, then when you go to paint you will see the holes and your project won't look as pretty and custom made as you envisioned in that creative mind of yours!

Tony felt pretty confident that he could do this part :)

This is the FINISHED project thus far!  I am so happy with how it turned out!  Definitely adds some custom to the builder basic cabinets!  Now it's time for the painting to begin...

(Below is just a picture of the cabinets originally so you can compare)

To wrap this up, the parts and tools that you need for this project are:

wood glue (not necessary but we decided to use it along with the nails to make it extra sturdy)
nails and nail gun (also not 100% necessary, you could also just use wood glue as I read in another blog)
1x2 MDF boards
1x6 MDF boards
3 inch crown molding
1 inch crown molding
saw (miter saw if you want to be exact)

This project in total (not including the paint that we will be using) cost us about 100 bucks.  You can't beat that right?!  Considering the fact that if we were to buy custom cabinets that look like this it would cost us a couple thousand dollars....yuck!  That is why....DIY is the biggest BANG for your buck!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's Finally Happened!!

Hey everyone!  We are FINALLY moved in and couldn't be more excited about it!  Well maybe I should rephrase that....all of our 'things' are in the house, as for 'moved in'... ha far from it!  Our move went fairly smooth compared to our horrendous move from Chicago to St. Louis.  The movers this time were only 45 minutes late versus 1 hour 45 minutes :)  Nothing was broken which was also a plus!  Now time for the good stuff...

Below are some pictures of the house as we roll up to it for the first time as the ACTUAL home owners!  Enjoy!  

Pulling into the new 'hood'.....

There it is....!

Back of the house.  The deck is going to be amazing for entertaining next summer!

Opening the door for the very first time!  I love Tony's facial expression!

Last, but certainly not least, a family photo including our little 10 lb. dog named Biggs.

We have definitely learned a lot from this whole house buying process and continue to learn more and more each and every day.  It was a whirlwind of emotions and I am pretty sure I felt every emotion for both Tony and I.  Why do I say that you ask?  Well, I could barely keep it together during closing (but I did!).  More importantly though, after the closing was finished I literally walked out the door (not the building door, the office door) and started crying.  The happiness, fear, excitement, joy, and horror just went rushing through my veins.  Tony had know idea what to say other than "Are you regretting this?"  I love that he is always so supportive of me and all my wacky emotions.  So to answer that question, no I am not regretting this decision.  I feel like this is one of the best decisions we have made as a team.  I can't wait to see where the future takes us and are so glad that you all are along for the ride!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Soon to be....

Here is the soon to be FIRST HOUSE!  We are beyond excited and blessed to have this opportunity to finally own our very first house.  We have a gazillion ideas for DIY projects that we want to start on right away!  Obviously, we know that all of this will take time...and hopefully NOT a lot of money!  Best thing about DIY projects is it feels like you get a lot of bang for not a lot of buck, which is exactly what we are looking for!  I have become an avid reader when it comes to home DIY project sites and pinterest.  I wonder if those sites of inspiration didn't exist, would this flare of creativity within me have shown its face?  I don't think I am ever going to know the answer to that, but thank goodness that it did.  More pictures to come of our move and our first project blog...painting and extending our kitchen cabinets (hopefully we aren't taking on too big of a first project!).