Money Making DIY Remodel

This client's DIY remodel increased his home's value by $120k!

Two years ago, Blair emailed me. He wanted to remodel his kitchen with his own two hands. He had already demolished a couple walls and realized that he needed a plan. I converted his hand sketch to CAD then started to play with the layout. Blair had some great ideas to make a more functional living area but, like many clients, was unrealistic about what would fit in the space he had.

After some tweaking, I sent Blair a basic floor plan with dimensions and notes. I also included some images to help him understand what I was going for. He took that plan and ran! He used it for ordering his materials and for communicating with builders. In Blair's own words, "That drawing really helped me to cement my plan when I was spinning my wheels. It got me moving forward with confidence." Sometimes, a person just needs a little guidance.

DIY Kitchen Remodel @MeldrumDesign


Inviting and traditional DIY remodel. 


538 square feet (50 sq m)

Work Done

Blair gutted the kitchen and adjoining office. He rearranged and replaced all appliances and plumbing fixtures as well as moved a window... no small feat in this concrete framed house. Blair renovated all lighting fixtures and locations, replaced flooring, and added all new cabinetry. He also renovated the laundry room behind the kitchen and the bathroom next to it.


This project took two years to complete. Blair was so immersed in it that he didn't see friends for weeks at a time. Rather than trying to explain, I'll let Blair tell you in his own words...

"Where do I begin? As a single guy venturing homeownership for the first time, I was quickly overcome with all the decisions that needed to be made. Buying the home was the easy part. Remodeling was a whole other story.

"Then came the flood. On a Wednesday morning at 1:45 a.m. I stepped out of bed and into a pool of water that had overtaken my entire house. Not good. I spent all day sweeping four inches of water out the front door and cutting up carpet. It was time for the remodel I had been considering. In fact, thanks to the flood, it had already begun.  

"Once I fixed the root cause of the flood, I began to work on the new space. The problem was, I'm an engineer and also a little on the neanderthal side of the male species.  As such, I tend to overthink designs. I get stuck on the simple things like colors or tile patterns. 

"After months of measuring, brainstorming, and drawing plans on graph paper, I thought I had something that could work, but I knew I needed a professional to help connect the dots. That's when Ashley stepped in. 

"I explained my situation to her; the flood, removal of the weird office between the kitchen and living room, and what I thought I wanted in a new layout. She stopped by after work one evening and went over my ideas.

"Ashley gave me some candid feedback regarding realistic remodel timelines and costs, but also offered some ideas for areas in which to save a few dollars. She sent me some ideas for cabinet styles and finishes, along with some cool storage options that I could try to incorporate. She also designed a CAD floor plan based on my terrible graph paper drawing. That floor plan served as the blue print all the way to the end of the project. 

"With the CAD floor plan I easily obtained quotes from contractors for things like cabinets, flooring, counter tops, moulding, etc. Even better, I could send it electronically throughout my work day.  I could also accurately quote materials for any work I was doing myself....which was most of it.    

"The real remodeling work began in January of 2015.  There were many times I felt that I was in over my head. Like when I installed a new window in a concrete block wall or when I had to make a concrete floor level enough to accept cabinets, but I pushed on. Somewhere around the end of 2015, I started dating my girlfriend, who just so happens to be a project manager.  She helped me realign my thoughts to a more realistic schedule by dissecting the bigger picture into smaller more manageable jobs.

"Finally, after two years, thousands of dollars, countless late nights, and missed weekends the project was complete.  I stuck to Ashley's plan as the Rosetta Stone guiding the project.  The reception at the REwarming party was great.  All my friends were very impressed. And what's more, during a recent refinance, my home appraised for $120k more than the purchasing price just two years earlier.  

"I can't thank Ashley enough for her guidance at the onset of my project. She really helped cement my plan when I was spinning my wheels. She got me moving forward with confidence.  I'm grateful to have had her help on this project. Without her expertise, I undoubtedly would still be spinning my wheels. Thanks Ashley!!"


Want to increase the value of your home with some DIY work? For a an affordable fee, let Meldrum Design get you started on the right track.