Spring has sprung—and does anything make you happier? I can’t think of anything better than getting out our cute clothes (I mean, have you seen Hazel in a sunhat?), dusting off our patio furniture,...
Help! I Wrecked My House Season 2 Episode 3
Nathan & Paige Help I Wrecked My House Season 2 Episode 3
Nathan, Paige and their three children bought their house mostly because of the great amount of space in the backyard. They were excited about homeownership after years of saving their money, and they took on this home with the desire to put their own DIY mark on it. Nathan, who considers himself handy, started ripping stuff apart – pulling off backsplash tiles, fireplace tiles, and the like. But all their projects came to a halt when their upstairs bathroom flooded just 10 days into them owning this house. The flood was so bad that it drenched the second floor and rained down into their first floor. After the massive water damage, projects they’d started before the flood were never completed. Now they had a water damaged home full of unfinished projects. It’s safe to say any romantic ideas Nathan and Paige had about home ownership went out with the flood. This family with three kids under the age of 7 was living in a construction zone, they were down a bathroom, and who knows what was lurking under the water damage. They needed help FAST.
Aside from the living room area not looking great, it wasn’t useful at all to this family. The house in general didn’t even look like they really lived there yet. I wanted to upgrade the fireplace in the living room and make the space cozy and inviting for the family. Then the plan was to fully upgrade the kitchen without changing the footprint… I’ll explain why in a minute. Let me just said I had my work CUT OUT for me with that. I also wanted to make the kitchen feel larger by integrating it with the dining space. Upstairs, we needed to make sure the water damage didn’t extend through the subfloor and into the framing of the house… otherwise we’d have a tub falling through the floor. YIKES. And for the backyard, the name of the game was about family time and a safe space for the three kiddos to play. The game plan was to make sure the bathroom was safe, and then I could spend the remaining budget on the rest of the house. Overall: I wanted Nathan and Paige to fall in love with their home again! We had 30 days to make it all happen.
When I first walked into Paige and Nathan’s home, my brain exploded from this color pairing of red walls and pink dated tiles. And, spoiler alert, they didn’t like it either! They told me their style was more light and bright, so that’s what we went for. Paige’s style leans California Comfortable, and Nathan likes woods, white and a more classic look. We aimed for the home to be bright with touches of personality throughout. In this space it was really important to me to make it feel bright and happy, but also serve their family well functionally. We installed a luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout and painted the walls Alabaster and the trim Pure White.
Special Project: Painted Piano
Since Paige plays piano along with her son, the family’s piano is a very important piece in the home. But Paige wasn’t in love with how it looked before. I enlisted her and the kiddos to help me paint it a cheery yellow color to really make it a focal point in this room. We used a chalk paint, so we didn’t even have to sand the piano before painting it. It was a great project to do with Paige and the kids, and I think it totally makes the first floor of the home now.
One thing that struck me about Paige and Nathan’s home when I first saw it was that it didn’t even look like they were using their home. It made me kinda sad! I really wanted this family of 5 to have a beautiful and functional home where they could spend quality time together. So we moved the newly painted piano to a different wall to maximize flow and used that small wall where the piano was to create a cute little reading space.
If you’re wondering if Paige started crying the moment she walked in the door on reveal day, the answer is yes.
This scalloped wall treatment in the reading space was very easy to do – I posted a video here showing how I did it! Easy project for a big impact = WIN.
The Living Room
Where do I even begin with this part of the living room? Paige and Nathan – well, Nathan, really – decided to rip out a built-in around the fireplace that was very loosely installed. But the fireplace tile extended over the built-in, so when Nathan went to take it all out, tile broke off, wires were exposed – it was a mess. REMINDER: Don’t start ripping apart your house without a plan. So my Built Custom Homes team came in and we picked up where Nathan left off. We took the dated tile off of the fireplace and replaced it with white tongue and groove paneling in a vertical orientation. Installing the paneling vertically makes the room feel taller and brightens it up that much more. Then we added a nice soapstone surround and installed custom storage benches on either side of the fireplace.
Special Project: Hidden TV
This might look like just a lovely piece of abstract artwork over the fireplace, but it’s much more than that! We installed a TV behind the artwork and put the art piece on a remote so you can raise the art screen whenever you want to watch TV. We also elevated the fireplace by wrapping the mantle in a birch veneer so it looks like a box beam mantle. Once we clear coated the birch it looked like a high quality white oak. Just some birch, glue and clear coat, and we had a brand new custom “beam” for $200.
These custom storage built-ins are the workhorses of the living room: installing pretty baskets underneath the benches keeps toys out of sight!
The final cost for updating the living room was $10,500. It looks like a completely different space, and I think it’s safe to say Hazel approves of it too!
Does this before photo look like the kitchen that would belong to someone with a degree in nutrition who happily bakes bread for her family every morning? I mean, you could technically say, “Sure,” but to me, NO! Paige is passionate about nutrition and baking, and this kitchen before was anything but inspiring for those endeavors. Let’s rewind a second: Paige and Nathan had already purchased these appliances, but when they went to remove the old ones, they realized the paint behind the range didn’t extend down the wall. So their next logical step was to remove the existing backsplash so they could install one that covers the area behind the range. But with that exploration came the drywall with it. Suddenly every time anyone so much as breathed in the kitchen, drywall dust would disperse. This was not a happy baker’s kitchen. Ideally I would have changed the layout of the kitchen, but the home is built on a post-tension slab. What that means is you can’t just move the plumbing around like you can on a normal slab. Doing so would have cost us at least $20,000, and we didn’t have that kind of budget. So I made it my mission to fully upgrade this kitchen without touching the existing floor plan.
First order of business was to make sure there wasn’t any mold or water damage from the flood that happened. Since the water rained down into the first floor, there was bound to be something lurking under the cabinets. Upon further inspection, the existing pony wall (where the bar stool seating is) had black mold in it from the flood and not addressing the flood damage immediately. Black mold is BAD NEWS, people. Don’t mess around and if you see it in your home, call in a pro. We removed the existing pony wall where the dining countertop is, installed a new one and remediated any mold that was found. Now the kitchen was safe. We kept the pantry where it was and extended new cabinetry all the way to the ceiling. We also put the new appliances back in, but built the microwave into the lower cabinetry. We also added a quartz backsplash and quartz countertops.
Special Project: Custom Vent Hood
Since we couldn’t change the footprint of this kitchen, I wanted to make it feel as different as possible. One way we did that was by taking the microwave down from above the range and installing a custom vent hood. We added a new vent hood above the range for ventilation, framed around it, added tongue and groove on the face, and painted it to match the cabinetry. This custom carpentry project cost $600, was a simple fix, and looks a million times better than a microwave.
All in all, this kitchen project cost us $50,000 and is a far cry from what it used to be. You can see that I did extend the feel of the kitchen into the dining area to make the kitchen feel larger… more on that in a minute!
The Dining Area
Because we couldn’t extend the kitchen from a construction sense, I wanted to make it feel larger by integrating it into the dining area.
Special Project: Custom Baking Station
I was determined to give Paige a special place to make her bread. So I came up with this idea for a custom baking station! I knew I wanted to used something vintage for the baking station, so I met my carpenter Micah at a favorite vintage warehouse of mine, Through the Porthole. We found a pair of vintage cabinets for $250 each and came up with a design that would incorporate shelving and a marble countertop between the cabinets. The marble top, while expensive, was crucial for this dough-rolling station because marble is a cool material and dough doesn’t stick to it as easily. I was able to nickel and dime my way to afford this piece for the project by saving money elsewhere. This custom baking station cost $2,500 and is the perfect spot for Paige to lovingly bake her famous bread every day.
Probably the coolest thing about the baking station? It has a mixer lift! And the mixer is all plugged in and everything. If you’ve ever tried to lift one of these bad boys up and move it around, you know why it’s so awesome to have this custom feature.
The final cost for the dining room was $7,500 and it might be my very favorite spot in this whole project.
The bathroom was way worse than I expected. When I first toured the room where the shower is, my pen poked right into the floor like a sponge. This wasn’t just from water damage – it was from a long duration of termite damage. I actually didn’t even feel comfortable standing in there. As for the vanity space, we pulled out the existing one and installed a new double-sink prefabricated vanity for $1,500. We replaced the toilet, and my hope was to reuse the shower enclosure if the framing under the tub was in good shape. I also planned on installing a curved curtain rod with double curtains to make the shower feel larger and more luxurious. After much deliberation, Nathan and Paige finally agreed on the same floor tile. I think it looks great!
Luckily the termites didn’t get any further down than the subfloor, and the structural framing underneath the tub and toilet were in good shape. So it only cost $350 to replace the subfloor because we didn’t need to replace the shower enclosure which would have cost about $2,500. We installed a new toilet, tile and paint, and best of all: this bathroom was now safe and functional. Final cost for fixing the bathroom: $12,000.
I had $15,000 to use on this backyard, and I used every single penny. To save money in this space so I could pull off the custom baking station, I had Nathan and Paige put some sweat equity into this yard. They helped us clear out and prepare the lot so we could lay down grass and put in some beautiful landscaping.
These raised garden boxes were a surprise for Paige, and Nathan helped me plant veggies and herbs for them. It cost $2,000 to add these to the backyard, and they’re a great addition for this family.
Since Nathan works in finance and is working on getting his masters degree over the weekends, the free time this family has together should be spent having fun, and not doing projects. Having a finished and safe yard for them to gather and play is exactly what they needed.
At the end of the big reveal, Paige told me she’s never leaving this home and wants to live here forever. Now that’s the best feedback I could ever receive!
Help I Wrecked My House Season 2 Episode 3 Help I Wrecked My House Season 2 Episode 3 Help I Wrecked My House Season 2 Episode 3 Help I Wrecked My House Season 2 Episode 3
A very special shout-out to Found Rental Co. for helping us style this home, from the furniture to the decor and everything in between!