Project Overview The Homeowners Justin & Rachelle Help I Wrecked My House Season 2 Episode 8 The Budget $120,000 The DL When Justin and Rachelle bought this house they were newly married and so...
Help! I Wrecked My House Season 2 Episode 4
Anthony & Liz Help I Wrecked My House Season 2 Episode 3
Liz and Anthony have lived in this home for 6 years. Since it’s an older home, over time they’ve noticed things they would change about it. They’d sit over coffee and Liz would say, “I think we should square off those archways.” This is the part where most people would say, “Yeah! I think we should. Let’s make a renovation plan and figure out our next steps. Then we’ll call in a professional.” Except in this particular scenario (and many more) Anthony proceeded to take a sledgehammer to those very arches and try to square them off himself. He’d attempt to fix the problem or make the update on his own, without a plan, or really without even researching how to do said plan. So inevitably he’d realize he didn’t know how to finish it, leave gaping holes in the walls, and move onto the next demolition hobby project… like trying to make a kitchen island himself. You guys… I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW HE LEFT THE KITCHEN. You’ll see what I mean when we get to the kitchen part of this sourcebook. Basically, the next thing they knew, this poor family’s walls, ceiling, kitchen and bathroom had huge holes, there was exposed gas and electrical in the kitchen, and no end in sight. While Anthony, respectably, was trying to save some money by doing the work himself, he was instead tearing apart the house and making it incredibly unsafe for his family. Their 3 kids were embarrassed of their construction zone of a home and ended up hanging out at friends’ houses as a result. Embarrassment aside, this family was living in extremely unsafe conditions, and they didn’t know it.
Boy oh boy, I really shudder to think what would have happened if I hadn’t gotten to this house in time with my Built Custom Homes team. I needed to get this house SAFE before anything else. Where Anthony had decided to install his own can lights in the family room (including an electrical panel) and given up, my contractor Scott and I discovered that the old electrical panel – somehow in the process of Anthony’s tinkering – was not grounded. That meant this home could have an electrical fire at any moment. Upgrading the home’s electrical panel was TOP of my list. We also needed to fix the kitchen where Anthony attempted to make a kitchen island so there was no exposed gas or electrical. I also wanted to double the size of the kitchen, refresh the family room, update the bathroom and entryway, all while making the home a beautiful and fun place for the family to proudly gather. I had 30 days to make this all happen… no pressure!
The entryway was torn up when I first arrived. Do you see that black coat rack piece? It’s covering up a huge hole in the wall where Anthony tried to install wainscoting without actually knowing what wainscoting was. Spoiler alert: he was thinking of beadboard paneling. This is from one of those times when Liz said to Anthony, “Hey, it would look cool if there was wainscoting there in the entryway,” and then he went off and tried to install it himself. He’d also taken the liberty of removing all the flooring in the entryway without replacing it. Yeesh! We needed to update this area (well, FINISH IT, really) to make it a pretty and functional place for the family to come and go each day. We installed a beautiful thin brick material as the flooring so it fit on top of the existing floor base without blocking the door from opening. A fresh coat of paint a cute industrial light fixture make this space look far from dated and far from demo!
Special Project: Wainscoting
I brought in both Liz and Anthony to help them get on the same page about what “wainscoting” means to them. Turns out, when Liz said she wanted wainscoting in the entryway, Anthony didn’t really know what she meant by that. I showed them a few options to decipher what Liz was imagining, and it was indeed actual board and batten wainscoting like you see here! This is a relatively affordable way to add architectural interest to a home. You can nail MDF strips right to your existing drywall to do this! But I recommend using a good wood glue first to hold the strips in place before you take your nail gun to them. We also added wooden pegs for functionality and a nice coat of paint (Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black). This project cost us $350.
The Family Room
First things first: See those holes in the ceiling? That’s where Anthony tried to install can lighting and gave up after running into problems with the home’s old electrical panel. We brought in an electrician to update the electrical panel (that cost $4,000) and install can lights so this home was safe and not at risk of electrical fire. Moving on – One of the conversations Anthony and Liz had over coffee was about getting rid of these arches. The problem, though, about removing them (and, really, the problem with blindly sledgehammering into this wall altogether) is that the wall with the two arches is load-bearing. Yes, that means it’s holding up the house. So we squared off the arches and reframed the wall. This was a great project for me to involve Anthony so he could still have ownership of his home, while also seeing how much work goes into doing it. And since we couldn’t make the wall go away to begin with, we leaned into making this whole wall a feature…
Special Project: Reclaimed Wood Feature Wall
Since we couldn’t make these arches and this wall go away, we actually decided to lean into them and make them a focal point. Scott and I took reclaimed wooden floor boards from an old church and cut them in half. Since this wood once served as flooring, it’s thicker than a veneer you’d normally put on a wall but it has so much more personality with its grains and old nail holes. The look is vintage and rustic – it brings so much character into this room. It tells a story and instantly adds warmth and charm.
Coffee Table (similar) // Sofa (similar) // Bench // Large Square Pillows // Small Lumbar Pillows // Jute Rug // Basket // Faux Olive Tree // Faux Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree (similar) // Brass Vase // Wood Accent Chair (similar) // Metal Accent Chair
Special Project: Custom Wall-Mounted Game Board
When I heard that Liz and Anthony’s kids were embarrassed to have friends over to their house, that broke my heart. I wanted to help this family make their home a place where their kids were proud to have their friends over. So I had my carpenter Micah Girelli come in and help me make a custom game board to mount to the family room wall. It has a super cool vertical chess board, checkers board, storage, a chalkboard and a spinner – something this family uses all the time to make decisions. The game board is a fun feature, but it’s sophisticated enough to blend right in with the home’s Rustic Industrial Farmhouse style. The light above the board makes it feel like a custom piece of functional art… which it is! Now I hope their home is THE spot to gather after school!
It’s safe to say the fireplace needed some updating. My goal for this fireplace was to play to Anthony’s design sensibilities and give it an industrial facelift. We did something I’ve never really tried before by cutting off the existing fireplace and affixing three 14 gauge steel panels to the wall over the existing fireplace. Wrapping the hearth in granite gave it a nice farmhouse touch. But overall, this fireplace was the bit of edge this space needed.
I love the way this industrial fireplace turned out, and Anthony and Liz did too!
The Kitchen & Dining Area
Allow me to direct your attention to the EXPOSED GAS AND ELECTRICAL LINES. Whew, I say with confidence that this is the worst I’ve ever seen a kitchen in my career. Anthony wanted to cut out the existing cabinetry to turn it into an island… I think? Honestly, it was a mess. Once we got in here and capped off the gas line safely, it was time to reconfigure this kitchen. I decided to double the entire kitchen space by making the kitchen function as a dining space as well. I left the door next to the fridge where it was, but removed all the cabinetry on the right side so the door could open all the way without hitting the cabinets. We left the sink and dishwasher where they were and extended new cabinetry all the way down the wall on that left side. Then we added a real kitchen island with an attached custom dining table to maximize the functionality of the kitchen.
These are the faces you make when your home is no longer WRECKED!
White shaker style cabinets with matte black pulls give the kitchen a bright and current farmhouse feel, and gray quartz countertops add the perfect amount of contrast. Quartz is also an ideal countertop material for families because it’s durable and doesn’t stain like other materials.
Farmhouse Sink // Cabinet Hardware // Perimeter Countertop Material // Island Countertop Material // Backsplash Tile // Black Serving Bowl // Glass Globe Chandelier // White Vase (similar) // Dining Chairs (similar)
Bye bye DIY island and hello custom and HUGE island! Yes, I did tell Anthony he’s not allowed to cut into this island! Installing cabinets on the whole back wall and installing the range there made this kitchen much more functional. It also added plenty more storage options by installing a wall of cabinetry.
We installed a thin glazed brick tile as the backsplash along the whole back wall of the kitchen, making it feel like a feature wall. Installing a shelf below the window creates more storage and decor options. I love a good window shelf!
This is a great view to show exactly how much storage we added to this kitchen by extending the cabinetry to the corner. I love the glass-fronted cabinets and how they serve as storage on display.
Since I was taking the dining space to double the size of the kitchen, I wanted to incorporate the new dining area into the kitchen in a really seamless way. So we had a really special, custom table made that extends off of the island.
Special Project: Custom Oak Table
I knew I wanted this to be a special table, so I went to my friend George Bernal who makes custom wood pieces. I ended up saving money on the bathroom renovation (more on that in a minute), so we could spend $2,500 on the new dining table. George used an heirloom quality oak, and I had him inset steel printed with the word that Liz said embodies their family the most: Explore. I love how this custom table turned out!
When I first saw this bathroom I noticed there was a hole cut around the showerhead – like a pretty sizable hole in the drywall around the shower fixture. I instantly worried about there being mold in there, so this room, upon first inspection, was my wild card. But once Scott and I cut into the wall and realized there wasn’t any mold, it became my budget-saving challenge room! We needed to give this room a cosmetic refresh so we reglazed the existing shower tub and tile, which made it look brand new but only cost $400. For the flooring, we laid hexagonal tiles down on top of the existing floor, another budget saver, and it looks beautiful. We also used leftover materials from the wainscoting in the entryway to do the same treatment here in the bathroom. That detail took this bathroom from looking like a standard box to a super custom space and it only cost $150.
Since I was looking to save money in this room so I could use the savings on the custom dining table, Scott offered to supply the vanity. He had it leftover from another project and was willing to give it to me for free, but under one condition: I had to agree that he was right for a whole week. That’s a tough pill for me to swallow, but it was worth this room looking amazing while saving money! The vanity from Scott came in totally clutch, it has awesome herringbone details, and makes the bathroom feel really upgraded and special. And it’s the perfect size for the space, how’s that for luck?
Floor Tile // Grout Color: Silver
Special Project: Faux Wallpaper
Since I was trying to save money in this bathroom renovation, I couldn’t afford to use wallpaper but still wanted that same impact on the walls above the wainscoting. To to create the same look as wallpaper without breaking the bank, I took a paintbrush and created a pattern by tapping the whole width of the end of my brush on the wall. It came out GREAT and cost way less than wallpaper.
The entire bathroom project, all in all, cost us $1,850. I’m super proud of my team and at the end of the whole home renovation we only went over budget by $22. When we finished our final reveal tour around the house, Anthony looked at me and said, “Before you got here, I honestly thought I could do this.” And you know what? That’s how so many people bite off more than they can chew with home renovations. We can totally get involved with our home on smaller DIY projects, but let this be a reminder to leave the big stuff to the pros! 🙂
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!
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