Monday, July 6, 2009


One of my favorite home-makeover shows is "Hometime" where our hosts, posing as husband and wife (although the female host has been re-cast several times so I'm not sure what exactly was going on) attack a major project each episode. Not your typical $1,000 budget and 24 hour makeover, the hosts on "Hometime" engage in ridiculously complicated, enormously time consuming, incredibly expensive tasks each week assuming we, the viewer, can do the same...he would pour an in-ground pool while she built a new kitchen, he'd bash down a wall in 37 easy steps while she paved the driveway, operating the dump truck and jack hammer with ease. Watching the dynamic duo navigate the various projects I often think, "do these yahoos assume any of us would ever take on such grandiose projects?" Well, this weekend Joe and I became the hosts of our very own version of "Hometime." The point of sharing my tips is to prove that if I can do it, anyone can. Unlike the hosts of "Hometime" we don't have sponsors donating materials to our projects, we don't have money to hire a crew, and we don't have hidden fortunes to fund our many projects, but we do have creative minds and able bodies so we approach each task one step at a time. One of the biggies on the horizon: renovating our kitchen. Because our current foyer will eventually become part of the new kitchen, we needed to redirect the entrance. Our house was built in the early 1900's as a two family home (the two front doors are under the porch in the top photo). A previous owner converted the house into a one-family dwelling but left both front doors. To create balance and a dramatic first impression, we transformed our front porch into a new formal entrance. I still can't believe we did this but it was far easier than you'd think! If you need to break out of Alcatraz, head to the Home Depot because I'm sure they've got a tool to do the trick! Purchasing 2x4's, plywood and Tyvek (the white protective sheets that go over the plywood to protect it from weather) we built our new entry in two days. Framing is much easier than you think..I admit I was petrified to use the tools for fear I'd chop off my hands, but after a few cuts I was in the groove. We still need finishing touches like shingles on the front, drywall and insulation...oh, and a front door, but for under $500 and in a weekend, we framed out our new room! Tune in tomorrow for the video tour!!
TIME TO COMPLETE TASK: 2 days (5 hours each day)
COST: $480 (wood, plywood, Tyvek $200, windows $280) from Lowe's. If you don't have proper tools both the Home Depot and Lowe's rent just about everything for a nominal fee.
STRESS LEVEL: Able to frame without costing a fortune: LOW