A father who chose to renovate his kitchen on his own, after apprenticing to his children’s furniture, says he saved £10,000 in the process.
The entire project took 40-year-old Adam Stevens 12 weekends – from April to August of last year – and involved making cabinets and a kitchen island out of raw materials.
But due to the bespoke nature of the design, Adam believes he earned around £10,000 from his efforts.
In preparation for the project, the father trained to build beds and closets for his children – after his family moved into their dream home in December 2020.
But Adam and his wife Joanna needed furniture for their new place.
As a result, the father-of-three made his oldest son’s bed and bedside table for as little as £120 – using roughwoods, board material and some furniture legs.
Then the success of his handiwork gave Adam the confidence to take on an even bigger challenge: the kitchen.
The graphic designer said: I just used the experience of building furniture in my sons’ bedrooms and moved it into the kitchen.
I’ve also watched countless YouTube videos on cabinet construction and installation, and how to use a track saw. Everything got easier the more I did it, and I took my time step by step.
I had a lot of time to complete the kitchen because we didn’t actually get rid of the existing kitchen until after it was ready.
“We decided to build the new kitchen in a different part of the house, so we could still feed the kids throughout the whole project – and that definitely took the pressure off.”
Adam used 12 sheets of moisture-resistant MDF to build his kitchen cabinets and mount them on the walls. He then ordered and installed countertops and built an extracted railing to sit on his DIY kitchen island, as well as installing LED lighting.
He only called in merchants for electrical and plumbing work – though he now learned how to do his own plumbing.
In total, the DIY kitchen renovation cost around £4,000.
Next, Adam plans to tackle the laundry room, bathrooms, garage, and master bedroom – using the skills he’s acquired.
He adds: “The key is to practice in unseen areas of your home so you can build your confidence.
I’ve learned plumbing now, so I’ll try to do my own plumbing in the garage before tackling the laundry room.
In between my daily work, it kept me very busy, and it was very rewarding. I shared pictures of my work on Facebook and people were very complimentary.
“I’d encourage anyone to go home DIY in some way, shape, or form because they might really surprise themselves—I definitely did.”
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