DIY: Kitchen Remodel
15 days of construction
In a mere 15 days we went from having an ugly nonfunctional kitchen to a gourmet kitchen with Jenn Air oil-brushed bronze appliances; granite counter-tops; a mudroom; a copper farm-house sink; an industrial copper hood; and actual storage space!
How to get on a DIY show
This was the amazing part; it is a simple process: go to the DIY webpage and fill out a form.
The form asks questions about your household and your wishes for a remodel. Just upload photos of your ugly space and cross your fingers!
About 8 weeks later, we were contacted by Nancy Glass Productions, and they set up an initial meeting. Two folks from the production team came to our home and filmed my spouse and me touring our kitchen space (or lack of) as we narrated what we would love to see done to our space. To my husband's surprise, I had a lot of specific details about what I wanted done: move the kitchen door; have a mudroom; double ovens; open a wall for a breakfast bar; etc..
Thanks to viewing lots of hours of the DIY Network after being selected, I was able to be specific in my desires for appliances that were not stainless steel, but something I had seen on one episode of Kitchen Impossible: Oiled-brushed bronze! I also knew that I wanted a copper farm-house sink; and Lazy Susans in my cabinets; and most of all: a build-in spice cabinet.
Initially we were told that we would need to give Nancy Glass Productions $25,000 toward our kitchen remodel. Unfortunately, NGP no longer had a in at Jenn Air, so we had to cough up an extra $8,000 for those oiled-brushed bronze appliances.
When all was said and done; we were told that our kitchen remodel was worth about 60 grand,so we got a fabulous new living space in 15 days at half the cost. I remind myself of this every month when I write out the check to pay back our loan!
The Construction Crew
The owner of Yeager Construction came to our house on a separate visit, after the network approved our kitchen for the show. Lots of measurements were taken, and we were given the green light. John Yeager relieved our fears about being on a DIY show. John and his talented crew have done lots of kitchens and bathrooms, and they did half of all the Kitchen Impossible kitchens.
John reassured us that we would get at least most of what was on our wish-list, and since his sister owns the cabinet company---we would be getting great products that would stand the test of time.
Excitement and dread. We had to empty everything in our kitchen and dining room the night before construction started; it is amazing how much stuff one is ready to throw in the trash under pressure.
Construction began just days after the new year; being on the east-coast, it was quite cold. Our home turned into a dorm like environment for the next 15 days. Each day of construction, in addition to the construction crew, there was at least one additional person at our home filming the entire process. Folks worked 12 plus hour days to get the project finished in the required time period:due to a longer-than-expected wait time for a township inspector, our kitchen took 15 days, rather than the two weeks that the show promotes. The construction crew worked constantly, and at the same time they managed to make it easy on us. On DIY project filming days there were an additional 5 or more folks stuffed into our tiny living space.
It is odd to have your house full of strangers, but by the third day, it felt like we were around friends. To be honest, we miss some of those folks. They came into our lives, made us laugh, and even frustrated us at times, but now after 15 days they were all gone from our lives. Sure we thought we would keep in touch with a few of them, but they have moved on to their next show; leaving us with a much quieter home.
Filming: A Star is not born
I watched every episode of Kitchen Impossible that I could DVR. It looked pretty easy hammering/sawing/breaking down a wall, but in reality--Reality T.V.--things weren't so simple or real.
The production crew staggered in about 8am on filming days: there were five set days that my spouse and I had to film each doing a different DIY project with the host of the show.
While production set up and ate their bagels, the construction crew was working nonstop.
The first morning of filming was extremely uncomfortable. Neither of us had ever been filmed on real cameras before, especially not while being wired for sound by a sound-person. I kept walking out of the shot--which the sound woman didn't appreciate, and giggling--something I do when I am nervous.
The host of the show, Marc, was great! Since I watched so many of Marc's shows prior to meeting him, I felt like I knew him. Marc was gracious, and he definitely is talented--he made everything look easy. What surprised us most was that Marc really worked: he did what he needed to do in front of the camera, but once the camera stopped filming, Marc kept working. Marc was not only the handsome, talented host of the show, but he really is a great carpenter and electrician.
Reality television is not real---sorry to burst any bubbles. There was more than 100 hours of tape for our 22 minute episode. Editing is amazing.
The production crew's favorite part of filming days seemed to be lunch. Lunch was comped on those days, so there always was a discussion of where they should order from; that discussion usually started by 9am. It was fun eating with everyone, well after the first lunch at least. The first lunch was a bit uncomfortable--construction had not started, so we were all eating around my dining room table; I am more comfortable in hostess mode, so being with strangers eating out of cartons seemed odd. I had nothing to offer them, since my kitchen was empty, not even napkins.
To be honest, some of the 15 days of construction and filming were harder than others. It was strange having people with cameras and sound devices in our house, but everyone that was with the production and construction crews were great. It was a neat experience, and I have no regrets. Okay: Other then watching myself on the show--on television--nationwide television!
Watching our episode was and still is very uncomfortable. I cant imagine why editing choose some of the 22 minutes that they did--couldn't they use a more flatting shot of me? Did they really have to show me running up and hugging the host? Couldn't they have edited out some of the giggles? Why did I talk so much? Why didn't I dress differently? What is up with my hair?
You get the picture.
Wow--we love it! It still amazes us,18 months later, how much our kitchen has added to our living space. I got all of my wishes: my kids have a place to snack while I am prepping dinner; I can still be a part of the dining conversation while cleaning the dishes; those double oven are great--even if I mainly use the bottom one for pan storage; The copper sink is great--even though I have to clean it with ketchup to make it shine; the built-in spice rack is great; and I finally have counter space---no need to store things on top of the microwave.
Now if only I can get on a bathroom remodeling show! Crossing my fingers!