Renovating a new-build house and why it's totally okay | our builder grade kitchen after DIY renovation

Reno Diaries: Our Main Floor Renovation Begins Now

I am both excited and terrified to share that our main floor renovation is about to begin! If you’ve been following along with me for a while you might remember that Chris and I updated our “builder standard” kitchen in the 2013 fall One Room Challenge.

Renovating a new-build house and why it's totally okay | our builder grade kitchen after DIY renovation

As we were in the middle of that project Chris said “you know what would look really great? If we took this wall down” And a plan was formed.

Taking down a wall is a major renovation, way bigger that anything we’ve done before. Flooring needs to come up, building permits need to be obtained, contractors need to be hired…So, we didn’t start tearing down the wall right away. Instead we decided to wait until life, work and finances all aligned, and that day has finally arrived.

So…what the heck are we doing?

The plan is to rip out the formal dining room, take down the wall that separates it from our kitchen and create one large kitchen/dining area.

These pillars?

Dining Room Pillars | Kitchen Renovation | House by the Bay Design


This wall?

dining room wall | kitchen renovation | House by the Bay Design


Oh the engineered hardwood floor that our builder installed in the wrong colour? It will be replaced…..BUT only on the main floor. We’ll use some of it to replace the carpet in two upstairs bedrooms.

But Casey, what about your beautiful kitchen cabinets that took you a gazillion hours to prime and paint…by yourself…in the cold? And the snow?

You’re so thoughtful to ask!

We are keeping our cabinets. We’re going to very carefully take them down and store them in our garage and then re-install them in a new configuration. We will likely lose the two awkward corner cabinets, but we will gain more storage in a HUGE island – which yes, I will need to paint and it will take me a gazillion hours, but hopefully not so much in the cold (and the snow).

So why are we doing this crazy (but really exciting) thing?

Essentially, our dining room is wasted space. We use it maybe five times a year – and that’s pushing it. Most of the time we’re eating at our smaller kitchen table and if we’re entertaining, the dining room is only used if it’s too cold to sit outside.

And is it just me – or does everyone want to hang out in the kitchen while you’re cooking?

Our new space will feature a much bigger kitchen with a large island were people can gather and talk and a new dining table for everyday AND special occasion meals.

Kitchen Rendering | House by the Bay Design

This is absolutely the largest project we’ve ever undertaken and, for the most part we’ll be doing it all ourselves. Because of that whole “you could break your house” thing, we’re getting some professional help to take down the load bearing wall and relocate all the electrical.

So without further ado, here’s the whole plan:

  • Remove the load bearing wall, replace with wood support beam, also get rid of the dining room half walls, bulkhead and pillars
  • Replace the flooring in the hall, dining, kitchen and living areas
  • Reconfigure the existing kitchen cabinets and (fingers crossed) cut and reinstall our granite countertop
  • Add a new large island with pendant lighting
  • Create a new dining area and probably build a new dining table

I’m seriously excited for our new space, but first we have to get ready for the demo! Want to follow along with our progress? Check back every Wednesday for a new update or subscribe to my emails!

What do you think? Crazy or exciting (or both!)?

1 thought on “Reno Diaries: Our Main Floor Renovation Begins Now”

  1. Laurie Collins

    It all sounds wonderful! And like a lot of work! But I know you two can handle it and it will all turn out beautifully. Good luck. I’ll watch your progress proudly.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top