This Kitchen Renovation Took 6 Years to Complete — And the Homeowners’ Patience Paid Off in a Big Way
Typically, most people scramble to finish a renovation as fast as possible. Instant gratification (and not living in a construction zone!) is key! Of course, that’s harder when you’re renovating an entire house versus, say, just the kitchen. Wife and husband, Tamara and Rick Martinez, purchased their Bakersfield, California, home in 2015 knowing they had a big project in store.
They realized they wouldn’t be able to fix up the whole outdated house all at once, so they decided to approach things in pieces based on what was most needed. They took small steps along the way as time and money permitted. “We knew we were going to redo everything, but we knew we wouldn’t be able to do it all at once,” Tamara explains. “So, we focused on the things we wanted to do first.”
See the full before and after: Before & After: This Dated Kitchen Needed a Major Overhaul — It Was Done in 2 Phases and Now It’s Pure Perfection
At the top of the list was the outdated kitchen, which they demolished six weeks before moving in. Within the first six months, their biggest goal was to get the kitchen in working order, for obvious reasons. “We had one little burner to try and cook with, and it was not fun,” Tamara says of the wait.
The couple inched the project forward, depending on time and money. Rick is a general contractor so he was able to do a lot of the labor when he had availability, and he did a significant amount of the work in those first six months. By Thanksgiving of 2015, the couple had a fully functional kitchen they coveted: Laminate floors, subway tile backsplash, new floor-model KitchenAid appliances, and a striking blue kitchen island.
The kitchen was up and running, but it wasn’t quite finished yet. Instead of rushing to complete it, the couple decided to live with it for a bit, which gave them the chance to figure out what they loved, what they didn’t, and what they really needed. It also allowed them to save money for any upgrades ahead. Over time, they realized that they could really use more cabinet space and a more practical island. The couple also decided they wanted to add pro-level appliances and better kitchen lighting.
See the couple’s full budget breakdown:
This Stylish Kitchen Was Rebuilt from the Studs for $28,000 — Here’s How Every Dollar Was Spent
Years later, after time spent living in their kitchen, they added those extra cabinets, upgraded countertops, and installed beverage fridges. They also reworked the island, swapped in pendant lights, and got better appliances. Just as everything had magically fallen into place right before Thanksgiving in 2015, the second phase of the kitchen renovation was all set by December 2021.
Tamara notes that while they could have bought a house that didn’t need as much work, it wouldn’t have felt as personal. “Even though it took us some time, it was fun along the way. It’s something we enjoy doing,” she says of the renovation process. And they were able to do it without having to pay for it all at one time. “We had a long-term goal, and we were able to accomplish it,” Tamara says. “It took six years, but now we have this big, beautiful kitchen!”
See Tamara’s Full Reno Diary
- Before & After: This Dated Kitchen Needed a Major Overhaul — It Was Done In 2 Phases and Now It’s Pure Perfection
- This Stylish Kitchen Was Rebuilt from the Studs for $28,000 — Here’s How Every Dollar Was Spent
- This Kitchen Renovation Took 6 Years to Complete — And The Homeowners’ Patience Paid Off in a Big Way