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fancyface13

DIY...NO KD NEEDED

jen ukutegbe
May 13, 2019
Seems I’ve ‘opened a can of worms’ w/PROS that do not like my DIY approach. Funny how I never put them down as not needed, rather showing that self education and design can be done if budget does not allow.

Home designed, drawn, GC’d, every last detail done by me with zero experience or prior doing so. Purchased land and did diligent research and here is end result through backlash of naysayers...

Comments (79)

  • jen ukutegbe
    Lynn, I would have loved soapstone! Yes, that was one of my compromises. I read a lot of negatives when deciding to move forward anyway on using our local HDepot to install their Snowy Ibiza @$63/sf. I used LG Minuet on shower bench. Luckily, I got a great installer that came out. I was very pleased.
  • jen ukutegbe
    Oh, I wanted to integrate a butcher block on about 3’ of island but was told that despite even the best transition from quartz or soapstone to block, germs, food particles would collect over time and I’d be disappointed, so I kept one surface and had cabinet maker add two pullout cutting boards for convenience. I located next to sink in island and beside garbage cabinet to be able to rinse, chop, the shove scraps directly into pull out garbage as I chopped.
  • jen ukutegbe
    Tiler is finishing up both fireplaces as we live in our home. My excavator is so nice, he surprised me with a large piece of pine from our over 100 year old tall pine I had to remove to build. I was heartbroken because as you toured on pontoon from lakeside you saw this tree as the tallest and most beautiful. There was no way around removal and he gifted me this to put in home as mantel. I sanded, cut into two, stained yesterday and put above as you see. It’s things like these that make nice memories. The subs used became friends. I will be throwing a thank you or appreciation party for them to network and such. Food and drink, I’ll invite neighbors also for them to drum up business possibly. My experience was quite positive.
  • queenvictorian

    Dang, being my own GC for a whole hog new build is something that I really wouldn't want to do. Kudos for surviving that and seeing it through. Sounds like you had a strong, steadfast vision of what you wanted, which not common (hence the numerous threads of folks asking the internet's opinion on pretty major aspects of their projects).


    My construction industry dad has been advising me on my project, and a core piece of his advice is to SPEC EVERYTHING in excruciating detail, like the hinges but also the finish screws for the hinges. And then after speccing everything, go select and buy the materials and have them on site ready to go for the crew. Last thing you want to do is put a contractor in a position where they have to make a (probably wrong) decision or assumption where specs are lacking/ambiguous and/or get their own materials to keep things moving and then bill you.


    I can see why the total DIY route is overwhelming and exhausting. But for those of us with strong, clear visions, it's the way to go. Seriously, given my exacting requirements for my kitchen and the space's limitations, I'd do nothing but fight with a kitchen designer because their vision doesn't match mine.

  • lshack17
    I love the bar area, great use of space. It all came together really well. Congrats on a well designed home that looks very polished and high end. Ignore the comments that say you are just posting pictures to give yourself a pat on the back and to receive compliments. Posting one's home after a build is the very essence of this site, not to mention you are helping others envision what is possible.
  • jen ukutegbe
    Ty, Ishack, what I was thinking....appreciated that.
  • PRO
    GreenDesigns

    I tried to quote this earlier, but messed it up and deleted it. This is just in case the floggers come out in force, as they often do. Amateurs b!tching about Pros seems to be acceptable to them, but not the other way around. Pros built this site, and are the reason people out there can grab all of those inspiration images.

    "You didn't "need" a KD, but you sure stole their ideas and gave them zero credit. Sophie and Cook's Kitchen both took the time to straighten out that pass through the work zone mess you had originally, but you don't feel like giving them credit for their ideas, do you? You want all the credit, and to share none. Well, if you want all the credit, you need all the blame too. Like all of those eating areas crammed together awkwardly. Like the messed up living space that isn't designed for optimal views and public interactions. The best views are at school kitchen table, not the living space. You get the credit for that too. Normally people don't put critiques of finished projects on here. It you wanting to put everyone down that's ended up actually helping you is the worst kind of dog biting the hand that's feeds them."

    Absolutely! She does want to take all the credit and none of the blame, doesn't she.

  • Matt M

    Lovely job.
    I come here because through the harshness of the feedback, it's still very good feedback. I want to hear how and why my ideas are stupid, and if I can argue against the critcisms (to myself), then I know I'm making a good choice. Otherwise, I adopt the suggestions.

    Still, I'm afraid to share my own complete design & build just yet. I got help with my kitchen here before that was invaluable, but everything else in my design I'm happy with, so I'd like to keep it that way lol.

    Pat yourself on the back again, and give credit where some credit may be due, but ideas are cheap. Following through on them is what takes all the work.

  • D E

    Jen, I like that white siding you have on your house. May I ask what type of siding and what color?

    thanks

  • jen ukutegbe
    D E white, LP Smart siding w/board and batten in eaves.
  • jen ukutegbe
    LP smart siding/board and batten
  • D E

    " D E white, LP Smart siding w/board and batten in eaves. ":


    thanks for that info

  • Mrs Pete

    Seems I’ve ‘opened a can of worms’ w/PROS that do not like my DIY approach. Funny how I never put them down as not needed, rather showing that self education and design can be done if budget does not allow.

    Let it go. Living well is the best revenge. It's better to show your lovely space and let it stand on its own merits rather than trying to throw it in the faces of the pros.

    I am not posting to brag, rather stand up for myself against the much negativity on here as I try to stay positive despite the comments I’ve received...

    I hear you, and it's a great space ... but isn't this the second thread on this very topic?

    What was your reasoning for having a dining table, chairs at the island, and a breakfast nook all in the same room? Do you often have guests over and so they sort of all disperse amongst the three eating surfaces? Different surface for different time of day? Just curious.

    That's one of my pet peeves: multiple tables within view of one another. It's like saying, "When we're being fancy, we go to the left side of the room" ... while we can still see the other table from where we're sitting.

    Hey that's a cute house. Looks like you got just what you wanted out of your build.

    And that's the real bottom line.

    Keeping it simple allowed me to put into it the luxury I wanted ... I chose what our family deemed important ...

    That's my philosophy exactly!

    "You didn't "need" a KD, but you sure stole their ideas and gave them zero credit.

    Okay, in all fairness, this is true -- the L+island is probably the easiest design to work with, and you have ample space. Going with today's trends gives you plenty of examples /plenty of choices for products in a range of prices.

  • Lynne Om (9A, New Smyrna Beach,FL)
    Thanks, Jen, for the info on countertops & cutting boards. I would love to see a close-up of one of the latter whenever you have time. Also, what you ended up doing for your hot tub & how you like it, as we are anticipating replacing ours probably within the next year. A photo of that, if you’ve already completed it or when you do, would be most welcome.
  • Lisa

    It's good for you that you effectively hired yourself as gc and kd. However, my hourly rate is too high for me. My time is worth more than the cost of hiring professionals. I highly value my time .

  • jen ukutegbe
    Oh my, came home to 2nd FP tiled. I am so pleased w/this tiler! He did 2full walk in showers (one w/ceiling tiled) kitchen backsplash, master bath floor, fireplace irons/mantels hung...for under $9K.
  • jen ukutegbe
    Lynne OM...
  • jen ukutegbe
    The hot tub, we opted for more private 3person Jacuzzi brand. Located it just outside our master bedroom...
  • shead

    I find myself conflicted reading your posts. On one hand, I've always been extremely DIY when it comes to my own projects and we've GC'd several builds and remodels over the years so I understand the pride that comes from doing so. I get your desire to congratulate yourself because it's not an easy task.

    On the other hand, the "in yo face" posts leave a bad taste in my mouth. I read through ALL your previous threads and yes, Sophie (NOT FLO!!!) was a little harsh on you as were some others but they DID have some really good advice. The battle cry of "Get a professional!" each and every time someone posts is a little self-serving to their own fields, I agree. That being said, though, as GD pointed out above, you DID take some of their advice on modifying your original plan and therefore, you DID find value from their collective expertise. You should own that and acknowledge that.

    Of course, YOUR house has certain features that wouldn't suit MY style, but as long as YOU are happy with the finished product, that is all that matters. It takes most of us 2-3 builds/remodels to learn what truly works and doesn't work for us and our families. I don't know of anyone who, 10 years later, doesn't wish they'd done something a little differently for better function.

  • jen ukutegbe
    Shead, nice attempt. This forum has people afraid to post after for fear of the naysayers adding negativity when not asked for. Is this not a place to gather photos, advice if so desired (I did seek one single thing re: placement of fridge out of entire build)? I searched google for answers to my questions after that one post that brought out rude input vs constructive advice. That is not professional, period. Thus I left my seeking to anywhere outside if this forum. No, I did not heed advice, sorry. I researched outside of Houzz, gathered photos here only after that bad experience. So, if people cannot freely post after projects w/out being berated, that is sad. It seems that the entire purpose is to get the outcome desired. Too bad you make people hesitate to do so.
  • cpartist

    I am not posting to brag, rather stand up for myself against the much negativity on here as I try to stay positive despite the comments I’ve received...

    Really? That's all I've seen you do.

  • jen ukutegbe
    Cpart, you, Mills, Green are looking for every positive post to go your way. You cannot help yourself.
  • shead

    "Shead, nice attempt."

    "Too bad you make people hesitate to do so."

    Seriously? SMH.


  • millworkman

    "I am not posting to brag, rather stand up for myself against the much negativity on here as I try to stay positive despite the comments I’ve received..."


    "On the other hand, the "in yo face" posts leave a bad taste in my mouth."

    "That being said, though, as GD pointed out above,"


    Here here. And Green Designs was quoting LWO who actually said that before having her post deleted thru flagging I am sure.


  • D E
    we need more diy posts like this. knowledge is light.

    it's so sad that Jen's posts keep getting deleted. if I didn't know better I would think that Houzz has a vested interest in paid professional and a vested interest against diy discourse
  • shead

    "Here here. And Green Designs was quoting LWO who actually said that before having her post deleted thru flagging I am sure."


    I never saw LWO's post so I apologize for the misquotation. It was an astute point that was made, whomever made it ;)


  • millworkman

    No need to appologize just pointing out that any post that doesn't congratulate her on her accomplishment gets flagged for removal. I had not even posted since my previous posts got flagged (and was going to leave this mess alone) and yet she had to bring me back in again, so............................................

  • shead

    "we need more diy posts like this. knowledge is light."

    Knowledge is light, but if I want knowledge on how to do something, I generally seek the knowledge of those that are experts in that particular field. And by expert, I mean someone that is either trained in that field of knowledge or someone with lots of "on the job" training. Preferably both. I ask questions to people who know what they are actually talking about and who have done something numerous times. I don't like to take advice from "first rodeo" people. If the "1000th rodeo" people are giving me advice, I try to at least give their advice consideration because they have EXPERIENCE. Does their experience/wisdom and advice always translate into something useful for me and my particular circumstance? No. But I'd be a fool not to pay attention and glean whatever wisdom I can. I may not can use the knowledge now, but it will 99.9% be likely that I can use that knowledge at some point in my life.


  • cpartist

    No need to appologize just pointing out that any post that doesn't congratulate her on her accomplishment gets flagged for removal. I had not even posted since my previous posts got flagged (and was going to leave this mess alone) and yet she had to bring me back in again, so

    Yes mine were flagged and deleted too. And all I said was something about how she posted this new thread to get more kudos.

  • shead

    Where's the head banging emoji when you need it?!?! Anybody wanna bet this gets flagged?

  • jen ukutegbe
    You win, I’m off. This proves my point. Sad that HOUZZ has become so negative. I’m not about that so you 4 can talk amongst yourselves and take over again. It’s become a bully site if you are not seeking a pro.
  • D E
    Jen, thank you for your contribution. unfortunately your diy post will get deleted. the pats that get to stay are the ones saying hire hire hire!
    hire a kitchen designer
    hire an interior decorator
    hire an architect
  • lshack17
    Wow. This is really bizarre. The OP didn't use a designer and people seem so angry and defensive. This is the strangest thread I have ever seen. Here's an idea, if the OP bothers you why not just unsubscribe? Problem solved.
  • D E
    "Knowledge is light, but if I want knowledge on how to do something, I generally seek the knowledge of those that are experts in that particular field. And by expert, I mean someone that is either trained in that field of knowledge or someone with lots of "on the job" training"


    correct. that's what everyone is looking for here, including you when you posted your plan for critique.

    instead of knowledge all anyone gets now is "this is terrible-go HIRE an architect.
  • queenvictorian

    I read/post on some other DIY/remodeling forums and the rampant "hire a pro" advice is unique to Houzz. But if you think about it, the forum here is simply an apparatus of the site's main business of selling decor and being a platform for hiring home improvement services. Everyone here who isn't a pro is a potential client. Any good DIY chat that arises is an unintended byproduct.


    While I'm here, is anyone thinking about remodeling their mud room? I'm thinking of setting up shop as a mud room decorator.

  • cpartist

    Ishack, it was based on the OP's first thread she posted about a week ago. This is her second thread posting the same pictures, etc.

    In her opening post she denigrated people on the forum. And she slandered one particular person over and over until she finally realized after it was pointed out to her over and over that she was slandering the wrong person. Then she disparaged the other person except that person is no longer here on garden web.

    And her whole post was disparaging of professionals.

  • lshack17
    It seemed like some sort of backstory was missing...

    OP, enjoy your home. That's all that really matters.
  • millworkman

    The OP was trolling for the reactions she got, period.

  • Lovely Linda

    I'm basically in the DIY camp and would agree with most of what Jen says in that regard. But what was a little bizarre was this second basically duplicate post with the same verbiage and photos.

    And I'd be saying the same thing if the thread was titled "HIRE A PRO....KD NEEDED" and it went on to bash the DIY'ers. There comes a point to let it go.

  • D E
    I'm sure this second post was made because her first post disappeared for over a week. it wasn't here when Jen posted this one and I personally thought it had been deleted for good.

    then as soon as she posts this one the other one miraculously reappears.

    hmm.
  • Lynne Om (9A, New Smyrna Beach,FL)
    Thanks so much, Jen, for posting pics of cutting board. I like that idea! Also, did you mean Jacuzzi brand? It looks to be the perfect size for us. Would you be willing to share model number & dimensions, please? The one we currently have is a little larger than we would like (plus has a very slow leak) and I see a new one in our future, but it needs to fit two tall people. Thanks!
  • D E
    Jen if you are still reading. what brand windows? please pm me if you prefer
  • Mrs Pete

    we need more diy posts like this. knowledge is light.

    But is all knowledge equal?

    instead of knowledge all anyone gets now is "this is terrible-go HIRE an architect.

    I agree that I don't like the knee-jerk "go to an architect" advice, but that's not really what's happening here.

    In her opening post she denigrated people on the forum. And she slandered one particular person over and over until she finally realized after it was pointed out to her over and over that she was slandering the wrong person. Then she disparaged the other person except that person is no longer here on garden web.

    Yes, that's exactly the problem here.

    There comes a point to let it go.

    And that point was the moment when the OP looked at her finished kitchen and said, "Yes, I am pleased with my efforts!" Talk up your own efforts ... don't put down others.

    what brand windows?

    Ugh, windows. I've made so many decisions for our new house -- oh, did I have fun at the custom cabinets place yesterday -- but "the right answer" for windows still evades me. I keep coming back to the topic, then leaving it because I'm still unsure about them.

  • BT

    The knowledge should be shared and personally I think it is preposterous and hypocritical for @cpartist to claim what she does. For someone who has not used architect herself [presumably because of the cost] to claim in nearly every single post "have you hired an architect", "is this truly an architect or a draftsman", "hire a KD", etc.


  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    "...instead of knowledge all anyone gets now is "this is terrible-go HIRE an architect. I agree that I don't like the knee-jerk "go to an architect" advice, but that's not really what's happening here..."


    Well...the thing of it is that most everyone of the professionals here on this forum can almost instantly look at a posted plan and tell if it's possible to modify and improve, or if the plan is so challenged that any sort of tinkering with it is a waste of time.


    Few consumers here have that skill and experience, hence their postings here asking for help.


    Thus, rather than lots of sympathy, suggestions on where to relocate the powder room and laundry, and beating around the bush, many professionals (myself included) simply cut to the chase and suggest, "get an architect or experienced and talented designer".


    It's just a way of suggesting that the plan isn't fixable and the best strategy is to start over.


    Of course, every poster can heed or ignore the suggestions, as they do with any and all other suggestions.


    But don't mistake the advice as a "knee jerk" reaction. It's simply the best professional advice for a bad design without saying the design is hopeless.




  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    Less than 2% of the houses built in the United States are DIYs.

    (I hope everyone finds the humor in that)

  • PRO
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    Okay [name withheld to protect the innocent], I used the "2% of the houses built . . . " vague statistic to mock the similar claim used to attempt to bash architects. You make the very good point that the statistic has wide unsubstantiated backing and has not citation or weight.

    My claim was an attempt at satirical humor for all points of view to find funny.

    As it applies in this thread, it puts into perspective the accepted success rate of DIY project, where success may only be in the eyes of the beholder, sometimes prompting chest beating, and warranting whether the desire is for a medal or a chest to pin it on.

  • One Devoted Dame

    The knowledge should be shared and personally I think it is preposterous and hypocritical for @cpartist to claim what she does. For someone who has not used architect herself [presumably because of the cost] to claim in nearly every single post "have you hired an architect", "is this truly an architect or a draftsman", "hire a KD", etc.

    From my perspective, CPartist openly shares her story as a cautionary tale of what NOT to do. She has struggled for (4?) years with the building of her home, and as I understand it, her issues aren't all solved yet. :-(

    She is trying to help others avoid the situation she found herself in. She trusted the builder that she could just use his "architect," whom she later disappointingly discovered was a draftsman without design talent. I don't get the impression it had anything to do with cost savings; she simply didn't know what she didn't know. She's trying to educate those in similar circumstances, in hopes that they can avoid the heartache she's experienced. She sought help here, and a handful of our local gardenweb architects (as well as laypeople) walked through her plan, elevations, etc. They truly helped her. She's trying to pay it forward.

    At least, that's what's happening from where I sit. :-D

  • cpartist

    I don't get the impression it had anything to do with cost savings; she simply didn't know what she didn't know.

    Thank you ODD. That is exactly what happened and why I'm still here.

    And you are correct. Money had nothing to do with it.

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