Renovator's Notebook

In Renovator’s Notebook, homeowners open up about the nitty-gritty of their remodels: How long it really took; how much it actually cost; what went horribly wrong; and what went wonderfully, serendipitously, it’s-all-worth-it-in-the-end right.

Top stories In Renovator's Notebook

Why I Paid $2K to Rip Out All of My Kitchen Cabinets

And what I replaced them with.

Why We Decided Against IKEA Cabinets for Our $48K Kitchen Remodel

The cost of going custom is less than you’d think.

Smart Lighting Was the Game-Changer in Our 200-Square-Foot Family Room Remodel

Having endless options is key.

Sponsored By GE C by GE

We Transformed an Old Porch Into a Laundry Room for $6K

New windows and appliances included.

The Latest In Renovator's Notebook

Same Cabinetry, Same Appliances, But a Brand-New-Looking Kitchen

There’s room to get creative on a $13K budget.

We Knocked $100K Off Our Reno Budget With a Little-Known Tax Credit

Salvaged sinks, signs, and cabinets helped, too.

We Wanted Cedar Walls—But This Affordable Alternative Cost Half the Price

It’s the unexpected hero of our entire Rhode Island reno.

Smart Lighting Is The Centerpiece of Our $1.5K Sunroom Remodel

No electrician required.

Sponsored By GE C by GE

It Took $150K and a Special Paint to Kid-Proof Our Brooklyn Kitchen

With three children under 10, anything can happen.

Sponsored By Farrow and Ball

Shopping Our Own Home Saved Us Hundreds on Our $3K Bathroom Remodel

As did installing the tile ourselves.

This Bathtub Hack Saved Us $700 on Our Remodel

And you’d never guess the vanity is 30 years old.

I Covered My 400-Square-Foot Guesthouse in Tile for $500

How I pulled off a truly random pattern.

Elbow Grease and $3K Took This Kitchen From Miserable to Memorable

Think: sanding and staining the floors yourself.

I Saved More Than $2K by Tiling My Counter-to-Ceiling Kitchen Backsplash

A leveler is critical.

$300K Later, Our 130-Year-Old Brownstone Has Its Original Charm Back

“It was basically begging us to get our hands on it.”

We Added 6 Rooms to Our Home, But Only Expanded the Footprint 100 Square Feet

“There was a lot of Jenga-ing that had to happen.”

Building Our Own Plywood Cabinets Saved Us $1,000 on Our Kitchen Reno

The hardware store is your friend.

It Only Took 6 Months for a Pro House Flipper to Double This L.A. Home’s Value

From $675K to $1.3M with clever curb appeal.

With $50K and a Forklift, We Vaulted the Garage and Made a Kitchen

It only takes two people (with practice) to install a beam.

Why Our $250K House Restoration Budget Nearly Doubled by the End

Refurbishing a Craftsman is no joke.

We Saved $3,000 on Pantry Cabinets All Thanks to This Mistake

The tiny utility room now has tons of storage.

The Tile for Our Entryway Reno Was $500—The Front Door Was $60

We learned a major lesson about grout along the way.

I Totally Transformed My NYC Rental Kitchen for $7,500

In two weeks flat.

Our Detroit Home Was Valued at $2,300 in 2012—Now It’s Worth Over $400,000

Flipping an abandoned house wasn’t without hurdles.

Almost Half of Our $16K Exterior Remodel Budget Went to Painting the Fence

But it was worth every penny.

It Cost Us $25K to Turn an Old A-Frame Into a Scandi-Inspired Getaway

It pays to own a vintage store.

We Financed the Renovation of Our Dreamy Desert Inn All by Ourselves

The couple behind the Joshua Tree House strikes again.

My $40K Exterior Remodel Was an Unexpected Lesson in Landscaping

The pink door was easy. The plants were not.