October 21, 2021
  • October 21, 2021

The thrifty kitchen that saved a novice renovator $ 22,000

By on October 3, 2021 0

Start small and start outdoors – that’s the tip of DIY renovator Lise Mackie.

Mackie, who bought his first home in Berhampore, Wellington in 2018, renovated his entire kitchen and built a 12-meter fence. as raised beds.

“If you don’t do it right, it won’t be catastrophic,” she says. “My trusted builder was over a long weekend building three raised vegetable gardens.

Mackie saved thousands of dollars buying his used kitchen furniture.

Ross Giblin / Stuff

Mackie saved thousands of dollars buying his used kitchen furniture.

“I also built a green trash can. You know, what’s the worst that can happen? If I don’t understand it, either I have to take it apart and bring someone in, or I just have to try again.

Mackie, who appears in Episode 1 of First echelon: Reno 101 – a new Stuff Homed podcast – didn’t have a lot of building experience before starting at his own two-bedroom property.

The set design and construction component of a drama class she took 24 years ago was the most experience she had – but it helped her learn to ‘measure twice and cut once ”and become familiar with the basic tools.

Mackie loves to cook and describes her home in Berhampore as a “kitchen with two adjoining bedrooms”.

Ross Giblin / Stuff

Mackie loves to cook and describes her home in Berhampore as a “kitchen with two adjoining bedrooms”.

High-end cuisine for a fraction of the price

Mackie’s old kitchen was white and not unattractive, but it was “warped because it was wet.”

“There was only one light in the whole kitchen, there was no extractor hood, there were leaking aluminum windows, all the wall cabinets were different widths.

She estimates that her new kitchen cost her a total of $ 16,000, including a set of used cabinets that she bought on Trade Me for $ 4,000. Their original owners paid $ 26,000 four years earlier.

“I wanted to see what I could do to find a used kitchen in great condition that would otherwise have gone to landfill because I think it’s just a crime.”

The kitchen countertop was LIse Mackie's extravagant purchase for his pre-owned upscale kitchen.

Lise mackie

The kitchen countertop was LIse Mackie’s extravagant purchase for his pre-owned upscale kitchen.

She also realized that she could either have someone else do some budget cooking for her, or be smart about it, do some of the work herself and end up with a top-notch kitchen. range – important for Mackie because she loves to cook: she calls her home the “Berhampore bistro”: “a kitchen with two adjoining bedrooms”.

The American oak countertop was his folly.

Mackie has few windows other than his veranda.  This one has a kauri window sill.

Ross Giblin / Stuff

Mackie has few windows other than his veranda. This one has a kauri window sill.

When a little leak turns into a big job

In addition to the kitchen, Mackie and his builder covered a wall shared with his neighbor, using Gib Noiseline and – after finding a leak that turned out to be an indicator of a rotten sub-floor – have replaced the veranda floor. and an exterior wall.

Her next project is the bathroom and utility room, followed by the master bedroom.

“It’s going to be intense and stressful, especially since I’m going to have to move for a few weeks when I don’t have a toilet or a shower. When you redo your kitchen, you can at least do the dishes in the bathroom. Doing bathroom stuff in the kitchen doesn’t work quite the same!

She also plans to put wood laminate floors throughout.

Lise Mackie thought she had a little leak on her porch.

Lise mackie

Lise Mackie thought she had a little leak on her porch.

The next minute she had to replace the entire floor and an exterior wall.

Lise mackie

The next minute she had to replace the entire floor and an exterior wall.

Mackie says she perfected herself by watching how-to videos on YouTube. She prefers to look at those from New Zealand, so that wood and other products are available. She is a huge Stan fan of Miter 10.

“It gave me a lot of confidence, if not to do the job myself, but at least I didn’t know what I didn’t know anymore.

“It meant that when I walked into a hardware store, I could ask informed questions and I could understand when I was just given a slightly fuzzy answer.”

Forget the pink screwdrivers

She said that as a woman in DIY stores, staff initially showed her “pink screwdrivers and pink tool sets”, which she rejected.

“I generally prefer the yellow stuff, or if I can afford it, the blue stuff.”

Mackie says watching the videos and starting with a garden project like a garbage can, vegetable bed, or garden shed introduces you to the principles of building and makes you aware of the tools needed.

Raised garden beds, like the ones that go through the kitchen window in Lise Mackie's house, are a good first project.

Ross Giblin / Stuff

Raised garden beds, like the ones that cut through the kitchen window in Lise Mackie’s house, are a good first project.

“If you don’t have them, you’re going to start getting creative in how you could borrow tools. It’s great to have a network of friends who have tools to borrow: I’ve already traded lemon poppy seed cakes for crimping tools.

His other advice, which comes from his builder, is to start complicated or multi-day projects in the morning.

Mackie's House is a two bedroom, conservatory duplex in Berhampore, Wellington.

Ross Giblin

Mackie’s House is a two bedroom, conservatory duplex in Berhampore, Wellington.

“In my opinion, you tend to make better decisions in the morning when you are a little more rested, well fed and freshly caffeinated.

“As my builder says, there are morning jobs and there are afternoon jobs. And he’s obviously learned over time that if it’s something complicated or complex, he tries to do it in the morning to deal with it better.

Listen to more from Lise Mackie on Episode 1 of First echelon: Reno 101 – a new Stuff Homed podcast that explores the dirty, dusty and eminently satisfying world of New Zealand’s favorite pastime. Download and subscribe here.


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