Interview with remodeler Karina Neel

kr3-300x199Karina Neel talks about her family’s remodeling project. Karina and her husband Ryan own Nor Cal Legacy Builders in California. It is interesting to hear what a builder has to say when talking about their own remodeling project!

1. What was the most enjoyable part of the process?

The final product. It’s so fun to see every thing come together.  I also enjoy picking everything out, because I love shopping.

2. What was the most difficult/challenging part of the process?

Picking the “look”. There are so many directions to go. This time we went with what I call “country meets modern”. We picked some finishes that aren’t “popular” and so that was bold for me. But I knew it would all work out in the end.

3. After the project was over, what advice would you give a fellow remodeler?

Don’t skimp where it matters. If you really want a certain sink or countertop, go for it. It will pay off in the end result.

4. Did you set a budget? If so, did you keep within your original budget?

Yes and yes. We did all IKEA which allowed us not only to say with in the kitchen budget, but also get some extras.

5. Is there any decision you would change?

Not on this project. But I have in the past.

6. What was the most difficult decision to make?

Again, the “look”. I was scared to go with the white cabinets and the butcher block counter tops. It’s so not what people are doing, but I just liked the look.

7. Would you consider another remodel based on this experience?

Of course.

8. Was the timeline of the project the same as you expected?

Yes! We were redoing our entire house, so once we got to this part, it seemed like it went by quickly. That also had to do with some of the finishes we choose.

9. What obstacles came up, if any?

Well, since we went with IKEA I had to design the entire kitchen and order everything myself. I had a few miscalculations. But I was able to return the items and reorder. We had also gone with the butcher block counter top and ordered them well before we were ready to install them. Though we stored them weighted on a flat surface, there was some bowing that occurred. But with my husband’s mastery of the saw, he made it work.

10. What is your favorite room and why?

My kitchen! It’s the highlight of the house. I think it’s because it’s where I allowed the most style to come out

11. What type of floors did you use?

We used laminate by Quick Step, Hickory color
12.  Did you hire a professional installer or install them yourselves?

My husband and I did it ourselves.
13.  If you installed the flooring yourselves, do you recommend this?

We have done this many times. But I have to say, we learn something new every time. A trick of trade. If you are somewhat of a DIYer and have a simple space to floor (ie-not a lot of edges/closets…) you should go for it! Save yourself some mula! It is very rewarding.