Jasmin roth, the host of âHelp! I Wrecked My House, âworks with many homeowners who regret their bad home improvement projects, but their latest clients tinkered with their homes until it became downright dangerous.
In the episode “This Is Not Our House”, Roth meets Rachelle and Justin, a Huntington Beach, CA, couple with two young children. Justin and his daddy, Keith, have attempted DIY projects in the kitchen, living room, and powder room, but Roth finds that not only are these projects unfinished, but some of their fixes have potential fire and electrical hazards.
Roth gets $ 120,000 to completely renovate this family home. Here’s how she fares, along with many tips to remember to help keep your own home improvement projects under control and out of the danger zone.
A DIY fireplace can be dangerous
While Justin and Keith have a lot of unfinished projects, they managed to complete a fireplace remodel. The fireplace looks great, but when Roth inspects it, she says the set is completely unsafe.
Roth explains that the rebate and mantel are way too close to the firebox, putting them at risk of setting the house on fire.
âI encourage DIY projects. I love DIY projects, âsays Roth. “But when it comes to something that can set your house on fire, this is not the place to learn.”
Roth dismantles the rebate and even replaces the wooden frame with steel. Then, she took the opportunity to give a new look to the fireplace, with a marble frame and wallpaper.
âI’m using this fireplace as a way to add texture to this project,â says Roth. “I’m going to have this beautiful natural stone that has this veining, which is unpredictable.”
In the end, the marble and grass canvas wallpaper she chooses is lovely, but Roth admits it was an expensive project.
With the framing, drywall, marble and wallpaper, the new fireplace ultimately costs $ 3,500. It’s a big project that clearly should never have been undertaken without the help of the pros.
White and navy blue make great kitchen colors
In the kitchen, Roth rips out the old cupboards and replaces them with updated storage. While most of the cabinets are white, Roth decides to add dark blue to the new island.
âThis kitchen is fairly neutral. In fact, this whole house is pretty neutral, âsays Roth. “So adding that touch of navy to the island and having those navy cabinetry is just going to make this kitchen a little bit happy.”
It’ll be a better reflection of Justin and Rachelle’s tastes, she adds, than a completely neutral design.
The new cabinets and island cost $ 19,500, but they’re well worth the price. The Shaker style cabinetry is sleek and the splash of navy blue on the island gives this kitchen a custom built feel.
A large island will allow for creative use of space
With navy blue cabinets, a quartz countertop and plenty of workspace, this kitchen island is ideal for Rachelle and Justin.
Meanwhile, the island can also be the favorite feature of children. Instead of adding extra drawers at the end of the island, Roth creates a little fort for the kids, complete with shelves, lights, and a padded cushion.
âThe good thing about this fort is that it sits right in the kitchen,â says Roth. “So Justin and Rachelle, they’re in the kitchen, they’re doing the dishes, they’re cooking, they’re doing stuff, but the kids are also there with them.”
It will be a bonus for the whole family, she believes. And while the fort is a fun addition, Roth points out that as the kids get older, Rachelle and Justin can use it for storage.
Not all homeowners will want to turn half of their kitchen island into a fort, but it’s a good lesson in creating custom storage space for a family’s needs. Additional space on an island could be transformed into a dog hiding place or custom storage space for an often used stand mixer.
Use at least one pattern in the kitchen
To finish off the kitchen, Roth chooses a colorful backsplash with a bold pattern. It looks great in space, but Roth explains that it adds something significant to the design.
âI had no motive elsewhere in the design of this house,â she says. “And with this pattern, with this little touch of color, it’s hard to remember what was already there before.”
Obviously, a small pattern can go a long way, and a backsplash can tie an entire kitchen design together.
Give a simple look to a bathroom with simple materials
Before Roth took over the renovation, Justin decided to change the light in the powder room. Unfortunately, her electrical skills are lacking, and Roth is horrified when she opens the wall and sees Justin’s DIY wiring.
Fortunately, Roth is able to fix this problem. After making sure this bathroom is safe, she gives it a new look, with a simple, modern design, and then adds an oak plywood backsplash behind the sink.
âI wanted to be able to look into this bathroom and see an organic element,â says Roth. “And wood is a really good way to do that.”
The backsplash costs only $ 250 which makes it not only beautiful but also cost effective.