Time to put down the drill, strip off that tool belt and give your beaded forehead a dab with the T-shirt hanging out of your back pocket (you can leave your hat on) — DIY Month has drawn to a close.
But we certainly wouldn’t dream of going out without one final bang of the proverbial sledge hammer. Today, a showcase of enviable DIY prowess: our Grand Prize Winner and five runners-up in our May DIY Contest!
Our Grand Prize Winner, a lucky — and deserving! — person, will receive a $1,200 retail value (approx.) prize pack from Canadian Tire, including:
Mastercraft Multi-Purpose Tool Set, 28-pc [pictured]
Mastercraft 5-Drawer Chest, 30-in
Mastercraft 5-Drawer Cabinet, 30-in [pictured]
Mastercraft Finger Guard 25-ft Tape Measure
Stanley FatMax Saw
Mastercraft Leather Tool Apron
Mastercraft Maximum Aluminum Box Level, 24-in
Mastercraft Maximum Safety Glove (pair)
From the Canadian Tire prize pack for the May 2-4 DIY Contest Grand Prize Winner: Mastercraft 5-Drawer Cabinet and Multi-Purpose Tool Set. Note: Images are not to scale (we sure hope not!)
GRAND PRIZE WINNER, May 2-4 DIY Contest: Rosalie Luymes (Abbotsford, BC)
Approx. cost of DIY project: $3,000; approx. time invested: 2 weeks
Here’s a DIY family room so well reno’d that it’s almost hard to believe that the Before and After pictures display the same space. Rosalie Luymes and her father, John, executed this project together, in the summer of 2011. “Although the project in itself was not small,” says Rosalie, “everything you see in the room was DIY, including the book shelves, stone work, carpet and fireplace install, painting, lighting, etc.” What all was involved? Ripping out the existing cabinetry, fireplace surround and carpet — “Nothing was worth saving,” Rosalie says. They built the cabinets, framed the fireplace, painted the walls and shelves, installed the fireplace and stone surround, laid carpet and filled the room with carefully budgeted furniture. “My family is Dutch, so we definitely know how to find a good bargain!” Rosalie adds that her dad is a self-taught DIY’er, and nominated their project for this competition because Father’s Day is just around the corner. Well, better get your favourite contracter on speed-dial, Rosalie, because you’ve got some big news for him!
BEFORE: Family room, Rosalie Luymes, where Rosalie’s father, John — whose DIY genius won this contest — is having a well-deserved rest.
AFTER: Now THAT’s a cozy couch configuration where you would want to take a break! The canvas paintings are also Rosalie’s own DIYs.
BEFORE: Family room, Rosalie Luymes.
AFTER: A DIY that’s unrecognizable as the same space!
A pretty inspiring story. But it doesn’t end there. Below are our five runners-up — that’s right, these are the DIYs that didn’t win the Grand Prize — who, judging by the fruits of their labour, expended no less fex, stress and tears.
Choosing the winner was no easy task, we assure you, so in light of their awesomeness, our runners-up will receive the brand new 19-pc Stanley Metallic Blue Socket set along with a $25 gift card to Canadian Tire (above)! How could we not offer a consolation prize in the face of such monumental achievements?
Runners-up: Darlene and Collin Clark (Kamloops, BC)
Approx. cost of DIY project: $5,000; approx. time invested: 4 days
If Darlene and Collin Clark are runners-up — and they certainly are — then Collin’s brother Rob also deserves a prize for brother-in-law of the year: on a -40° winter’s day, he showed up at their house and announced it was time to build a new kitchen. How much time? Four days, total. “My tiny kitchen with no counters became a beautiful wrap kitchen with open concept to the living room,” Darlene says. “We could watch the baby and make dinner!” It also bears noting that when the Clarks later sold their house, the kitchen reno increased the sale price by approximately $10,000 — twice what they spent on it.
BEFORE: Kitchen, Darlene and Collin Clark.
AFTER: A new kitchen DIY that double-paid for itself when the house was sold.
Runners-up: Anjana and Bryce Kipfer (Waterloo, ON)
Approx. cost of DIY project: $200; approx. time invested: 8 hours
After moving into a new home in June of 2010, Anjana and Bryce Kipfer acquired a new 50" flat screen TV and wanted to come up with an interesting way to wall-mount it. The solution: a framed out wall clad with pine, and a cantilevered shelf for supplemental electronics, to hide all of the cords and cables. “We enclosed the shelf with concrete fibre board (typically used behind bathroom tile), trowelled on several layers of concrete repair compound, and finished it with concrete sealant so that it had the look of concrete, without the weight,” says Anjana. The result: a cool, contemporary design that truly enhances the room.
BEFORE: Big TV with no wallmount, Anjana and Bryce Kipfer.
AFTER: An elegant and practical DIY wallmount (bonus: it hides the electronics cords), and a bit of a conversation piece.
Runners-up: Tami and Nolan Sukhdeo (London, ON)
Approx. cost of DIY project: $5,000; approx. time invested: 2 months
What’s worse than a basement bathroom that needs updating? A basement bathroom that needs updating and has black mold. Tami Sukhedo, her husband Nolan and their son Nathan really had to roll up their sleeves for this one, not just gutting the bathroom but jack-hammering out the old cement floor, reframing a wall and relocating the bulkhead framing. And that was just getting the space clean, in order to start the reno proper. “It was a lot of work [they did it all, even the pernickety tiles — Ed.] but we are soooo proud we did it all by ourselves,” Tami reports. “Next step…master bath.” They’ve already started it!
BEFORE and AFTER: Another transformative DIY, this one for a basement bathroom, Tami and Nolan Sukhedo.
Runner-up: Carol Wing (Mayflower, NS)
Approx. cost of DIY project: $200; approx. time invested: 12 hours
At the end of a top-down DIY kitchen reno, Carol Wing decided to take an old 6-drawer dresser, used for kitchen storage, and convert it into a modern, practical, elegant island. A clever solution, this: Carol fashioned cross braces to attach two old table legs and an old Formica desk top (both sourced at a salvage shop) to the back of the dresser. A little bit of cutting, screwing, gluing and painting, and the result is unrecognizable, in the very best sense of the word. “Newly painted 100-year-old wicker telephone operator’s stools really finish out the look,” Carol says.
BEFORE: Kitchen island-to-be, Carol Wing.
AFTER: A regal kitchen centrepiece — what an inspired DIY island!
Runners-up: Shari and Craig Allen (Toronto, ON)
Approx. cost of DIY project: $5,800; approx. time invested: 10 weekends, 12-14hrs per weekend
Here’s proof that a little elbow grease and patience can transform a room. In fact, two rooms. Shari Allen and her husband decided to update the living and dining rooms in the house they had just purchased, decorating with nothing but found and hand-me-down items that were also given the DIY treatment (free or next to nothing, Shari notes, is great on the budget). “The leather sectional excepted, each piece of furniture was a found or donated item," Shari says, “that we stripped and re-stained. The teak chairs were found in the garbage at the side of the road!” The Before pictures only tell part of the story: the reno included a stucco ceiling removal (“the bane of our existence!”), a whole wall tear-down and the installation of a brand-new hardwood floor (the only real expense, though “on sale! Came in well under $4,000!”). Sliding doors in the dining room were designed by Shari herself, and built by her husband. “Instead of using glass to finish, we purchased a roll of rice paper and had it laminated, to get that shoji screen look.” Even the stained glass and artwork in these spaces is DIY, made by either Shari, her husband, or a friend. Not surprising to hear the Allens have since started on their kitchen — maybe we’ll hear from them next year…
BEFORE and AFTER: Living room DIY, Shari and Craig Allen.
BEFORE and AFTER: Dining room DIY, Shari and Craig Allen.
Well that was fun! Come back tomorrow for some equally eye-popping honourable mentions in HGTV’s May 2-4 DIY Contest!