Once the exterior was in decent, one of the first big inside projects was taking out the load-bearing wall between the small kitchen and den. I had been given a quote of $900 for a ready-made laminated wood header beam, but that just seemed ridiculous to me. After seeing TOH general contractor Tom Silva veneer an I-beam, I decided to do something similar and got one for $179. It was pretty exciting to install and conceal it. I was really enjoying the work, but my original four-month deadline quickly came and went with no real progress toward making the house livable.
Shown: Before, the dated kitchen was cramped and poorly laid out.