Who: Ryan Paget
Where: Lawrence, KS
Moxie Measure: Ryan, a high-school teacher, knew that creating his dream kitchen for just $15,000 would be one of his toughest assignments yet. So instead of relaxing during his summer vacation, he hunkered down with some how-to books and schooled himself in construction. Looking for a thrifty alternative to a stone countertop, Ryan decided to make his own out of concrete. He built a 12-foot-long wood mold for the slab top, then invited his dad over to help him mix and pour the concrete. After smoothing and leveling the surface with a trowel, he let the concrete cure before using a diamond polishing pad to give the counter a mirror-like shine. He did us proud.