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An inherited house gets a new kitchen

When Jeff Katz and Donna McCormick inherited his mother’s home in Merrick, the two knew that a kitchen renovation was long overdue. “When my mother was alive, we offered, but she wouldn’t let us change anything,” says Katz, research director at the Custer Institute, an observatory in Southold. Katz and McCormick, who is president of the nonprofit Custer Institute, tackled a lot of the renovations themselves. It was Katz who redid the electrical and plumbing systems, while McCormick was in charge of painting and spackling. On a budget, the two turned to outlet stores and other tricks and tips to stay on track and on budget. TOTAL: About $23,000 (They estimate that they saved $21,000 in construction costs because of all the work they did.) — Sylvia E. King-Cohen