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Kitchen makeover: A DIY approach with a baker's needs in mind

It took a few years, but Suzanne Bruey-Pingitore of Patchogue now has the kitchen of her dreams. Her husband, Joseph Pingitore, did almost everything in the remodel including cabinets, plumbing -- she finally has a dishwasher -- and the floors. "The only thing he didn't do was install the granite countertops," says Bruey-Pingitore, who worked as his assistant.

The project involved opening the kitchen to the dining room and adding more storage space, along with a designated area for baking, which is a passion for Bruey-Pingitore, who especially enjoys making and decorating wedding cakes. "I now have a place for all my baking supplies, my mixer and books," she says.

Total: About $34,500 (They estimate saving $40,000 by doing the work themselves.) -- SYLVIA E. KING-COHEN

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