- Kitchen Renovation - Part III (aka The Wall Came Tumbling Down) wp.me/p1bDAM-X2 via @wordpressdotcom #diy #renovation #HuebschHouse 1 week ago
- Mailed off our Maryland and Alabama state returns today - HALLELUJAH. #taxesaredone #fb 1 month ago
- Getting the MD and AL returns ready to go in the mail... 1 month ago
Live Traffic Feed
- May 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
At the end of my last post, our contractors had removed a couple of load-bearing walls and installed a new beam. That left us with our next project…
Jim started by removing some drywall, which exposed the stucco-covered, former exterior concrete wall.
He began carefully breaking away the concrete blocks, not sure what surprises would be lurking inside. The first blocks Jim removed revealed part of a vent stack for a kitchen sink and a bunch of wires.
He went on the kitchen side of the wall and took some more stuff down. There was a stove vent hood that had to be removed.
Then there was the matter of an upper cabinet which had to come down. Since we were getting a little slim on storage space, we decided to temporarily relocate the upper cabinet to our rednecque pantry. Jim mounted it to the exposed framing and we filled it up with our glassware.
Back on the den side, Jim made an exciting discovery – well, it was to us, anyway! The wall used to have a window in it, which they just boarded up with plywood. That translated to less concrete blocks to knock down.
The newly exposed back of the kitchen drywall provided a clue as to the approximate age of the kitchen.
Jim kept pecking away at the concrete wall. We were able to go dump the concrete chunks for free at a local recycling and materials facility. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a 58-year-old out-of-shape woman wildly flinging concrete chunks out of the back of a Silverado dually!
For those who don’t believe that renovation is a dusty job, take a look at the following photo – I swear that I had just cleaned that end table the day before!
Molly, our 11-year-old lab, was unimpressed by all the proceedings; however, she does look like she’s smiling
Eventually it was time to take down the drywall and granite backsplash on the kitchen side of the wall. First Jim cut around the backsplash to remove the drywall.
That left one big, bad piece of shiny granite backsplash to contend with.
We decided to just lay it down on top of the countertop. Hey, we’re tall people – it’s nice having a countertop that’s 1-1/2″ higher than usual
OK, at this point, I slacked off on my picture-taking responsibilities…once the backsplash was down, Jim was able to finish demoing the wall and we ended up with this:
We discovered some interesting things. Apparently, the vent stack we found vents absolutely nothing. It seems that the kitchen used to have the sink along the wall we just ripped out – when the previous owners remodeled, they just capped off the pipe to the vent stack.
Whether or not the current sink is vented is anybody’s guess!
We also found that when they moved the sink, they just tapped into the water supply for the old sink, and ran new pipes behind the cabinets and around the corner to the new sink.
The pipes will all have to go, since we will be ripping out these cabinets and putting in a kitchen island. That means having to dig into the slab – yuck.
Another discovery – the den floor is higher than the kitchen floor. Boo. Hiss. This will be an interesting challenge.
For the time being, we will leave the backsplash laying on top of the countertop until we can cut it into some manageable chunks. It makes for an interesting little overhang, kind of a one-person eat-in area.
We’ve got a temporary brace holding up one end of the corner upper cabinet. Very fashionable.
It also makes a nice shelf for the olive oil.
So that’s the saga of removing the den/kitchen wall – stay tuned for our next adventure, relocating the refrigerator!
After Jim did all the prep work, it was time for the beam installation. We received the 2 23-ft. long 7-1/4″ x 1-3/4″ laminated veneer lumber (LVL) beams a few day before the install.
They stretched all the way across the family room floor and part way into the kitchen – we ended up hopscotching around them for a few days!
Our guys Tim and Ryan showed up on Valentine’s Day to begin the job. Here’s a before picture:
Jim had to cover up our existing cabinets to protect them from the dust and flying concrete debris:
Tim and Ryan installed a dust barrier between the kitchen/den and the family room:
The support for the dust barrier also served as one of the two temporary walls that were necessary to hold up our roof until the new beams could be installed.
The guys then constructed the second temporary wall:
After the temporary walls were up, Tim and Ryan began demoing the lintels. They started off with a power saw – the dust and sparks were flying!
After the initial saw cuts, the guys went after the rest with sledge hammers. By the end of the day, the 2 lintels were down, and there was a pile of rubble on the floor.
On day 2, there was no more flying concrete debris, so Jim was happy to get up close and observe the work in progress.
Here’s a look at the narrow area between the two temporary walls where the new beams are going to be placed.
I had to take K to school and run a couple of errands – I missed seeing them raise the new beams into position (drat)!
The guys had to install the four 4×4 posts that will hold up the beams. The middle two will frame each end of a kitchen island.
After the four posts were in, there was some strapping to be done to secure the new beams to the roof trusses. After a little cleanup, the guys were done – another fine job by Nelson Construction!
Getting the load bearing walls down lets us continue to peck away at our kitchen renovation. I’ll post more updates as we go.
We have finally started renovating the kitchen/family room area of the house. It is presenting more than a few challenges, and I’m sure we’ll uncover even more as we go along.
The first item to take care of was removing a load-bearing wall which separates the family room from the kitchen and a little den, and we also needed to remove the left wall of the pantry.
We lined up a contractor to remove the walls and install new beams. Jim began a little pre-demolition work to get ready for the job. First, the odd shallow cabinet needed to be removed, but…
We created an area for a temporary pantry which, I will admit, looks like something the Beverly Hillbillies would do. Simply stack one 5-foot folding table on top of another, and VOILA!
Once the shallow cabinet was gone, it exposed the side of the old oven cabinet.
I was finally going to be able to get rid of something that has been bugging me for two years:
Yes, a previous owner decided it would be a good idea to install the oven cabinet with a support beam running right through it. Nice. Since there was no reusing that cabinet, Jim took it apart, leaving a nice clean spot for the contractor to get to the wall.
Jim began removing the old door trim from the left end of the wall, and made a very interesting discovery!
We had thought that the wall was solid concrete blocks, since it was an old exterior wall. However, with the door trim popped off, Jim could see that almost the entire wall was wood framed, with just a single column of concrete blocks at the right end.
Jim took down all the drywall on one side of the wall…
And then he took down all the drywall on the other side of the wall plus removed the studs, exposing our den (a.k.a. junk room)…
The next thing to tackle was the pantry. All the items had to be transferred to our pantry a la redneque, and then all the shelves were removed.
Next, Jimbo started on his favorite part – demolition
Once the pantry was demo’d and the mess cleaned up, we just had to wait on our contractor to schedule a day to install the beams. (Stay tuned for Part II!)
Feb. 11th was the 2-year anniversary of closing on this house. The next day, we worked late, installing a back door by flashlight…our renovation adventure had begun!
There’s still much to do, but a lot has been done, most of it done by Jim’s two hands. We have a beautiful new master bedroom:
K. has a gorgeous pink room:
There’s a new leak-free roof:
There’s a new living room/dining room (aka the game room):
K. got the first custom closet:
Jimbo built us a great firepot area down by the creek:
Our old fridge croaked on New Year’s Eve, so we had to buy a new one even though we weren’t quite ready for kitchen renovation:
Right now we’re kicking off our latest renovation project, redoing the kitchen/family room area. We’ll keep you updated as we go!
It’s been a busy few months…Jim got called out in November to work his first storm as an independent insurance adjuster. He spent 34 days away, working in a call center up north. It was tough having him gone, but we appreciated the positive cash flow
Before he left, he managed to tackle a nice project – we call it “The Wharf”. We wanted to put a fire pot down by the creek, but the ground is really sloped there. We had a bunch of concrete pavers left over from our garden in Orlando, although they were 2 different sizes. We came up with a design that used them all, plus we had to go buy more to have enough to complete the project.
Jim started by staking out the area.
Next he removed the sod and leveled the dirt for the walkway.
Jim laid down weed block and started placing pavers.
Next he began working on the pad for the firepot.
We had to make a trip to Home Depot to pick up a load of Oldcastle 12 in. x 8 in. Concrete Garden Wall Blocks. When they lowered the pallet of blocks into the bed of Jim’s dually, I thought all four back tires would blow out!
He began laying the retaining wall blocks, gradually filling in the dirt and the pavers.
Jim managed to fill in most of the area with dirt he removed from a high spot in the lawn. However, we still had to truck in a little dirt to finish the project. And the finished result is:
We broke it in with a nice batch of s’mores The Wharf is also a great place just to sit and watch the creek, plus Jim finds it a nice spot to sit and fish.
We had major refrigerator drama at our house over New Year’s. On New Year’s Eve, Jim noticed that our freezer items were thawing. We pulled the refrigerator out and found that underneath the fridge was totally clogged with dog hair. We vacuumed it out, crossed our fingers and hoped that the items would be frozen in the morning…no such luck!
The refrigerator came with the foreclosure we bought a couple of years ago and was in pretty rough shape.
OK, it was disgusting! It looked like something the previous owners probably kept in the garage and used for soda and beer. Or fish bait. Anyway, we wanted to wait to buy a new fridge until we were ready to renovate the kitchen. However, the old fridge kicked all four feet into the air on New Year’s Eve, so we had to get one now.
Fortunately, Jim and K had already researched refrigerators pretty thoroughly, and we had a good idea of what we wanted…a Samsung 29.6 cu. ft. side by side. Actually we wanted the model that has a wifi LED screen built into the freezer door (doesn’t EVERYONE need a computer in their refrigerator??), but there were none of those to be had within a quick timeframe. So we went with the model without the wifi. After some price comparisons online, we found a great deal at the local Sears Appliance Store, and bought one there on New Years Day.
The only hitch was that they couldn’t deliver it for four days. We went home and salvaged what we could out of the fridge and put it into 2 coolers on the patio. I can’t tell you how many times during those four days that I automatically walked over to the old fridge and opened it when I needed something – it was a lot!
Finally Saturday arrived and so did our new fridge! The delivery guy said it was the sweetest delivery ever – I guess he was happy that we had no stairs and no narrow doors.
They got it set up in a jiffy and left us to get to know our new appliance.
Initially, all three of us spend a good deal of time groveling on the floor trying to get the thing leveled. That was a pretty big pain, but we did get it dead-on level. I unloaded both coolers and we sat and admired our new toy.
It’s very roomy, and has digital controls that we love. Its dimensions are a little smaller than the old fridge, but it has 3 more cubic feet – how does that work?? Anyway, it’s a great fridge that just may take us on in