Kitchen Renovation – Part III (aka The Wall Came Tumbling Down)

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…

Kitchen Reno 14

Jim started by removing some drywall, which exposed the stucco-covered, former exterior concrete wall.

Kitchen Reno 1

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.

Kitchen Reno 2

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.

Kitchen Reno 1

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.

Kitchen Reno 2

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.

Kitchen Reno 1

Kitchen Reno 2

The newly exposed back of the kitchen drywall provided a clue as to the approximate age of the kitchen.

Kitchen Reno 3

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!

Kitchen Reno 4

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!

Kitchen Reno 5

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.

Kitchen Reno 1

That left one big, bad piece of shiny granite backsplash to contend with.

Kitchen Reno 2

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:

Kitchen Reno 1

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.

Kitchen Reno 2

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.

Kitchen Reno 3

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.

Kitchen Reno 4

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.

Kitchen Reno 7

We’ve got a temporary brace holding up one end of the corner upper cabinet. Very fashionable.

Kitchen Reno 5

It also makes a nice shelf for the olive oil.

Kitchen Reno 6

So that’s the saga of removing the den/kitchen wall – stay tuned for our next adventure, relocating the refrigerator!

About donnahuebsch

I'm a wife, a mom to an unschooling teenager, an animal lover, an artsy craftsy kind of person, & a DIYer. We're embarking on our BIGGEST do-it-yourself project yet - renovating an entire house!
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2 Responses to Kitchen Renovation – Part III (aka The Wall Came Tumbling Down)

  1. LOL at your dog Molly…that was funny and yes she did look like she was smiling.
    I am constantly coughing and I seriously think that months of living under dust did this to me. Plus it did not help that half the dust contained asbestos and lead paint. oppsie. And your kitchen walls are my all time favorite color. If you paint please paint the same color LOL. What are you going to do with the old counter?

  2. donnahuebsch says:

    Can’t promise to paint the same color – we had a lot of dark red in our previous house and we’re ready for a change! We are going to try to re-use chunks of the old counter when we re-do our bathrooms and laundry room.

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