Friday, September 27, 2013

Week 3 of Kitchen Remodel

Or as I like to call it...How many things do you see wrong in these pictures?
Kitchen window--improper header
Kitchen door-NO header
Sink wall--original entrance into the basement/dungeon/cellar
Obviously  these will be corrected even though they have been like this for over fifty years. The old entry opening will be blocked with some studs to support the drywall . The door and window will require temporary supports be built and the header and king studs be tied in to the existing studs. This goes a long way to explaining the broken seal on the window and a warped door. The door frame has a bow in it from the unsupported weight settling over time. On the other side of the studs (exterior) there are some steel studs which is why the house didn't come crashing down after the addition in 1960's. But I feel since the walls are open we might as well do this right.

We had to plastic over the sink wall since it opened to the basement/ dungeon/ cellar. The smell is awful. It is a combination of mildew and  musty stagnant air. We have fans going  but it is killing my allergies. The odoban will go on this weekend. That should go a long way to get rid of the 132 years of funk...yuck!!

It has been slow going. Very little work was done Labor Day week because the hubbs was on call for his job and  I was overwhelmed with assignments for school. To be honest it took us this long to get rid of our debris from the 3 wall that have been demolished. We didn't have the money to rent a dumpster, so we have been setting the garbage out over the last 3 weeks so as to not go over our allowed pounds of trash and incur extra charges. We have all the lath strips we have accumulated so far in a burn pile in the back yard.

After careful inspection we decided not to pull the ceiling down. There is a layer of insulating acoustical tiles glued onto the what we are assuming is plaster. We have checked the integrity and everything is solid.  Of course there is also the possibility those tiles contain asbestos. Not something we want to mess with...ever!

The hubbs and my step-dad did a little exploration to located the ceiling studs and marked them. The glued tiles will be wiped down with TSP and then some bleach, allowed to dry before installing the drywall over the existing ceiling. 3-31/2 in screws will hold everything nice and tight.

Of course this blew my lighting plan to install recessed lights. Instead we will go with a track light system. The trick is for me to find something not ugly, not expensive and not overly modern. The existing junction box will remain in the current location. There will be a minimal of poking around to run a switch. It appears the beam run east-west and so does the existing wire. The switch will be located on the sink wall closest to the entry.

These are the 2 options I am considering for track lighting.
Lowe's Portfolio 6 light Bushed Nickel

 with this
Home Depot Hampton Bay Flex Steel

The good news is  1) my neighbor (who is a professional builder) came over to check our progress, told us everything is actually pretty solid and the original siding (which you can see on the exposed walls) is called hurricane siding. He said this house will probably make it another 100 years. That was actually a wonderful thing to hear...and 2) I found a new window ($118) and a slab solid core wood door ($63)-woot! The slab wood door is the best option. We can plane it if needed to accommodate for any imperfections. I will lose the window in the door but I am ok with that. We can always add it later if I choose, for now it will be drilled out with a peep hole.

Here's my list from my earlier kitchen remodel post with some additions/ modifications
  • Finish tearing out the plaster and lathe on the North wall
  • Cut out the wall boards in the sink area to remove mold. It appears to be contained in a few spots. Decided to do a complete tear out
  • Patch/ repair the remaining 2 walls. Possibly skim coat. Decided to do a complete tear out
  • Build temporary supports for new headers over door and window.
  • Bleach and Odo-Ban the walls and ceiling, allow to dry. 
  • Possibly Kilz the walls. 
  • Cut out a  2 foot by 8 foot floor section (sink area)
  • Sister the joist beams and shim where the floor slopes
  • Determine if sill plate needs repaired  Damage is minimal-yay!
  • Install a floor jack on North-East corner--where the the sill plate is water damaged
  • Move the stove outlet from floor to the wall and update to a new receptacle
  • Install necessary outlet for gas hookup (no connection to line, preparing in advance for stove replacement)--Maybe--checking on requirements
  • Lay a new subfloor
  • Replace, update and attach the outlet to a stud on east wall
  • Add 1-2 new receptacle(s) to the east wall (window wall)
  • Move junction box, update and wire in a wall switch for the ceiling fixture. Retain original location and use track lighting.
  • Replace the window
  • Attach furring strips to the exterior walls (North and East) to bump out the depth
  • Insulate and seal. minimize any possible cracks, leaks or vermin/bug/ draft entry points
  • Drywall, mud, tape, prime and paint


  1. We just finished (except for some trim) most of our kitchen remodel. , It actually took its years and the maybe
    was completely gutted. Understand the work amd patience, amd money involved. It is so great when you can get in their and use it again! ! I actually bought the first set of track lighting. We really like the way we could choose how to brand it and place the light for our needs. It looks great. The two things I might take into consideration, for lighting is how dark the room is without it. The first one has glass holder which allows more light to shine through the glass cover. The second with the metal cover looks as if it flared fairly well to let the light expands out. Also, may produce a whiter light, as the glass cover s do make the light glow a little more on the yellow side. This is fine for my kitchen, but something you may not like.
    Have fun with you decisions.

    1. That's true I didn't think of the light being impacted by the glass shades. Both of the options are readily available and I am trying to keep the price reasonable (<$200). We will also have under cabinet lighting which will help.

  2. Looks like the project has yielded some bad surprises, but I'm glad to see you've found "options".
    Don't get discouraged--it's moving along quite well, all things considered.
    Good luck!


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