Demo Day: Kitchen Remodel & Structural Wall Removal
Part 2: Demo Day!!
It’s part 2 of our kitchen remodel and structural wall removal!
Yay yay yay for demo day!! Beyond excited to share these demolition day photos with you all! The build up to demo day was intense and almost 3 years in the making! I could not wait to get out the sludge hammer! Lol! But first comes prep. After moving everything we could into the office we masked up all cabinets and doorways.
Then it was time to tear up the existing floor. I’ve had a few people ask me why we did this because the flooring was put in by the previous owner and basically new. Here’s the thing, personally I feel that putting ‘new’ wood floors next to ‘old’ or pre-existing wood floors is a very tricky thing to get right. Quit frankly these floors didn’t come anywhere close to hitting that mark. They also weren’t cut correctly and didn’t meet up to the walls in many places. But mostly they just weren’t my taste and when you’re doing as major of a remodel as this was there’s no better time to change them.
Once the floor was up the baseboards came off and the sludge hammer came out 😉 As you can see we wore proper ventilation for the entire process. The kitchen side of the wall came off in big chunks and was made of some kind of thick almost cardboard-like material. We used a stud finder to locate a stud then cut down the wall with the saw. Then the crow bar was used to pull the wall off of the studs. However, the other side, which was the hallway side, was the most fun because the sludge hammer did all the work. And as you can see it also made the biggest mess lol.
For those of you who haven’t seen the inside or makeup of a lath and plaster wall, here’s a close-up. I certainly have a new-found respect for how old houses were built.
You know it’s a big mess when you have to use a snow shovel to clean it up! I’m sure you can tell from the lighting but we had to switch many of the breakers off prior to demolition because there were several live wires in the wall. It made for a very dark workspace even with a couple of shop lights.
We applied the same technique to opening the doorway. Ed used the saw to cut along a stud after we decided how wide and high we wanted to go. It was both very scary and very cool standing on the other side of the wall watching that saw blade come through.
It was AMAZING to see such a dramatic immediate change once the walls were down! And then we cleaned, and shoveled, and cleaned some more before we moved on to the ceiling.
It was around this point when we paused and said, ‘What are we looking at?’. The answer being another ceiling on the top of this one. The ceiling had been ‘dropped’ down not once but twice. Now while this meant more work it also meant more height so I wasn’t too sad! 😉 You can see below how the first old ceiling was attached right above the top of the cabinets.
In order to get the ceiling boards down we had to take the upper cabinets off the walls, which revealed some surprises. We found that there wasn’t brick behind them. I was a little bummed about this because I had planned on doing some open shelving. On the other wall there was some kind of wood covering that also didn’t go behind the cabinets and because of the ceiling’s new height would have to be removed.
So we finally got the next ceiling down and were able to look at the original ceiling joists, after a lot more blown in insulation was removed of course. Let me tell ya, that stuff is NOT fun!
After two hot weekends of demolition in the kitchen we were able to start forming a real design plan because we now knew what was underneath it all, where the beam would go, and how high we could make the ceiling. What we had to decide was what kind of ceiling line we wanted…oh and everything else lol. It was at this point that our refrigerator joined the dining table in the living room and we started living and dining in the bedroom. Did you follow that? Ha! And it would be that way for quite some time but we made it through with a little help from a kiddie pool because sometimes the best thing to do when your house’s a mess is go outside 😉
Part 3 of our kitchen remodel and structural wall removal coming soon! Always feel free to ask any questions you might have! Thanks for stopping by our little blog!