It did not take long for us to start planing what we were going to do with the house. The offer was just barely accepted before we were talking about the things we needed to change or fix and the things we wanted to change.
One of the biggest things we wanted to do was open up the kitchen, this is a very popular thing to do and I really like it. One of the reasons I wanted a larger house was so that I could entertain, and one does not do that easily when trapped in a kitchen. We suspected (correctly) that one of the the two walls that we wanted to take out was load bearing so we came up with some ideas on how to deal with this. Luckily I have a father who is a Civil Engineer and an Uncle in construction so we were able to come up a good solution that we were happy with.
We visited the house a couple of times while in escrow planning the kitchen lay out. We quickly realized that we would need to move the sink, since it was in the corner with a wall we wanted to remove.
While some might balk at removing what looks like perfectly good cabinets and counters, be assured that you can’t see all the cracks in the tile from here.
Here are a couple of pictures of the kitchen in the original form. Really nice… if you like being locked into a closed space and made to cook dinner.
It was a long journey from that to this:
It has changed a bit.
We started here, on this wall. Not sure why, but you have to start somewhere. We began taking things apart. In hindsight deconstruction goes much faster than the putting it back together.
Step one carefully take out the shelves. We re used them next to the new sink.
Remove Cabinets and Counters.
Remove wall, and admire your handiwork.
Then take this wall… and make it look like…
(The other side) Looking out of the kitchen into the living room.
It was here that we had to use the professionals. Putting the beam in was made to look easy by the wife’s Uncle. Easily worth twice what it cost. He got it done in one (longish) day. Including reinforcing under the house to handle the way the load of the wall shifted. It’s nice to have a father who can make you feel good that the engineering was right. (He actually did the math.)
It’s nice to have people who know what they are doing.
Looking pretty awesome.
Later that night once we cleaned up a bit, looks really good. Still so much work to do.
The only picture I have of myself. We took out the built-in cabinet and the ironing board in the wall behind me, I’ll share what we did with that space in another post.
The Lovely Wife is working hard here. Putting the wall back together.
Look we have walls (mostly) it got late and needed to have the electrical finished up before it was closed up.
We also started work on the arches for the corners of the doorway.
We did arches here too, mainly to hide the vent pipe in the upper right corner.
Once we got all the electrical done and drywall up we could start installing the cabinets and appliances. It was around this time that we moved in. We had the bathroom done (which we were working on concurrently) and were hoping to get things done faster by living in the house instead of an hour away.
Getting this set of cabinets were relatively easy. and the kitchen was somewhat usable.
We got the diswasher and stove hooked up ASAP with no sink in the kitchen there was no way I was doing dishes in the garage.
The hardest part of getting the Cabinets in was putting the pantry in. It needed to be cut down and assembled in place since it was exactly 8 foot by 2 by 2 leaving no room for the slight inconsistencies in a 75 year old house.
I’m glad I only had to put one of these in. Though I was impressed with how well the wife and I managed it, just ourselves.
We then put the rest of the cabinets in to finish the island. With proper reinforcement for the bar overhang. We then had to wait a while for the counter tops to be made and installed.
They were finally put in just 2 days before our house warming party. We still did not have a kitchen floor for that party, but it was great to have a fully functioning kitchen!
There are still things that need to be done. Little things, moulding, and other small details are still unfinished but even I don’t see them. Every day I come home and smile at how amazing my house is.