Sunday, September 5, 2010

Kitchen Demolition

Today with the help of my dad and uncle, we demolished our Kitchen. It felt great! I tell ya... if you're ever having a bad day and need to let off some steam, pick up a crowbar and tear down drywall! Great stress reliever! My uncle brought his saws-all and went a little crazy on the cabinets, so we had the nastiness out of the house in about an hour!
Of course, we found a couple unexpected things. The first being the open electrical box that was behind the dishwasher, with live wires sticking out of it. Lovely. Luckily we have an electrician coming in this week, so he'll take care of that for us. The dishwasher wasn't even hooked up to that.. it was hardwired through the floor (as was the stove). Again, it'll all be taken care of, thank God. Electrical stuff scares me.

Another minor problem we found was the floor beneath the sink cabinet. Not only was it disgusting and filled with dirt, acorns, toys, food wrappers, bottle caps, and BONES (mice and other larger somethings...), but the plywood was completely rotted. So we made our first Lowe's trip of the day and got some new plywood.
Next came tearing down the drywall. My dad kept trying to talk me out of it, but I'm glad I insisted on tearing it down. In all of the other rooms we've been leaving the plaster and/or drywall and just painting over it for now, due to our tight moving-in schedule. But in the Kitchen, the wallpaper was fused to the drywall and would not come off. No matter what we tried. And it was old and yucky, and I'm sorry, but Kitchens need to be clean (ok, according to me, everything needs to be clean, but Kitchens especially). There isn't a ton of drywall in the Kitchen because there are so many openings and the huge fireplace, so it wouldn't be that bad. As soon as all of the drywall was down and out of the house, everyone agreed with me. The horrible smell that had been in the Kitchen was now completely gone. The smell was probably a mixture of moldy drywall, mouse poop in the cabinets and the rotten floor. All of which are now in the backyard in a portable dumpster. And we got the pleasure of seeing what the walls in the Kitchen used to look like.... very very wide, very very detailed wood panels. Yet more proof of the Wilcox's wealth.
Old wallpaper, also showing where the original wall was (the back half of the house was originally split up into three rooms).
My backyard
And this is when we hit the major snag of the day. Electrical outlets. There weren't enough in the Kitchen, both for code requirements and for S's small appliance requirements.  So we had to call an electrician to run some new wires for a bunch of new GFCI outlets as well as outlets for the dishwasher, microwave/hood and stove. And why not throw in some new wall switches while we're at it. So here's the problem. It's the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. We're not going to get anyone in this weekend. So this ruins our plans. We had 3 days straight to work on the Kitchen and get it done, but now we have nothing we can do. We can't move forward with anything until the electrical is done (No drywall, no floor, no cabinets, no paint, no trim, etc, etc, etc).

So, you ask, what did we do? We found stuff to do (not hard to do in a 239 year old house). Today we decided to replace the one old window in the house. It was left, most likely, because it was a taller window, and the Kitchen cabinets had been installed right in front of it. Turns out, it was also open, letting in more smells and mice. Woohoo. Enter Lowe's trip #2 of the day. My dad and I went in search of a matching window, but in a shorter size, so that it would fit above the base cabinets. All we could find in that size were windows without an mullions, or with a 4/4 grid. I can't do that when the rest of the windows are 6/6 and it would be very very obvious if this one was different. So I set off wandering around the store looking for someone to help me (which never happened... one guy said the window guy was on his lunch break, and he'd send someone else over to help. No one ever showed up). On my way back to my dad I noticed a window on a cart in the back of the store. No label, but it appeared to be the correct size. After arguing over the windows some more, we decided to go look at doors instead (to replace the back door that is impossible to open). Now my dad sees the window, and discovers a tiny price tag on the top. It was a special order that was returned. Originally $239... we get it for $50! Now that's a great deal!
The Kitchen at the end of the day

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