Monday, August 19, 2013

Beach House Transformation: Kitchen Demo in progress

On my due date, we started our kitchen demo! I know, I know. We're crazy. If things had worked out the way we had planned, we would have been done weeks before, but our cabinet guy took a bit longer than expected, and since you can't do anything until you do cabinets...

So here's a walk-through of our demo! I can't wait to share more pictures as it gets completed. The new layout is SO much more practical for our family!


Boy, we are changing a lot!

First off, we had this weird, table-height bar that separated our living room and kitchen and acted as our dining room table. It took up a ton of floor and air space and gave us really terrible storage, plus I never really liked how half the party was sitting in the living room, on the carpet, while the other half was sitting in the kitchen, a totally different room. It had to go. Our plan is to make it a walk-through, and extend the counters to the beam as well as add an upper cabinet.

Second, the tile counter. Oh my barf. It was this dingey, pukey yellow tile from the seventies that was cracked and hideous, and don't even get me started on why grout should never be allowed in kitchens.

Third, the cabinets. These cabinets were mostly functional, except that they were pretty old and had been painted over SO MANY TIMES - improperly, I might add - that the paint was peeling off. If you're ever going to paint your cabinets as a DIY fix, DO NOT use high-gloss. It will peel right off and leave you with ugly, flaking layers and discolored cabinets.

Fourth, the location of the sink and appliances, and the practical placement of cabinet space. The sink is significantly off-center from the window. And with the dishwasher right up against the corner like that, it made for a super-deep lower cabinet that was hard to store anything in if we ever planned on using it. So to fix all of this, we're centering the sink to the window, moving the dishwasher to the left side of the sink (it makes more sense since you hold the sponge in your right hand and the dish in the left, that way you don't have to cross over and risk dropping glass), and making that corner cabinet a bit more functional and accessible.

Phew! We're changing other stuff, too, like the flooring and the paint, but we're keeping our appliances to save some money. I'd love a gas range, but we only have an electric hookup, so it would be pointless to buy a new one.

Here's our process for the demo, from beginning to end!

First, we spent about two hours (it would have been faster if I hadn't been involved. Mama's not too fast these days) boxing up all the stuff in the cabinets that would be demolished, as well as the stuff on the counters. I thought we had a lot more stuff, but once it was all out and we could see it all, I realized it really isn't that much.

We taped some plastic up between the kitchen and living room to minimize dust and debris, but it ended up being a little pointless since they needed to access that side of the counter, too.

And the demo begins! Conrad moved the stove and began chiseling the tile off the wall. Be careful with the drywall or you'll have lots of extra repairs at the end of it!

And the first cabinet is out! Conrad's dad is a professional contractor, so he had all the tools needed. He brought a wheelbarrow, some industrial trash cans, shovels, chisels, crowbars, hammers of different sizes, pipe wrenches, and even a trailer on the back of his truck to tow all the trash away!

They threw stuff out the window into a trash can, and made many, many, many trips down to the trailer!

Major progress in under an hour! If Conrad's dad hadn't been there to help us, it would have taken days. If you don't know a professional contractor who can help you efficiently, then here are some things you want to look up BEFORE you start your project. Otherwise you'll be stopping every half hour to Google the obstacles you come across.

- How to cap live wires
- How to remove cabinetry and tile from drywal without damaging it
- How to cap sink pipes

You can see below that there were a couple of "oopsies" as far as drywall went. Luckily, the few little dings are small and easily patchable, and will eventually be covered with subway tile backsplash.

Got the sink out! He turned off the water in that area and plugged the pipe so it doesn't stink up the house.

And the most exciting part for me: knocking out the horrible table-bar! Notice how the plastic draping is gradually coming down.

And the stupid wet bar! It was rusted and leaky and useless, especially once we made the layout more open. Who needs a sink in a carpeted living room when you easily have walk-through access to the kitchen sink?

AAAaaaaand the bar goes down. Happiest moment of the day. Also, that burrito I ate, but this was up there. (also, plastic draping is totally gone, and the mess has made it's way onto the carpet).

Figuring out how to break it up and carry it out. That thing was heavy! And yes, I sat on a chair watching the whole time. Didn't lift a single swollen finger.

Starting to look awesome! I don't even care that we don't have a sink or counter space! I'm so excited to see it open up!

Getting cleaner and cleaner!

Figuring out the pipes, trying to take the cabinet off without a rusty disaster!

And the wet bar is gone! Conrad's happy.

After: All cleaned up!

There were a couple of things we came across as we tore stuff out that may add some work, but we knew that would probably happen. Notice there's some black mold below the window where the sink was (that's to be expected, since it's the most moist spot in the kitchen)...

...and it's hard to tell from the picture, but there's linoleum floor under the tile, which means tearing the tile up will be a little harder than we thought. You can kind of see some black and white squares in the picture above where the tile and cement meet, and in the picture below where the tile's quite lifted.

We profusely thanked Conrad's dad and after he left (with all our garbage), we went to Home Depot and bought a shop vac (heavy duty vacuum) for $30 and a floor scraper to help us remove the tile. I can't wait to share the progress of the renovation!

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