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Thread: Kitchen Overhaul

  1. #1

    Kitchen Overhaul

    Okay, I have been at this kitchen overhaul since May, working mostly on free weekends. Most major construction/destruction has occurred over 3 day weekends, and it has been almost entirely my work as a lone gun. My father took a day and helped demo when I got to the point where ALL of the old cabinets and the walls could come out.

    For some background, this house was built in the 1850's (which will become evident when you see the framing--coming later), and has been in my wife's family since it was built. We were invited to stay in it while I finished grad school, as long as we took care of the place and fixed it up a little (a much bigger job than originally thought).

    The kitchen is 9' x 11', and appears to have been last renovated in the 1950's. Since there was not originally electricity or plumbing in the house when built, all the appliances were placed in the kitchen, since it was near to the main water pipeline and original fusebox for the house. Thankfully, a 125 amp breaker was installed in the 1980's (which you can see just behind the washer/dryer unit).

    Since my wife has been very patient with living in this old 1200 square foot house with all its idiosyncrasies, I decided that it was time to make a major renovation in the kitchen, as it was a nightmare to get two people in there to do anything at all.

    I will let everyone enjoy the "before" pics, and will update a little later, but I must warn that I am still in the process of making the cabinets, so things are still a bit rough.

    So far, we have:

    (1) Had the electrical upgraded to a 400 amp service (mostly to run electrical out to the barn for my shop, and allow for an on-demand water heater to take less space in the kitchen). This is the only thing I hired out.

    (2) Installed a new, energy efficient window.

    (3) Installed all new plumbing in the house (a fun 4th of July weekend project).

    (4) Torn out all drywall and T&G poplar underneath.

    (5) Stiffened up some of the walls between the post and beam.

    (6) Added Foam Insulation between the "studs".

    (7) Are in the process of adding new cabinets, giving LOTS of new storage.

    (8) Added a new oven, refrigerator, water softener, on-demand water heater, and

    (9) Started on a pass-through breakfast bar that will allow the kitchen to be viewable from the living room.

    You can see some of my very first attempts at cabinets--those are the white painted objects that convinced me that I could actually succeed at this task. Most of those were made with nothing more than a router, a circular saw, and a Kreg jig.

    On to the photos:

    The narrow entry:


    The south wall:


    A panorama view:


    The north wall:


    The poor sink and counter:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southern Louisiana
    Posts
    947
    homer,

    i look forward to seeing the progress. i am in the process of building cabinets for a home built in the 1890's, thankfully i am not remodeling the house, only doing cabs. but from being there and seeing what it takes, i have to say i feel for you. but in the end it will be well worth the effort.

    keep the pics coming. thanks for sharing
    chris

  3. #3
    I'll keep updating here, Chris. I had originally intended to do exactly what you are doing. Unfortunately, as I started trying to work up a list of cabinets, I kept running into the fact that the floor plan in the kitchen was just unworkable. There were several changes I had wanted to make when we moved in, but my confidence and budget kept me from doing so.

    I decided that as long as we were going to upgrade, I was not going to cut corners, so here I am 6 months later with about 1/3 of the carcasses hung.

  4. #4
    Below are a few pictures of the progress that was made throughout the month of October. What you will not see in these pictures is the new plumbing, as well as the relocation of the washer/dryer unit to the opposite end of the house. I actually had to disassemble the HVAC duct work so that I could get back to the corner where I would have to fish the plumbing and electrical work. When they added the bedroom and bathroom in the 1950's, you would have thought that they could have used a tractor to scoop out at least 18" of crawl space.

    I am very lucky that the majority of the beams under the house are white oak, as I have literally dug out a trench under the house so that I can access most of the plumbing and electrical runs. With the dirt being so close to the joists, this would have been a serious problem by now if native oak timbers were not used.

    Below you can see what it looked like when my father and I cut out and pulled down the drywall and the 1/2" T&G poplar that was on the west wall. I put the window in before I knew I was going to gut the entire room, so that explains the strange looking jack studs. I had no clue why there would not be a header over the old windows. They were literally attached only to the lap siding, so I installed a header when I put in the new window.

    When I opened up the wall, I realized that the load was all being carried by the oak posts and beams (as it was designed to do), and we could easily shake the entire wall just by pulling on one of the poplar "studs" because they were not intended to bear a load.



    Here is a close up of one of the main posts holding up the house, and you can see that the 45 support is a pinned mortise and tenon joint. Pretty Neat.



    I took the opportunity to run several new circuits in the kitchen, add some nice insulation to the wall (rather than the blown in junk that was all settled out), and put some cross-bracing in to tie all the studs together. That all took quite a bit of time.



    As you can see here now that the south wall is demoed, there was a transom above where the refrigerator and washer/drier used to sit. You can also see the two 200 amp breakers that were installed. I wish there was a better place to put those breakers, but we're stuck with the location. A pass-through breakfast bar will be where the transom was located.


  5. #5
    Wow, I must have either done a perfect job, or bored everyone to death.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,582
    Not bored, at all, just busy

    An amazing job, should be snug as a bug in there when done!

    Keep them coming!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ozarks
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    4,992
    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Faucett View Post
    Wow, I must have either done a perfect job, or bored everyone to death.
    sorry homer! 75 fires and one bucket........why 400 amp service in a residence? tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southern Louisiana
    Posts
    947
    i recognize that type of framin for sure. that is exactly how the house that my clients tore down is framed.

    looking good, keep those pics comin.

    chris

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    sorry homer! 75 fires and one bucket........why 400 amp service in a residence? tod

    The 400 amp service was needed to supply the electrical to our tankless water heater and my shop in the barn. We are on oil heat, so a propane or gas tankless heater was out. The electric tankless systems draw a lot of amps in a short period of time to heat the water 70+ degrees. The water heater alone pretty much made it necessary to upgrade to the 400 amp service.

    We also have a well, and I put in 100 amps in the workshop. Before the upgrade, I could not run my table saw without tripping the breaker, so I was using a generator every time I wanted to power up the saw . . . and it wasn't really powerful enough to do that. Having sufficient power to the shop has really helped out, and I find myself using the table saw a lot more.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Mire View Post
    i recognize that type of framin for sure. that is exactly how the house that my clients tore down is framed.

    looking good, keep those pics comin.

    chris

    Did they have the windows framed in, or were they simply attached to the siding as well? That system just does not seem to be a good idea to me, and I'm guessing it was done by some local contractor back in the day that was not using common techniques.

    There are a lot of things in this old house that make me scratch my head. Some genius tied copper pipe into galvanized pipe without using a dielectric union. I replaced all the plumbing with PEX, except the 4 foot section of galvanized that went from the poly feeder from the well, under the foundation, and up into the crawlspace.

    Well, we've never had great water pressure in the house, and it went absolutely dead on the Friday before Labor Day Weekend. Guess where the galvanic corrosion from the copper pipe had occurred? At the galvanized elbow where the poly pipe meets the galvanized, right at the bottom of the foundation!

    Regardless, we now have excellent water pressure, as we were apparently constantly pumping water through that hole since we moved in, and it had just finally gotten large enough to become a serious problem. It's a good thing the supply line sat right over a tile.

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