Author Topic: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal  (Read 3553 times)

coffeefueled

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We finally decided to tackle renovating our kitchen the DIY way thanks to all you helpful internet strangers who convinced us it's possible over on this thread: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/do-it-yourself-forum!/considering-diy-kitchen-reno-convince-us-we-areare-not-crazy/

We moved into our 1930s cottage with a 1970s addition last summer. The kitchen is in the original part of the home. The room is about 10x9 divided by doors in the center of each long wall. The small u-shaped kitchen is tucked into one half. There's not much counter space that's not a corner or used by the electric stove top and sink. You can't open the dishwasher if someone is cooking at the stove. The other half of the room is empty except for the fridge on the back wall with an odd section of above fridge sized cabinets that run the whole wall. The doors make it a pretty poor layout despite the size of the space.

We plan to knock down a wall to make the adjoining unused room part of a long galley style kitchen. We now plan to do the demo ourselves including ripping up and replacing the hardwood floors. We had wanted to refinish them, but they're too thin to sand again. We'll also build and hang the cabinets which we plan to order from thecabinetjoint. We'll hire out trades for the new gas line, the hood ventilation, the counter install, and adding an outside tap to the front of the house (since it's the only time we plan to open the front wall).

Near term to do list:
1. Find out if the wall is load bearing. We don't think it is, but like @Radagast mentioned it could be tricky to tell in an older house.
2. Interview trades so we have an idea of costs and timing
3. Order cabinet samples (done)
4. Order flooring samples
5. Demo odd shaped closet in room #2 to allow for more accurate measurements
6. Demo drywall from wall to take a look at structure etc

Other projects we're tackling:
1. Add rigid foam insulation to crawlspace walls
2. Put ventilation fans in the bathrooms
3. Build a fence down the side of the property closest to the road

I attached our draft layout. Part of me wants to do wall ovens, but I think we'd loose our pantry space. Instead we're planning on a gas slide in range. I'll post pictures of the current kitchen this weekend.

Saskatchewstachian

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2019, 09:38:32 AM »
Posting to Follow.

Since you gave the OK to thread hijack a little bit I will give a rundown of ours (which is remarkably similar) then we can track progress together.

Our kitchen is a 9'x10' 6' kitchen what was redone in the early 90's. It's an L shape with an island in the middle. The plan for the renovation is to knock out the wall into the formal dining room and turn it into a 18'x11' kitchen. This will entail removal of floors, a wall, all cabinets, moving of gaslines, electrical, re framing of an exterior window, re-stippling the entire main area of the house, and installation of a rangehood. 

The gas and electrical work will be done by contractors as well as the re framing of the window. Initially we thought we would do the re-framing ourselves whoever since it is February and is getting down to -34C (-29F) at night  we would like to ensure it is completed in one day and as quickly as possible therefore we are paying the pros for this piece.All other work such as laminate flooring, IKEA cabinets, plumbing, etc will be done by DW and I. Oh and there is an 8 month old in the mix so that will keep us busy as well.

The plan for this weekend is to  carefully remove the existing cabinets so that we can list them for resale as well as take out the wall and flooring. The electrician will be in mid next week to move all boxes, install pot lights and reconfigure circuits as currently plugins are tied to the same breaker as the lights.

Glad to find someone doing similar work Coffeefueled and I look forward to sharing the mutual progress.


coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2019, 02:59:58 PM »
Here's some pictures of the little pantry and odd fridge area. There's so much wasted space. Once we knock out the doorway, wall, and closet this will become one seamless wall with the range in the middle and the fridge on the far right. Hopefully the shape of the little pantry will give us some extra fridge depth, but it's really hard to tell whether the back walls of the two rooms are flush. We won't really know until it comes down.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2019, 06:13:04 PM »
Posting to follow.  We did a big diy kitchen reno a couple years ago now - moved a wall, vaulted the ceiling, built our own cabinets...   Every day we still love it and the satisfaction we still get from having done it ourselves. 

Good luck!

mavendrill

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2019, 05:59:46 AM »
Good luck.

When we redid our kitchen, one thing we hated was the price of countertops.  We had a long galley with three distinct sections.  We decided to use two different countertop materials.  We put granite on top of our dw/sink area, and diy'd acacia wood butcherblock for the rest.  Total cost was about the replacement cost of pros doing laminate, the contrast looks amazing, and we got better materials.  I just mention because if you have any interest, butcher block can be found amazingly affordably ( at least in my region), and is wonderful for non-wet surfaces.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2019, 04:59:54 PM »
"We're going to need a bigger boat."

After pouring ourselves a drink we decided to put the inaugural hole in the wall and investigate where the wall behind the fridge meets the back wall of the little closet. After a few progressively more enthusiastic swings of the hammer we have now confirmed that the painted wood paneling behind the fridge is in fact real wood and not paint over thin vinyl-type board with pictures of wood on it. We also discovered that the entire second room is sheathed in cement board not drywall. First round goes to the old kitchen - house 1, would-be renovators 0.

I think it's time we bought ourselves a reciprocating saw.

J Boogie

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2019, 09:44:18 AM »
"We're going to need a bigger boat."

After pouring ourselves a drink we decided to put the inaugural hole in the wall and investigate where the wall behind the fridge meets the back wall of the little closet. After a few progressively more enthusiastic swings of the hammer we have now confirmed that the painted wood paneling behind the fridge is in fact real wood and not paint over thin vinyl-type board with pictures of wood on it. We also discovered that the entire second room is sheathed in cement board not drywall. First round goes to the old kitchen - house 1, would-be renovators 0.

I think it's time we bought ourselves a reciprocating saw.

Holy crap, you don't have a recip saw??

The finesse involved in a good demo is often overlooked. With good planning and skillful work, materials can be salvaged intact and shuffled into their interim location quickly and out of scope surfaces can be protected/remain undamaged. Not to mention personal protective gear!

A recurring regret in my remodeling history is not buying the really helpful tool sooner.  A laser level will be really helpful for you installing cabinets and backsplash as well as trimming out doorways, baseboards etc.


coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2019, 08:23:38 AM »
Holy crap, you don't have a recip saw??

We do now. :) Freshly ordered off amazon. I'm going to take down the little pantry this weekend.

Has anyone installed a makeup air system? We finally decided on a Jenn-air slide in dual fuel stove and plan to get a vent hood at around 600cfm. We've been making other improvements that have reduced the home's air leakage (spray foamed half the attic, sealed crawlspace vents) and plan to do more, so we want to avoid a backdraft situation with the fireplace and gas furnace. It's a question we plan to ask HVAC contractors as we're taking bids on running the ventilation for the vent hood, but we wondered what your experiences have been.

Radagast

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2019, 10:06:20 PM »
Holy crap, you don't have a recip saw??

We do now. :) Freshly ordered off amazon. I'm going to take down the little pantry this weekend.

Has anyone installed a makeup air system? We finally decided on a Jenn-air slide in dual fuel stove and plan to get a vent hood at around 600cfm. We've been making other improvements that have reduced the home's air leakage (spray foamed half the attic, sealed crawlspace vents) and plan to do more, so we want to avoid a backdraft situation with the fireplace and gas furnace. It's a question we plan to ask HVAC contractors as we're taking bids on running the ventilation for the vent hood, but we wondered what your experiences have been.
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coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2019, 08:55:09 AM »
@Radagast love the use of gene wilder in any meme or facepunch. Yeah, we could've eventually found what we wanted used, but we didn't feel like delaying the project to wait for a nice one to show up on craigslist. It's a time money tradeoff I don't mind making since I'm happy to use my $100 fun money budget to buy tools instead of coffee.

Radagast

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2019, 09:21:37 PM »
@Radagast love the use of gene wilder in any meme or facepunch. Yeah, we could've eventually found what we wanted used, but we didn't feel like delaying the project to wait for a nice one to show up on craigslist. It's a time money tradeoff I don't mind making since I'm happy to use my $100 fun money budget to buy tools instead of coffee.
I was like that at first. Then my new tools kept breaking and disappointing. There is a pawn shop a 5 minute walk from the house that sells a huge selection of used tools for 20-40% of the new price, which makes it both faster than any supplier of new tools and less expensive than craigslist. Were it not for that I might have been more of a new tool person myself.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2019, 07:34:43 PM »
Holy crap, you don't have a recip saw??

We do now. :) Freshly ordered off amazon. I'm going to take down the little pantry this weekend.

Has anyone installed a makeup air system? We finally decided on a Jenn-air slide in dual fuel stove and plan to get a vent hood at around 600cfm. We've been making other improvements that have reduced the home's air leakage (spray foamed half the attic, sealed crawlspace vents) and plan to do more, so we want to avoid a backdraft situation with the fireplace and gas furnace. It's a question we plan to ask HVAC contractors as we're taking bids on running the ventilation for the vent hood, but we wondered what your experiences have been.

Good luck!

We were going to do gas in our kitchen remodel, but ended up going induction. The deciding factor was conditioning the makeup air. The DW found a great deal on CL for a 6 burner 36" Thermador gas cooktop with correctly sized (1,000 CFM, ~1 CFM per 100 BTU capacity) vent hood. But that vent hood running at full speed could drain our house (3,200 sq/ft plus 1,500 sq/ft basement, with 2 fireplaces and an oil boiler) in 32 minutes (back draft city). Makeup air was going to be a must in that situation. Originally I had planed an inlet vent with an electronic damper controlled by turning the hood on. But I soon realized the energy penalty was going to be too great; we live in a heating dominated climate with a design value of -6F (that's the 99% low, we see a couple days a year with a low in the -15F to -25F range). We would either have to run the incoming air through the central heating system or a separate (likely electric) heating system; either way the system would have needed to bring that air up to a not-cold-draft temperature where ever it was reintroduced. Some back of the envelope math for the heating cost said we needed to reconsider.

I presume in a cooling dominate climate the opposite would be true makeup air would need to be cooled or dehumidified.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2019, 07:42:21 PM »
"We're going to need a bigger boat."

After pouring ourselves a drink we decided to put the inaugural hole in the wall and investigate where the wall behind the fridge meets the back wall of the little closet. After a few progressively more enthusiastic swings of the hammer we have now confirmed that the painted wood paneling behind the fridge is in fact real wood and not paint over thin vinyl-type board with pictures of wood on it. We also discovered that the entire second room is sheathed in cement board not drywall. First round goes to the old kitchen - house 1, would-be renovators 0.

I think it's time we bought ourselves a reciprocating saw.

Holy crap, you don't have a recip saw??

The finesse involved in a good demo is often overlooked. With good planning and skillful work, materials can be salvaged intact and shuffled into their interim location quickly and out of scope surfaces can be protected/remain undamaged. Not to mention personal protective gear!

A recurring regret in my remodeling history is not buying the really helpful tool sooner.  A laser level will be really helpful for you installing cabinets and backsplash as well as trimming out doorways, baseboards etc.

yes, Yes, YES!

I have many tools, laser level included, that I regret not buying earlier. They made the work go so much faster and easier, especially when working alone.

I have found the key to tool purchase is to try and plan out the project and how everything is going to be done (not just now, but until the end even if that is 6 months or a year away) and what tools will be needed. Then start stalking CL. I have a mix of new and used tool, I would have many more new tools if I hadn't been stalking CL for months knowing what tools I was going to need.

DangleStash

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2019, 02:06:21 PM »
I did 2 kitchens, 1 of which included taking down a structural wall, ~2 years ago when we purchased our multi-family.

A few tips/learnings:

If you have plaster and lath (versus drywall) - buy a wrecking bar.  I spent $20 on a 42" Dewalt Wrecking Bar at Home Depot, and I love the thing.  The angles on the tips are great, and it felt much better than the Stanley bar I used on someone else's project.  Use the ~90* end and just hit the plaster in between studs so that it bounces / loosens from the lath.  It will come down pretty easily, and it's MUCH easier to shovel out broken up plaster without cut up chunks of lath with nails in it.

Use the bar to then pry the lath off (will be easy) and bundle it for easy removal.

When it comes time to do counters, depending on the size of your kitchen, see if you can get it all done out of 1 slab if you go the granite route.  Many granite places will order 4-5 slabs for a 3-4 slab job, in case they make a mistake / break a piece they have a match.  These leftover slabs can be purchased at a discount, and you can end up with higher end material for bottom dollar.

Unsure if you're building cabinets or having someone install them, but the IKEA kitchens are actually great.  I put those into both units, and they have a 25 year warranty / have a 20% off sale 1-2 times per year.  They feel much higher end than they cost, and are a giant leap above the basic cabinets at Home Depot / Lowes.  They are also very simple to mount, as they mount on a rail and are then attached.  If you do go IKEA, make sure that you get the nicer drawers.  They won't even try to sell you the cheap ones, because they aren't durable.  The nicer ones are still cheap, but are metal and snap together.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2019, 06:32:04 AM »
Thanks for the tips @DangleStash

I'm long overdue for an update. We got sidetracked in wedding planning and didn't touch the kitchen for most of a month. We sat down last weekend and mapped out the timing for different demo stages and install to try to minimize the time without a kitchen and to sync up cabinet ordering and delivery with the rest of the project. I'm also hoping that having deadlines will keep us from letting the project languish once we've started demo.

Floors: I ordered some flooring samples from builddirect and hurst flooring. We plan on prefinished engineered oak with a DIY install on this entire side of the house. Has anyone ripped up an old wood floor? (We can't refinish because the top wear layer is too thin and shows nails.) How much of a pain was it and did it take forever? I don't want to install on top because our ceilings are already low and I want to correct some unevenness in the old floor/underlayment.

Wall demo: Scheduled for this weekend. I plan to try to save the wood paneling in the old kitchen for other random future projects because it turns out it's 1x8 cedar. The rock lath in the second room is crazy durable and well... rock-like. Once the paneling is down on the old kitchen side I'm hoping we can cut the nail between it and the stud and knock the rock lath into the room.

I'll take some pictures and let you know how it goes early next week.


coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2019, 10:29:40 AM »
We're finally getting started on the renovation after taking a break to get married and such.

We ordered our appliances. After a lot of searching craigslist and outlets we went through Best Buy and got a good deal on what we wanted. Everything ran us $5800.
  • Jenn-air dual fuel with oven + baking drawer
  • LG fridge (a simple version with no wifi and no water dispenser on the door)
  • Bosch dishwasher
  • Kitchen aid hood

We went with Cabinet Joint for the cabinets. They're one of the few companies that will do inset style in ready to assemble cabinets. We really wanted inset to be in keeping with the cottage/farmhouse style of our home. Going RTA means we get a custom look and quality at a lower price since we're putting it together and installing ourselves. I looked at Ikea and other options and we didn't like anything that wasn't inset which narrowed our choices a lot. We have one 20 foot run and one 14 ft run. It does include some extras that increased the cost like a full height pantry with pull out trays, a cabinet with a lift for the stand mixer, and a window seat with drawers to go under our tall window. Cost: ~$9800
 
We did a 180 on our floor decision. I had fallen in love with 7.5" engineered oak after hearing that we couldn't refinish the floors. We decided to do our due diligence and talk to a few more installers about the condition of the floors and subfloors. We found someone with great references who explained that the previous things we heard about not being able to restore the old floors is baloney. The old office that will become half the kitchen has the original 1930 floors - they're too thin to be replaced (cracking along the seams and obvious disintegration), but the rest of the house is in fine condition and is probably later 1950s/1970s era floors. We're now going to refinish the livingroom/diningroom/bedroom, plus add new wood in the kitchen and second bedroom to match for around $7500. They're also going to add a landing at the base of the second floors stairs so you don't have to step down from the livingroom then immediately back up to go upstairs. It's about 1000 sqft total. I still love the beautiful wide plank engineered floors we picked out, but I can't bring myself to spend the extra and throw out salvageable wood. And honestly once they're not golden yellow I'm sure I'll love them.
 
I realize the forum's collective eyes may bug out over the cost. We still don't want to go overboard on the spending and to DIY what we can (because the 100k+ the GC quoted us was insane). That said a 40k reno would be well under 10% of our home's worth in a neighborhood of houses worth much more. Our goal with the kitchen is not only to choose what we like, but to also have enough quality to stand up over time and not immediately be torn out when we eventually sell.

Still to come... This week we'll place our cabinet order and talk to electricians about lighting, outlet moves, and if we need to change anything for the new range.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2019, 10:37:50 AM »
@Mrs. PoP Did you DIY your vaulted ceiling? How difficult/expensive was it? We've thought about doing that in our dining room. We have a gable roof so we don't think we'd have to move any structure, but we'd probably need to have an engineer check the whether the walls would bow and we'd need to re-insulate the attic. We put the idea off because we thought it'd be too expensive to consider right now on top of the kitchen reno.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2019, 04:34:13 PM »
@Mrs. PoP Did you DIY your vaulted ceiling? How difficult/expensive was it? We've thought about doing that in our dining room. We have a gable roof so we don't think we'd have to move any structure, but we'd probably need to have an engineer check the whether the walls would bow and we'd need to re-insulate the attic. We put the idea off because we thought it'd be too expensive to consider right now on top of the kitchen reno.

We did DIY it - and we have a table roof, too.  And not gonna lie, vaulting the ceiling was really labor intensive (by the end we figured Mr PoP had put in 9000 nails with his least favorite nail gun), but way less money than contractors had ballparked it at.  (One had said we were crazy to think it was a DIY project and that itíd be at least $100K to do the remodel we wanted, and another was going to charge us $10K for engineering plans with no physical work.). 

All told, we did a huge custom kitchen remodel and redid the floors in the whole house for about $30K over a couple of years of weekends.  More than a lot of folks here would spend, but itís gorgeous and even people that donít know we redid it (much less how literally we mean that when we say it) comment on how lovely it is!

This link has some pictures of some of what we did - the phase 1, 2, 3 ones show the ceiling progress.  https://www.plantingourpennies.com/frugal-diy-kitchen-renovation/. It doesnít have everything we did on it, so if you have any questions feel free to ask. 

We paid for some help:
$800 for an engineer to make plans to safely modify our trusses
$900 to the AC company to reroute our return ductwork and the Freon lines
$600 for a plumber to reroute drain and water lines in our concrete foundation for our washer and dryer (though this was more to move the wall 3 feet than anything else)
$600 to a drywall finisher who matched the existing texture on the adjacent drywall perfectly

But did everything else ourselves.  For the ceiling, we did new batt insulation since we couldnít reuse the blown in that was there before, and we also used the opportunity to retire all the electrical and bring it up to code.   Mr PoP did the work, but the copper wire wasnít cheap.  Itís hard to separate out exactly what costs were due to the ceiling and wall change, but Iíd say maybe $5-7K of the total?

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2019, 03:43:35 PM »
Today we started the first step of the crawl space encapsulation. We rolled out 8mm vapor barrier across the entire floor in the addition side of the house with enough slack to wrap up each wall. This weekend we'll tape it to the walls around the perimeter and seal all the seams.

DH is going out of town for a few weeks. I'll probably try to finish the next step while he's away. I need to cut xps to fit in every rim joist void and seal it with great stuff foam. Tedious but not difficult.

I'd rather be working on the kitchen but keeping moisture out of the house before the floors are finished is a bigger priority.  If all goes well we'll notice a difference in how cold the floors feel this winter too.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2019, 07:54:45 AM »
Some mixed news on the reno. We had a drywall/framer come in to give us a quote on drywall, reframing the doorway, and maybe doing some of the demo depending on the cost. He said he thought the wall between the two rooms was load bearing. After pulling part of the ceiling and part of the attic floor it's easy to see the overlapping joists. Back when we were thinking about hiring the whole thing out, the less expensive contractor we talked to told us it was non-load bearing and fine to remove. We're now very glad we didn't hire him. Somehow I thought the expensive contractor had said it was fine, but maybe they planned to put in a beam and just didn't think we needed to know about construction details.

Off the top of his head initial estimate from the framer is around $1600 for a header and about $1000 more for a recessed beam. I don't think that's factoring in moving the duct that crosses that part of the attic.

I'm a little disappointed we didn't figure this out before, but better now than after removing the wall. We'll have to reassess the construction timeline once we get the estimate to factor in the longer demo and framing time. We're still hoping to start everything in early August when DH gets back into town.


Papa bear

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2019, 10:08:21 PM »
Some mixed news on the reno. We had a drywall/framer come in to give us a quote on drywall, reframing the doorway, and maybe doing some of the demo depending on the cost. He said he thought the wall between the two rooms was load bearing. After pulling part of the ceiling and part of the attic floor it's easy to see the overlapping joists. Back when we were thinking about hiring the whole thing out, the less expensive contractor we talked to told us it was non-load bearing and fine to remove. We're now very glad we didn't hire him. Somehow I thought the expensive contractor had said it was fine, but maybe they planned to put in a beam and just didn't think we needed to know about construction details.

Off the top of his head initial estimate from the framer is around $1600 for a header and about $1000 more for a recessed beam. I don't think that's factoring in moving the duct that crosses that part of the attic.

I'm a little disappointed we didn't figure this out before, but better now than after removing the wall. We'll have to reassess the construction timeline once we get the estimate to factor in the longer demo and framing time. We're still hoping to start everything in early August when DH gets back into town.

Sounds like a very reasonable estimate for the beam.  Iíve done both, recessed and under the joists, and recessed does take a lot more time and more materials. 

Itís all very diyable, though, if you wanted to tackle that yourself.  Moving the ductwork can be a royal pain in the ass though.  Figure on 1500 for that.


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coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2019, 10:54:17 AM »
This week's task is emptying the kitchen and setting up the temporary kitchen.
Demo, new footing for the beam posts, recessed beam install, and other framing starts next week.
I scheduled the electrician and installing the new floor the following week. I'm still trying to get the gas line for the range scheduled.
Can't believe the project is finally getting under way.


lthenderson

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2019, 08:04:48 AM »
This week's task is emptying the kitchen and setting up the temporary kitchen.

This sounds so easy but in the midst of our own kitchen addition/remodel project, this is much harder than it looks. I have a refrigerator in the dining room, a gas cooktop downstairs in the basement and boxes of food and cooking stuff in three different areas. Last night I went to make salmon cakes, normally a quick meal of about 40 minutes total and it took me nearly 2-1/2 hours. Fortunately we froze a lot of meals in advance that can be heated up in the microwave so I don't have to do that every night.

P.S. I'm hoping our framing will be done today or tomorrow so we can take final measurements for the cabinets and get them on order and then it is on to all the electrical, plumbing, HVAC, insulation and drywall.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2019, 05:29:26 AM »
Demo day. Cabinets and rock lath gone. Temporary walls going up today. We'll also pull up the subfloor in one section to see if we need to pour a footer for the inner support post. The outer one will rest on the exterior foundation. It's amazing to see how much bigger the space will be.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2019, 08:18:24 AM »
The beam is up with the temporary walls still in place. We took out the drywall behind were the sink was and discovered our vent stack was not connected at any of the joints, but that should be a quick replace.

There were also some major mouse issues (evidence of mice between the laminate countertop and the cabinets of all places, along the wall, and around dishwasher). I am now sooo glad we pulled all this out instead of looking for a way to paint/save it. I'm going to seal everything I can on the exterior wall with wood, wire mesh, and Greatstuff but I'm not sure how well I can prevent access from the crawlspace. I'm trying to decide if I should just pull the subfloor up this weekend and seal the vapor barrier in that section to the foundation, try to locate and close any openings, and insulate the rim joists while I'm at it. That'd be a lot of work for just me to tackle (DH is out of town), but maybe doable for one person over two days?

Anyone have thoughts on preventing mice access?

lthenderson

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2019, 08:24:51 AM »
When we moved into this house, there was mice activity everywhere I quickly discovered. I just went around the perimeter of the house sealing where I could. I found a nest just about every place where a utility went through the siding be it gas or electricity. After I got things sealed up around the base perimeter, I broadcast mouse poison pellets in the attic and put bags of it in strategic places in the basement. After about a week, I found a few dead mice and I haven't seen any sign of them for the last six years. That is until I gutted my kitchen and like you, found signs of them in the walls. They were all very old so I don't think they have found a new way in so all I am doing is replacing the electrical wires that they chewed on and calling it good. I shudder to think of what the other 85% of our house walls look like on the inside.

soccerluvof4

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2019, 03:04:44 AM »
What first caught my eye is/was that a built in oven into the back wall next to the fridge? that looks very odd.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2019, 10:26:42 AM »
Yeah, the layout was very odd and wasted a lot of space. We're running cabinets along that whole wall now with the range and fridge.

The dividing wall is down and they'll finish rerouting the HVAC today. Deciding to recess the beam cost us a lot all told, but it's worth it. @Papa bear was pretty close on the cost estimate for changing all the ductwork.

We have the plumber scheduled to do the gas line Monday and electrician coming Tuesday/Wednesday. Everything is humming along so far (knock on wood).

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2019, 02:36:36 PM »
And the project is on hold...

Our framer removed the second half of the exterior wall plaster/rock lath so we could do drywall all the way across and avoid a messy transition from the thicker rock lath to drywall. He uncovered vermiculite insulation which might contain asbestos. They had already removed the bulk of the material before I realized but there's still some leftover material in the stub bays and a bunch fell into the crawlspace. It may have also gotten into the return air duct in that corner of the room. We feel a little bit like we're on an episode of flip or flop.

An environmental specialist is going to come out to test on Monday. Hopefully it's low asbestos and we don't have to do full abatement which I'm told will cost an arm and a leg. It hasn't been a fun weekend as it was difficult to get anyone on the phone on a Saturday to tell us whether it was safe to stay in the house until the test. One guy we talked with acted like we were overreacting for asking that question and didn't seem to want to make time if we weren't already contracted to do abatement. I get that people in that industry have to deal with a lot of stressed people, but I didn't expect that reaction to what I thought was a reasonable question.

One a brighter note the room feels huge without the wall.


Papa bear

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2019, 04:22:02 PM »
Where are you located?  You could handle the cleanup yourself.  Itís not like you deal with asbestos everyday.  Get it wet, wear a mask, put a box fan in the window, and bag that stuff up quickly.  Donít let it get airborne.  You should be fine.




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coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2019, 04:37:30 PM »
We're in Virgina. That would work for what's left in the room and the crawlspace but I'm not sure how to deal with what might've gotten in the HVAC return vent. I could vacuum it out but that seems like it would spread it because I don't think the vacuum filter would catch particles that small. It seems like we're fine for now as long as we don't turn the ac back on, but I don't know how we'd handle that part of the inspection and clean up. Suggestions and advice welcome if anyone's dealt with a similar situation.

Some online sources say it's possible with the age of the house that the vermiculite was mined in an area that didn't have asbestos. Right now we're hoping for that and that the worst result is the cost of the test and construction delay.

Papa bear

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2019, 09:40:24 PM »
You could probably get a furnace filter that would filter out asbestos fibers. 


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lthenderson

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2019, 05:47:28 AM »
Too late now, but before demo began, I taped off all the return vents in the construction area so that any dust and debris would not get pulled into the HVAC system and distributed around the rest of the house. Our house is newer so I was less concerned about asbestos and more concerned about dust.

I've had our popcorn ceilings tested and they do contain 1% asbestos. I just make sure when working on them that I wear my good dust mask with new filters installed and try to maintain airflow to the outside via box fans and windows to blow any contaminants out the nearest window. Every asbestos test I have seen is testing long term exposures.

KBecks

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2019, 05:53:43 AM »
Great journal, and best wishes on your project!  I've selected cabinet joint to do a small powder room vanity for us, but we have not ordered yet -- soon.  Have you ordered your cabinets?


coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2019, 06:23:19 AM »
@Ithenderson That's smart - I wish I had done that.

@Papa bear Thanks for the suggestion.

@KBecks Yep, we ordered our cabinets a while back and expect them to arrive this week. Cabinet Joint was great about the whole process and helped us with our layout.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2019, 08:58:05 AM »
Here's our cabinet design. We went with a simple shaker inset style and drawer lowers for the most part aside from a pullout spice rack near the range and pullout trashcan and lift for the stand mixer near the sink. We'll have 3-4 times more counter space than in the original kitchen. I'm so excited about not having to fight DH for cutting board space when we cook.

We chose frosty white which is supposed to match sherwin williams pure white (SW7005). We wanted something that didn't read yellow, but was still warm. Neither of us wanted a modern or stark all white kitchen.

Here's our soapstone slab! It's stormy black. We went back and forth for a while on whether to get leathered granite  since neither of us like the high gloss look, but once we saw it in person it didn't have the natural feel and veining we wanted. We did a fair amount of scratch testing on different soapstone slabs. This one isn't impervious to metal, but you can't scratch it with a fingernail. It won't stay perfect, but we're ok with that.

« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 09:43:54 AM by coffeefueled »

lthenderson

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2019, 07:38:45 AM »
Looks good. I'm waiting back from our cabinet person to get some renderings and I will post them on my thread. We also with with simple shaker inset cabinets although our colors are going to be a light gray for uppers and full length cabinets and a navy blue for the lowers. Our countertop is going to be white quartz that looks similar to marble.  On my list of things to do today is to followup with the cabinet place to make sure they get ordered. Then it is six weeks of not worrying about how long this project is taking because it isn't in my control.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #37 on: August 05, 2019, 09:56:11 AM »
@lthenderson Your colors sound lovely. I thought about adding navy or gray lowers, but couldn't figure out how to make it work with the fridge and full height cabinets. Have you decided on your hardware color? We're debating between unlacquered brass or something darker like iron or oil-rubbed bronze. I like the idea of brass drawer pulls, but I'm not sure what finish to pick for the faucet to coordinate since we probably wouldn't pay for an expensive full brass faucet.

lthenderson

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #38 on: August 05, 2019, 12:16:34 PM »
We haven't decided for sure though we have been talking about just reusing our old ones which I salvaged. They are brushed nickel kind of modern looking ones that we installed when we painted our old kitchen a handful of years back. All our appliances and kitchen faucet are brushed stainless so we are trying to keep to something similar. I need to clean them and do a count to see if we have enough which will probably be the deciding factor.

3lephant

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #39 on: August 05, 2019, 07:58:56 PM »
I am planning for a similar project with some sound activities and with wider space to accommodate some other stuffs.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2019, 01:19:08 PM »
We didn't do the asbestos test. This goes against all my past feelings/fears about asbestos, but after reading a ton and many suggestions here and elsewhere we decided to do the removal ourselves. Part of that is the fact that a contractor removed 95% of the material before we even knew we had an issue, so some dust exposure was already an issue. I also read that the test isn't always accurate since you might not catch the 1% of the material that's actually asbestos. We decided it wasn't worth the $450 for the test and possibly tens of thousands for professional abatement.

Instead I put on a suit, respirator, and gloves and sprayed all reachable surfaces with water and wiped it down. I also bought .03 micron rated furnace filters in case there's any issues with the HVAC return. We have an old HEPA vacuum that is ready for the bin anyway so we're considering using that to vacuum the one or two crawlspace areas that we can't soak and the accessible part of the HVAC return if we can set it in the window and reach with the hose.

There's still small amounts of vermiculite in cracks between the studs. We'll leave the entire area taped off and won't run the AC until the floor and drywall go in next week. We still need to wipe down the laundry room that is currently housing the fridge because that's the entrance they used for the demo even through it's not the same room. I would've put the fridge somewhere else for the reno had I thought that through, but I was trying to avoid moving it a second time when they refinish the first floor hardwoods.


« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 01:22:31 PM by coffeefueled »

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #41 on: August 08, 2019, 02:17:53 PM »
Today our electrician installed recessed lights, the outlets, and lines for all the appliances. Recessed lights will be pretty game changing after the small dome lights we had before. We have someone coming to do the gas line tomorrow.

We've scrubbed the house, sealed the ducts that'll have ongoing reno dust, and turned the AC back on. It's nice to be cool again. We put a new filter in the furnace rated for .3 microns and ordered order a pretty powerful HEPA air purifier for peace of mind.

Drywall starts next week. It's nice to feel like the project is back on track.

lthenderson

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2019, 08:37:07 AM »
Good to hear things are progressing. Sounds like you contractor is focusing 100% on your project unlike mine which seems to be spread thin.

We are going with recessed lighting too instead of our dome lights before. We are also doing undercabinet lighting and strip electrical outlets so other than a switch or two, our back splash won't have breaks in it and much easier to keep clean.

The bad part about recessed lighting is that I know it will mean I need to add recess lighting to all our other rooms when I remove the popcorn ceilings. More work on my list of things to do this winter.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2019, 10:45:27 AM »
Thanks. We're so glad to have things moving again. It only put us back about two days though I spent most of that time scrubbing everything in sight.

We don't have a general contractor because the markup on the work was 3-4 times what we're spending. GC's seem crazy expensive in our HCOL area though they're supposed to make everything go much smoother. Instead, I hired individual tradesmen to do the framing, electric, and plumbing. I'm doing all the scheduling and such myself. It seems like a lot of contractors do multiple jobs at once which can really make the timeline drag.

Where do the strip electrical plugs go? Are they also recessed beneath the cabinet?

We don't have ceiling lights in either of our main living spaces. I don't think we'll ever add it. There's tons of windows and we seem to get by fine on lamps. For the kitchen it was a must though.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #44 on: August 13, 2019, 05:17:36 PM »
Cabinets are here!

I suddenly can't get any photos to load without the server or size warnings even though they're small. Anyone know how to resolve that issue?
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 05:26:42 PM by coffeefueled »

KBecks

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #45 on: August 14, 2019, 07:13:20 AM »
Best wishes!  Very excited for you.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #46 on: August 15, 2019, 09:49:10 AM »
The reno took a big turn toward the finish line this week. We moved 5 pallets and a couple loose boxes of flat pack cabinets into the livingroom. The gas line went in (inspection set for Monday), drywall is up, and unfinished flooring goes in today. We'll paint the ceiling and the walls that aren't getting tile tomorrow night. It really looks like a room now and feels amazingly big.

We're taking a 3 day weekend to build and install the cabinets. If everything goes smoothly we'll have the appliances delivered and the counter template done by the end of next week.

There was some miscommunication with the drywaller on which day to start so there's been a lot of phone calls and shuffling tradesmen this week, but in the end it all worked out.

I've been eyeing the cabinet boxes all week. It feels like Christmas. I can't wait to use my not so shiny new-to-me finish nailer and compressor.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #47 on: August 15, 2019, 09:59:55 AM »
lots of boxes

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #48 on: August 15, 2019, 04:24:46 PM »
drywall

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #49 on: August 16, 2019, 06:51:52 AM »
Unfinished hardwood floors are in. Our flooring guy will refinish these along with the rest of the first floor at the very end of the reno. We're planning on dark walnut or something similar.