Kitchen + Closet = Half Bath + Butler’s Pantry

The first major remodel includes turning a space that was the original kitchen (cabinets and sink were here, oddly the fridge and stove were in an adjoining room) into a much-needed half bath and a butler’s pantry. See original confiuration here: 

Original Kitchen

Obviously, modern standards dictate a bit larger, more functional kitchen. As for the closet, it was a long, awkward storage space that opened into the dining room. Hence, it is better served as a portion of the new half bath. Note: there is only one full bath in the house now, on the second floor, so this first floor half bath is a much needed addition. 

Before demo, here was the view into this space, looking at the wall that divided the original kitchen and the closet: 

Before - original kitchen









Sexy, eh? Above the wood paneling was a dropped ceiling that had a hideous florescent light in it. Behind that was the original wainscoting for the room. After all of that was removed, the lovely plaster beneath: 

plaster under paneling







And under the window: 

under the paneling around the window








It took all of a weekend to strip this room of faux wood paneling, plaster and lathe strips, as well as the interior of the closet as well. The result?

naked space










So, the only thing left is to remove those studs, right? Heh. Not quite. It seems that this itty bitty wall was an itty bitty support wall. Next project: building a header wall against the outside closet wall for added support. That post is next, but in the meantime, here’s what the final configuration will look like: 

Post-remodel plan

Published in: on April 30, 2008 at 9:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

The sky is falling!

When we started the kitchen demo, I was completely unprepared for the apocalyptic fallout that would result. I knew that there would be a mess in the room that we were working on, but I was dumbfounded at what lengths and in what quantities the plaster dust would travel. 

The first thing to go in the new kitchen was the ceiling. The original plaster ceiling was crumbling from old plumbing issues in the bathroom upstairs and rather than fixing or replacing the plaster, this was how the previous owners dealt with the problem:

Let’s just hide it with a dropped ceiling!

So, the first steps were removing the ceiling panels and metal frames. Easy enough. Then came removing the decaying plaster.

(There are no pictures of this process because Jeremy and his dad accomplished it while I was taking a nap upstairs. They had asked for old bed sheets before I dozed off, and I was completely unaware what they were up to. Note to self: no afternoon cocktails resulting in naps when Jeremy’s dad is over, and old bedsheets DO NOT contain the massive amounts of dust that destroying plaster creates.)

Every surrounding room was caked in black dust when they were finished. Here is a plant that was in an adjoining room, supposedly protected from the demo:

Kitty needs a bath

Next came removing the wood lathe strips from the ceiling. I was awake for this process, and a short trip to Home Depot prior ensured we had plastic sheeting in place protecting other rooms from more dust.

Jeremy and Dad contain their mess

And here, the result:

The ceiling is on the floor

After several hours of binding the strips, tossing the smaller peices into a garbage can, and shop-vaccing the remaining plaster bits and dust, viola:

That’s the heating duct to the bathroom

See the old knob and tube electric wiring?

All this happend two weeks ago today, and we’re still tackling the mess that ensued. Volunteers, anyone?

Published in: on August 4, 2007 at 3:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Meet the Consultant: G. Dale Freeman

Dale enjoying a beer and a smoke, illuminated by a lovely outdoor lamppost

(A.K.A. “Pop,” “Dad” )

While Jeremy and I are doing a swell job completing projects on our own, we could not accomplish everything we have (and will) without the help of friends and family. This is the first in a series of “Meet the Consultant” posts, where I’ll introduce the creative geniuses that are helping us achieve success in this monumental endeavor we’ve taken on.

Hailing from Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Dale is an experienced home renovator, electrician, philosopher, story teller, and proficient jack-of-all-trades. While his most notable accomplishment to date was rearing Jeremy into the wonderful man he is today (in my honest opinion), he also has an uncanny ability to visualize a situation over the phone and explain in detail why something isn’t working properly, what needs to be fixed and how to fix it. Even more impressive is his knowledge and skill in person.

Tiffany Ann, Dale’s right hand

This is Tiff, his vicious attack dog who kept Presley at bay during their last stay. Tiff weighs 3 pounds, tops, and is one third the size of Presley, so say what you will about my ‘fraidy cat. Tiff had a little adventure on her first day in Ohio City when she snuck out of the yard through a fence post gap; she saw the better part of the block before she was retrieved.

On his last trip, Dale and Jeremy completely demolished the kitchen ceiling, ran new electrical for the fridge and plotted out several future electrical and plumbing endeavors.  Oh, and he discovered that the lamp post by our back porch had indeed been converted to electricity (we just assumed it was still gas because, well, we hadn’t looked at it.) THAT was one great discovery in the astethics department.

His help has been invaluable thus far, and I’ll tell you what… this man knows how to instigate his son into making one heck of a mess.

Father and son, dressed alike and covered in dust 

Published in: on August 3, 2007 at 12:22 pm  Leave a Comment