Sunday, January 27, 2013

Misc work in the kichen

Work has been progressing this weekend.  Mostly just several smaller jobs.

  • Patched holes in original plaster walls using DAP Plaster Wall Patch
  • Cut whole in wall/floor so that we have a nice straight route to the basement for the pot filler water line and the stove natural gas line.
  • Hung a couple small pieces of drywall.
  • Removed window casing on a couple of windows.  Eventually I will be fabricating new molding to match the other windows in the house.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

More Discoveries in the Kitchen

Work is progressing in the kitchen.  Mainly boring stuff like drywall and wallpaper removal.  This week we uncovered some pretty exciting stuff though...

Discovery #1
While removing wallpaper in the kitchen we found 2 more signatures.
It says:
Ralph J. Sedgwick
by. Clifford Yocum
May 31 1938

Ralph J Sedgwick was part of a prominent family in our town.  Ralph started the family funeral home business and ran it out of our house for a number of years.  Since then, the business has been continued by his son and grandson.  It still operates today out of another historic building in town:  Here is a picture of the Ralph and his grandson:
Discovery #2
While prepping a wall in the part of the kitchen that is an addition, I pulled the old insulation out of a single stud bay and noticed some rather odd 1x sheathing.  Notice in this picture how the edges have a chamfer.

It kind of bothered me for a couple days so today I pulled out some more insulation... To my surprise I found this:

Not sure exactly what I am looking at, but I strongly suspect this is re-purposed wood from the old porch.  I speculate that the old porch would have been dismantled when the addition was added and this wood was salvaged.  What I cant picture is where the 1" material would have gone exactly...  The chamfer detail is replicated in the window/door molding inside our house, but not outside.  Perhaps it wrapped the porch columns or something.  I think I am going to need to pull out the rest of the insulation.

UPDATE:  HOLY SMOKES AM I EXCITED! I solved the mystery of these pieces of sheathing.
I started thinking a bit and pulled out the old photo of our front porch.  You may remember it from this post back in October. 
If you look closely, you will see that these pieces of wood match the porch elements in this photo.  Here is a hacked up version to illustrate:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Let there be Light!

The lighting was one of the first things to be removed when we started this kitchen renovation about a year ago.  Since then we have been using portable work lights to illuminate the room.  While this works, it is far from perfect.  Today we didn't spend a lot of time working on the house, but what we did get done made me feel really good.  I put the finishing touches on the electrical.  I hooked up a couple "temporary light sockets" and was able to re-energize the circuit.  It is so nice to have regular lighting again.  We also hung another sheet of drywall to start covering over the soffit.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kitchen Ceiling Electrical

Tonight I was feeling good and was motivated to work on the house after I got done with my day job.  Dad came over and we wired up the ceiling electrical boxes.  It took some careful measurement to space everything correctly.  We have 3 boxes evenly spaced in the room but it was tricky because we had to take into account the soffit, the cabinets, and the crown molding. This was the last thing to do before the ceiling can be closed up with drywall.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Demo done? NOT! Raising the door.

*Updated with a few new pics
If you have been following the blog, you will see that we have been making really good progress lately.   Celia was pretty excited to see that we were finally starting to put things back together instead of always demolishing things.  Well....  She wasn't too happy when she found out that I started the project to raise the kitchen/dining room doorway.  We had talked about it way back when we bought the house, be she apparently thought we had decided against it.  Anyhow, Celia, Dad and I  spent this weekend doing a lot of dirty demo work...  We had already knocked out the kitchen side of the wall, so we started this weekend by knocking out the dining room side.

About a foot of plaster and lathe were left intact in hopes of keeping the dining room walls presentable.

In this picture you can see the temporary braces we built to support the house while we worked on this wall. Turns out 12ft 2x4s are not easy to find so we had to rig a solution from shorter boards.

As you probably know, removing plaster and lathe is a MESSY job.  The dust gets everywhere and the plaster is so heavy it is a pain to dispose of in the regular garbage.
Once both sides of the wall were open and the supports were in place, it was time to cut out the old header and cripple studs.  The old header was not installed properly. It was lacking jack studs so the load from above was being held up by a few nails.

Here are a few pics of the new opening.  The new header can be seen here.  It is installed properly with jack studs.
Here you can see that the studs have had furring strips applied to  ready the wall for drywall.

After we finished all the above, we were anxious to get back to that feeling of "putting things back together".  We decided to put up a few sheets of drywall around the room.

Here is a pic of an adjacent wall:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Found old wall covering under trim

Pulled some trim from around the door opening between the kitchen and dining room I am modifying.  Found some interesting trim!  Pictures and more information can be found on this forum post I made:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

More Sledgehammer Action!

Today after work, I decided that it was time to destroy some stuff!  Now that my kitchen is progressing nicely, I wanted to work on resizing a doorway.  Currently, it is a normal 80" tall, double wide doorway into the dining room.  My suspicions are that the door was originally a 9 foot tall opening (ceilings are 11 foot) that was made smaller to accommodate french doors.  I started by scoring the plaster with my angle grind than then attacking it with the hammer and prybar.  Here are some pics for your enjoyment.

Now that the plaster and lathe are off the wall I can get a better look at the structure.  I am still confident that this doorway used to be 9ft tall.  What surprises me is that the doorway appears that it was originally only a single-wide opening.
Now the hard decisions....
a. I can move full steam ahead with my original plan to make this opening taller.  Unfortunately the header is not installed correctly.  No jack studs.... This means that I would have a far amount of work to rebuild this entire opening.

b. scrap the plan and leave the doorway this size.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Progress Feels Good

I am getting closer to hanging some drywall.  Not all of the kitchen is getting drywall.  A few of the walls are in good shape and/or covered by cabinets.  The bad walls will be covered with 1/2" drywall. The whole room isnt ready yet, but the ceiling is ready and I have another wall that is now ready too.  This wall is the topic of this blog post.
The wall has a doorway and a cubby hole for the fridge.  We noticed recently that the wall had a bow in it.  Upon closer inspection we noticed that it was actually built-up plaster.  It had apparently been skim coated, but the closer you got to the floor the thicker the "skim coat" got.  This was going to cause problems when we added a layer of drywall.

The original plaster is darker grey.  The extra-thick  skim coat is white.

We decided to fix it the "right way" so I demo'd this portion of the wall today.  The pictures below are some in-progress pics.

After the demo was complete, I ripped some 2x4s to act a furring strips.

All done.  Wall demolished, mess cleaned up, and furring strips installed. You can also see  some old electrical conduit and an old galvanized pipe running up to the second story.  Its purpose is unknown.

Furring strips attached to the 2x4 studs.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Major Milestone - Kitchen Progress

After many weeks of work on the plumbing, it is finished!!!  Yesterday I finished up the last bits of the supply lines and drain lines.  Today Dad, Celia, and I got up early and bought supplies to build the soffit to hide everything.  The plan all along was to re-locate all the plumbing to a central location so that it could be hidden in one simple soffit.  I spent about $50 on 2x3 and 2x2 material for this project.  It went pretty quick and we didnt have any major issues!  I am very pleased with our progress this weekend.