Kitchen Kitchen Remodel Our Home

Kitchen Remodel: Demo and A Progress Report

The kitchen remodel has been in full swing for two weeks now and we are crossing our fingers that things start taking shape soon. The early work is done–everything has been cleared out and the electrical and plumbing work is almost complete. It’s one big empty room full of potential.

So here’s how the demo all went down….

On January 22nd (“Demo Day”) we woke up early in excited anticipation of a crew of guys coming in to bust up the place. Instead, it was one guy slowly plugging away all day long by himself.

He started off by sealing off the kitchen and dining nook to trap in all the dust. We have had zero dust issues so far and I’m so grateful.

And then he got to work banging up the counters, removing cabinets and busting up the tile. Rosie didn’t nap that day…

We were able to save one cabinet and the old appliances which we are trying to donate/sell but the rest just came up in pieces.

I thought it was fun to discover that the kitchen used to have floral linoleum.

Three days in to demo they had gotten up the floor and removed the soffits. From here they moved around some AC vents (so excited for better circulation), opened the walls to move outlets and wired for the new sconces over the windows.

The pipe sticking straight down from the ceiling in the middle there was the vent for the stove and that has since been removed. We will forever have a clear view through the kitchen with no more upper cabinetry or hanging vent hood!

Now that you’ve seen a little overview, I thought I’d do a little “Before and During” tour so you can get your bearings for the different angles.

This is was our view from the living room into the kitchen.

And, as a reminder, now all we see is this:

I love that the plastic sheet keeps in dust and gives us a sense of privacy. We don’t feel like we have workers coming in and out of our home constantly because they access the kitchen by a side door. We do hear all the noise and likewise they hear my kids tantrums or the lovely “clean up song” on repeat (sorry guys!).

I was all about the sheet at first but the one downside is that it’s not easy for me to see what they are doing. After demo was done and they started moving electrical, I had to remind myself to go check on them periodically so I could see if things were being done as we preferred. We have been incredibly lucky with contractors but I’ve noticed that I may have thought I communicated something clearly but the message didn’t get relayed to that subcontractor that came that day.

Another view from the living room:

And a similar (more zoomed in) view while I was standing inside the plastic sheet.

Goodness, that ceiling fan is super noticeable now! We put a new AC vent in that room (you can see it in the ceiling to the right of the fan) so the room will get better air flow. My hope is that we can replace the fan hopefully soon for a pretty light to go over a round kitchen table.

And now the sink view before:

And here it is today, with everything removed and electrical sconces roughed in.

We have a header beam running across the top of the window which made putting in sconces a little more difficult. I was there when the subcontractors discovered that and it was interesting to see them troubleshoot.

They ended up notching out two little vertical lines in the beam from the ceiling to where the sconces will be to bring in the electrical wires. They had to open up the dry wall and then screw it back on.

It may not look like much now, but I think that view of the sink will be my favorite before/after view of this whole process when we are all done.

Another major win here was that we discovered that we can center the sink under the window. The dishwasher will be on the left and a new trash pull out will be on the right.

Now turning around, here is the view of the fridge wall.

Boom, empty!

We are doing away with the kitchen desk to the right there and there will be an appliance pantry with a normal counter height counter. As a result, we had to move the outlets and light switch up six inches.

The microwave/oven and fridge will stay in the same places so the only tweak there was recessing the water hook up into the wall.

That spout used to stick out making it so that our fridge couldn’t sit flush against the wall. We have a counter depth fridge and yet the fridge stuck into the room because of the spout. So happy for that change!

And another angle of the cooktop because this angle has caused us the most trouble in the demo phase:

That pipe coming out of the wall on the ground and sticking up in the middle of the room was our gas pipe.

We got a call from the contractor the day that it was exposed explaining that that pipe is a galvanized pipe meant for water, not gas. Therefore, we needed to replace it for a black pipe meant for gas.

I felt like I was on an HGTV show getting a call “So we um discovered something….and we need a lot of money to fix it…”

It was not an optional change as we didn’t want gas slowly leaking into our home so the pipe has since been replaced with the right one.

We are hoping that is our only major surprise. It cost us a lot of money and delayed the project three days. Not the end of the world but hoping it doesn’t happen again.

And now looking into the dining nook:

They removed the baseboards in the dining nook, revealing a light gray paint color underneath. I actually love the way that it looks with our white walls. It has me thinking I want contrasting trim in here 🙂 Maybe painting the baseboards the same color as our cabinets?? I just need to convince Aaron because he isn’t on board yet…

And finally, the view from the dining nook to the living room.

I may take back what I said earlier about the sink view being my favorite change because it is DREAMY to be able to stand at the kitchen table and see clearly into the kitchen and (someday) into the living room.

So that is where we are at two weeks in!

This week they plan to add backer board in the walls to support our floating shelves and then all the work inside the walls should be complete. The rest of the week will be taping, mudding, sanding and texturing in preparation for cabinets!

Speaking of cabinets, I finalized the cabinet plans with our contractor on Friday! Finalizing cabinets nearly did me in as I stressed over every measurement and went back and forth several times on a couple details. But it’s done and they start making them today!

Supposedly the cabinets will be ready in 7-9 days, which seems fast to me but I’ll take it. I have loved the renovation process so far but I’m starting to see the strain it is putting on me and our family to be so out of sorts for so long.

We are making do with our makeshift kitchen in our front room (this picture was before we moved our fridge into the far left corner of the room).

Cooking without a kitchen has been much better than as I expected, but there are definitely inconvenient things about having no dishwasher. And I have come to appreciate my old pantry door that would keep the kids out of all the food.

If we can see the cabinets start taking shape soon then that will definitely help us feel there is an end to this process not too far off (okay maybe still two months off, seeing as we still have flooring to do… ha!). But someday it will end!

I’ll update with more progress photos as we go!

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