Thursday, February 26, 2015

Kitchen Nightmare

Do y'all remember the leaky sink that had been leaking a while resulting in some rotten wood underneath the sink?

Well, that was just the beginning of the kitchen nightmare.

The day I was going to tackle the years of built-up grime in the kitchen I started by preheating the oven so that I could spray some oven cleaner in there.  I figured while the oven cleaner was doing its job I could be working on the rest of the kitchen.

Well, that's about as far as that plan went.

I discovered that the oven didn't work.

Oy vey.

CountryBoy wanted to take a look at it to see if he could fix it so he began the arduous task of pulling this cast iron range forward and off the bricks so that he could get a better look.

It is in three pieces and the base began separating from the oven making it quite cumbersome.  Plus, the bricks it was sitting on were just placed there with no mortar to hold them together so they began shifting on us as well.

We finally managed to get the range away from the wall and off the bricks and this is what we found...

a spider highway along with dirt and yes, more grime.

We removed the bricks and vacuumed up all the webs and dirt.

We noticed that the countertop to the right of the range was just sitting on top of the cabinet so CountryBoy removed it and found this...

The black hose with the yellow handle is our main water shut-off valve at the house.  The foam insulation was used to fill in a large hole.  The pipe sticking straight out of the wall with the duct tape on the end of it goes to a cistern that is outside and behind the wall.  Apparently there was a pump there at one time that drew water out of the cistern.

It was at this point that we decided to move up the kitchen renovation to the top of the list rather than down the line.

Our original plan was to add a bathroom upstairs first mainly for convenience sake at night time when we're up half a dozen times answering Mother Nature's call.  OK, so maybe it's not THAT many times but it's often enough that we didn't want to have to trot downstairs every time especially with CountryBoy's bad knees.

We decided we did not want to spend money piece-mealing the current kitchen into working order when we were planning a total gut one day so, since we already had a working bathroom we changed our focus to the kitchen.

Which, I might add, completely caught us off guard.  Well, me at least.  Here I was planning and designing the upstairs bathroom with only fleeting thoughts of designing the kitchen.  Now, I had to change my thoughts and focus on the kitchen all of a sudden.

Fortunately, I knew I had some time to get my thoughts and plan in order while the demo was going on.

You never know what you'll find behind the walls!

Looks like lots of patch jobs behind that wall and possibly a large window at one time?

Check out what else we found on the walls once all the cabinets and drywall were gone...

Wallpaper.  Lots and lots of wallpaper!

I think we counted seven layers of various wallpapers...

And behind the wallpaper?

Bits of newsprint stuck to the boards.

Pretty cool, huh?!

Behind the wall where the sink was?  Not so cool.

Lots of rotten wood, old termite damage, no insulation, studs cut in half to make way for plumbing but weren't reinforced after plumbing was installed and basically a big 'ol mess.

Although it was unplanned to gut it this far, we are glad that we did.  We now know exactly what is behind the walls and can fix any structural, plumbing or electrical issues we come across.  Better now than later!

CountryBoy removed all the plumbing on the sink wall, removed the boards and put insulation in.

Thank goodness since you might remember that we got hit with below freezing temps and a snow storm while all this is going on.

So, not only are we struggling with heat and water issues now we don't even have a kitchen!  I told CountryBoy I feel like I'm camping indoors!

Next up was removing two layers of flooring; the original sheet of linoleum glued down really well and a layer of peel and stick tiles over that.

The layers came up fairly easy using a hammer and chisel but there was a layer of paper and glue left in most areas.

We taped off the doorways and I used the grinder to remove most of it.

Dusty, back-breaking but necessary work in order for any mastic to adhere properly to the concrete and not cause problems down the line.

One advantage to gutting the kitchen is we now have the chance to make some changes to the size and footprint of it.

Here's what we've decided to do...

Remove the wall dividing the mudroom and the kitchen.

So much bigger already!  We will gain about 25 square feet of kitchen space.  We will add a half wall to the left of the doorway that will help separate the mudroom and will hide the end of the cabinets and countertop.

I also wanted to widen the doorway at the far end of the kitchen to allow easier access in and out of the kitchen and to allow more light to flow into the hallway and so that you can see outside the kitchen window from the hallway or dining area.

I think this will also help give the feel of a larger kitchen than it really is.

We have one more idea to help open up and enlarge the space but we haven't got to it yet so you'll have to wait to find out what that is, wink!

So now you see the state of our living quarters.  Dirt, dust, tools everywhere.  I no sooner dust and vacuum then it's a mess again.  Oh well.  It has to get worse before it can get better.  Hopefully, soon, we'll start seeing some of the better!

Also, we've brought only the necessities to survive in here.  A bed, two rocking chairs to sit in, a dining table and two chairs, a few pieces of clothing, the coffee pot, crock pot and an electric skillet.  Indoor camping at its finest!

I know many of you loved the range that was in the kitchen.  So did we.  But, rather than try to clean it up and find someone to fix it we thought this would be the perfect time to switch to a gas range.  We are in the process of finding a reasonable and working antique gas range.  Hopefully, we'll find one soon.

That about catches y'all up to today.  We are still working in the kitchen area and have a bit more demo to do then I will show you what we've been up to.

We've also had running water the past two mornings and have been nice and toasty at night for the last two nights.  Woohoo!  Dare I say we can get out of survival mode now?


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