The Kitchen Remodel – Part 3 Rough Construction

The kitchen is slowly humming along and we’re now starting to build it back up. Rough construction includes framing, utility installation and other things that will get covered up by the “finished construction” phase. To get all this done on the weekend, we’ve been spending every Friday night at Home Depot.
Home Depot
As we get into this phase, the trade knowledge necessary to keep things moving is increasing. This means sometimes its easier for The Boyfriend to do things either by himself or with a friend who is also skilled. I’m a quick learner but we’ve realized where I can be most helpful is to be the “Logistics Officer” (we’ve definilty taken too many incident command classes). I’ve been picking up and dropping off rentals, making phone calls, running errands and making sure everyone gets fed and takes breaks. I’ve also been the lead sweeper/cleaner-uper, and hander-of things (especially into the attic or crawlspace). Of course i’m still assisting with the physical work a lot too, but dividing the work this way seems to be working out pretty well.

Handing Things

Aren’t I great at handing things into the attic? Look at that technique!

Below are pictures of our rough construction process. As you’ll probably notice, each step completely destroys the house. Then we clean up, make it all tidy until the next weekend when we can destroy it again. Can you see the plans taking shape?

Framing
We’re building a wall between the living room and kitchen. Right now we have it sealed off in plastic to keep as much dust out as possible (I highly recommend doing that). Here are the guys building the wall.
Our new wall will be right over the old (gross, inefficient, and ugly) recessed lights. Shoot, looks like they have to go!
New Wall
In order to make the fridge counter depth, we’ll be tucking the fridge back into the old kitchen space a bit. That leaves us with a strange L-shaped pantry. I’m pretty sure that if we leave the space behind the fridge open things will just get lost because it’s so narrow. We’ll be blocking all about half of it off and creating a dead space.

Pantry Or, should we create a safe room? You can’t see me, can you?
Safe Room

Gas Line

Under House

This installation was probably the newest skill for us. We had one of our good friends some over to help out, and between him and The Boyfriend they had it handled. We pressure tested the line, and it looks good.
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Opening up the floor made it much easier to install all our utilites. At the same time, it made the house a total mess. This is one of the “cleaner” messy weekends!

Open Floor

Water & Sewer
After the sink drain was installed we realized it was exactly in the way of the ventilation line. So we stared and thought, and I came up with the idea of just moving it over and changing the shape of the hose as it come up through the floor. As proof I’m doing work too, below I’m cutting the new hole.
Cutting Hole We have cellulose insulation in the attic. It gets EVERYWHERE and it turns into tiny dust particles that you can’t ever pick up. My allergies have been on overdrive!
Mess
I really hate our insulation! Luckily we’re almost done disturbing it.
Electrical
I was so excited for electrical, because we’ve basically been without light in the construction areas. Luckily, we got headlamps in our Christmas stockings – which has been the most useful gift ever. Working into the night with headlamps has been a regular part of our weekend nights. Below is The Boyfriend deep into running wire.  Night Work One of the only overhead lights we liked in the house were old recessed lights that pointed at the fireplace. We’ll be replacing these with more efficient models, but keeping the same idea. Everything else will be new.

Measuring Lights

We opted for LED lights in the kitchen, and halogen for the non-kitchen spaces. The first halogen bulb we bought and installed looked awful! The Boyfriend was about half-finished installing the fixtures when I put in the bulb, so we had to pause until we could figure out what to do. In the end, just buying different bulb solved the problem (thank goodness!).

Kitchen Lights

Another temporary problem involved our light over the sink. I really, really wanted a light there. After drawing it out, we discovered that there was a joist right on the exact center above the sink (of course!). Solution – two smaller lights on either side.
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We have a lighting map drawn our to keep everything straight. But with all the new wire being run at once, schematics really helped us keep it all straight. Hopefully our switches will end up all in the right place!
Wiring
So now where’re about ready for drywall! I can’t wait for all the holes to be closed up, it’s been cold in the house. Once we start drywall, paint, flooring and cabinets will come closely behind. We’ve still got months to go, but it’s starting to look like a real room!

Fireplace Window Back Door Right Back Door left New Drwy

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