Saturday, February 11, 2012

A New Room!

This is probably one of our most anticipated projects in our kitchen renovation process...the removal of the wall separating the kitchen and the dining room.  We were SO beyond ready to get rid of this wall.  So without further adieu...
Goodbye wall.

Before all major projects, you must adequately prep your workspace.  We needed to be sure that we kept any dust or potential lead out of the pretty part of our house, so we taped up some plastic across the dining room about 3 feet in from the wall. It wasn't a lot of space to work with, but we just had to manage until the wall was down.
Small 3 feet to work with.

In case you're wondering about permits and whatnot, we spoke with someone at our county's permit office and were informed that a permit is not required for the removal of non-load bearing walls.    We know our wall isn't load-bearing because it runs parallel to our floor joists (load-bearing walls run perpendicular to the floor joists).  With that said, if you plan on removing any walls yourself be sure to A.) figure out if the wall is load-bearing, and B.) check with your county's permit office as permit rules and requirements vary throughout counties and states.

Really the wall removal was quite simple.  We had already removed the plaster from the kitchen side of the wall, so all we needed to do was remove the plaster on the dining room side of the wall and remove the studs. 

Knocking out the plaster on the dining room side of the wall was pretty easy.  We used our trusty sledge hammer to punch out the leftover plaster, then removed any loose pieces by hand.  It's really important to wear gloves, masks, and glasses when doing work like this -- there are all kinds of rusty nails, potential lead, and dust that would love to ruin your day for you.  Of course we take the proper precautions to ensure our safety (and consequently our happiness).

It was AWESOME to see the new giant space that is our developing kitchen.  But we had to put our excitement aside and take down the studs, remove the air vent that was running upstairs, and take out the galvanized steel pipe drain vent.
The air duct and pipe vent were mini obstacles.

Chris took out the air duct vent by removing the duct clip.  This pretty much separated the duct into two pieces.  We removed the big piece by lowering it into the basement.  The other piece we lifted from upstairs in my craft room.  To be honest, the vent is supposed to carry warm/cool air up to my craft room, but it really doesn't work.  There's no return vent in my craft room (or in the other bedroom upstairs), which means our airconditioning or heating don't work as efficiently upstairs.  In the future we'll probably get a split system for the upstairs bedrooms, which people typically use in sunrooms when their heating or air conditioning aren't cutting it.  For now we're okay with window units or space heaters.

We removed the studs by sawing each of them in the middle with a reciprocating saw.  Once each stud was cut in half, we simple just pulled each half of the stud out (they are only held in by 2 nails, so it's a lot easier than it sounds). 

Chris removed the drain vent (the big galvanized steel pipe) by sawing it in half in a couple of places.  We would have kept this pipe, but it was sitting right about where we'll be putting our new refrigerator.  We'll replace this vent with a new pipe that's fitted inside of the wall so it won't be in the way of our fridge.
Ahhh awesome!!

I've found myself standing in this spot and staring across the room for extended periods of time.

So weird.  Definitely don't miss that wall.

Believe it or not, this whole process went by pretty quickly.  I honestly think this is the most profound change we've made yet -- we have a new giant room!  And this super duper new space will eventually become our sweet new kitchen...I need a fastforward button.

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