With our kitchen plan and finish choices decided, it was now time to make sure our contractors were all lined up. We used Homestars.com (excellent site!) to find good trades people. And we knew which parts of the project we were going to tackle on our own. We found it incredibly helpful to break down the kitchen and basement projects into separate jobs, noting all the dependencies. And making sure the schedule proceeded in synch, so that our trades could do what they needed both in the kitchen and the basement during their time allotted. Then we mapped out each job on a calendar with realistic time frames and a bit of contingency built in. We were now ready to begin.
We had called Habitat for Humanity’s Restore to see if they would be interested in taking our old cabinets, granite counter and appliances. After sending them some pictures of the old kitchen, they were happy to send over a crew to carefully dismantle everything and pick it up. And when they sold the cabinets, counter and appliances, we received a tax receipt for $2200. I would highly recommend to anyone doing a major renovation, involving replacing anything that still has a lot of value, to please consider donating it to Restore. Their concept truly is a win-win-win solution; they sell the donated goods to raise money to fund Habitat for Humanity. Meanwhile it keeps the items from going into a landfill, and finally it not only reduces dumping fees for the home owner, it also provides them with a tax receipt once the donated goods are sold.
When coming up with our kitchen design, we noticed that the ceiling in the kitchen was much lower than the ceiling in the rest of the main floor. So I drilled a few large holes in the ceiling drywall to see whether we had a false ceiling and how much room we could gain back. Turns out the old owner liked the look of pot lights, but didn’t want to pay to redo the ceiling. So instead he just put in a false ceiling about 13 inches below the original, and then wired up the pot lights to the single box that was in the middle of the kitchen. Once Restore had removed everything worth salvaging, we were excited to begin demolition, so that we could see the room without the false ceiling and partition walls around the washer & dryer. My wife and I spent a few days of hammering, prying and bagging and watched as the room began to expand before our eyes.
Now came time to demolish the ceramic floor tile. For this I rented an electric jack hammer with a tile scraping bit. Here’s a tip for anyone looking to remove tile, go with a small SDS demolition hammer instead of a big heavy jack hammer. Unlike jack hammering concrete where the weight of the machine works for you, in tile scraping you need to hold the machine at a shallow angle to the floor. Therefore all that extra weight is just more for you to support with your arms.
The last part of our demolition, involved moving the door opening and rebuilding the brick wall. For this we had Glen from Castlerock Masonry come back.
Here are some progress pics:
No more false ceiling and partition walls - YAY!
The doorway being moved to the center:
The exterior brick work: