A kitchen: the end of an era

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to tear apart 1/3 of your kitchen?

No? Yeah, me either.

We were humming right along. The kids were growing like weeds. We were busy with school, soccer, life.

The kitchen was holding up it’s end of the bargain, aside from the dishwasher. He gave up on us, but hand washing dishes is easier and the boys can help!

One morning in May 2016, I was packing lunches for The Garden Guy and big brother. They were going on a school field trip! A quick run down to the basement, leads to a discovery I keep to myself until after the adventure.

I heard a dripping sound, in the basement. Walked over to the corner of the room where the drain from our bathroom runs down, through the kitchen, to the basement. There’s water dripping, rather quickly down the cast iron pipe.


Our trusty plumber, assured us they could fix it, but we’d have to get the cabinets out ourselves.

Not sure where we would be going after this was fixed, we wanted to take the cabinets out in tact.

This proved, quite challenging!

The soffit was the key to the whole thing, once we got all the nails out of the soffit, the uppers came free. Getting the uppers out, took all day. While the guys were out picking up dinner, I pulled at the false wall built around the pipe and found the crack!

This cast iron drain, dates back to the 1920’s when the first bathroom was added to the house. The kitchen below, was pretty much built around the plumbing.

The feed lines for radiators, to the right, are capped in the basement and haven’t been used in… Who knows. This house has had a lot changed to her interior and this is our first chance to see ghosts of the past. Like the window, we knew used to be to the left… You can see the variation in the plaster, a shadow if you will.

From a kitchen, to a hollow corner.

The dishwasher was recycled. The countertop and the cabinets went out to the garage, to be stored. We did keep a section of the countertop, for the dish drying rack!

Let’s look at the crack, shall we??

It measures 28 inches long and it’s miraculous that only sudsy shower water was dripping from it. This is the waste pipe for the bathroom…. Yuck.

Replacement went fairly smoothly, once they cut out the pipe with a sawsall!! These cast iron drains are really thick and tough. It was a real shame to lose it. The PVC replacement went in and now you can hear everything from the bathroom… This disappoints me, but you get used to it.

Emergency plumbing is a success and now we know what the wall looks like without cabinets and I’ve had a sneak peek at the wood floors I knew were hiding underneath layers of time…

We don’t like to rush things with the house. So we waited and lived with the kitchen the way it was.

That area held all the dishes, glasses, silverware, and spare baking dishes. I moved everything to the hutch in the dining room, and boxed up the random stuff for donation.

May turned into November, and it was time to make a concrete plan. I’ve spent these months staring at the room. Waiting for it to talk to me. Give me some ideas of where to go!! I had big dreams of turning it way back in time. To look like it belonged in 1900.

Reality is, that’s not for everybody. This kitchen needs to look like it belongs in a 1905 home, but function in the 21st century way.

We reached out to none other, than Bill for the kitchen project.

His plan, changes the layout slightly, but opens the kitchen up in a big way!

Moving the fridge to the wall where the oven is. They’re the same depth, which gives the room back six inches. The breakfast bar is coming out and not returning. It created such a pinch point in the narrow room.

The heating would be radiant under floor, with us pulling off the laminate and two layers of subfloor. We really wanted a warm kitchen after so many years with an ice cold one.

A plan is made. Time to work out the details, and start demo!

Coming in January 2017

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