It started off as something simple, I was going to move a cupboard. With my galley-style kitchen, I was going to move the cupboard from above the sink on one side to be above (and support) the new range hood located on the opposite wall. However, after removing this old 50’s era metal cabinet, I found that the whole set rest upon an interlocking wall bracket. This prompted me to go ahead and move the whole set.
While more than I asked for, I was excited. Birdy had wanted to be part of opening that wall to the dining/living space. This way I’d be ready for whenever our crazy schedules aligned without kids. In the meantime, I’d enjoy having cupboards around my cooking area!
- Shortly thereafter, Birdy called. She just got done with her 5k for domestic violence, and was letting the in-laws have some time with the kids. What ever shall we do?! We were both already sweaty & without kids, might as well finish what I started!
Needing to see what’s in the wall (and wanting her to have fun) I gave her a mini-sledge, and told her to make a hole! As fun as it was, this wall was not so easy to tame. I removed the backsplash around the sink, and systematically peeled open a section of the wall. We found beneath the sheetrock was MANY years and layers of old wall paper & coverings coating 1” thick rough-cut lumber. (Not something we’re gonna poke a hole in with a hammer.)
Used a hole-saw for a pilot with which to start my reciprocating saw. In no time, we were peeling off layers, and learning what the wall had to tell us. I wanted to know how far apart the studs were. Are these 16, 18, or 24” centers? If I knew how far apart they were, I could determine where my new pass through would end.
Each spacing was different, from 25 to 44 inches apart! We removed the birch paneling, fiber-board paneling, & many layers of wallpapers from the other side. This revealed a wall slapped together with many misshapen pieces of wood, likely leftovers from other dwellings and barns. Now don’t you worry, this is NOT a bearing wall!
By Saturday night, most demolition was complete, and I went to church very sore the next morning. I cut & replaced the old backsplash, removing the extra height in the middle. Then, I tied the old studs together, re-using 2×4’s to create support for the coming bar. One of these I dropped down the wall void. I was able to stick a screw in the end, and retrieve with a hammer. Now that was rewarding!
The kids were quite surprised the following weekend. It was Queen Marie’s birthday, and we had planned to go paintballing. Unfortunately, she was sick, so we did her next favorite past time: rest & relaxation.
The weekend after that, I worked on finishing the other side. I replaced the fiber board paneling, but was short on original material, as some of it had broken in the removal. This mattered little, as it was the base for the birch wood paneling. Luckily, it was all intact, and I just had to trim it to fit around the new opening.
As I re-applied all these layers, I found that the casing was nice and level. (I had worked hard to bend that pine to my will.) However, the wall wasn’t quite straight. What is an over-hanging bar on one end, is merely flush on the other. (sigh) Oh well, I figure I’ll make adjustments when I remove the casing for a coat of stain.
Looks like I got two projects done this summer, yay! Farewell ‘till next time…