Friday, January 30, 2009

Shopping for kitchen flooring

We've been shopping for kitchen flooring for the past few days. We were going to use slate but have since decided to go with travertine. Here is the style we've settled on, it's called antique sienna:

Once it's sealed it will look like the bottom half of the tile, I squirted some water on it to get an idea of what it will look like. Best of all it's only $1.49 a sq ft!

Here is the backsplash that we're looking at:

We also started looking for some ideas for our bathroom. The upstairs bathroom is very small and we weren't sure what do do about it. We saw this display below for a travertine shower and think it will work perfectly:

We're waiting on the appraisal for our construction loan right now, as soon as it's done we should have our loan within a week then we can get to work.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kitchen electrical almost done

I was out at the house again on Saturday for more electrical work but I haven't had a chance to post since then. I'm almost done with the electrical in the kitchen. Most of what's left will have to wait until the cabinets are in for me to finish.

Above is a picture of the back door that leads into the kitchen. The room beyond is the one that will be demo'd soon and then replaced with a deck.

I know it looks like the light switches are on the wrong side but I'm going to be reversing the swing on this door. There is some heavy damage where the cheap door knob is now, it appears that someone kicked it in at one point. I will be filling this in and installing a door knob and lock on the right side of the door so it swings the other way. I wired up the two 3-way light switches on Saturday, the right one will control the recessed lighting and the left one will control the chandelier. The empty spot on the far left is for the porch light I will be installing outside the door once the other room is torn down.

The above picture shows the other two 3-way switches, this is at the entrance to the kitchen from the dining room.

These are the junction boxes in the attic, I still have more wiring to do here.

As you can see, I finally got a light installed in the attic space above the dining room and kitchen. I will be opening up a door into this space from one of the bedrooms and putting down a sub floor in at least half this area for storage.

Well, that's about it for now. I cant wait until this part is over so I can finally post some less boring pictures!

Friday, January 23, 2009

More electrical work

We didn't get to spend a lot of time out at the house today but I did get some things accomplished. I worked on installing the second circuit to the kitchen. The second circuit will run the fridge, dish washer, garbage disposal, and attic light. There will also be a third circuit run, it will control the chandelier, the recessed lighting, and the under counter lights.

I ran the circuits down from the attic space above the kitchen. Why I didn't think to do this for the first circuit I don't know. It would have saved me a lot of crawling around in the dirt under the house...

I'm running the wiring through the holes that the knob & tube wiring ran through.

The last picture above is the wiring for the attic light.

I found an old Bulldog friction tape box in the attic, it was used to tape up the knob & tube wiring.

We hope to get back out there some time this weekend to finish up the wiring.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kitchen electrical

I was back at the Woodbury house today. I finally got around to starting the electrical work. I wired up 5 outlets and installed boxes for the microwave, light switches, and garbage disposal.

The box up near the top of the pic is for the microwave, I haven't run the line for it yet because it will be on it's own circuit. The double gang box on the far left next to the window will be for a garbage disposal and under counter lighting switches. All the other outlets are positioned so they will be 2" above the countertop.

I still have one more outlet to run (for the fridge), the line for the dishwasher, the line for the microwave, and the line for the under counter lights. Then I'm going to run a line up into the attic space to a junction box for the lighting.

Monday, January 19, 2009


When I was at the Woodbury house yesterday I took some time to clean up the toothbrushes I had found in the kitchen wall last week. I had noticed that there was some writing on one of them when I was looking at a picture of it.

When I cleaned it up I found that it said "Buster Brown's Perfect Brush". It has the Buster Brown logo at the end of it. On the neck it says France and has some numbers. Just below that is some type of logo, possibly the company logo. I can just barely make out "co." at the end of it. Google didn't return any hits for a Buster Brown Toothbrush.

The other brush says "Mammas Darlings" which is an old childrens book from 1869. It also says France on it. The writing is very faint though so I couldn't get a good picture of it.

If anyone has any info on either of these toothbrushes please post it here. I'd love to know more about them.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Final kitchen demo

Once again I didn't have enough time to do the electrical today. I spent the day finishing up the demo and framing.

First thing I did was to pick up all the plaster and put them into contractor bags. Once that was done I started removing the boards on the wall next to the pantry.

I carefully removed the door frame so it can be reused then removed the rest of the boards.

Then I removed the shelves from the pantry. Unfortunately we're not going to be able to use the pantry since our fridge has to go in this location. It wasn't original to the house but it would have been nice to have.

I put the original studs back in place with 2x4 supports on either side, they are not load bearing so it's ok to do it like that.

Once the drywall is up I'll tear the pantry down and use some of the siding to cover the hole.

I started measuring the new wall so I would know where to install the outlets when I discovered that I was 2 1/2" short on the wall! I didn't notice it when I was laying out the kitchen in CAD because I chose a 27" wall oven cabinet by accident, we'll be getting a 30" oven cabinet.

I cut a small piece of 2x4 to 2 1/2" and screwed it to the floor next to the wall then moved the stud over on top of it. For the other side of the doorway I moved the stud in and cut the footer down 2 1/2".

With that done I went ahead and framed out the doorway between the kitchen and dining room.

Tomorrow we will be back out there to hopefully get the electrical done...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Finishing up the kitchen demo

We went back out to the Woodbury house today for a few hours. I had intended to begin on the kitchen electrical, there are a lot of outlets to install, but ended up tearing plaster and lathe off the walls instead.

Sorry for the fuzzy images but there was still a lot of plaster dust in the air when I took them. The little bit of yellow on the wall in the pics is more tongue & groove boards.

I'll be back out tomorrow to remove the boards, clean up the plaster, vacuum, then begin on the electrical.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Designing the kitchen cabinets

We've spent the last few weeks designing our perfect kitchen. Today I used a CAD program to layout the kitchen. I wanted to see exactly how everything is going to tie in together.

The program is not perfect but it's very good. I was able to use similar cabinets and stain, the ones we are getting are nicer and more detailed but this works to really give us a view of how it will turn out.

Here are a few shots of what the kitchen will look like:

Some of the things that are not correct in the pictures; The wall oven will be even with the cabinet next to it. The floor tile is too small, it's 12x12, I'm thinking we're going to need 16x16 or 18x18, the color Isn't right either, it's going to be a dark slate with maybe a hint of green in it. There will also be a valance above the sink that I couldn't get the program to add. I also couldn't add the backsplash, it's going to be travertine tumbled stone.

The cabinets on the far left in the last pic above are one's we're thinking of installing at a later date, the base cabinets will only be 12" deep as will the uppers. Here is another shot of it:

Here is a showroom display of the actual cabinets we will be getting:

The uppers in the pic are only 30", we'll be getting 42". With 11' ceilings we're going to need them.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dining room wall

Yesterday I worked on the dining room side of the wall. The first thing I did was install pieces of 2x4 in between studs for the wainscoting.

With that done I began working on the wainscoting. I picked out the 37 best pieces and removed all the nails from them. then I had to cut an inch off of each board. I had to do this because the floors, as it turns out, are not original, they were laid over the original floors so because of this I lost an inch of height over the wainscoting on the other walls.

With the wainscoting installed I installed the chair rail above it and the trim piece that goes just below the chair rail.

I know it looks like the wainscoting slants up towards the camera, it does this for a few reasons, one is that the floor slopes down towards the back wall, the other is that the support 2x4's I installed are level while the wainscoting follows the floor so it makes it look worse than it is. Once the drywall is up it shouldn't be noticeable at all.

This last picture is a few of the things I have found in the walls so far:

The bottom 2 items are toothbrushes that look very old, they appear to be made of bone or ivory. I just noticed some writing on one of them in the picture but I don't have them here, they are back at the Woodbury house. I will try to see what they say the next time I'm there.

The top item is a turned wooden spindle. These are the kind you normally see in a hallway or entryway as elaborate fretwork. We dont have any fretwork in the house, I have no clue how it got into an outside wall in the dining room.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Building the new kitchen wall

We were back at the Woodbury house yesterday. First I needed to tear down the 3 foot sections on either side of where the new wall will be. I had to be careful doing this so as not to disturb the plaster walls next to it.

I used a circular saw to make the cuts. I cut the chair rail and picture rail at 45 degrees since the corners will need to be mitered to meet the new wall. For the very top and bottom I used a sawzall being as careful as I could. I still knocked a little bit of plaster off one area though but it should be pretty easy to patch up.

Here's my chalk line for the first cut:

I cut along the line with the circular saw then removed the plaster and lathe from the wall:

Then I did the same for the other wall:

With that done we spent the next few hours cleaning up the plaster on the floor. We also got rid of a bunch of old appliances in the house by giving them away.

Then we got to work on building the wall:

The studs are a standard 16" on center configuration.

Today We'll be heading back out there and I'll install the header above the door, the door casing, then the wainscoting and the chair rail.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Kitchen wall removal

Yesterday we were out at the Woodbury house taking the wall down. This turned out to be a much longer process than I had anticipated.

First I had to take the plaster and lathe down on the walls next to the wall that is being removed because the boards extended into each of the walls:

These walls will be coming down anyways, I'll be gutting the entire kitchen and putting up greenboard.

Next I took down the boards on the wall, I had to do this carefully as I want to save them for use in the sunroom. The boards are also 15' long so it was tough to get them off by myself:

Once that was done I removed the chair rail, trim, door casings, shoe molding, one row of flooring, and finally the wainscoting from the dining room wall. We were also able to remove the wallpaper without tearing it, we will be reusing the paper:

Then all that was left was to remove the plaster and lathe:

The studs were only toe-nailed into the ceiling, most didn't even touch the floor. It's a wonder the ceiling didn't sag from having a wall hanging from it for a hundred years.

That's as far as we got yesterday. Next up is to try to remove the plaster and lathe from 3'4" of the side walls that will now be part of the kitchen without damaging the plaster next to it that will remain in the dining room.

I'll be using a circular saw for that as a sawzall will vibrate the lathe and destroy the plaster. Once that is down I can build the new wall.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Kitchen Demo

We've finally decided to take the plunge and begin the real work at the Woodbury house. We're going to get a construction loan to get everything done as soon as possible.

Today we started on the kitchen. In it's present state the kitchen measures 10'5"x14'10". Ten feet is just too small. We tried a hundred different cabinet configurations over a weeks time on the CAD program but nothing really worked.

What we have decided to do is move the wall between the kitchen and dining room. The dining room is currently 14'6"x14'10". We're going to move the wall 3'4". This will make the kitchen 13'9"x14'10" and the dining room 11'2"x14'10". Here is the wall in question from the Dining room side:

I hate to lose the original plaster on the dining room side and I'm going to have to remove the wainscoting very carefully so as not to damage it, but at least now I'll have close to 7' of spare wainscoting and a lot of spare oak flooring.

I guess I should describe what this kitchen will be like. In the Oxford-Boynton house we did a country style kitchen with white, slatted door cabinets that I made. We really like our kitchen and spend a lot of time in it but this time around we're going high end.

I'm starting with a slate floor with 12"x12" slate. The cabinets will be either cherry or Italian Hickory. The countertops will be granite. The backsplash will be tumbled marble. And of course the appliances will be high end stainless.

We spent the morning finalizing the cabinet layout and finally came up with this:

We will be going with a Farmhouse sink, side by side fridge, double wall ovens, and an electric cooktop with a wood and stainless hood vent.

Even going with a complete gut and rebuild we still have to work around some of those old house issues. Just beyond the fridge on the left is an original window, it is over 7' tall. I want to preserve this window. Because of this we cant do a U shaped kitchen. The window over the sink was shortened a long time ago so it's ok to put the new sink there.

Unfortunately we're going to lose our pantry, it's behind the fridge in the plans above. It's not original to the house though and I'll be able to reuse the wood and trim from it.

The shot above just shows the basic cabinets, we'll be adding crown, a valance above the sink, fluted casing on either end of the wall oven cabinet and the fridge cabinet, and the sink will have turned legs on either end.

That was the fun part... this afternoon we went out to the house to begin the demo. Here is the kitchen before we started the demo:

Isn't that lovely? Time to go bye-bye...

That's as far as we got today. We'll be out there first thing in the morning to get the wall down and moved.