A Kitchen Made For Entertaining

Al and Amy had lived with their 1950’s era kitchen for nearly 20 years when they decided it was time to remodel.  The original kitchen was small, poorly laid out and cut off from the rest of the house.  They love to entertain and wanted to open up the floor plan so they could comfortably mingle with guests while preparing food and drink.

Here’s how it happened

Inspiration

Al and Amy wanted their remodeled kitchen to have a large island with cook top and integrated table with seating for 4.  The sink would stay in the existing location next to the window.  They wanted wall ovens, a walk in pantry with lots of shelves, a desk for their home based business and a strategically placed TV to watch the news.

Oh, and Amy really hated the way entering through the side door brought you into the laundry room.   The washer and dryer had to move!

Challenges

To open the kitchen to the living room we would need to remove two bearing walls and tying into the hardwood floor meant blending to 60 year old material.

There are always unknowns waiting for you when remodeling any home, but especially older ones.  Plumbing, electrical and heating systems are outdated.  It’s not uncommon to find structural deficiencies as well.  This home had galvanized plumbing and plenty of settling.  The electrical service was in good shape, but the new kitchen would require new dedicated circuits for appliances and lighting.

Design Phase

When we create plans, we start out by measuring and photographing the home.  It’s pretty critical to get an accurate as-built plan right at the start.  In remodeling, every inch matters if you want to make the most out of the space.  During this measure we paid special attention to the structure around the two bearing walls to be removed.  The design had to allow for a load path (or two) down to the finished basement area and we wanted to keep the disruption to the basement to a minimum.

Plans, Engineering & Permit

After a couple iterations, we finalized the plans and submitted them to the Structural Engineer.  Working together we came up with a design that minimized disruption to the basement and allowed us to hide the new beams if we chose to.  We’ve been working with our engineer for 15+ years and he really understands how we work.  It makes it so much smoother when the structural and interior designs work in unison.

With the engineering complete we applied for a building permit.

 

Deconstruction Time

Look who gets to take the first whack…it’s Amy!  Taking out years of frustration of trying to entertain while all of her guests crowd into the kitchen!

Maybe we should have loaned her our sawzall?

 

Out with the old

The dumpster and port-potty arrive.  Things are about to get real.  Before you know it the kitchen is gone and you’re getting very familiar with your bbq and the pizza delivery man.

(Full disclosure: Al and Amy have a second kitchen in the basement.  No rustic camp kitchen remodeling for them!)

 

Framing

 

Taking out bearing walls means plenty of bracing.  Our framer Rob has extensive experience with the demands of this type of project.  Each step has to be planned meticulously.  Building temporary supports, adding new beams and hardware, and keeping the home secure during the process are some of the challenges.

Beams & Footings

Next we installed the new glu lam beams and footings in the basement.  The end of the glu lams need to be supported with concrete footings.  To install the new footings we had to saw cut the basement floor slab and dig to the proper depth.

The Trades

As framing wraps up, we start bringing in the trades.  Plumbing, electrical and HVAC are the main ones.  When the ‘rough in’ work is done by the trades we get a cover inspection  so we can move on to the finishes.

Finishes

Painting, flooring, trim, cabinets, counters, tile and appliances.  It’s the homestretch where everything starts coming together.

Hardwood Floor Tie-in

Our hardwood floor contractor, Kip’s Hardwood Flooring did a fantastic job of matching the existing 60 year old floor.  This picture was taken where the old wall was removed.  Kip and his crew rejected the first batch of flooring sent out because it wouldn’t have matched.  They were able to locate another batch that blended in perfectly.

The result

All work complete and the results speak for themselves.  Al and Amy love their new kitchen and have been entertaining non-stop ever since!

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