Sunday, April 26, 2015

Kitchen Update

Lots of people have asked us lately how the kitchen is going.  We laugh because well... it isn't going anywhere for another couple of months at least.  We are currently saving money to pay for the renovations, and planning out exactly what we are wanting to do.
 I thought, though, that it wouldn't hurt to give a progress report.

The plan for the space, as I have mentioned in previous posts, is to convert the kitchen and one bedroom into a large, open kitchen and den space.  That will provide us with the open feel we enjoy, and a better entertaining space.  Before we moved in we tore down the wall that divided those two spaces and took out the chimney that was covered up inside that wall.  We have not yet taken out the fireplace completely, because it proved to be a job too big for mere human hands, and, pressed for time, we needed to wait to arrange borrowing/renting a power tool to complete the job.

Another pre-move in renovation that took place in this part of the house was the installation of a support beam on the ceiling and two corresponding wall beams.  The wall we tore down was a supporting wall.  So the second floor had to be reinforced one way or another.  We decided to make it a design feature, as well as a necessary aspect.  We found this awesome place called Old American Lumber.  They find old barns and churches from which to salvage floor boards and just any old wood in good condition they can get their hands on, re-milling it, and selling it.  Everyone we worked with was very friendly and definitely shared our passion for old wood.  We wanted some old wooden beams to use for the ceiling support, and two matching ones to frame the room and bring the two spaces together.  We ended up buying one 14 foot beam that measured 6'x8' and two 10 foot beams measuring 8'x8'.   Simon and a contractor we had met during our home buying process cut and installed the 6'x8' beam to support the second floor.  Our plan had been to use the other two as posts to support the beam, but after looking at them in person, we decided they would protrude from the wall too far.  Instead, we cut one of them down the middle and used the two halves for the side posts.  We, of course, were left with one full beam.  We do not have an exact plan for that yet, but I am pretty confident it will work its way into the renovations somewhere along the way.

Here is a close up of the beam.  It is a little darker in real life than it looks in this picture. 

 This is Buddy and Simon measuring and cutting the beams to size in our back yard.  

We had not planned to cut a beam in half, so we didn't have the perfect tool for the job on hand and we didn't want to spend another day on this project.  So they worked with what they had and it really turned out well.  I am glad we decided to handle cutting it ourselves rather than taking it back to the lumber place and having them do it.

Here is a halvsies shot.  The temporary supporting wall had to remain up until the ceiling was supported with the beam.  So this was the overlapping period.  You can see the top beam and the far right post are already installed.  
 Here is a close up of the left side (the kitchen is behind me) once the beams were all up and the supporting temporary wall was removed.

Here is the full, finished set.  Obviously, it will be a little easier to visualize once we have the wall by the door rebuilt (there was a pantry there that had to go when the wall came down) and the rest of the room and flooring finished.  All in all, we were really pleased with how the beams turned out and we were incredibly happy to have found Old American Lumber.  We have a lot of wood work we hope to do upstairs, so we will be going back to them for sure! 

The kitchen itself is very livable, albeit far from perfect. (it does look better now than it does in the above photo...)  It is, quite frankly, straight out of the 1940's, bringing with it all the glory that time period had to offer.  So, once the time is right, we will gut the kitchen, cabinets, floor, appliances (praise the lord) and all.  We have a pretty solid idea of what we would like to see happen in the kitchen, and we are in the process of figuring out what aspects are feasible in our budget, and what makes the most sense in terms of investing in the property.  Every penny we put into this house, we want to be able to get back when we sell it, and more.

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