Series: An 80's Kitchen DIY Reno- {Part 4-Demo Day}

Friday, July 10, 2020

Last year after a water leak, the kitchen was at it's worst.  Thankfully insurance was going to repair the wall and ceiling.  And yes it would also cover replacing the laminate backsplash, but of course you can't match 30 year old laminate, so that would mean I would need to cover replacing the old countertop.  I didn't want to replace the countertop without modifying the cabinets first.  I felt like I couldn't move forward with repairing anything without doing the carpentry work first.  

Since we had planned on updating the kitchen anyway, it wasn't a complete disappointment, but the timing just wasn't ideal.  However, I also didn't want to do repairs, only to reopen walls and redo work in the future for updates. 

By late April, I was finally on the schedule to begin work, but the contractor canceled a couple of days before work was to begin.  This was the height of my frustration.   I don't like chaos.  I don't like disorder.  So after living with my kitchen opened up for over a month, I'd had enough and began demolition  myself.  I had sent so many drawings, and explained what I wanted to so many contractors, that I was like, "I can do this myself."  And at this point the kitchen was already a mess, so it wasn't like I could make it much worse!

The first piece to come out was the cabinet over the windows.  There was an overhead light that ran thru the cabinet.  So I made sure to cut off the power before cutting the wire. Next I removed all the doors to lighten it.  I thought I would find some screws inside the cabinet that would be screwed into the studs.  But instead there were tons of nails across the entire length of the cabinet. I ended up dismantling it piece by piece, taking off the doors first, then the face frame, and so on..  You can see it in the floor up above. 

 Ok one piece down, I was feeling more confident.  Next up was removing the peninsula.  I made a cut in the wood face of the countertop, then lifted it up and broke it along the seam.  Next I took out the two pieces of wood that created the peninsula.  I also removed the raised molding pieces on the paneling, so the new cabinet would be flush to the wall.  I did save the pieces to reinstall after the new cabinet was built.  I also removed that side panel on the cabinet below to connect this cabinet with the new one I would be building.

So happy to have this piece gone!

This was the progress on day one.

The floor somehow butted up against the original peninsula wall.  I wasn't expecting this, and it wasn't going to be covered by my new cabinet.  But thankfully, the floors were already going to be refinished because of the water leak, so I ended up having the gap patched before I put in my new cabinet.

On the refrigerator side, I removed the doors as well before demo, because I was going to use them on my new cabinet.  It's not pictured, but I relocated the fridge before beginning work!

I didn't get as many pictures of the work, but the challenge with it was that it wasn't a stand-alone cabinet.  The frame, the back, and top of the cabinet continued on into the other cabinets on that wall. So in removing the old fridge surround, I left the board that ran along the ceiling and back and notched around it to fit my new surround.  It wasn't a perfectly clean demo, but the rough parts were going to be covered up.

I also removed the small bit of chair rail that turned the corner on this side of the wall.  I later removed the baseboard and quarter round to install the new surround.  The demo again left a gap in the wood floor.

A few days later, I had the floors patched to cover the gaps.  

The patch was not flush AT ALL with the existing floors. I don't think this picture quite shows the difference in height. I was really concerned that they wouldn't sand down and be flush.  

I was assured that they would, and they did.  But floor refinishing was a future thing. Now, I could begin construction of the new cabinetry.

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