Friday, April 3, 2015

Demolition: The Kitchen


The budget for the remodel is in and in an effort to save costs where we can, I’m going to be demolition woman. I can’t do the heavy work—breaking up the counters, bathroom vanities, cutting back the fireplace—but I can dismantle doors, baseboards, and casings (the wood that surrounds a door frame). I started in the kitchen.

Unless you're keeping all of the appliances OR you want to pay the contractor to haul them away to a landfill, you need to either sell them on Craigslist (not so interested) or if you live in a progressive (read: hippie) city like we do, you find a store that sells used appliances and vintage cabinets etc. The one here is called Ballard ReUse and they are fabulous. They came out, did a walkthrough and told me everything they wanted from the house. Then their team comes out and takes care of everything: shutting off electrical where necessary, unwiring appliances, removing cabinets, fixtures...and hauls it all away. FOR FREE. Then you get an itemized receipt and can write it all off on your taxes. Win-win. The only problem is they don't want everything- only things they can sell. So, none of the doors in the house because they are hollow core (you can't sand out scratches or dents).


The kitchen as is minus the staging knick knacks. Remember there is a fridge against the far wall.


Step 1: J wants to know how the hood is vented. So, 
he detaches it and caps the wires so I don't inadvertently electrocute myself.



He discovers this next to where hood was vented. Water damage. Bad. Good news is we already knew there were water leak problems but the roof was replaced so they are solved. This is old and dry- just looks bad. Really bad.


Step 2: I prep for the salvage company by removing all cabinet drawers and doors. The salvage people did not want the doors but they did want these:


They look pretty boring, right? Well, they're solid brass as were the hinges so they took them.



This looks creepy enough that I took a picture for the contractor because well, is it asbestos or something dangerous? No, it's something called blown-in insulation that they put around dishwashers. What is not so great is that that is the outer wall of the house behind it. No drywall. Oh well.



This is what's left. Actually, less than this because I did stack up all the doors in the house, including cabinets and shelves, stuck them at the end of the driveway and listed them for free on Craigslist. No contact with strangers, no worries and three days later it was all gone.


The counters and cabinets still need to be demolished but in the 1950s they were not installed they were built-in. As in, they brought in the wood, cut it to size and built the cabinets into the walls. So, there is no saving them and no way to reuse them at all. They're made of long pieces of solid wood so even if I wanted to get all macho with a sledgehammer I would probably hurt myself more than anything. Plus, there are plenty of other things left for me to demolish!

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