Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Flashback: Kitchen Reno Part 1

We bought 730 back in 2008, two months after our wedding while we were taking a side street to get back home. I've always been a fan of driving random downtown roads to look at houses and see if there are any lost gems forgotten by time and slum lords. On this particular day we were looking through our favorite furniture thrift shop, Good Used Furniture, and instead of going straight to the main road I said lets go down this one...two block later we found this little guy and we instantly fell in love. We had been going back and forth about calling a Realtor and "officially looking" for a new place, our student housing apartments were just not cutting it for me anymore. We did end up calling that Realtor, but it was to make an offer...we looked at one other house, but when you know you know.

However, for all its charms...all new plumbing and twice as much space as the apartment...the kitchen was severely lacking in cabinets, appliances, everything.

The old kitchen came out so quickly that we don't even have a picture of it as it was on the purchase day. I think my dad said he'd gift us new cabinets as a house warming present and while he meant "add to what you have" I heard "kitchen renovation" (I am without a doubt his biological daughter) and out it came...they put up a good fight though with all the stripped screws.

So we already knew that there was two inches of kitchen flooring from the past 80 years. There was the new vinyl, 3 layers of old vinyl, sub flooring that someone nailed down with ring shank nails every 2 inches (that was a joy), then we got to the good stuff! Felt back linoleum from the 1930's that they tared to the pine hardwood flooring...

My dad and Ryan took a circular saw set at 1 inch and cut 18 inch strips across the room. Then we got a couple crow bars and ripped those suckers out...like I said early ring shank nails... you can also see in the above photo that I had started scraping wall paper. They had painted around the cabinets so all 5 layers behind them were peeling off and it was easier to just take it off. The bottom layer was barely holding on so it was easy.

So like all high quality glues from the 1930's it didn't want to come off the floor, or the walls. The floor glue was black and fossilized with felt attached to it and made us get on our knees with flat razors to get it relinquish its' hold. The wall paste was easier, just some warm water in a spray bottle and a straight razor.

Our lovely pile from the floor glue...from half the room
 To add more time learning experience to the reno I found these four gems behind a weird soffet/box thing that was to low to fit a standard refrigerator under. It was obviously built to hide the holes instead of just patching them like a normal person...

Number four hole was a surprise because it had a layer of wallpaper over it...it reeked of old coal and was DIRTY, oh my word. All we can think is that this alcove held the old coal stove when the house was built in 1934. The chimney runs to the basement where the coal radiator furnace was and has a cleaning shoot...gross.

A little plastering and some Valspar Primer, from Lowe's, and the space was looking like it might turn out all right...

 The next phase was getting that floor sanded and sealed...

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