April 15, 2013

Demolition Derby

This is one of seven metal boxes recessed in our walls. The boxes formerly housed speakers and sported white plastic covers. (The speakers and covers are now piled in the middle of the floor as if we plan to build a camp fire to roast marshmallows.)
This is what the wall looks like after removing the metal box and enlarging the hole to expose the mounting studs. The horizontal braces protruded further than the vertical studs, requiring sanding (yes, more sanding) to level them out.
This is what the hole in the wall looks like when it is no longer a hole. Drywall patch cut to size then screwed to the studs, seams taped and spackled. I'll be a pro by the time I finish the 7th one. Kinda like finally getting a rhythm to the sand paint removal. The biggest wall is nearly done (hallelujah!) and I can see an end in sight. My goal is Friday. Friday = no more sand paint. The happiness of little victories is sweet.
Anyone else around here tired of hearing about sanding? Well, some actual visual progress has occurred, too. Above are our color choices for the kitchen. Valspar Tinted Spearmint above the chair rail, River Inlet below. (By the way, that cranberry paint below the chair rail has sand in it. Mumble, grumble, expletive!)

Here's what the kitchen looked like in February.
This is the kitchen on Saturday. All cabinets removed, doors to the laundry room and pantry closet removed, microwave with built-in vent removed, range with broken door removed, non-working dishwasher removed, sink removed, mouse poop and 2 very dead mice removed, hornet nest removed, majority of tiled backsplash removed. 
With the exception of animal and insect, most everything is out of the house and in the garage. Some things we'll re-use or sell. But I am chagrinned by the amount of waste this work produces. We also completely dismantled a finished room in the basement: all four walls, carpet, drop ceiling, crown molding, etc. We can re-use the studs for outdoor projects, but everything else is moldy. It appears that the water softener leaked, the carpet absorbed the spill like a sponge, and the water wicked up the walls. The drywall and wood panels heavily glued to the drywall are warped and visibly moldy. The carpet must be moldy. The ceiling collapsed into pieces. Nothing is salvageable except the studs. And their moldiness is suspect, which is why we plan to use them only for outdoor projects.
Speaking of waste, we've started to take down that wall at the back of the room. It closes off the laundry room and two windows from the kitchen. The cabinets, as seen in the "before" picture below are out of the laundry room.
The electrical elements in the wall have been safely cut and one side of the wall itself is now a pile of rubble on the floor. However, it did lend a piece of drywall big enough for a speaker hole patch and insulation aplenty to stuff the speaker holes before patching.
Next up for demo: the kitchen floor. Tiles on top of what can only be the original 1976 vinyl "brick" floor. A plumber will be contracted to remove the water lines to the dishwasher that protrude from the middle of the floor. 
And then wallpaper removal and wall repair. Good thing I'm getting a lot of practice with spackle, mud, and various taping knives. Removing the tiled backsplash destroys the wall board.
We've begun shopping for the new kitchen. And keep coming back to the idea that we should make our own cabinets. Is everything in the modern world made with MDF and particle board (and subsequently listed on Craigslist as "solid oak")? Given the price of cabinets, one would think they were made with gold plated rare hard wood not formaldehyde laden press board and plasticky fake looking veneer. I understand the amount of labor that goes into cabinet construction, hence the not inexpensive price tag. But for the price, I expect them to be made well. Judging from the display models at the big box store, craftsmanship is a forgotten term. Is it just me? I am actually offended by the notion of spending (oodles of) money on poor craftsmanship. Quality should not be a luxury. Just saying.

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