Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kitchen Island: Phase 1 Demolition!

The demolition bug caught a hold of us and we started the kitchen island project last Monday after dinner.  Nothing gets me more excited than making my plans come to life and my husband is the best for suggesting we just get it started after dinner.  I LOVE that man!  So first let me lay down the plan for why we even attempted this project.  The layout of our great room is FABULOUS in our house...except for one little barrier, the kitchen island.  Here she is in all her barrier-ness.

  • Problem number one:  The layout.  It is two cabinets placed in a L-shape.  It makes it almost impossible for two people to stand at the counter together. 
  • Problem number two:  The split height surfaces.  The backside (or in the kitchen) the island is normal counter height and then on the front side (or living room side) there is a small bar height lip.  It is not very wide, and you cannot sit at it for lack of knee space. 

Here is the original plan with the existing island:

Here is the new improved plan which will include new counter tops for the entire kitchen and a new sink!  The new island will all be counter height so that you can work all the way around it, say if you have family over and we are all cookin' in the kitchen, you have LOTS more room to work.  The side opposite the refrigerator will be able to accommodate 3 counter height stools with plenty of leg room and space for the stools to slide completely under it and out of the way when no one is sitting there.  Muy Bueno!

First I had to empty the cabinets and remove the drawers and stage them in the dining room for the time being.  Yes this means that we have to walk in there to get a fork occasionally.

Then we began this project by taking the counter tops off of the island.  This required removal of some trim pieces...

and removal of the electrical switches on the counters of which there were three.  We will be re-using these in the new configuration.  Oh and we did shut off the power to these circuits at the breaker prior to any of this work!  Pretty important step!

The counters then were just unscrewed from the bottom and lifted right off, ok well there was a little more muscle involved than lifting right off implies...

It was quite interesting to see what the builders left behind for us in between the two cabinets.  It appears to be some aluminum foil and a napkin from lunch time...NICE!

Then we unscrewed the cabinets from the wall and then muscled them out. 

Next step: take that wall down!  We removed the electrical boxes and the base boards and then started removing the drywall.  This involved a big heavy ball pein hammer and some sexy muscles.

Two sides did have particle board under the gypsum board, so they took a little more coercing.

Did we have help?  Of COURSE we had help!  We could never do these home improvement projects alone.

Removing the wood frame was the easiest part.  We basically removed it in three sections being careful to remove the electrical wire as we went.  We were left with a nice open kitchen with a big hole in the tile where the cabinets used to be!  SWEET!  I can already tell I like so much better!

Stay tuned for the next installment of Kitchen Island.  It is kind of like Lost and Devin is Sawyer's character and I'm Kate.  Ok well nothing like that actually but Lost is a better analogy than Gilligan's Island...but wait, that means Devin can be the Professor and I can be Mary Ann.  Ok well that will work also.  Any hoo...stay tuned to be witness to some tile removal goodness and some super sweet jack hammering a la Sawyer Devin...

oh the anticipation!   

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