Beach House Kitchen – Demo

The demo took about a day and half, including hauling and dumping.

I don’t like “sledgehammer demo”. I think’s more work, slower and dirtier than systematically taking things apart – and I want to keep any good material I can.

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You can see in the photo’s that there’s been water damage and rot. It looks like there were multiple events in the past, but the framing and sheathing were dry and solid.

The sheetrock above the cabinets was nasty. My son took a couple of showers with rotted stuff in the ceiling. He wasn’t impressed, but kept at it. I thought he might get mad and drive home after being totally covered in toxic-waste.

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The framing in this house is crazy. In every room we demo, we get to see lots strange work like this. I take out what I have to, but no more. There’s no real value in making it all perfect, but I always ensure we have solid structure.

I can’t figure out what the framer (I’ll use the term loosely) was thinking…

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The other side of the kitchen is a bit better, but the cutting for the vent pipe leaves no actual support for the window header – it’s floating up there.

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The corner has a lot of dark water stain, but is actually OK. They fixed it from the outside. And again, the header has no direct load path to the foundation. The rim joist above is acting as the real support. The problem with this sort of scab-in framing, is that it allows for a lot of flex in the wall. The more movement, the more things like caulking fail on the outside.

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The thing that I dislike the most on the house is the electrical. The older (black) wire was replaced with new – I like that. They left the dead wire ends in the junction box with the live wires, which is really dangerous. Needless to say, all old wiring gets fully pulled out of the walls.

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The biggest demo job was opening up the doorway to the dining room. I used 2×4’s and jacks to support the ceiling above. All that’s up there is the bedroom floor. If there was upper structure (i.e. a lot of weight), I would have built a full temporary wall.

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We found a lot of sagging in the ceiling. You can see the downward bow of the upper plate. We were able to fix it, which include adding a small wing wall in the basement. The basic rule: all structure needs to have a solid path to the foundation – no exceptions.

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Next step: reframing.


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