Monday, February 11, 2008

And the dust begins to subside...

Kitchen - Week 7 #4I had a long weekend to myself because of some travel plans that changed at the last minute. Since I'd already planned to be off work Thursday and Friday, I figured I'd take the time off anyway and try to make some more headway on the house. I am now entering the 7th week of work on this project in earnest which began in December.

And much progress did I make. The turning point has actually been passed. I am done with the demolition and infrastructure-building part of this project, and actually starting to put things back together. At the end of the day Sunday I hung my first piece of drywall and started plaster repair. Another round of plaster followed by skimcoating, and I'll be ready to hang the upper cabinets.

This may not look very exciting, but it's the first time I've actually put a wall back together rather than tearing one down.

In those four days I finished the vast majority of the electric, the gas for the stove, and the rest of the prep work needed before I can install cabinets. For electric, all that remains is the recessed lighting overhead, which I can't do before leveling the ceiling. This involves attaching a stud to each joist to bring them all down to the height of the lowest joist. This is a typical part of doing a ceiling in old houses, since some joists have settled differently than others and they must be even before installing drywall. But this won't stop me from getting some cabinets in place (and out of my living room).

The electric was kind of tricky because the counter is against an exterior brick wall - meaning, nowhere to run wires. So using a rotary hammer, I notched holes into the brick for the outlets above the counter, and ran EMT conduit for the wires against the edge of the brick. These will be plastered over. The thickness of the plaster is just about the same as the 1/2" conduit so it worked out pretty well.
Kitchen - Week 7 #3
In this picture you can see that behind the new range (ain't she beautiful?). The conduit goes between each outlet and switchbox. It's pretty time consuming to set up all that conduit because you have to measure and bend each piece precisely. The only alternative would have been to use metal clad cable instead, but plastering directly over cable almost certainly violates code, and if I ever had a problem I wouldn't have any recourse but to tear out the cabinets and wall to get access. This way, new wires can easily be pulled through the conduit in the future if ever needed for repair or an upgrade of some kind.

So, at the end of four days of work, I turned on my range for the first time. It was mostly ceremonial since there aren't even any cabinets in yet, but you have no idea how good that felt! I will cook no more on my electric frying pan...

This week I should be able to finish the ceiling (so I can actually turn on a light in there) and get all the base cabinets and appliances installed. At which point, the kitchen will actually be functioning, if not finished. At the end of this week I should be ready to order a countertop. The end is in sight.

I created a flickr photoset for the renovation project, so I won't post all the pictures here from now on.

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