Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kitchen Demolition Party, part 1

Jay, Julie and Scott - The Wrecking Crew
Last weekend we sent out the call for a demolition party and started to tear into our kitchen renovation by beginning to combine the space with the small bedroom that was next to it. Because we first went to Jim Gill's house for the Illinois Solar Tour, and we then had to set up a temporary kitchen/pantry in another room of the house, we actually didn't start tearing into the lathe and plaster until late afternoon.

Our Wrecking Crew was rounded out when Scott and Julie showed up armed with humidity controlling masks and OSHA-approved Chicago Bears hard hats. And much to the WSJ's chagrin, we followed our usual procedures of holding off on alcohol until after the work was done. Unfortunately, later in the night neither of these prevented Jen from accidentally getting knocked in the head with the handle of a sledgehammer - she didn't have her hard hat on! Luckily she was ok, but next time she'll definitely be wearing the hats!

Julie and Jen tear into the wall
Julie and Jen tear into the dividing wall.

We ended up doing a lot of work - tearing down all the walls in the "other kitchen" room. And there were a few interesting surprises, too. On the exterior walls, we discovered that Mark and I did a good job blowing cellulose insulation down our walls because there were no gaps or spaces in the loose stuff. Best of all, we weren't itchy! But Scott won the prize for best discovery this time, as he uncovered an old leather shoe in the wall, which looked to be a vintage woman's dress shoe!

Next up is to finish moving out the old kitchen itself, so we can tear down the other half of the wall.


Anonymous said...


Jim said...

Looks like fun! I'm sure JS at the WSJ could jazz up Jen's accident for you: "One person on the crew was nearly beheaded by a rampaging sledgehammer."

Be sure and leave something of interest inside your new walls, too. We've had the kids writing on the studs or inside of the sheathing. Our GC found a ~100 year old bottle of scotch inside a wall down in Old Sacramento, although if we tried that I think the drywall crew would "liberate" it before closing the wall. :/

Julie said...

Jay... That was definatley a MAN's shoe, just a side note.

jay said...

Jim, we have so many versions of plans and blueprints, that we're leaving some of those inside our walls in special spots. And of course signing and dating things as we install them, and leaving (empties) of local Chicago microbrews such as 312 too.

Jen said...

For the record, Scott warned me moments before not to bend down as my hard hat wasn't on. Natch, I did, and knocked my head right into the sledgehammer end that Julie was holding.

They don't call me boo-boo for nuthin, kids. :)

Jim said...

@Jen: That's way too boring, definitely not up to WSJ standard. ;)

Julie said...

I was watching "If Walls could Talk" on TV the other day and a couple who had demo'ed their walls also found 1 shoe in each wall. Turns out in the early 1900's it was a sign/omen of good luck to put 1 shoe in a new wall.
Google'll see

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