Kitchen Renovation Progress

Lest you think I’m just paying for all the work on my house at this point and doing none of it myself, my Saturday would like to have a word with you. (My Thursday and Friday afternoons would, as well.) We’re still doing what we can to reduce the cost of the renovation and be of some use in the process. So Saturday Denisa and Daniela could be found outside painting clapboards so that they’re ready to go up on the house this week. This isn’t anything terribly difficult: just setting the clapboards up on saw horses and then painting them and letting them dry. But it takes time, and time is money when it comes to a renovation.

Meanwhile, Tomas and I were inside working on removing some of the old flooring to prepare the area for an upgrade. Working with an old house, you never really know what you’re going to get. This part of the house had felt a bit soft over the last while, so we wanted to be sure not to build over anything that might cause us problems in the future. I got to work with a crowbar early on Saturday morning, and I quickly became discouraged.

The part of the floor I was trying to remove turned out to be a fair bit more complicated than I had assumed. To make it level, someone had screwed down multiple strips of plywood, one on top of the other, putting screws in a pattern I couldn’t discern. Apparently to give it more nuance, they included asphalt shingles in between some of those strips, sometimes one, sometimes as many as eight. This made finding the screws even more complicated. They they laid down plywood over the whole lattice work, and screwed the plywood to the strips. They spread a layer of glue on tip of this and then put some vinyl tiles on top of that.

You still with me?

The bottom line was that to remove all of this, I had to first chip off the vinyl tiles and hope to find the screws attaching the plywood to the slats. Some of those could be unscrewed. Some of them had gotten glued in place. For those, I had to use a crowbar to rip them out. In the end, I took a circular saw and cut long lines in the floor on either side of each slat. Then it was a bunch of prying, unscrewing, and frustration, but Tomas and I finished it (about 150 square feet) in around 9 hours.

I’ve definitely done things I’ve enjoyed more in my life, but it saved me having to pay someone else to do all of that instead. It didn’t really require much knowledge, just time and an aching back.

The back wall of the kitchen is mostly done, and the new floor should be in today or tomorrow. (Not the actual flooring–just the plywood it’ll all go on. Wednesday the electrician’s supposed to come, and once the outlets and everything is in, then we can start putting up drywall and cabinets.

Just as long as there are no more asphalt shingle surprises . . .

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