The base cabinets for the sink wall are finished, and after hauling them home two weeks ago (which took three trips in my Subaru), the first thing I did was give them a test-fit of sorts. Yup; ’em’ll work. (They will, I’m hoping, look much better once the face frames are on.) They’ve been relegated to my dining room ever since.
Instead, I moved on to the cabinet tear-out on what I thought was the less problematic wall – an interior one with no plumbing with which to deal. And I thought the interior wall was drywall, so it would be relatively easy to run a new 12-gauge wire to my electric panel and install a few pigtailed receptacles (after being taught how to do so properly and to code by my kind electrician neighbor, Jason). And yes, it is drywall…of sorts. It’s that old 3/4″-thick stuff with the really hard 1/8″-thick shiny layer on top that crumbles with an alarming spiderweb of cracks in all directions, no matter how sharp one’s razor knife or one’s new drywall knife.
Also, the last person to install cabinets (in the late 80s, I think?) left some large holes that mice seem to have found handy; to avoid contracting hantavirus, I had to wear a proper respirator whilst cleaning up decades-old droppings. (There were, as far as I could tell, no fresh droppings. Good kitties.)
So most of my recent kitchen rehab time has been a mix between trying not to electrocute myself and trying to patch old walls perfectly with thinner, modern materials. I had to screw braces across the interior of the holes to give the new drywall and shims something to which to attach (rather than cutting back to the studs), so I cleaned out my scrap bin of a lovely assortment of cherry, walnut and white oak offcuts. Whomever gets inside that wall in the future will be wondering what the hell was wrong with the last person…just as am I.
With the exception of a skim coat, the holes are patched. There are three new electric receptacles installed, and new plugs in the old ones (grounded outlets seemed like a good idea).
But things are now dire because I can no longer make a cuppa; I’ve turned off the gas to the stove and moved the range out of the way so I can install the subfloor on that half of the room. Tomorrow, I pick up my cork from the store, then finish the base cabinets for the run on that side. While the cork acclimates (two days at least, I’m told…but I fear mine will acclimate for far longer), I’ll get those base cabinets installed. (My countertops are acclimating right now in my hall…even though they needn’t.)
Then comes the scary part: the sink wall. It’s an exterior wall, with plaster over lathe on brick. I’ll be hiring my neighbor to help with the electric on that side, and a plumber to deal with the sink and dishwasher. I can only take this DIY-thing so far and keep what’s left of my sanity. With help, hope and a checkbook, the goal is to have the old out and the new in on that wall within a day (it’s also where the stove will end up…must not forget to tell the plumber to run the new gas line).
I can’t wait to get to the part where this is fun. That’s coming, right? No? Oh dear…I need a cuppa.