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Episode 3: Watch Your Step!

by - Monday, April 14, 2008

diy kitchen renovation

Yes, that is HandyMan's head...through the ceiling... the ceiling of my basement...below my kitchen which we are renovating. But before we get to how this happened, I'll bring you up to speed on some of the progress we made this weekend.

We ended the last episode with the kitchen ripped out down to the studs and the subfloor gone. HandyMan and I started the day debating how to handle a few little issues. 

First up, the sagging floor. After purchasing a 4' level (my new favourite gadget) and ripping out a few floorboards, we were happy to discover that that the dip in the floor was caused by just one problematic joist. Seems that the previous owners had tried to fix the problem by sistering or doubling the joist. The sistered joist was an old 2x4 - back when 2x4's really were 2x4's - insufficient really to support the 2x10 joist. We would do the same, ripping out the old sistered joist and putting in a new heftier one.

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All was good and the new joist was secure and level. We even left a little message on the joist and I commemorated the occasion by taking a pic...which is when HandyMan took a step back to get out of the shot and ended up with his right leg crashing down through the subfloorless floor and through the ceiling of the basement! Good thing he didn't tumble all the way through otherwise the temporary kitchen in the basement would have been demolished too :o\ 

Luckily, the only thing bruised was HandyMan's ego. With a few more hours work, we patched the subfloor with some 3/4" plywood and ended the day with a nice, level floor.

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Next up, HandyMan had to build a new stud wall on the exterior wall. This would allow for new insulation (very much needed - our cooking oils used to coagulate when stored in the kitchen cabinets!) and a vapour barrier. 

The only problem was that the pipes beneath the window were in the way. As the sink was not going to move, the pipes would either have to sit within the new wall and then poke out into the back of the cabinet OR poke up from the floor and come up into the bottom of the new sink cabinet base. The pipe was cast iron but 'newer' copper fittings had already been soldered on so HandyMan was hesitant to cut down to the cast iron in order to move the pipe forward into the floor space. That meant he instead had to get the pipes to fit in the wall. 

With no help from me, HandyMan built the new wall lickity-split, framing around the pipes. He'll have to put some sort of brace to hold the copper pipes back and then attach elbow joints so that they'll poke out into the back of the base cabinet.

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Surprisingly, we're on track with our schedule. Measuring for the cabinets is on Thursday, electrical will be in next weekend followed by drywall - goodbye stud wall. Then there'll be no more opportunity for HandyMan to crash through anything!

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  1. Wow, Handyman is super...well, handy, is the best word for it. Glad you're on schedule and can't wait to see the finished kitchen!

  2. Yikes! Glad to hear that he didn't hurt himself. Looking forward to seeing the results of all of your hard work!

  3. I love the message on the joist - like an old makers mark. I wish we'd found something cool like that when we were taking apart our house - instead of just finding unidentified animal feces in our walls. Lovely! Can't wait to see your kitchen unfold!

  4. Anonymous5:19 AM

    I have to say, first I laughed (yep I am a bad person!) then I was concerned...but am glad to hear Handyman is alright, and still handy! Your story reminded me of when my husband was painting our hallway ceiling, and fell off the step ladder down the stairs. All I could do was laugh at the sound the roller made as he fell down, and it rollered down the wall! He was not hurt...hence the laughter!

  5. No worries peachy keen. HandyMan laughed too. I on the otherhand was a bit more stunned - we were thisclose to finishing up the floorboards. One more fix to add to the list!

    d - glad to say we found nothing unidentifiable in the walls :)


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