So according to plan, the plumbers showed up bright and early on Monday morning to disconnect everything. Shortly afterwards, the guys from Habitat for Humanity came, and they began the process of pulling out all the cabinets. Apparently, it wasn't terribly difficult to get everything out of there, though they didn't have a truck to take everything away. They dragged it all to the backyard instead. Graham was home for all of this, but I was at work, so I only heard about it on the phone and through occasional text photos. Though I did go over to the house on Monday night to see the cabinets gone. The only thing that was left in the house that still needed to be hauled out on Monday was the stove and the upper cabinets over the window and refrigerator.
While we were there, Graham pulled up the rest of the floor boards, and I started working on some of the shiplap slats on the kitchen side of the wall. I finally pulled a slat that allowed us to see through the wall.
On Tuesday, the electrician showed up and walked through. The job seemed straightforward enough, but since it's probably been at least 20 years since the wiring was put in, it's woefully out of code. And so he'll need to rewire the circuits in the kitchen before he can move anything. Plus, our panel is pretty bad, so it'll have to be replaced too. He's supposed to send the bid by Friday.
The Habitat people came back also to take away the stuff in the back yard and pull off the remaining shelving. Graham said that job took as long as pulling out the rest of the kitchen, because the shelving was built into the wall, past the sheetrock. It was sturdy, too. Sad to see it go, but we would lose significant upper cabinet storage if we kept it.
I didn't sleep well on Tuesday night because I started to worry that maybe we screwed up by not getting permits to take down the wall. You don't need a permit to change floors or wall coverings or cabinetry, but you do need them for electrical and plumbing jobs. At some point, inspectors are going to have to come in to check work.
The wall we're taking down is not load bearing. It's been messed with already at least twice now, once when they moved the door from the middle to the outside wall and once when they put in the cabinets and reinforced the cabinets. I even think that the middle door wasn't original, even though it's clear that it was pretty old. There are only six 2x4s holding up 14 feet of ceiling, and there isn't a beam at the top, just the shiplap ceiling in the attic. The joists holding up the roof are attached to a beam going up and down the middle of the house, perpendicular to the wall we're taking down.
I didn't know all of this on Tuesday night, but I did know most of it. The city isn't going to care much about homeowners taking down a non-load bearing wall. But they would about load bearing. I talked to a general contractor friend who will totally help us if we do run into permitting problems, but she thought that this is a "ask for forgiveness if someone asks about it" problem rather than a "oh god you're screwed" problem.
When we got to the house yesterday, I was in full "check out the wall" mode. So I took off more shiplap, and Graham got the door frame out. The door frame was totally floating, and we were overjoyed to see nary a beam in sight. We worked for about three hours, and I was able to get almost all of the shiplap off on both sides. I want to take one more layer off on the top, leaving two boards to help define the transition from the dining room to the kitchen. Graham got all of the kitchen floor out.
We were out of there by about 3:30, then we went to the grocery store to pick up patriotic food for A Very Special Geek Night at my parents' house. And our friends hung out with us from about five thirty until midnight.
We slept really well last night.
This morning, Graham was back at the house, and he got all of the sheetrock off the yellow wall. We're in the middle of a little debate about whether we want to recover that wall or keep the shiplap exposed. I'm on the "exposed" side, but Graham likes the original plan of re-drywalling and painting with chalkboard paint. It's as of now unresolved, but I'm going to try to sand a few planks to see what they look like. The plumbers came by again to take a look at all of the now exposed pipes, and they're scheduled to move everything on Monday. Graham also got all the trim off of the door heading into the bedroom. We're still waiting on the electrician quote, and we have no idea when they'll be scheduled.
David gets here tomorrow, and he'll work first on re-leveling the house. The challenge after that is how to work without having the other contractors do the rough-in first. He's supposed to tile the floor, but we're having electricity in the island, so that'll need to be roughed in first. Same with almost every wall. Even the missing wall needs to have electrical wires addressed before it can be made to look pretty. We're really hopeful that the electrical is a) reasonably priced, and b) can be done quickly. This is the Flickr set dedicated to the kitchen renovation.
I'm hopeful that it fills soon.