Kitchen Wall Demolition

Talk about a fun way to spend a Friday night. With the fireplace roaring, and his stereo blasting the Cavs game for all the neighbors to hear, Matt demolished the two walls and built-in cabinet that previously enclosed the kitchen. The floor plan of the first floor living area is a very large, open space, but the kitchen was so small and cut off from the flow of the house. We knew we wanted to open it up to the rest of the room.
However, we did not know what we would discover once the walls were removed. We expected to find a load-bearing post under the main support beam--and we did--but we had assumed it would be a steel post just like those at the other two load-bearing points in the room. It was not. Instead there were three 2x4's nailed together. Now that this support will be exposed, rather than inside the wall, we will probably try to replace it with a matching steel post.
We also learned that much of the electrical wiring for the room came up through the wall that was removed, and when Matt cut the wiring to remove the wall, much of the lighting in the room was disabled. Let the troubleshooting begin.
Now for the fun part--before & after:
Thankfully, we have some family and friends coming over to help clean up our mess tomorrow!


  1. Taking out that cabinet was difficult to do. I don't mean physically difficult (although it was built REALLY well). I'm talking emotional hardship here. I liked that cabinet. It was cool. It was ORIGINAL. Taking it out made the room a little less interesting. Ultimately I do think we will like the room better with an open kitchen. But I had a hard time with this one.

  2. Hi Matt, I just found your blog. I wanted to drop you a line because this adventure you're embarking on is identical to the one I just completed (is a renovation ever really done?). So here's what I've learned:

    1. Homes built in the 1950 are likely asbestos containing (look closely at your plaster). Wear a proper respirator and buy some disposable jump suits. If you haven't already pickup a humidifier from a garage sale and run it while demo-ing. wipe down all surfaces when you're done and vacuum the floor with a decent (hepa filter) shop vac.

    2. Renovations are hard - especially for us modernists who are detail oriented. This project will take time, money, and mental capacity. Don't let it replace your interests, past times and personal time with you partner - even if the both of you are working side by side.

    3. Let the structure guide your design. This is an easy one for you. I can tell from the pictures and Sketchup model that you're already doing this.

    4. Sketchup is your best friend. Draw your models to scale, include measurements and give all your trades people a booklet of what you are working to achieve. Common vision is the key to a consistent design.

    5. Visit http://www.theslowhome.com It's down today but should be up soon. The design studies are immensely helpful. The Slow Home is a movement of like minded architects, home builders, designers and urban planners. Join the revolution!

    If you'd like, drop me a line (robtarulli at mac. com) I'll show you some of the pictures of our mid-century reno.

    Take care!!