August 24, 2011

Kitchen Remodel: Beam Up, Post Down, Pt. 1

Once the buck browse was fenced in, we were at long last able to return our time and energy to the kitchen remodeling project. We had previously done some tearing up, but set it aside for higher priority projects. It's exciting to get back to it. Now that we are, the first thing on the list was to remove that support post in the middle of the room. Here's what it looked like originally....

How the kitchen looked before we got started.

We had already torn out the cabinets and shelving, so what we'd been living with since February, was this...

The back door & post, as we last left it

Before we could get to work on removing the post, I first needed to clear the area and remove the old ceramic floor tiles.

A hammer and chisel did the trick

This was super easy, because the thinset was old, cracked, and hadn't adhered well to the wood floor.  It was interesting to see what was underneath the tile.

The yellow arrows point to where an old door frame stood

You can see on the floor, where walls used to be. A wall once existed where the edge of the tiles now is, on the right side of the photo. The yellow arrows point to where a door used to be framed out.  My guess is that this was a once-upon-a-time pantry, which would have made the original kitchen a square of 11.5 x 11.5 feet. I can understand why they'd want it bigger. Tearing out that old pantry enlarged the kitchen from 132 square feet, to over 173 square feet. Quite a bit more room, but since one of those walls was load bearing, the post was left as both functional as well as a "decorative" feature. It did look kinda neat, but boy was it ever in the way.

After I got the ceramic tile up, it looked like this....

Ceramic floor tiles removed to expose a
hardwood floor underneath.

That's a tongue-and-groove hardwood floor underneath, but it's the only floor. There is no subfloor. In fact, where the wall used to be, you can see down into the crawl space, because the walls were built on floor beams instead of a subfloor.

The next step was to take down all the trim that covered the post and the original ceiling beam.

The original support post beneath the white trim

I don't know how well you can tell in the photo below, but the original ceiling beam turned out to be two, 2x4s spiked together.

Ceiling beam made of 2, 2x4s
That's attic insulation poking down from above

Dan decided he would remove the original beam's bottom 2x4, and leave the top one in place. The new beam will fit up against that one.

The new beam is the one Dan cut from one of our fallen pines with his mini-mill...

New ceiling beam, ready to be stained

We were concerned about drying time for the beam, until we realized there was no sap in it. Unusual for pine. It was cut from a tree that had been dead for some time. It had fallen, but instead of landing on the ground, it got hung up in the neighboring trees. Because of that, ground moisture hadn't rotted it, and it had cured on it's own. Dan cut it to size, then sanded and stained it.

Before we could remove the old post however, the ceiling had to be supported first.

Temporary support posts

Dan used two fence posts to do this, placing them next to the original ceiling beam. The sheet was to keep at least some of the dust out of the rest of the kitchen. It did help actually.

He wanted to check the beam length, to make sure it was cut correctly, so he nailed two temporary 2x4 supports to the wall posts. You can see them against the walls in the photo below. We then rested the new beam on these.

Testing the fit of the new beam. Perfect.

It fit perfectly! Not that we planned it otherwise, but sometimes mistakes do happen ;)

At that point it was not bearing any of the load, so the temporary support posts were left in place (they are actually behind the new beam in the above photo). We left it there for several days, to adjust to the house temperature and humidity. In the meantime, Dan worked on the permanent support posts. More on that in the next post,  Kitchen Remodel: Beam Up, Post Down, Part 2.


Seeking Serenity said...

Man you guys are busy!!
Looks great :)
Yep, always let any wood sit and acclimate inside. Great job

Tami said...

I can hear your excitement, Leigh! Yeah you! (And Dan too!!!)

Hazel said...

I love the 'how to' aspect of this post. I am looking forward to seeing the project proceed.

Rosamargarita said...

Oh! eso es mucho trabajo.
Un abrazo

Susan said...

How wonderful. And that the new beam came from your property is just that much better! You are so lucky that you guys are so handy. I'm glad my daddy trained me well, otherwise even less would get done around here. Can't wait to see the finished project

Trixi said...

It's looking great!!! I can't wait to see the end project.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

WELL DONE DAN ! And you who did all the other work like cooking meals where ?! You two sound like agreat team. Can't wait to see the finished room.

Anonymous said...

Wow! You guys are so tallented and industrious. I'm learning a lot, even through I will probably never do this myself. If I have to have someone do this sort of thing for me, I will know if they are doing it properly or not.

Theresa said...

Oh no where is the Kit Kat Clock going to live????

Benita said...

Gosh you are going to be happy to get that post out of the way. It should make the kitchen seem bigger just because that post cut your line of site.

And how lucky for you that God knew you'd need this beam, so He had that tree fall just right way back when just for this day. Isn't He thoughtful that way? :)

Laura said...

Cool! I'm impressed at being able to use the pine - for all the reasons you mentioned, it shouldn't ever warp. What a find!

I admire your stick-to-it-iveness!

Jody said...

All that hard work looks very worth the extra elbow room you're getting in that space.

Sylvanna said...

Fascinating post. Love all the progress shots and details.

Project Girl said...

I love seeing photos from other people's projects! Gives me foritude for my own. Ohhh and mini-mill. You just renewed my lust for that. Great post (arr arr pun intended.)

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

Love the look of that beam. And what a conversation piece too.

Sarah said...

you guys are coming right along on that place! SEems like you've constantly got a project going on! I think its really neat that your able to use the resources on your place, such as the fallen tree for the beam in the kitchen! Makes it more meaningful and memorable!

trump said...

Good morning folks and I'm sure some of you are watching hurricane Irene's movements especially if you live on the east coast. ............. I have a post called "Lancaster on 2 wheels" today on Amish Stories where i tour the Amish country side taking pictures and observations which I've just posted................Enjoy your weekend everyone and i hope your out of Irene's path and safe. Richard from Amish Stories.

DebbieB said...

So glad to see progress on your kitchen, the heart of your home. I'm just catching up... so sorry to hear about Chipper. To everything there is a season, dear.

Leigh said...

Many thanks to everyone for your kind comments. I am still trying to get my home computer online and am making a quick check of my email and blog at the library. Hopefully soon I can have the time to address your comments and questions more personally, as well as get caught up on blog visits! I appreciate each and every one of you.

Renee Nefe said...

I'm wondering if your new finds will mean a change in plans to the floor...putting in a subfloor? Looks like the ceiling might need some beefing up as well.

Hugs! I'm always amazed at how poorly some houses were put together. or changed.

We had a few years back someone in town had bought one of the historical homes to have a business in. They decided to take out a wall and unfortunately didn't do their homework...the house caved in. Our town now has one less historical home.

Nellie from Beyond My Garden said...

I am jealous of you removing that beam. I have one, too. My husband built (rebuilt) our log home and insists that the top floor will come down without the beam.