Total Remodel - Project 2: Kitchen

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
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Thu May 09, 2013 9:56 am

You can follow my progress on Project 1: Master Bath here: ... =6&t=10180

We're hoping to move in at the end of the month, so we're changing gears and putting the master bathroom remodel on hold in order to gut the kitchen, fix any bad spots in the floor, and put up new insulation and drywall. Prior to moving in, we want the following to be done:
  • Get rid of the kitchen cabinets and assess any damage to the floor/walls
  • Repair the floor in the master bathroom, living room and kitchen
  • Scrape up the old vinyl kitchen flooring
  • New insulation and drywall on exterior walls in the master bath and bedroom, living room and kitchen
  • Floors covered in those rooms with Kilz Original (oil-based)
  • A temporary utility sink set up in the kitchen, which will be moved to the laundry room when the kitchen counters and sink is in place
So yesterday we started tearing out the old kitchen cabinets. If your place was built in the late 70's/early 80's, I'm sure yours looked something like this at one point:


The sink was held in with a dozen or so clips, and popped out easily once they were unscrewed. The large cabinet that held the sink came out fairly easy in one big piece. The cabinets hanging on the wall were a little more difficult, but not much. There were thin panels that covered all of the screws. Once we figured that part out and beat on it with a mallet, the cabinet came out quickly.


Either the existing sink drain plumbing was cracked, or I cracked it when removing the cabinet. Regardless, I'm going to need to replace the PVC at some point. Fortunately, we're replacing part of the floor along the wall so it will be easy to get to.

The duct tape wasn't my doing.

The range hood in the first pic needs to be removed, but there's electricity going to it so I have to learn the proper way to disconnect it. Also, there's a 6" or so metal vent that runs from the hood, thru the cabinets above it, and (I'm guessing) out through the roof. That needs to come out, and be sealed off to keep critters from using it as a slide. The cabinet above the range hood will be removed afterwards.

Once the floor and drain plumbing is repaired, we're going to replace the insulation and drywall on the outside wall. Home Depot sells a small utility sink for around $25 (not including faucet) that will be installed temporarily until we can finish the rest of the kitchen.

Oh and we found 2 dead rats in the wall near the window. They didn't smell too much, so I'm guessing they were still rather fresh. I'm thinking they got in somewhere else, and got behind the drywall via a rather stereotypical cartoon-ish looking mouse hole in the drywall just next to the sink cabinet. Not sure what they died of, as an autopsy was not performed.
Last edited by JeffInFL on Thu May 09, 2013 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Location: s/w michigan

Thu May 09, 2013 10:12 am

cool project thanks for the pics. and just a couple pointers from me that are probably obvious. if that is the older poly lines and not pex now may be a great time to upgrade the plumbing. and id also check closely for any openings and seal everything up good now while its all apart in regards to keeping the critters out.. also may want to level the house before too much progress on the remodel..

and you have plywood subfloors also it appears and i am envious!! i have the stupid dreaded particle board :/

good luck pls keep us informed!

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Location: Western Washington, Puget Sound

Thu May 09, 2013 10:27 am

Why scrape the lino? It is the best water barrier you can have, and it's already there. Kilz the bare wood spots, and leave it alone til you install new floor covering. If you need leveling just put luan down

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Thu May 09, 2013 10:28 am

We plan to seal up everything as much as possible. . There are currently a lot of holes and places for mice to get in.

The plywood actually looks pretty good throughout. . There are just a few places where there is water damage or spots where someone cut the floor away for whatever reason.

Replacing the entire plumbing system isn't in the budget at this point, but I will do it if we live here long enough.

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Thu May 09, 2013 10:30 am

Steve, there was a dog living in the house pretty much by itself for the last month or so. We want to get rid of anything that might be stinky. Plus its torn up in spots and various layers of thickness, and I want to smooth it out before the new vinyl goes down.

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Thu May 09, 2013 6:54 pm

I swear by for removing the pet odor or any other smell the concentrate is the best buy. I own many rentals and it has worked every-time.
Melissa DCDiva

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Fri May 10, 2013 7:24 am

Standing in the back corner of the master bedroom, looking thru to the kitchen

Same view, looking into the master bathroom

This weekend we're going to replace insulation and hang new drywall on the outside wall of the kitchen (and probably in the master bath and bedroom too).

Before the drywall goes up, I'm going to replace all the power receptacles and switches with new ones, since the old ones are kinda ugly.

Question time: Sandwiched between the 2x3's and the aluminum siding is what appears to be a heavy paper, what I'm assuming is a wind barrier or something. When installing the new faced insulation, should the faced side face outside or inside?

With the 8.5' ceiling, I'm going to need a 6" strip of drywall to fill the gap between the full sheets of drywall (assuming I hang them horizontally). Does it make more sense to put this strip in the middle of the wall, or at the bottom? I know the bottom means I have 2 seams to mud, but in the middle means I have a wide mud patch since it has to cover both seams.

Anything else I should consider when doing insulation and drywall?

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Fri May 10, 2013 7:38 am

For the second question: You can get sheetrock in 4x9' sections.

You'll waste a little but also save time and other materials. On horizontal seams, you should use a furring strip, screwed to both halves of the seam, the tap and mud. Especially if the studs are thin or more than 16" o.c. Depending on the wall texture (we are using a knock-down texture that is great for hiding imperfections), you may need to really feather out the layers of mud so that you don't have a horizontal 'bump' where the seam was.

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Fri May 10, 2013 7:55 am

The paper vapor barrier on the insulation usually faces the inside.

You can get different sizes of drywall, might have to go to an actual building supply store instead of a box store but it's available. They come in 4x9 or 4x10 you can stand up and they also have 54" wide panels if you want to run it horizontally. If you do go with standard 4x8 sheets there are a couple different theories on where to put the seams. Some like to put it in the middle so you don't have to bend over to finish the seam. Some put it down at the floor to try and hide it. Which ever way you do it I would try to feather it out as much as possible to make it as "flat" as possible for when you put your cabinets in.

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Fri May 10, 2013 8:05 am

Thanks guys .. I'll read up on furring strips .. the exterior walls are 16" OC, but the interior walls are 1x3's and spaced out further than 16".

The only reason I was getting the sheetrock from HD is because I can rent one of their trucks for $20 .. but I guess I could get a small trailer from Uhaul for around the same price. I'm also not sure where the building supply places in my area are .. I'll have to check around.

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Thu May 16, 2013 3:01 pm

I'm probably one of the few to say this, but I love that broom closet, in your kitchen. Yes, it's seen better days, but it's one of those things that belong in a kitchen, in a trailer. If it's still there, please, try to save it. If for nothing else, it's good storage. (my trailer has a built in desk thing with cabinets, that will survive, when the big reno starts here).
I love the chronicling of your renovation journey, but Son (said with love) your posting faster than I can read them and it scares me. I know your young and on a time schedule but... please be careful. (again said with love, not criticism).
The HD and Lowe's rent trucks, but out here it's $20 per 1/2 hour. At the uhaul it's $20 for the day.
Good Luck and try to stay on a steady pace.

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Sun May 19, 2013 9:22 pm

The broom closet that you see will be removed to make room for more cabinets, but I'm going to make storage on the wall behind it after removing the unused furnace.

I do post a lot and it might seem like we're rushing thru this, but we've been putting in a lot of hours too . At least 4 or 5 hours a day after work, and almost all day Saturday and Sunday. I'm doing my best to make sure everything is done correctly, which is why I've been asking so many questions. We're working safely, and I don't know if you can tell from the pics but we're clean and organized.

My girlfriend and I are pretty efficient and we work great together, which also helps a lot :)

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Greg S
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Mon May 20, 2013 9:47 am

As a amature having to do drywall in the past my preference would be 4 X 9 sheets (best option) installed vertically and have only factory tapered edges to mud.
Last edited by Greg S on Mon May 20, 2013 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. (Anton LaVey)

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Mon May 20, 2013 10:41 am

OH I forgot to mention my first stupid mistake during this entire remodel .. the ceilings aren't 8.5' .. they're 7.5'!

When I was measuring, I had the end of the tape measure on the floor, and I swear I said 8' near the ceiling, and 6 inches past that. I recall measuring on 3 separate occasions, and they all said 8 feet, 6 inches.

We hung the first piece of 4x8 drywall horizontally against the ceiling, which should have left 4 feet 6 inches between that piece and the floor. However it only left 3' 6". Of course that didn't make sense .. I measured the ceiling again, and it was 8' 6" .. measured the drywall to make sure it was actually 4' wide lol .. and it was.

So I measured the ceiling one more time, paying CAREFUL attention. The 8' mark I kept seeing (which on my tape measure shows as "8F") was actually "84" .. as in 84 inches, or 7'. And then 6 inches past that. So the height was 7' 6" .. not 8' 6" as I previously thought.

This was a blessing, though, as we could now hang 8' pieces vertically and only have the tapered edges to mud :)

I blame it all on a new tape measure that I wasn't familiar with :D

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Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:14 am

I'll be doing some work in the kitchen this weekend .. mainly replacing a section of the subfloor and repairing the broken drain pipe for the sink.

Questions: if 2 adjacent pieces of plywood on the floor aren't flush (one sits up a little higher than the other) how can they be leveled out so the vinyl floor going over it doesn't have any obvious bumps in it? The difference is probably 1/8" or less I would guess.

Also, the old stove had a range hood with a exhaust pipe that (I'm assuming) goes out thru the roof. Can I just cut it and seal it off somehow above the ceiling line? You can see it in the pic in my first post .. the pipe goes up thru the cabinets and then into the ceiling.