Christine and Pierre's Kitchen: Even More Demo, and an Injury

Renovation Diary

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Me removing the final planks of wood from the wall behind the pantry. Success!

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Name: Christine & Pierre
Type of Project: Kitchen remodel
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Type of building: Ground floor apartment of a triplex, 1,100 square feet

The Renovation Diaries are a new collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

A strange side-effect of keeping a weekly diary of a renovation is that you want to label each week with a distinct task. Demo, tile removal, structural work. Well, this week would have two distinct tasks – catch-up, and injury.

First, the catch-up. We opted to push back the final demo of the kitchen to give us another week to deal with some small but time-consuming demo details. Pierre wanted to remove all of the old wiring in the extension, to give the electrician a completely bare canvas to work with. Because there was blown-in insulation everywhere, this meant basically chipping wires out of the insulation with a chisel. 

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The wall behind the pantry. Drywall on top of insulation, on top of drywall, on top of wood.

It also took us ages to slowly demo the previous pantry wall. It was sticking out about an inch deeper than the other wall, and so we had two options: either strip it back and reframe that section, or build out the rest of the wall to meet it. Since space is precious in this narrow part, we opted to strip back the wall. The blown-in insulation basically glued all the layers together and made the whole affair super time consuming to deconstruct. But it was worth it — stripping back the wall revealed a pretty big gap between the old building and the new that we'll be able to properly insulate before closing up the walls again.

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Hmm, so that's why it was so cold in the pantry...

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Removing the range hood was not an easy job. We discovered on taking it down that it was custom welded. Impressive.  

We also removed the old range hood, which was built like a rock and took multiple stages of excavation to be removed. I felt a pang of guilt when I saw that it had been custom welded — despite us finding it ugly, the thing is well built. I've been trying to give the frame away to some enterprising DIYer on Kijiji, but no takers yet.

Lastly — injury. Since the demo is ongoing, we've been adding bags of demo materials here and there to our regular trash (guilty as charged), thinking we could maybe cut down on the final trash haul needed at the end. Well, Pierre tripped on one of the overloaded bags when bringing it out and took a headdive into the sidewalk. A day in the ER, a smashed pair of glasses and four stitches later, we're feeling like the hauling of insanely heavy materials is best left to the pros. (And I'm feeling majorly guilty and stupid for putting too much in those bags.) I've spared you all the photo of poor Pierre's head, but let our stupid move be a reminder — safety first, people, safety first!

Estimated time for project: 13 weeks
Time remaining: 9 weeks

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us next week for #8 of Christine and Pierre's Diary.

(Images and diary text: Christine Zoltok)

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