Sandra & Justin's Kitchen: Vents Go Up, Walls Go Down

Renovation Diary

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Justin at work with his favorite little saw. I'm fond of it too; it really is fun.

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Name: Sandra & Justin
Type of Project: Kitchen remodel
Location: Arlington, Texas
Type of building: Single-family home, 2,450 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.

This week, I continued sourcing and collecting all of the nice new things to go into the new kitchen. Investing the time to dig around online to price shop has saved us so, so much money. The faucet we liked was twice the price in store compared to what we paid for it online. Same story with the sink, dishwasher and on and on. I've handled most all of the design, research, and purchasing throughout the process (and most projects we tackle) as part of our play to our strengths/divide and conquer tactics. 

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Ducts to mend.

So while I ran around to various stores and on the computer, Justin kept himself busy shuffling around the air ducts this week. The vents that previously came through the soffits had to be trimmed and fitted into two places on the sink side wall of the kitchen. After a coaching session with DIYer friends, Justin went for it. When he was ready we clicked on the air and it started blowing without any leakage and we whooped: success! 

Our next project of the week required more teamwork. When we started talking about the kitchen remodel, which was when we first looked at the house last fall, we immediately knew we wanted to crack open the wall between the kitchen and dining room to open the space as much as possible and flood it with light. We were finally to that point this week, and we tapped the expert opinion of another friend, a former contractor turned high school choir director, and a lot of Youtube videos to muster the courage to knock out our wall. 

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Ceiling jack up, and wall cut open, looking into the dining area.

Since the wall was a load-bearing one we proceeded with extreme caution. Justin began by putting a up ceiling jack fashioned out of lumber, to bear the weight while we worked. Together we measured, made sure we were safely clear of any electrical wires, and began cutting, crow-barring, and tearing apart the door frame and several feet of wall around it. The opening was about three times the size of the original doorway when we were satisfied. It was amazing.  The space became so open and light — everything we had hoped for. Yipee. We put up a new header and reinforced the framing for strength but held off on removing the jack until we could have our contractor friend inspect our handiwork. He said we were good, we celebrated again, and we took down the support structure — now to clean it all up. Sheet rock, texture and flooring ahead.

Estimated time for project: 10 weeks
Time remaining: 6 weeks

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us next week for #9 of Sandra and Justin's Diary.

(Images and diary text: Sandra Jergensen)

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Renovation Diary: Sandra & Justin's Kitchen

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