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Old 12-23-2009, 12:42 PM   #16
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Unintended kitchen remodel


I'm sure that's a relief.. good you checked.. enjoy the holidays!

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Old 01-02-2010, 12:45 PM   #17
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Unintended kitchen remodel


Today I decided to apply wood hardener to the wood affected by the water damage – mostly the sill (sole plate?) and stud bottoms, but also to the plywood sheathing where it was damaged by water and repair efforts (i.e., scraping, etc.). First, had to finish cleaning up. Really helps to have a shop vac for this type of work.

Then to the hardener. Instructions say to use a disposable bristle brush. Decided to use a toothbrush from an airline amenity kit, plus a plastic cup to hold the liquid. However, I didn’t realize that the hardener would eat right through the bottom of the cup!! (Wife said: “I could have told you that would happen.” ) At least I could let the leaking cup drip all over the sill sections, so it didn’t go to waste (except the portion that soaked into my sweat pants; a lasting reminder of my stupidity). Dug out a glass jar to finish the job.

Also, the toothbrush didn’t work as well as a purchased cheap brush would have. The bristles of the toothbrush just don’t hold as much liquid as a real brush. I was constantly having to dip into the jar, causing uneven application and dripping on the floor. Not a disaster, but a reminder that it’s always best to use the right tool for the job.

Such a simple task became so complex… – as they usually do.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:10 PM   #18
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Unintended kitchen remodel


Because of all the detail, and how I can relate to your experience. Having bought my house just a few months ago, I've found many hidden problems also, so I sympathize. Plus every project I do always has some "collateral damage" (like the door frame) but some good news also (like not removing the brick wall).
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:27 PM   #19
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Unintended kitchen remodel


Thanks RST. I'm intentionally putting in a lot of detail. I also like detailed showcases, and figure those of us who don't come from "the trades" can learn a lot from seeing the many specific steps that the pros will often ignore or gloss over.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out my next steps. I know I have to insulate and drywall. However, to drywall, I have to remove more cabinets (including the coveted dishwasher!), and I'm not ready for that step yet.

More importantly, though, is what to do about new cabinetry. I've been using a couple free software options to model out a new kitchen: Project Dragonfly (http://dragonfly.autodesk.com/designer), and IKEA Home Planner (downloadable at www.ikea.com). Both have limitations, since none can handle everything I'm trying to model. I may have to bite the bullet and spend some bucks to get something more versatile.

Key decision is whether to buy stock cabinets, consider semi- or custom-made... -- or make my own. I'm seriously considering the last option. I've got time, space and most tools, and it'd be a great excuse to get more/better tools! I've made some cabinets before, and I think I could handle it -- with the right tools. I've GOT to upgrade my contractor table saw for something that can handle the big sheets. If I can also (finally) get a router table, and maybe a jointer and a pocket screw jig, I might be set.

A major consideration is cost, since this was NOT a budgeted project. If I can determine that DIY cabinetry is a signficant savings, then I'm probably taking that path.

Meanwhile, still researching.........
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:50 PM   #20
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Since this is a major part of your home, and you are going to spend a considerable amount of TIME on this part of the project, I would suggest that you furnish the kitchen with cabinets that you will be very proud of, regardless of purchase or DIY. If you decide on going DIY, get everything you need right from the beginning, INCLUDING THE TIME INVOLVED! It's seems to be a huge consideration when a remodel is in process. A combination of purchased, and DIY can be a serious consideration, I have seen many of them, and wow were they ever wonderful.

I only mention this because shortcuts often evolve in situations like this, and the last thing you want is, a bunch of regrets when you have worked so hard. I know, I have done this myself, and wouldn't wish it on anyone.

It's going to cost you money, and a lot of hard work, so make it the best from the beginning. The reward is sooooo worth it.

I loved all of your repair examples, and I so agree, that showing all the details helps the novice. Like ME! Thank you for some Very Good Examples.

Good luck, and keep us posted of what you decide. I would love to watch.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:59 PM   #21
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Unintended kitchen remodel


Sheila, thanks for the kind words and advice. My philosophy on DIY is that I want my projects to turn out BETTER than a pro would do (if possible). (...Okay, maybe my soldering isn't up to that yet, but that's the exception that proves the rule! )

Time is something I've got, being I'm (prematurely) retired. However, the "premature" means budget is more of a consideration than for most. We'll take our time figuring this out, but I'm looking forward to getting rolling with this again.

Meanwhile, I've had a distraction: I might be changing out my electrical distribution panel before I progress much more with the kitchen. I know I'll be reworking the lighting and outlet setup during the renovation, and will likely need to add a circuit or two. However, I have a Federal Pacific panel from when the house was built in the 70's, and they're notorious for breakers failing to engage when needed -- major fire hazard. Also, I understand that replacement breakers are harder to find and more expensive. So instead of adding more risk to this risky situation, I need to switch out the box with a new panel. I'm looking at doing this as a DIY project. But I won't be able to approach this for a few weeks, at least (more, if the unusually cold weather persists).

Regardless, I'll be sure to keep posting as things progress.
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:05 AM   #22
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Unintended kitchen remodel


I envy you not, but admire & appreciate your expressive details & dedication to solving some problematic issues. Pics are exceptionally clear. Thanks for sharing your adventure AND thanx a mil for using a larger font (makes it easier for those of us that read 'til our eyes are popping out of our heads!)

Keep up the great job, look forward to seeing how it goes.

Happy New Year & God Bless!
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:09 PM   #23
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itsdanf,
It's so wonderful to know that time is not an issue, lately I have watched so many "botched" jobs just because all of a sudden a panic hits, and boom, a piece of art turns into a sad repair.
I feel a lot like you, I want my DIY projects to be the best I can possibly make them. From past experience with my kitchen, I found it the hardest to adjust to. Having to eat, and feed 5 others everyday, created a very stressful situation for me. However, I learned my first real lesson on that project. Don't let inconvience and frustration change the "Master Plan"

(and not to take down wall cabinets alone)

I'm still a novice at DIY, so advice is not something I have any rights to, but concern from my own past experience leads me to ask. I guess being a mother for so many years, makes me too quick to suggest.

Our situations seem to be about the same. I have all the time I need, and the budget is my biggest consideration.

It's great that your going to start with the electric, I think it's the most important issue in a kitchen. Switching out the box for a new panel will be such a relief. No worries about the basics, and a clean slate for your kitchen project.

It's obvious by your photos that you take your projects seriously, and you did a beautiful job on the leak, and now that it's not an issue anymore, you can take all the time you want to consider what you want to do with your kitchen. I call that a real success.

We are prematurely retired too, and although we have lots of time, we have chosen to use a strict budget, and to finish our projects with no debt.

I look forward to seeing what's to come, and to tons of photos too.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:44 PM   #24
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Unintended kitchen remodel


While I’m waiting to figure out cabinets and prep to replace the electric distribution breaker panel, I decided it was time to put insulation back into the wall. After all, despite “global warming” theories, it’s more like the ice age outside!! A pretty straight-forward job – but not without a few hiccups!

I had to remove the remaining old insulation, trim off the remaining plastic vapor barrier, and install the new paper-faced fiberglass batting (R-13). Hiccup #1 occurred while removing the remaining old insulation. I discovered the skeleton of a mouse that apparently climbed into the wall to take its final nap. It appears to be years old.

Fortunately I've seen no evidence of extra residences of this kind in the 14 months we’ve lived here.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:54 PM   #25
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Unintended kitchen remodel


Once the old stuff was removed, I started cutting the roll of fiberglass batting. Roll out to measure, place a piece of scrap plywood below, cut by running a utility knife along a scrap piece of 1x2 while standing on it, place the strip between the studs (cutting holes for outlets, etc.), fold the paper flaps over and staple. Piece of cake!

Hiccup #2 (okay, not really a “hiccup”) was deciding what to do about insulating around the copper tubing where the original leak occurred. I posted a thread on the main site (Insulation around plumbing), and got good feedback. Based on that, I went to one of the local the big box stores, bought a sheet of ¾” insulation board (R4), and cut it to fit snugly, side-to-side, within the stud cavity. I pressed it into the back of the cavity (against outside wall sheathing), and then put in the fiberglass over it. I tried to press the batting behind the plumbing, so that the outside-facing side would get all the insulation and the inside to warm from the inside of the house; however, with the foam board installed, there was not enough room to squeeze in much batting. Not a big deal.
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Last edited by Itsdanf; 01-09-2010 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Fix typo...
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:00 PM   #26
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Unintended kitchen remodel


Once everything was stapled up, I figured a simple job had been completed with no real problems. Alas, this thought occurred while I was sitting on the floor between the wall and the fridge. Trying to get up in that tight space, I ran into hiccup #3: My elbow hit the shutoff valve handle, and water sprayed up in a nice pretty fountain. ARRGH!!!

Fortunately not much water got out before I shut it off. Only one towel needed. A bit of drying time, and all will be fine.

Meanwhile, I need a break….
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:06 AM   #27
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Lookin' good! LOL re: hiccup #3! Thanx, keep up the great job!
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:55 PM   #28
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Thanks Lali!

Meanwhile, to prepare for changing out the main breaker panel (a Federal Pacific, a discontinued brand which has a history of breakers failing to break – not a good situation), I decided to do a detailed circuit map of the house. We measured all the walls of the house (took quite a while), and then created computerized floor plans (using free Project Dragonfly software; took even longer ).

Next step was to annotate on the floor layouts every switch, light fixture, outlet and installed appliance in the house. It was a larger job than I expected. We have over 90 outlets alone!

Next step was to go circuit hunting. My wife and I turned on all the lights, and started flipping circuit breakers to determine where the circuits are. It really helped to have walkie-talkies, particularly when we were trying to coordinate our searches out of ear shot. Also helped to have a night light to plug into outlets. In many rooms, there was more than one circuit covering the outlets, and many circuits covered outlets in more than one room.

I now have floor plans with details of my whole electric layout, with each outlet and fixture annotated with their associated circuit breaker number. I also made a separate list by breaker number, detailing everything on each circuit. Not only will this help me on planning for the panel swap, it will also be a great reference tool going forward whenever I have any electrical issues.

Next step will be to analyzing existing circuit loads. I’ll evaluate whether I should upgrade my panel capacity while I’m swapping, and whether I need to adjust any existing circuits that might be too overloaded. I currently have 200A service, with a 200A main panel, and a 100A sub-panel (not wired to the main panel, but branched out immediately from the meter; it's newer and doesn't need replacing).

SIDE NOTE: I’m including a photo of the panel with the cover removed – only photo I have available. Don’t worry, I didn’t do today’s exercise with an opened/exposed panel! Also, please ignore the dead wasps in the bottom of the panel. They got in during the summer through the service head, through the meter and into the panel. I’ve already coordinated with the electric company folks to seal that pathway up on the meter side.
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Last edited by Itsdanf; 04-10-2010 at 08:17 PM. Reason: Correct error: Main panel was 200A, not 100A
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:14 AM   #29
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Wow! what a wonderful job on the insulation.

I just love the detail you put into your electric work too!

My husband thinks I'm crazy when I want to do something like that.
I think life goes a lot easier when we use these types of tools, and I have a lot less trouble when I use a "real plan."

I purchased small night lights to do the same thing, but we ended up just yelling all over the house instead. boo hoo. THEN my son came in, and "TO HELP" he clipped some of our electric wires in the family room we were working on!! We never did figure out a couple of the lights and plugs after that

Give me ORDER every time. It's what makes life go so much smoother.

Too bad no one else in my family thinks the same as me.

You did such a wonderful job on your plumbing, and the insulation is perfect. Gosh I love a job well done. Congratulations!

Keep the postings going, I love em.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:46 PM   #30
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What a beautiful job your doing! are you putting in some sort of "access panel" to get in there a little easier if needbe? while the joints you re did came out perfect i would still be leary about the rust/corrosion on the others. i would guess alot of that is from the pipes being damp from the orig leak but it just scares me.

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