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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I'm in the process of putting in new cabinets and would like to get rid of the soffit in my kitchen, but I'm running into an issue.

I attached a couple pics of what I'm seeing. Basically it seems like there is concrete block inside the soffit, which I can't seem to wrap my head around. :bangin:

The house is a Tri-level home. The living room is one level, the kitchen is up 3 steps, then the bedrooms are on the "second-story". Above the kitchen is just a roof though, so there's no concern for supporting a floor above.

Can anyone tell exactly what I've got from the pics? I know the holes I made are limited, but if I need to make them bigger I can (patching drywall isn't a problem)

Thanks,
Mike



 

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I would be thinking that they may have built that structure because there are utilities --- maybe a faurnace vent, pipes, etc, running through part of that upper area. You would have to open it up some more to take a good look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know the entire soffit isn't solid, because (as mentioned) there is a can light in the middle of it. From the little drywall I took out, it seemed like there was a row of blocks going across the length of the wall. I know there is a vent for the microwave running through the soffit on the adjacent wall, but that isn't an issue. I can get into the attic above the kitchen, but I can't get close enough to the wall to see what's going on inside the there.

I don't think opening the "front" more will help me, because it seems like these blocks run the length of the wall. I guess I will just have to open it up some more underneath.

Has anyone ever run into concrete being in a soffit like this before? btw, the house was built in 1980
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is it concrete backer board?

concrete block wouldn't be used to span distances like that. It has no strength like that.
That's what I was thinking originally, but I don't have a lot of experience with backer board. I tried to drill a small hole into it, but it seemed like concrete to me ??? would backer board have the same feel as concrete while drilling? and would it be a consistant color throughout? Please excuse my ignorance, but this is my first home, and first kitchen I've had to redo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Once I get home today, I plan on removing more of the drywall on the bottom of the soffit. I will take some more (read: better) pics and post them up as well. I really want to be able to take the soffit out, and just can't seem to wrap my head around why there would be anything structurally there...
 

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That's what I was thinking originally, but I don't have a lot of experience with backer board. I tried to drill a small hole into it, but it seemed like concrete to me ??? would backer board have the same feel as concrete while drilling? and would it be a consistant color throughout? Please excuse my ignorance, but this is my first home, and first kitchen I've had to redo.
Yeah concrete backer board would have the same feel. Its small concrete pieces with a mesh holding it all together. Think really brittle gray concrete. The color of the board is what got me thinking concrete board. No good reason why it was used up there though. I guess if they were going to tile or maybe they had some left over and used that instead of plywood. I think you are not looking at any CMU block there but definitely take down more drywall.

Heck I'd take down the full face of one. I mean if you have to put it right back up its easier doing one all new surface than matching and blending that orange peel.
 

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Hard to tell what I am looking at in those photos. So is that your roof that is running through the kitchen soffit area? Where are you located? Moist air from the kitchen condensing on a cold roof surface is a good way to create mold. Not sure if maybe the cement board was being used as a vapor barrier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'll try and take a couple more pics....to make it more clear....and yes, that is the roof....I'm honestly really confused after looking at everything. will post pics in a few minutes to explain more
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ok, so after going outside and looking at the house (and realizing I seem like a fool now) it is kinda making sense...

one last pic....kinda clears things up a bit...



So I now realize I can't get rid of the soffit completely, because the roofline is too low, but can I make the soffit smaller so that it is only over the cabinets? basically, what would be the purpose of the concrete?
 

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I know there is a vent for the microwave running through the soffit on the adjacent wall, but that isn't an issue.
I'd leave a way to vent the conventional oven too.

Has anyone ever run into concrete being in a soffit like this before? btw, the house was built in 1980
My apartment has a hollow wall where there's a concrete ceiling that's about 8" lower than the apartment ceiling. In my case it may be a steel beam in concrete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Figured I'd post an update to let you guys know what I found out.

I had a couple different contractors come out and look at it to get their opinions. Both agreed that it was a structural piece to hold up the roof. Its a poured beam with rebar in running through it.

So in short....the soffit stays. lol
 
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