Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Deck Build | Part Two - Pantry No More

You may be wondering why a pantry is part of our deck build, but let me explain.  For those with a very detailed eye, you may have noticed an unnecessary patch of siding along the back of our house:


The reason for the extra bit is because behind it is a pantry.


Still not following?  Well, the pantry is actually just a cover-up for an old exterior door.  As our realtor described to us, our house was probably built by a rubber company worker, and this door would have been used to go straight downstairs to the basement bathroom to shower and clean-up.  Makes sense.  Except sometime they added another exterior door 4 feet to the right (probably in the 70's when the updated the kitchen), so they covered the door in the middle of the stairs with a built in cupboard, that we've been using as a pantry since our kitchen is the size of large sardine can.

While the extra storage was nice, it wasn't ideal.  Mainly the location.  The stairway is pretty narrow to begin with, but having cupboard doors open makes it impossible to maneuver.  Let me show you what I mean:


Not to mention, adding a cupboard the depth of the wall in the old doorway leaves no room to add something very important - insulation!  It's nice for only one thing, in the winter I put all my drinks in the pantry and when I get them out, they're already chilled for me.  Not so nice for keeping our stairwell warm.

So now that I've got you up to speed on our stairwell doorway/pantry/chillbox, we can get down to the nitty gritty, tearing it out!

We knew moving in, that we would have to get rid of it, if for nothing else but to add the necessary insulation.  But, since we're adding the deck on, it was a good time to do it and do it right.  The first step was taking off the cabinets and removing the trim.


Then Mike went outside and removed the bottom pieces of the siding to see what we were working with:


It turns out, not much.

So then he removed the shelving, which came out in one piece then folded on itself like an accordion, and the backing.

 
After throwing everything in the back of the truck, (which was later taken to a dumpster specifically for recyclable construction materials), Mike got to work filling in the CMU wall.  He worked from outside mostly, but also came inside and was able to work on both sides.  I was too busy painting in the garage to take any pictures but here's the finished wall from the inside:


Then, Mike framed everything out and added some "GREAT STUFF Foam Insulation" (that you can pick up from Home Depot for less than $5), to fill all the cracks.  (Fun fact, foam insulation sticks to cat fur and whiskers if they decide to check it out when you're not at home, and cats don't like when you try to pull it off - something I found out today at lunch after noticing white globs all over Benelli).



On the exterior, he added the framing and filled in the siding, so now we have a uniform wall to add the deck to.


Now, we just have to add the insulation and a piece of drywall and no one will ever know that a doorway/pantry ever existed.  Except Benelli, who sits on the stair landing and stares at the new wall all day long.  I'd like to think it's because he's admiring his dad's handy work, but I think it has more to do with the fact that his treats were stored in the pantry.  I don't think he gets the fact that they've just been moved and not gone forever.  Or maybe he's just planning another face plant into the foam again.

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