After the first phase of demo was complete it was time for the nitty gritty. We were left with a shell of the old rooms, but we still needed to remove the plaster and lathe.
Mike again worked nights and weekends until it really was down to the studs. The saddest part was when he ripped up all the hardwood flooring in the kitchen. We were pretty sure it ran throughout the kitchen, but with all the crappy flooring on top it was unsalvageable, not to mention the holes where the wall and chimney were didn't have any flooring.
Between the demo and when I took these photos Mike had already started some of the improvements that I'll describe in more detail, but right I'll show you the fully demo'd room:
Not only did he remove all the ceiling and lathe and plaster in the kitchen, he also went to town on the dining room. Unfortunately for Mike's brother, this was around the time he asked for a favor. Guess how Mike said he could repay him.
While it was open, we took the opportunity to move the light over so it would be centered more towards where the table will sit after everythings complete. It always sat in the middle of the room, but with the new peninsula the dining area is smaller and shifted.
Mike also added denshield tile backer to the kitchen floor. This is the same material we used in the upstairs bathroom and he was really happy with it.
One of the most noticeable improvements was the addition of lights. We had one overhead light in the old kitchen, and since it was so small actually was just fine. We wanted different types of lighting so we added 4 boxes for led recessed light in the center of the room, we'll also have 2 pendant lights over the peninsula, and 1 over the sink. For right now, Mike added some temporary lighting until we're done with the ceiling.
Another task Mike had to complete before drywall was reworking the duct that feeds our guest room, as well as the one that will provide air for the kitchen and dining room, (right now the hole in the floor). This one sits under the peninsula, so after we build the cabinet bases, we'll route this one to vent out on both sides.
The one to the guest room was a little tricky since ideally you don't want duct work to run on an exterior wall. This literally kept Mike up at night. He finally found thin enough insulation that would give enough R-value to protect the duct. He had to get some fancy turns in there to fit under the cabinet base as well as up in the ceiling joists.
The water lines that feed the upstairs bathroom that ran through the chimney cavity got replaced with pex and routed through the ceiling. We also wrapped them with insulation for less energy loss. Mike also added a water line for the ice-maker in the fridge (the blue line coming from the floor) and moved the gas line for the stove, (behind the buckets).
The last major improvement was upgrading the old cast iron drain from the bathroom to PVC. It went pretty smoothly until someone forgot to tell their wife they were working on it and she used the bathroom upstairs while it was disconnected and plugged. It was not a happy moment. Without being too gross, it was only #1, but as punishment Mike made me hold the bucket when he remove the plug. There wasn't really a mess, but we both cleaned up and showered really well afterwards.
The only problem was there was a bump out in the old kitchen because the pipe was too big. It was always hidden behind the cabinets and the stove, but the tile backsplash, (behind the utensil container), was a couple inches from being flush with the wall with the window.
Try as he might, Mike wasn't able to get the new PVC stack to sit flush with the new wall. To prevent uneven cabinets again, he had to fir out the entire back wall to hid the additional space needed.
The window frame will be a little beefier than usual, but it shouldn't look very different when's Mike's done, (at least that's what he tells me). The door was another issue and Mike finally determined that along with a beefier frame, the hinges will have to be replaced with ones specially made to push the door out further to prevent it hitting the new frame. I'll show updates when he starts making the frame.
Mike added electrical boxes as well and has since fed all new wires throughout the rooms. One step closer to completely eliminating the knob and tube in the house. Since all the improvements have been made behind the walls, the next time I give an update will be drywall!