I’ve been waiting for about four weeks for my plumber’s contractor friend to find time in his schedule to come look at my kitchen wall that I want to remove and give me a price. And I’m still waiting.
Well, I’m not so good at waiting, so yesterday I said to myself, “Seriously, how hard can this be?“ So I sat down at my computer, and Googled “how to remove a load bearing wall” and “how to build a load bearing header.” (If you’re interested, this is the most helpful video I found.)
Turns out, it’s not that hard at all. So as of right now, I’m planning on doing it myself (probably with some help from my brother when it comes time to lift the massive header into place).
Don’t worry, I have another contractor on his way this morning to tell me what header size I need, and whether I can use regular lumber, or if I need to use LVLs, and what my local building code requires, and if I need to pull a permit to do this. When I told him on the phone that I was planning to do it myself, he said, “Oh sure! It’s not hard at all!” He should be here any minute.
So yesterday, I decided to get a head start.
First order of business was moving that big base cabinet out of the way.
(Obviously that picture was taken before I skim coated the wall on the right.)
It wasn’t easy, and it took quite a bit of maneuvering, but I finally got it moved into the breakfast room…all by myself. (Just chalk it up to sheer determination.)
And then I got started removing the drywall on the kitchen side of the wall.
That was fun. Interestingly, the hardest part was getting the door frame removed from the door on the left. That thing didn’t want to budge! But again, the determined woman won in the end.
With the drywall removed from the kitchen side, I could see what I was dealing with on the other side. It’s the same very thick tongue-and-groove paneling that’s in Matt’s game room. I was a little shocked to see it there since that was originally an exterior wall, and even more shocked when I realized that at some point it was covered over with not-so-pretty 1/4-inch plywood. So once I got that off, I could see the paneling from the other side.
I have no idea why someone would prefer the painted plywood to the paneling. I actually find the paneling quite charming, especially if it was painted white or another light color. Makes me wonder if there’s any more of this behind the walls of this room.
Anyway, the thick boards made removal quite a bit more challenging than it would have been had this been drywall. I tried and tried to get that paneling off, making cuts at the top with my circular saw and then beating the heck out of it with my hammer, but ended up only getting a small broken portion off before I broke my hammer.
Yep, I actually broke my hammer. I’ve never done that before, but the wood handle broke completely into two pieces. Yep, I’m that strong.
Just kiddin’. I was actually using a hammer that was much too small for this kind of job.
Anyway, that’s where I left things last night. I’m pretty anxious to get this wall out of there. Just seeing that sliver of daylight through the portion of removed/broken off paneling makes me excited!
In related news, y’all have no idea how tempting this is…
(Sorry for the awful iPhone pic.)
Y’all wouldn’t hate me if I gave in and went this direction, would you? I’ve used them before, and they can be so pretty. And I don’t now how much longer I can live without a kitchens sink.
UPDATE: I just met with the contractor, and he gave me all the info I needed. This wall will soon be gone!