Gutting Is Never Easy

This was the lovely kitchen layout last week in my daughter and son-n-law’s first home purchase.  There is a lot of wasted space in this room.  Not to mention very little cupboard space.  The  tiny wall opening was the pass through from the dining room/living room area.  It really gave the kitchen a closed in feeling.  I knew if we removed the majority of that wall, it would make the kitchen dining room area feel so much more open.  So out came the wall.Ah, much better.  Now to fix that silly layout of the “L” kitchen.  I wanted to utilize the long wall for a better layout.  So I taped the layout out on the floor.  The refrigerator is now at the end of the long wall, which allows me to utilize the old refrigerator space for a nice pantry and desk area.  I added a small island in front of the long wall.  {that round table is my visual of a bar stool, it was in the back of my car, and I needed a visual, works for me!}The sink pipe needs to be moved against the wall, the contractor said this wouldn’t be a problem.  I met with the plumber two days ago to go over all the plumbing tasks I will need him to do, including moving this pipe.  He asked me what type of foundation it was.  Hmmm… “don’t really know, I don’t have the plans for this house but why do you ask?”  He proceeds to tell me that if it is a post tension slab there could be a problem.  Without getting into too many boring details, the bottom line is this.  When they pour a post tension foundation for a house, they run these tension cables in the concrete in a specific grid pattern and then tighten them to bolts.  The tight grid of steel cables  support the slab. Unlike conventional “inactive” rebar,  post-tension tendons continually contribute to the structural integrity of home.  If a contractor puts this type of foundation in, they  stamp the floor of the garage.  We looked.  Nothing.  So we are good to go.  The next day, we start saw cutting the concrete. Crap!  You see it?  That black rope looking thing next to the pipe?  Yep you guessed it, post-tension foundation!  Shoot!  The chances of that are like 1-100 in this area to have that type of foundation.  I called my contractor and he said tell him to STOP!!!  I guess it is dangerous if you break one of those cables, it will snap and could kill you from the tension it has on it.  Great huh?  So now what?  I can’t go back to that “L” shaped kitchen layout, but if I can’t move the sink, there isn’t another layout that would work.   Today I meet with the plumber and contractor.  I guess there is a way to slowly chip away the concrete without jeopardizing the integrity of the foundation, but we need to take a closer look at it.  Wish me luck!

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  1. Holy moly – not for the faint of heart, these major remodeling projects! I’ll be following the rest of this saga with interest. I never plan to undertake something this ambitious in my lifetime, but I sure do love living vicariously through you! 🙂

  2. Oh Stephanie, I look forward to seeing how this unfolds! I like your plans for the kitchen, the layout looks so much better. Hopefully your contractor is able to figure out how to deal with the foundation issue! Good luck!!

  3. Holy Cow- what have you gotten yourself into??!! Ha! I know the place will be amazing when it’s all said and done.

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