Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kitchen Wall Demo: The Blind Header

Yesterday I gave you more information than you wanted about the 'discovery' phase of our wall demo.

Now on to the juicy stuff:  the support system.  This is the meat of the operation.  Without the proper support system, our house would have *literally* fell down.  Thank goodness we took our time and took the necessary precautions.

When we talked to our contractor {the one who will eventually be adding on to our home}, he gave us a few ideas to make sure the wall was secure, and the weight of the house was evenly distributed throughout the ceiling.  Otherwise, it would cave in.  Holy nightmare, Batman.

I completely handed this leg of the marathon off to Nic.  Since he's closer to a professional than I am, and would be doing all of the work on this part, I figured he could just decide what was best.  He decided to go with a 'blind header'.  Basically, it's the same idea as a header {which is just a large support beam that runs along the ceiling, normally covered by drywall}, but it's in the attic.

Here's a mock-up of the header in AutoCad:

And here it is in real life:

In case you were wondering, all of that gross {and probably cancerous, at least in California} insulation was alllll over my house.  I guess that's what one should expect when cutting a hole in the ceiling.

So now for the moment of truth.  In the interest of full disclosure, I absolutely expected the ceiling to crack or cave in when we cut down the studs.  I really did.  And then when it didn't, I expected to find our ceiling on the floor the next morning.  But it worked!  Behold:

Sorry that these pictures are crappy and un-edited.  I really just wanted to get this all down so we can look back in 50 years and see how young and crazy we were.  That is, if the internets haven't imploded from that video of Miley Cyrus.  Seriously...what was she THINKING?!?  I didn't watch whatever it was live {not an awards-show type of girl}, but after seeing so much hype about it this morning, I watched the video online.  Poor, poor girl.

Annnnyway.  Studs are down!  Ceiling was still up!  The worrisome part officially over.  From there, we just had to frame out the area that houses the washer and dryer, and then drywall it.  Funny how it takes seconds to type that, and day after day after day to actually drywall.

Nic got the drywall hung right away {the gaping hole into the attic with heat pouring down was a lovely motivator}, and we had this sight:

Again with the terrible photos.  After those weeks of studs, insulation, and wires hanging out everywhere, this felt like heaven.  And after 7 years of the tiny, closed-off kitchen, we had our first glimpse of a tiny, open kitchen!

We really, really wanted to have someone finish the drywall for us.  Like, pay them {not really in our vernacular}.  I got three quotes, and that zapped us right back to reality.  It just seemed foolish to pay someone for a skill that we already possess, especially for something that while time-consuming, isn't difficult.  Here we are in the midst of the drywall madness:

It really didn't take too terribly long, and Nic did a fantastic job.  Dude's got mad skills.

Want to see the full reveal, complete with lights and paint and hear what we used for a countertop?  Spoiler alert:  we're cheap.  Come back tomorrow!


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  3. How long of a span is the beam and how is it holding up? Hoping to use your idea in our home