Well the time has finally come. Our kitchen reno/ new addition started on Monday and we’ve managed to get through the first week without too many issues. We’re already camped out in the dining room although the sink and stove is still accessible to us. Originally the porch that you see here on the left was to be completely demolished and the addition built while we still had a full kitchen. Then, once the addition was built the walls would be open and demolition would start in the old kitchen. Mother Nature had other plans. For several days this week it rained – so we had a choice. Stick to the original plan or else keep going ahead with the project by starting the interior demolition sooner. We chose the latter.The porch is still attached but you can see how the house looked originally with its back porch. The little shed on the left was my cute little potting shed. You wouldn’t believe how much stuff I could store in it. No matter… as of this afternoon it is gone.One thing that has amazed me so far is the contractor’s demo man. He is unbelievably conscientious and careful. He is pulling things apart with the care you would take if you were planning on reusing all the pieces. As a result we have several good pieces of clapboard siding for doing repairs on the north side of the house. He cleans up the room after he is done and even organizes the trash in such a way that it doesn’t look too bad in the alley.
We have learned a few things so far about our kitchen – such as the date that the pantry was turned into a mini kitchen. The newspapers that were stuffed in the walls say 1936. This means that the kitchen was this tiny little room for the first 25 years. Amazing really.The walls had wood shavings which is no surprise – but what was surprising is that the wood shavings were all the way to the top of the wall – they had not settled at all! (Boy, removing wood shavings sure is messy work!).We found scraps of wallpaper (shown in the picture at left) on the bottom half of the wall in the pantry. Everywhere else in the kitchen the bottom of the walls had burlap which was painted. The top half of the wall was plain. This surprised me a bit because kitchens were typically service rooms that did not have much in the way of decorative details. We’ve been saving pieces of the existing woodwork so that we can match it as closely as possible. We had three doors. Now we will only have one and it is wider than the old door so we will have to use new wood. It will be painted so it doesn’t matter so much.
We did have problems with our windows however. They came in without their mullions and the hardware was incorrect but the company was immediately responsive which I feel is the mark of a good organization. We could not keep the old windows unfortunately. I will miss the big window in the kitchen but, like many windows of its time, it was not built to be above counter height. After all – there were no counters in kitchens in 1912!Although it’s inconvenient to cook and clean in separate rooms so far it hasn’t been bad. I know we will feel differently once we no longer have our sink or water and need to do dishes in the bath tub.Our 10 year old dog is feeling the stress. She can’t find her food and water bowls or her day bed – they keep being moved on her!. She has had two accidents this week on an old rug we are using to protect the hardwood floor – something she has never done before. She was friendly with the tradesman until she saw him wearing a dust mask!So I guess we all have things we have to put up with. Can you please share some of your stories with me? Some survival tips perhaps? Ideas on food and cooking? I’d love to hear from you.