Posted 5 months ago

No, you can’t just take a wall down; a word about supporting walls.

Continuing with our beach-side renovation. To recap: we have tented for termites, refinished floors, installed windows and doors, had electrical panel and wiring updated. The kitchen was down to the studs and we came back out with insulation, Sheetrock and rough plumbing. Additionally, we had removed concrete down to the wood sub-floor, and replaced it with plywood and cement backer board, followed by porcelain tiles.

This wood frame, Florida barrier island house had a small, dated and very dark kitchen. The window has north facing light, which is dim enough. Compound that with the kitchen's small footprint, and one tiny window over the old sink, and it was cavernous.

The original cabinetry was hand-built, and consisted of open shelving and lower boxes. This meant that shadows fell inside the shelving, contributing to the darkness. The paint and the color of the tile sealed its doom.

Normal 1562694572 Img 3048Our team had enlarged the opening over the sink by removing the old window. We doubled the light at the kitchen window by expanding the size of the new window. This made a massive difference in the amount light that could enter the room. But the supporting wall between the dining and kitchen areas was intended to come down so that we could open up the space and illuminate the work-spaces.

Normal 1562694616 UnknownWe had plans drawn up by a draftsman that reflected the removal of a supporting wall and inserting a new header. We can’t simply remove a wall between the kitchen and dining room, in order to create a larger “open plan” space. The upper parts of a house rely upon the having the weight supported by the framework and structure of the lower parts. In order to accomplish this, my contractor used jacks to hold up the upper story of the house, while his crew hoisted up a beam of the proper length and thickness into the void.

Normal 1562694732 UnknownOnce the beam was anchored, they could remove the framing of the old wall. We were using the framework in the lower portion of the wall to provide the electrical service to the stove, and planned to top the remaining “pony wall” with quartz, to provide a shelf as a pass-through area.

Normal 1562694761 Unknown
In the background you can see the double window where the sink will be. Also “green board” is used in areas where there will be water, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Now the room is ready for the installation of the cabinetry.