Overwelmed - Kitchen project

lannegreenelagFebruary 13, 2009

Hello, We've a 1918 farmhouse with a mess of a kitchen. The kitchen is 8' X 11' with three doorways. One of these leads to a back porch that has been enclosed and we call the mudroom. We currently have the laundry and pantry cabinets in the mudroom. My husband has finally given me the go to work on the kitchen but there are so many issues I am overwelmed. #1 The mudroom is cold, likley has no insultaion in it's attic. There is no access from the main attic to the mudroom's so we couldn't add insulation when we did the main attic. Can this be address when we reroof? #2 The wall with the doorway between the kitchen and mudroom is likley loadbearing. How to deal with this? Who do I call to look at it? #3 Electricall must be updated. #4 Drop ceiling in both rooms must be removed, likley a reason this was put up. #5 There is one HVAC register in the floor of each room. Do we need a return air? Those are the big things, the plaster walls need to be smoothed and painted, new flooring and cabinets. I also need a exhaust hood over the stove. I guess initially I need to find out if removing the wall between the two rooms is possible. Who would you call about this? Should I just look at contractors?

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bulldinkie

W
e have a 1700 farmhouse we completely restored.I guess you have to decide what you want to do,,how much money you want to spend.old houses are a challenge with all windows ,doorways etc.
If you arent restoring call a contractor if youre looking more for authentic Id look for someone known for restoring.e were lucky knew 2 fellows that owned a restoration company.and my hubby is a general contractor.
You probably could go with like a blown in insulation on porch roof.good luck just keep in mind the finished product.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 6:57AM
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worthy

Can this be address when we reroof?
Yes, if you are removing the sheathing.

#2 The wall with the doorway
Sounds as if the mudroom may have been added later. Very likely a load bearing wall. In that case, you'll likely need a permit, as with the wiring. So get a qualified designer such as an architectural technologist. That way, also, the plans will be reviewed at the municipal level.

drop ceilings
Could have been a "modernization" or just to cover a cracked ceiling. I've seen both.

return airs
Considering the age of your home it may make more sense to have the entire heating system evaluated by an independent professional rather than adding ducts and returns willy nilly.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 1:06PM
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kimcoco

Try an architect...much needed advice will come your way.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 2:11AM
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lannegreenelag

Thank you all for your replys. We are restoring most of the home but the kitchen will require greater alterations. Have any of you gone with the blown in insulation? If so cellulose or other. We will have to deal with the electrical issues first. I have never worked with an architect, I will try and find one with old house experience. We would for instance like to keep the plaster walls, as we have throughout the house. Thank you for the input on the roof insulating. Yes, we will have to remove 3-4 layers of asphalt shingle and redo the sheathing so I am glad we can insulate then. We plan on getting quotes for the roofing work this summer so we can begine preparing for that. Thank you for calming me a bit, most rooms up to now have not needed rework of this scale. This will be the most expensive project yet, even though we will do much of the finish work ourselves if it is cost effective.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 9:12AM
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powermuffin

I would first ask a structural engineer to give her/his opinion about how to handle the load bearing wall. She/he can tell you exactly what needs to be done and may even suggest someone to do the work. Make sure you check referrals if you contract out some of the work. Our kitchen also has three doors, one to the old porch, now laundry area, one to the dining room and one to the family room. Once you find out about the possibility of taking out the wall, you could do a to-scale sketch and take it to Lowe's or Home Depot to have their kitchen planner help with the layout (free service). This is the cheap plan - if you have the bucks, hire an architect.
Diane

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 12:11PM
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acc0406

My house was built in the '30s. We had a eat-in kitchen that had been remodeled in the '80s so there really wasn't much to save (I'm glad that I didn't have to make the decision regarding what to save and what to change). Last year we opened it up into the adjacent breezeway without changing the footprint of the house. They took out the wall between the kitchen and breezeway and replaced the wall with a large beam. They took out the breezeway ceiling and reframed it because it couldn't support drywall. They added insulation then. Our biggest issue was incorporating the 9" step between the breezeway and kitchen without redoing foundations.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 1:46PM
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worldmom

As far as the one wall being load-bearing, it *is* possible to knock it out or widen the doorway or whatever it is you're thinking of. :o) We're knocking out most of a load-bearing wall between our kitchen and dining room, and our contractor is putting in a very large laminated beam. We opted to drop the ceiling to about 9.5 feet to cover it, but you could also leave it exposed or box it in.

There's definitely some labor involved, but so far, it's turned out to be a lot less complicated than we imagined it would be.

I feel for you being in a small kitchen with all those doorways. Our existing kitchen is about that size, and we have a mudroom entrance, side hall, and dining room entrance. We're actually adding one more doorway (pantry) in the remodel, but our kitchen is going to be about 50% larger, so it's a good trade-off. :o)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 1:19AM
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