1970s Kitchen Expansion
By: Danny Lipford
In this episode we’ll give a whole new look to a vintage 1970s house that is in need of some serious updating. Not only is the kitchen to be completely remodeled, but the wall between the den and living room will be removed to open up the living space.
The house contained an outdated kitchen that was separated from the adjoining den by cabinets. Our plan included completely gutting the kitchen and den, as well as taking down the wall between the den and living room. The red line on the existing house plans indicates the section that will be removed.
Removing the wall will create one large room of almost 800 square feet. New cabinets will be installed along two of the walls in the old kitchen with an island between it from the rest of the living area.
The original kitchen had been constructed in place with the components nailed directly to the walls. This made it impossible to remove the old cabinets without destroying them in the process.
In order to remove the load bearing wall between the den and living room, a temporary wall was constructed to support the weight of the ceiling joists.
The studs in the old wall were removed while the drywall on the living room side was left in place. Once the laminated wood beam supporting the ceiling joists had been installed, the existing drywall was cut off flush with the bottom of the beam.
With the wall gone, the space took on a new dimension as light from the windows in the living room flooded the previously gloomy den.
In addition to the other demolition work, we also had to move the vent pipe for the stove hood to accommodate the new cabinets and cut a trench in the slab to run wiring to the island.
To give more light to the room, recessed light fixtures were installed in the ceiling. Since the ceiling was already in place, remodeling cans were used that fit directly in holes cut in the drywall.
The removal of the old light fixture left a hole to patch in the ceiling. Rather than enlarging it to the adjoining joists, a “hot patch” was used to repair the hole.
To make a hot patch, start by cutting a piece of drywall several inches larger than the hole. Remove the excess wallboard from the patch while leaving the paper intact.
Next, spread a thin layer of joint compound on the surface of the existing drywall and edges of the hole.
After inserting the patch in the hole, use a drywall knife to press the paper into the wet joint compound.
Once the patch has dried, feather out the edges with more joint compound and allow to dry before sanding it smooth.
Cabinets, Trim, and Painting
When all the drywall was finished, the new cabinets were installed in the “L” shaped kitchen, starting in the corner.
As soon as the wall opening had been trimmed out and crown molding installed around the room, the painters arrived. The new cabinets, along with the windows, were covered with sheets of plastic so the trim could be sprayed. This not only saved time but gave the woodwork a silky smooth finish. When the trim was dry, the walls were rolled using a desert tan colored paint.
Countertop Seam Puller
The seam in the granite countertops was glued together using a two-part epoxy glue. To clamp it firmly while it dried, a seam puller was used that employs a vacuum pump to attach pads to each half of the countertop. The two pieces are then pulled together with built-in clamps and held in place until the glue sets.
Ceramic Tile Floors
After applying a leveling compound to the slab, the floors in the entire area were covered with 20” x 20” white ceramic tiles to give the room an open, spacious feel. Matching 6” tiles were used on the backsplash behind the kitchen cabinets.
Taking the wall out between the den and living room really opened this house up while the beautiful kitchen cabinets with granite countertops and ceramic tile floors added the perfect finishing touches.
Other Tips From This Episode
One of the best ways to save energy in your home is to caulk cracks around windows and doors. While caulk alone can be applied to narrow cracks, gaps wider than 1/4” should be filled with foam backer rod first. These flexible foam tubes are available at building supply stores in several diameters. Push the rod into the gap with a putty knife or painter’s tool until it is just below the surface then caulk over it.
(Watch This Video)
The new GE Side-by-Side Adora refrigerator saves energy by incorporating a small door that opens from the outside to provide access to often used items without having to open the main door. A keypad on the outside allows you to set the temperature and also features a door lock button. GE Side-by-Side refrigerators come complete with pullout shelves and a high volume water dispenser. They are available in several finishes at Home Depot stores.
(Watch This Video)
Keeping Appliances Clean
Hey Danny, do you have any secrets to keeping appliances clean? I spend more time cleaning than cooking. -Carolyn from South Carolina
One approach to keeping appliances from showing smudges and fingerprints is to choose a textured finish. Stainless steel can also be a good choice, but make sure to select models that are a composite of stainless steel and other ingredients, such as nickel, which help make them almost smudge proof. To keep them looking like new, use a stainless cleaner from time to time to restore the shine. (Watch This Video)
Power tools used on Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford® are provided by Ryobi.