Heavy building work has been underway in our kitchen for the past week. I’m pleased to say the new, open-plan space is taking shape. There has been real progress in creating our new, modern, family-friendly kitchen. This, despite a couple of significant problems along the way, although I’ll go into more detail about them in a moment.
Before I go on, I have created a short video showing what’s happened over the past week. Click on the image below to watch it (and please do also subscribe to my YouTube channel and watch the other videos I’ve made about this building project).
In the past week the following has happened;
- The building team put a stud work wall in place, separating the previously open-plan living room and dining area. We now have a smaller, more intimate living room and, as planned, the dining room space will now form part of the expanded kitchen.
- The wall separating the kitchen and dining area has been knocked down and a rolled steel joint (commonly referred to as an RSJ) has been inserted to support the flooring above.
- The stud work wall and RSJ etc. have all been boxed in and plastered over (see final photograph). False walls have also been created in a couple of places (more below) and the former entrance to the kitchen has been closed off. There’s more detail about all this work in the video.
- New spotlights have been installed in the old kitchen area replacing some very outdated light fittings.
- The old oven and kitchen sink have been isolated and removed in preparation for the new items to be installed. The old carpet in the dining area has also been taken up in readiness for a high-quality wood-laminate flooring to go down.
The guys have worked really quickly and Mrs Adams and I are very happy with progress to date. The children have also been impressed, although our three year old, Elizabeth, is a bit concerned as to what has happened to her old kitchen! That said, there have been a couple of major issues to content with, both of them related.
Firstly, there was an issue with the plans put together by the structural engineer. According to the plans, one of the walls that was to support the RSJ was in a different position (the video shows this much more clearly).
When the builders arrived on the job, they took their own measurements, spotted this immediately and stopped work within an hour of arriving on site. Quite understandably, they didn’t want to continue until the engineer had confirmed it was safe to do so. I had to get him to pay a visit and approve some amended plans.
Luckily I was able to get hold of the engineer straight away. Needless to say, the building team have other jobs going on and they would have been quite within their rights to go and do something else until this issue had been dealt with. Thankfully it was all sorted out quickly but, after months and months of delay, it really did look like the job wasn’t going to get started.
The second issue involved the positioning of some pipework. This only came to light when I ripped the old kitchen units out and discovered some central heating pipes running across a short stretch of concrete floor. The pipework was dog-legged around the wall that had been put in the wrong place on the engineering plans.
The photo below isn’t the best, but if you look on the ground, to the right of the wall in the middle of the picture you’ll see the pipework on the floor among the rubble. I’m afraid the builders were hard at work when I took this shot and so I wasn’t in a position to stop and make it look pretty for photograph!
One option would have been to break up the concrete and bury the pipes. The builders, however, put forward a much better suggestion. Instead they built a false wall covering up the pipework and also covering what remains of a small, unsightly chimney stack at ceiling height.
That issue was relatively easily to deal with. The wall is now in place and a vertical, floor to ceiling radiator will be mounted on it.
The newly created space is now ready for the new kitchen. For those interested we are having a Howdens Burford-style kitchen installed. We also have tiles on order, the new flooring, plus new doors that will be sited at either end of the kitchen.
I’ll do a new update in a few days. Hopefully next time round it won’t be an empty shell and will look more like a kitchen.
I’d love to know your thoughts. What do you think of the progress made so far? Do you think the building team are doing well? Do you like how the space is taking shape? Maybe you dislike open-plan living? Whatever your thoughts, please do leave a comment and watch the video.