Think of this as a recap blog, all those episodes of your favorite show that you missed, summarized in a few well-chosen snippets.
In our last episode, the original plan was to open up the wall nearly fully, but in this image you will see we found a surprise: large cast iron tube in wall!
Upon further inspection, we determined the tube was not an old gutter waste pipe, but in fact, a structural column that is holding up a good portion of the second and third floors.
We estimate the column was retrofit in the '30s, in response to some water damage (seen in the ceiling, previous image of cat slinking about). The water infiltration was likely caused indirectly by settling and directly by roofing issues. The pipe-column lines up with the outside wall of the second floor, and the old water stain in under the bit o' roof that bridges the gap between the outside wall of the second floor and the first floor. (If that doesn't make sense, just remember, it's a Queen Anne house, walls do not go front-to-back or up-and-down in a straight forward manner.) The house would have been 50 then, which is plenty of time to settle, making an unexpected valley in the mini-roof and allowing water to come inside and play. We reason that it was it happened in the 1930s, because a. there's plaster over it and b. there wasn't a lot of spare metal available for home improvement after about December 7, 1941.
The surprise did cause some initial head scratching, but we did some drawing and the plans will still work out. The net result is we must keep structural column and re-envision walllessness as a cased opening.
Onto the next event: remove wall cabinets. For the record, lead blogger Szonjaz did actually help out in this stage, as no fetus-harming dust, chemicals or heavy lifting was involved. I helped removed the content of the cabinets and squirrel them away.
A wall without upper cabinets. Note that the vent pipe (horizontal white tube near top of photo) projects out from wall, in former dropped ceiling space. That will have to be reckoned with. Stay tuned.
Header! (That's the beam that makes the cased opening able to not fall down.) Notice the swath of sunlight on the floor. The magic of opening up walls--the dining room now shares daylight with the mini kitchen.
For those of you with eagle eyes, you might have noticed in the header pictures that the floor has changed. The lovely hexagonal vinyl flooring was pulled up to reveal some mighty dirty oak below. The verdict is still out on sanding and refinishing versus painting.
This image is a little dark, espeically for those of you with PCs (sorry, ain't got time for photoshop), but the important things to notice are 1. diagonals of light making it into kitchen and 2. location of sink (that is its starting place).
Can you find the kitty ('kitty the monkey' as Alex called him)?
For extra points, there is something in this picture that will be gone in the final picture of this post. Can you find it?
Same sink, new location, 30" or so to the west. Note, too, that the vent pipe is properly located inside the wall (or what will soon be a wall and not just wood studs).