Demolition ends kitchen

And ends in the kitchen!

Yes, it ends where it all began: the kitchen.

At least the current demolition part ends here. But I guess you figured that out already, didn’t you?

In the previous post you could read that I was chiseling away all those tiles (of the variety ugly and uglier). Above the counter there were even tiles hiding other tiles, so I had some work to do. But that’s not what I’m going to write about now.

I’m going to write about all the wooden stuff that was left in the kitchen.

As you might recall from previous pictures, in the Dark Ages they renovated the kitchen by applying lots of wooden stuff (next to the actual kitchen install ofcourse). The kitchen was like a friggin’ chalet.

The Swiss ones.

Without the mountain attached to it.

There was this wood sheet material that was glued to the walls. That came of easily, at least for most part of it, and in large slabs. Then we hit the ceiling.

The ceiling was made of varnished wooden shelves, on a wooden structure, below the original lath-and-plaster ceiling. That’s a lot of dirt and debris still needing to come down. So Chrisje decided to start chomping down the shelves (she now also believes a crowbar is an essential part of our toolbox).

Ceiling progress

Ceiling demolition

After knocking down a few of them, we got our first surprise.

A full-blown wasp nest.

Wasp nest

Somewhere between the Dark Ages of renovation and us buying the place, the little creatures had decided the empty space between both ceilings was a nice place for them to call home. And so they did.

Then the slightly bigger creatures calling the place their home decided to do something to it, exterminating them all in the process. At least that’s what we believe, as the nest was completely empty.

As for those of you wondering “isn’t that a beehive?”, we actually had a beekeeper tell us it most certainly isn’t. As I don’t know bleep about bees or wasps (except for the fact that bees produce honey and are needed for fruit and so much more, and wasps are merely annoying flying vermin that’s also used for pest control), we’re just going to take his word for it.

A little further and later in the process, we had surprise number two: Remember that pesky little wall we thought we would be able to knock down like a walk in the park? You guessed it by now, that same little wall was holding up this huge metal beam, on it’s turn supporting the flat roof above our kitchen. Problem. Big problem.

Faced with this fact, we saw two options to get it fixed.

Option A

  1. Get the roof supported on both sides of the beam.
  2. Remove the old beam.
  3. Put in a new, longer beam, supported at the outer wall.

Option B

  1. Get the roof supported where it isn’t supported by the old beam
  2. Get the old beam supported
  3. Remove part of the wall, so that there’s space next to the old beam
  4. Weld an extension to said old beam, extending it to the outer wall

What we chose

After giving it some thought, we went with option B. Removing the old beam would have been a painful experience. It looks like it’s been put in the wall very firmly, so getting it out wouldn’t have been easy. Supposing we would have been able to get it out of the wall, getting it down to the ground would have been another challenge. Based on the size of the thing, it must weigh like a tonne. Or more.

Remember that we were working on loose soil now, after all flooring had been removed (I agree, it probably would have been wiser to remove the ceiling before the floors, but that’s the way it was now). I didn’t feel like killing myself over getting some beam down, so removing it was a no-go (besides, my engineering background told me that, if executed correctly, a weld is always as strong as the material itself, so I didn’t see any problem in welding a piece to it).

Hence we called in a specialist.

He welded in the extra piece, and soon after that the wall came down.

Beam welding

So now we have

  1. a kitchen that is cleared of any tile residue, wall and ceiling dressing and that bugger of a little wall,
  2. a storage room cleaned of an old septic tank, and
  3. an entryway where no extra ground work was required to begin with.

Demolition days are over. For now. Insert evil laughter here.