With the old soffit down, it was time to start building.
The plan was to build both soffits out about the same distance. That way we could put lights into each soffit and have a gloriously lit kitchen once all was done.
The first framework in place.
Anchoring the soffit
Dad D taking measurements!
Whoever put up the last soffit did a terrible job. The structure was anchored to loose boards and it was all very haphazardly constructed. We wanted to do a bit better. You’ll notice in this next picture that I’m hammering in a board between joists in order to provide a support bracket. That way we could anchor right at the edge of the soffit, and at the same time better support the drywall that would go on the soffit’s front.
getting into the work.
Thankfully, House of Rock resident Brian is an electrician. This proved extremely handy as he did all the lighting.
Brian running the wires for the pendant lights.
Once the soffit was up, we put drywall on the front.
Drywall – in action!
Tune in tomorrow to watch the bead board ceiling come together!
First task was to tear down the dropped ceiling. One would expect that this wouldn’t be too brutal, but in some areas above the dropped ceiling was plaster – and plaster is nasty nasty stuff.
My roommate Brian and I filled about 30 big black trash bags with plaster and ceiling debris. It was nasty. At its worst there was probably 2-4 inches of ceiling shards covering the entire floor.
Tools and some very minor debris.
The joists above as well as plaster remnants on the right.
With the main ceiling down, I had to make a decision on the soffit. The soffit is the part of the wall above a set of cabinets that extends outwards a bit. We had a little one above the range but none above the sink.
After some great advice from friends and family, I decided to tear down and rebuild the soffit as well.
Tony S. looks forlorn.
The soffit before the tear down.
Shamus and Jesse help tear down the soffit.
Tony helps by cleaning up the area above the cabinets.
Finally, we were ready to start building the new soffit. My dad had come down to CT with his van, so thankfully we were able to easily transport the needed 2×4′s back to the House of Rock. At this point, we were ready to begin construction of the new kitchen.
Back when the winter months were turning summer and my schooling was coming to a close, I decided it was time to rid the kitchen of its dropped ceiling. A simple task? Hardly, though at the time I didn’t truly understand the scope of said project. Thankfully, I had a lot of support from great friends and family, and they helped me turn our kitchen from a kitchen of mock to a kitchen of rock.
This week the features section will guide you through the process.
First, here is the general layout of the kitchen at the House of Rock.
There’s the beloved peninsula which protrudes at a strange and unique angle from the wall, a handy gas range, and wall mount electric oven and a tiny fridge!
When Jesse and I first purchased the house, my mother excitedly took photographs of each room. Here are two pictures she took of the kitchen, right when we first moved into the house.
Take note of the dropped ceiling and the old appliances. Here’s a view of the kitchen in use that shows the peninsula dead on.
Step 1 was pull down the dropped ceiling.
Tune in tomorrow to see the start of the deconstruction
The backyard of the House of Rock is rife with poison ivy. Finding a small itchy spot of it on my hand on Saturday, I decided to do some investigations so that I could better identify the plant. I was very familiar with the basic three shiny, reddish, leaves poison ivy, but I didn’t know if there were more varieties. I quickly came across poison-ivy.org and found out that, yes, there are many different varieties.
We’ve got the ground cover and the climbing variety all over one side of our lawn. Realizing my new predicament was a bit overwhelming. There’s probably enough ivy to fill 3 or 4 trash barrels. I’m not too keen on using herbicides, especially with a new veggie garden down-hill from the infestation, so I’ll probably don a Hazmat suit and try to cut out the pesky plant by hand. Needless to say, it will be an adventure in patience and persistence. If you have any helpful tips on how to remove poison ivy safely and permanently, I’d love to hear them.
I am currently in a ‘board game appreciation’ phase. I really enjoy sitting down with a few people and rocking through a game or two at the dinner table. I’ve probably played about 15-25 games of Pandemic since ordering it a few weeks ago. As a quick 30-40 minute game, it’s a nice break from some of the more standard means of wasting time watching videos online. Additionally, it’s way more social than the internet, guitar practice, or television.
Two new games arrived at the House of Rock yesterday: Battlestar Gallactica, and Puerto Rico.
Battlestar Gallactica is a co-operative type game, with some traitors thrown in. Jesse spoke very highly of it after playing it at Tyler’s over memorial day weekend and boardgamegeek.com rates it very strongly. Puerto Rico comes with strong recommendations from one of my favorite blog writers who has pretty much jumped off the blog train (defectiveyeti.com).
I think we’re going to give Puerto Rico a shot tonight. I’ll report back with fun levels.
My hope is to develop a game stash at the house that will allow for spontaneous social events to help improve a community feel at the House of Rock and add some intelligent variety to fun-seeking residents and visitors.
This weekend involved hours and hours of labor, plenty of sound and fury, and the purchase of a saving grace.
My new oven and cooktop arrived for the House of Rock. I was both excited and nervous about doing the installation because the cooktop is a gas cooktop and working with natural gas piping, and thus accepting the general though perhaps minimal risks of exploding the house of rock, rightly makes me nervous.
Interestingly, it was not the gas piping that brought on the anguish, it was the appliance dimensions. The oven was 5 inches shorter than the previous one and the range was 5/8″ too long and half an inch too wide. That means I had to build a table for the oven and cut open my tile counter top for the range.
I got through the tile with a diamond rotary cutting wheel for my skill saw. If that trial wasn’t enough, I found the wood underneath to be laced with screws. I’m not talking a screw here or there, I mean they were everywhere. Imagine cinnamon raisin bread where the bread is wood and the raisins are metal nails. Some of the nails and screws were positioned in such a way that they could not be removed.
The heads were under tile, or coming in from weird bewildering angles. I chiseled away the first of the three sides I had to cut. It was arduous to say the least. Instead of continuing with the chiseling, I decided to go out and buy a Saws-All. And thank heavens for that. It was expensive but it was wholly worth it. Anyway, the appliances are in and I’m pleased with the result. Shaun L. and I made some epic ribs, green bean casserole, and peach-a-berry cobbler to celebrate the new cooking tools.
With this done, the only remaining tasks for the kitchen are some crown molding, painting, and general clean-uppery.
Part I: The Kitchen
This past weekend was a flurry of activity. It started right after work on Friday. Jesse, Shamus, Tony, and I hit that kitchen hard. We tore down the soffits* above the sink and range, and started building new and improved ones. Tony singlehandedly annihilated the annoying ceiling sections above the original soffit. Meanwhile, Brian completed most of the electrical work and gave us light.
Saturday saw the building of the new soffits, tons of cutting and prep work for the new beadboard ceiling, and the beginning of the long process of putting the new ceiling up. Special thanks to Brian, Jesse, Tony, Shamus, and my folks for coming down to help. Dad D was a fiend with the skill saw and Mom D treated everyone to delicious paninis and enchilada casserole.
Sunday Sarah arrived and she, Tony, and I completed the rest of the beadboard ceiling. What’s remaining? Well, there’s some beadboard that will go into the soffit. Then there’s painting, crown molding, and new appliances. Daaaang.
*a Soffit is a kind of protruding corner that, in this case, is used above the kitchen cabinets to hold recessed lighting for the counters
Part II: The Watch
Sarah got me a really funky new watch. When I was out in Portland, Sarah and I visited a few of the little craft stores out by Cannon beach. In one particular gallery I saw a Pop Art watch and really fell for it. It’s got a firetruck red band and the imagery on top is colorful and vibrant.
The artist who made it is Sonya Paz and she had a whole bunch of different styles and colors. I didn’t buy the watch while I was out in Portland but Sarah noted my excitement about it and totally picked it up for me. Thanks Sarah!
I haven’t been able to update my website as much lately because of the horror that is the House of Rock kitchen. Well, it’s not really a horror – I’m just redoing it.
The goal was to replace appliances, add lighting, and remove the drop ceiling. The drop ceiling has been quite the endeavor, and I suspect there will be more moaning and groaning this coming weekend. Last night Paulette loaned me her camera so that I’ll be able to take some pictures and keep everyone updated on progress. So keep an eye out for those as the next week or two pass.
Right now the drop ceiling is down – as is the plaster & dry wall ceiling that was above it. New lights have been installed in the main section, though the under-cabinet lighting and the soffits still need completion.
What else is new? Well, there was some roller derby this past weekend. i hope to have a recap written up and posted in the feature section sometime today or early tomorrow. It’s been a challenge returning to Kung Fu. I keep forgetting my forms and my sparring has dramatically worsened. That said, I started learning a new bo staff form last night which requires me to kick the end of my staff sending it spinning around my left wrist. Here’s an MSPaint depiction.
Yeah. Look out. Staff forms are intense. I’m eager to really get back into the swing of things because I really want to get started on Sword which is the next weapon of my kung fu journey.
I’m not sure if I already shared this, but a few weeks ago I saw a bunch of my kung fu friends training with Fans. I have always marveled at the awesomeness of Fan as a weapon. I got to talking with one of the instructors about weapons at higher levels. What’s written below isn’t accurate… but it’s something akin to this:
Purple belt: Staff
Adv. Brown belt: Sword
Black belt: Spear
1st Degree Black belt: Fan
2nd Degree Black belt: 3 sectional staff
3rd Degree Black belt: … I forget, maybe double sword?
4th Degree Black belt: Saw Horse.
WHAAAAT?!? SAW HORSE?!@?!? Imagine being proficient in Saw Horse?
Anyway, that’s what’s new. Stay tuned for more kitchen renovation stories.