The plan was to gut out all the areas of the house that were inhabitable and where repairing would not be feasible.
The first priority was to find the smell in the basement. The source of the smell was the plumbing pipes located beneath the concrete.
All the plumbing had been removed and reinstalled. The next step was to mix cement and repair the large sections of the floor that had been removed to gain access to the plumbing.
I delayed repairing the basement floor for two reasons. First, I wasn’t sure whether the main stack that came from the kitchen had to be replaced. Second, until I opened up the walls of the old kitchen and adjoining bathroom I didn’t know how much, if any, of the old plumbing would have to be replaced.
I had a few inquires about my plans for the house. Most wanted to know if it would be fixed up and then sold.
One party was very interested in this house. He was a real estate agent and had previously purchased two other houses from us. He was very familiar with my work and had easily resold them at a handsome profit.
I simply wasn’t in a position to know what the end result would be. It was way too early in the remodeling process to make such a determination.
It was imposable to determine a selling price until all the problems and costs associated with them, had been identified and completed.
At this stage of the remodeling, I was proceeding as if I would be making the necessary repairs and selling the house. I currently co- owned the house across the street in which I had done extensive remodeling. I wanted to avoid making two mortgage payments for an extended time.
Certainly the budget had changed as the result of the unexpected plumbing problems.
I knew that I would have to modify some other portion of my plans for the house as I simply could not afford to go beyond my budget constraints.
I began the demolition process in the old kitchen.
It was so small you had to go outside to change your mind.
It wasn’t functional, needed major updating, it had only one set of cabinets and a counter top that measured less than six feet.
Apparently, the sink had been leaking for an extended period.
The kitchen was long and narrow. It measured only six feet by thirteen, with a cramped bump-out in which the refrigerator sat. This area was only four feet by six and shared a common doorway.
The floor was in very bad shape having been covered with cheep press and peel tile which had begun to curl up at the edges.
A booth that had been part of the original design of the house had occupied the four foot by six bump-out area with a windows located on one side of the booth. The booth was in rough shape, provided very uncomfortable seating and not infrequently delivered a sliver or two to its occupants. The wooden seats and backs of the built-in benches were covered with the carved initials of previous inhabitants of the house.
Making the decision to demolish the kitchen and start from scratch was a easy one. Frankly, there wasn’t anything worth saving.
The real question was, what would be found inside all the walls?
What I found wasn’t pretty.
I clearly remember thinking, “Oh no, this isn’t good!”
I got a sick feeling.
Copy write all rights reserved D. Jerzak 04-16-07