There are days when I feel a very strong urge to just start pulling down walls here. We’ve managed to live with the lack of electricity upstairs, and the endless strings of extension cords throughout the house. But when it comes to this kitchen, I sometimes go tilt. Last week was like that.
Our kitchen was not the original room for the existing kitchen. I think this area may have been the housekeeper’s quarters. This area became the kitchen probably sometime in the 1940s or so, and then a very shabby remodel was done in the late 60s. It’s a dark corner of the house, and the kitchen is shoehorned between the dining room and the living room; so half of the small kitchen is a hallway and a stairwell and there’s a big (unused) chimney taking up space. And did I mention that it’s ugly as all get-out? Dark brown cabinets, bright orange laminate countertops, ugly yellow-brown busted tiles, a drop ceiling… and multiple paint jobs of bright pink, powder blue, dark brown wall paneling, and green paint? I detest this room. We’ve thought about getting new countertops, but I stubbornly resist. The kitchen is falling apart; to place new countertops in this crumbling kitchen is like putting a new paint job on a rusting Model T.
I am making serious plans to totally gut this room next summer. I just can’t stand it anymore. LOL!
Well, what started my desperation all over again was when we had to fix a plumbing leak under the sink. Thank God– this was one of the easiest repairs ever.
It was just a broken fitting, causing the sink to leak. DH got a new fitting, screwed it on, and no more leaks! Yay!
But the plumbing system in this house is TERRIBLE. A few of the plumbing lines are not vented, so the house smells like methane from time to time. The downstairs toilet bubbles up every time the upstairs toilet is flushed… NOT a pleasant situation (!)… and the pre-owner who installed the plumbing here never bothered to attach pipes together– he just tucked little pipes into big pipes. Unbelievable!! The kitchen sink plumbing is like that– it’s held up with twisty ties because the drain pipes just sit in the main drain pipe under the sink.
So I know, deep down, that once I undertake a kitchen remodel, I am going to have to have the entire plumbing system redone. I could not in good conscience close up the walls leaving this disaster undone. So it’s not like we can just pull out old cabinets and slap new ones in place. The ENTIRE systems need to be done– with insulation, plumbing, electrical, painting, flooring, etc all redone. It’s scary to think about it!
So anyway, in working on the plumbing under the sink, I happened to peer behind the cabinets… which confirmed my suspicions. Namely, that when they redid the kitchen in the 60s, the took down the plaster walls but never put up new walls– they just installed the cabinets onto the studs. Yep. They did that.
This explains the blast of chilly wind that we experience when we open the cabinets in the winter time. That explains the raw fiberglass tufts tucked in under the toe-kicks in the cabinetry (which my young son loved to pull out as a baby). And it also explains the mouse problems. I’m kind of still dazed by it all. If you’re going to yank apart a room, why not build it back properly?!
Some of you have asked me why we don’t just “get new cabinets” or “just get new countertops.” This is why. 😀 I could, sure, but I’d still have stinky, leaky plumbing and no electricity and busted up tiles and wintry cabinetry. I’m waiting until everything is in place until I can totally redo it, properly. I just never thought it would take so long! But I sense that my time is soon. 😀