This is the last demolition post I have to share with you, hopefully for the rest of the year! I've been putting off sharing this post for a while now as we've been doing this demolition very slowly over the last couple of months, removing only what we needed to at a time. (I really didn't want to be without a kitchen sink until absolutely necessary!)
But with everything now completely removed, it seemed like the right time to be sharing it with you. You may remember how it looked initially - dated, boring, standard, just ugly with two giant holes in the ceiling from moving pipework in the bathroom.
And now, it's even damn uglier. We removed the kitchen cabinets on the left-hand side first which unveiled a horrendous Y-shaped crack on the wall. Our neighbour (or previous neighbour who recently moved) had told us there was a crack on her side, but underneath all the wallpaper nothing was visible on our side. Oh and this wall is just one-brick thick by the way - slightly unusual for a separating wall between houses! We think it may have possibly been the old garden wall simply extended in height. As far as we know (further investigation required!) this wall provides no support to the roof of this extension, it is simply a dividing wall between us and them, so this crack whilst worrying isn't all that structural to the whole extension. At least we think!
It is still worrying and we are conflicted about what exactly to do about it. It has clearly been patched with mortar (from both sides) in the past, which has done absolutely nothing to fix the problem, but to truly fix this problem would mean some invasive work on both sides. It's really not ideal and probably not what our new neighbours had in mind for their new home! Crack-stitching isn't really designed for this kind of deep crack and if the problem lies further beneath the foundations (of course, if it was the old garden wall - there probably is no foundations!) then stitching does nothing. We know our neighbour (or previous neighbour) had stitching put into the wall when she first moved in and she had said the cracks had re-appeared, which suggests stitching is not the way to go and that there is still movement in this wall. Since none of the other walls have cracks in them, I don't think this is a subsidence problem, but I do think it's a fault in the build of this particular wall. Of course, I'm no structural engineer and what exactly we're going to do about it, we haven't quite decided.
Aside from the horrendous crack and jazzy wallpaper, we've also tidied up the cables which were all surface mounted and now looks like some kind of dodgy electrical DIY failure. I swear we've done nothing here but pin the cables up in a more tidy fashion. Most of this cable was just free-running behind the cabinets. It definitely does not look very professional right now! The endless on-the-wall to do lists have also amused endless tradesmen who've popped by for quotes.
A few weeks ago we finished the demolition by finally removing the kitchen sink. Something I was quite anxious not to do too early on, but with new pipework needing to go in, it seemed like to right time. We capped off the hot water supply to the kitchen altogether and fitted a makeshift tap from a stop cock, located yes, very dangerously close to a socket. What can I say? This is a dodgy DIY.
I eventually removed the last of the wallpaper on the ceiling which appeared to have been tiled with polystyrene in the past. I was very pleased to discover someone had already saved me a job. Thanking you greatly!
And there we have it, one very empty kitchen. It obviously looks nothing like a kitchen now and hard to believe that we're actually living amongst all of this and living without a kitchen. It can be difficult to keep our spirits up when we have to look at this every single day, but I know that eventually this will be a place of beauty and it'll all be worth it in the end.
I should finally mention that dividing wall between the old shower room and kitchen. The guy at building control (whom we paid to do some structural calculations) had told us it needed no support and we were okay to remove it ourselves, however he didn't actually go up into the attic space and check - so we decided we'd better check ourselves (better safe than sorry!) and it turns out, it was providing support. Which really goes to show - always double check. The wall has been built up very slightly in one place and is providing support to a purlin. We need to swap this for a wooden strut, but we'll be leaving all that to the builders. We feel our wood skills aren't professional enough for this and we need to very sensitive to the fact that the roof space is shared with our neighbour. If we caused any problems it would inevitably cause them problems too. Best to leave it to professionals who you can blame when something goes wrong. Although I bloody hope it doesn't.
And that's it! The kitchen in all it's ugly glory. Let me know if you've had any similar experiences with large cracks in single brick walls and if you have any suggestions for us? But I'm certainly excited to see this room begin to transform!
New Tools Purchased:
Pipe Caps £3
Costs(rounded to the nearest pound)
New Tools Purchased:
Pipe Caps £3