February 4, 2017
Whaddya think I abandoned this small undertaking in my kitchen?
“Just Do It” Construction company and my trademarked shorts n’ flip flops uniform have been busy from near sunrise to sunset over the past few days continuing my quest for hidden treasure and turning my house into a very large Jenga game!
No, I’m just kidding about Jenga. The house was a giant Jenga game, as you can see in examples in this post. Starting from above we can get another look at the old breakfast bar from when I first started this project. This bar area was a wall originally. The old owners wanted a bar top. Now I cannot be absolutely certain but based on all the evidence presented, it appears they rough-cut the wall out with a sawzall and then put roughly 14.5 inch blocks of 2×4 between the now-cut studs.
Wood spans get their strength from making a long continuous run with one board. Not using a whole bunch of scrap pieces poorly nailed together!
And again, that counter top was held in place 100% by weight and two beads of silicone.
Here is the current state of affairs today. The ceiling came own when I realized that they wrapped the ceiling fixture electrical box in TIN FOIL so as to protect it from…??? I do not want to suggest they were worried about possible arcing setting the insulation aflame but I cannot fathom any other reason for foil.
I spent most of the day thinking about the possibilities.
They were not soldering anything up there so it cannot be for that.
It works as a very poor electrical shield from arcing since, you know, tin and foil are both ways of saying metal and giant conductor of electricity.
…And of course, if they knew how to play with the wires they would not need to worry about arcing.
I feel comfortable enough to insulate around my electrical boxes with matches and sticks of dynamite!
Not because I was a natural born genius, but because my Dad is a natural genius and he taught me how to do this stuff properly.
And if I need some quick on-the-spot re-instruction… Google. Homeowner’s books.
…Speaking of Dad teaching me properly… You might all wonder why I go through the bother of using metal boxes for everything. Plastic is cheaper, faster, easier to work with and 100% approved for residential usage.
Well the conversation went something like this:
Dad: “So it’s approved for residential use?”
With a sense of excitement and glee over not having to go through the extra labor-intensive work of tiny grinding screws and sharp shabby corners, I eagerly replied: “Yep!”
Dad: “What do they say about commercial use?”
Me: “Well you have to use metal boxes for commercial work.”
Dad: “Why?” [In other words, why is plastic not good enough for commercial? What are the lawyers hiding from us?]
So anyway, you’ll see metal boxes throughout this project, as I have been using all along with the rest of the house and have all the finger and hand scars to prove it.
Also in the above photo you will see where our 1950s exhaust fan used to reside. The steel chamber that fan resided in was about as strong as anything else in this entire house! I’m pretty sure it was rated to be a load-bearing member of the wall!
After about an hour I got it removed, insulated the hole, and screwed that piece of plywood over it.
Ok an now for a quick succession of old-owner mistakes and then I’m calling it a well-deserved night:
Under the oven. Let me know when you find the gas shut-off valve.
Under the stove cooktop. Let me know when you fine the gas shut-off valve. Hint: It is not obstructed by the lids.
The shut-off valve was found in the basement, near the furnace, and was almost completely seized in the open position. It required vice grips which I store in my toolbox in the garage.
Try remembering that when the house is on fire. Smh…
The cord from the stovetop didn’t reach the outlet. So buy a huge orange utility cord and wrap it around the drawer guide to a point where the drawer doesn’t function properly and then feed it through the hole to the outlet? Smh…
And when that cord does not properly fit behind the oven and in to the outlet, do we a) shove the oven against it until the oven mounting screws catch or beat the cord with a hammer within a millimeter of arcing?
Oh and that outlet… do we spring for one of those $0.45 (price adjusted for inflation) outlet covers or do we just leave it since they must be of the opinion that the outlet cover is purely for decoration and would be covered by the oven anyway? (They are not purely for decoration.)
Anyway, I speak largely in jest. I am having a lot of fun redoing everything and feel very comfortable in the way it is coming out.
Hope you are enjoying this as much as I am!
And if you are thinking about trying it- just know it sure beats going to a sweat infested gym, but it is still sweat infested and definitely more expensive lol… sigh. : )