We’ve been doing remodeling around here lately and our newest project is to see if we can’t remove some of the wall between our kitchen and living/dining rooms. It would allow us to have a breakfast bar type counter and it would open up our first floor dramatically so it would be easier to have guests and keep an eye on dogs and babies (who will be arriving in roughly 10 weeks) when they are playing in the other room. We’ve already taken the wall down between the living room and dining room, but it wasn’t load bearing so it was easy. The wall between the kitchen and living/dining rooms is structural so we have to be careful and have a structural engineer come and take a look and tell us if it’s doable. So for now we have taken down a couple of sections of plaster/lathe in order for the engineer to see the inside of the wall. Unfortunately for us… we discovered the walls around the living room and dining room are the original part of the house and are made from hand hewn logs instead of being framed like a normal modern house! The oldest section of our house is at least 80 years old (based on a date carved into the basement wall) and probably/possibly even older than 80 years because who knows when they plastered the basement or if they built it later, or even moved the log section here and put it on top of a foundation. So we really have no idea, but the logs are probably close to 100 years old! In regards to the oldness of them it’s pretty cool… who has an old log house? But in regards to remodeling… I’m not sure how cool it is since it seems like it might make things more difficult! We will have to see when the engineer comes!
For now…. here are a few photos of our work…
Joe removing the door frame from the kitchen into the living room. It took some work and there is a hole in the floor for us (probably him because I have no idea how to make that look nice!) to fix but we’ve all been stepping over it for now – although it is mostly covered up and not gaping like this right now. It allowed us to see into the wall a little bit and will hopefully help the engineer figure out what to do.
A portion of the wall in our dining room that Joe removed yesterday. I should get a close up because the beams are pretty cool…gigantic (these are just the short ones…the other ones are like 15 feet long and massive) and you can see axe marks on them and they are all different sized.
This is a section of our wall on the other (kitchen) side near our basement door. Joe would have done it himself but I volunteered to work on it so he showed me how to crack the plaster off tonight and I worked on it for an hour and a half maybe – until supper was finished (he made us Szechuan beef!) and I was ready to be done anyways! We even looked up online to make sure loud hammering noises wouldn’t be bad for the baby but it was fine… only prolonged and extremely loud noises could possibly be bad and he didn’t seem to mind that I was hammering… I think the rest of us minded more! The rabbit especially was giving me nasty looks from the mudroom.
Tomorrow now I’ll try to finish the last bit of plaster in the morning before work and then Joe will have to decide how to get the rest of the lathe boards off. The ones I took off were shorter and came off easily, but the leftover ones (most of them) are longer and go behind the door frame so they will be harder to get off… probably have to cut or break them. Once they are off it will be easier to see into the corner and see how the house is put together.. from what Joe can see already it really is just like a log cabin. Hopefully the engineer can give us some good input and tell us how to open the wall, or tell us we for sure can’t open the wall… just so we know! I will keep updates going as we do stuff!