Whenever cabinets are involved in a project we like to order them before we even start the job.  This helps to ensure that we can get in and out of a person’s house as quickly as possible.  We need to plan enough time from demolition to cabinet delivery for rough plumbing, rough electric and drywall.  Before we actually start a job everything is hypothetical. With experience and careful planning, we are able to make a very accurate timeline for ourselves, the subcontractors and the homeowner.  But the mystery of what actually lays behind the drywall is always a concern.  Cabinets cannot be returned and wood is not as stretchy as I wish it was.

This photo was taken right after demo, there is still dust in the air. Notice the wall to the right of the window, that is the wall that supports the beam

Then there is  always the worry of “Hidden conditions”. “Hidden conditions” is not a phrase we want to use or you want to hear.  Hidden plumbing, hidden mold, hidden rodent problems, hidden rot, all cost time and money.  In this case, there were two “hidden conditions” that we already discussed with the homeowner. We were planning on removing a wall that supported a beam above the kitchen sink. The beam was holding up the second story and roof load. We also discussed a heating/cooling supply duct for the Master bedroom that was located in the dining room wall we were planning on taking out.

To ensure that the project moved forward smoothly we had an engineer come out to the job before we even started and take a look at the beam situation. Based on his calculations it was decided we would lag three new beams to the existing beam. This

New beam with support wall removed, Dining room wall removed, Duct work in 2nd story wall has been moved to new location.

would give the extra strength needed  to support the load on the now longer span.  Kinda technical, and to be honest, the more complicated stuff gets a little beyond me (had a class on the basics of this in college…still a bit beyond me). This is why Design/Build companies like Urban Herriges & Sons rely on a team of professionals to make sure all aspects of the project are handled properly.   So all I really need to know is when to call someone who “knows”.  Moving the heat duct was included in the original contract as well, but I was a little worried that after demolition it would be more complicated than we had anticipated.

Luckily, moving the heat duct stayed within the allowance we used in the contract. Generally speaking we do not use allowances in our contract language, but in some situations, we use them to bring potential  problems to the homeowners attention. There is nothing customers seem to hate more than surprises.

The only thing that was a little different then I had planned was the placement of the new beam. I was hoping that it could go on the backside of the existing beam. This would have meant we could keep the size of the dropped soffit (drywall area above the cabinets that covers any structural or mechanical items) over the kitchen sink the same.  Due to the location of the foundation wall we had to place the new beams in front of the existing beam.  Therefore the new soffit above the kitchen sink is deeper than it was before.

While this is not the end of the world,

Light fixture for over sink, Kichler 3121

I would always prefer to see soffits be the same size on all sides of the room. Luckily, the homeowner had already chosen a hanging, relatively large, ceiling mounted light fixture for over the sink.  The large size of the light is going to help make the bigger soffit look natural. I think it’s serendipity.

The next phase is moving forward as I type.  Right now, the plumber is moving the plumbing to match the new layout, which includes moving the gas line to the stove. Next, the electrician will be installing all the wires for the new electrical layout and then we start the drywall.  Next week I will share photos of the electric and plumbing after the rough phase is complete.

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