The Kitchen at Martin Place : Yes, We Own a Jackhammer (2/5)

The kitchen story continues! If you missed Episode 1, you can find it HERE.

You know what’s neat? Knob-and-Tube wiring. And by neat, I mean it’s only neat when someone makes a chandelier out of it. WHY HAVEN’T I DONE THIS? Next wall I rip out, consider this done. Our knob and tube was super amazing, in that we had bare – LIVE – wires buried in insulation. Just, you know, hanging out. Ready to catch fire. So, like I said…. neat. The good thing about having all the walls and insulation out was that we could create a new electrical plan, and fix everything. We started with only 4 circuits in the kitchen, and our plan ended with 22 circuits. This may seem like overkill, but again, we planned our kitchen around our holiday party, which generally has about 12-15 roasters and crock pots by the time everyone brings food. And, we generally tend to overkill things if we can. Our friend, who is an electrical engineer, helped us to build the plan, and we did the work ourselves. Hopefully, someone doesn’t tear our stuff out in 100 years and think that we were horrible. Always fix electrical when you can – Old House Online has some great tips for re-wiring an old house.

These were live. And we pulled the insulation off of them.
What a mess of… everything.
Knob and Tube

When we took the ceiling down, we discovered the old siding on the original exterior. It’s pretty cool.


Our friends Edgar and Scott worked on beginning to get the wood wall down – it was quite the order, and took a LONG time, and many, many tools and hands.




Some old plumbing, and plaster….



And, remember that chimney that we needed to remove? We did it. Three stories worth of bricks, starting in the third floor, and ripping out walls until we got all the way down. We used 5-gallon buckets, and took the bricks down the flights of stairs 3-5 bricks at a time. It was actually a really easy process, just a heavy and physically taxing one.

Chimney removal.
Filling a bucket o’ bricks for Edgar.
Jackhammer amazingness. This is in the second floor master bathroom.
Workin’ it.
Giant pile of bricks!
Finishing the chimney, in the kitchen.
Ah….. Done.

Once the chimney was done, the framing could begin. But, in the middle of all of this mess, and all of this stress, and all of this exhaustion, this was delivered:

My dream stove for the last 10 years. IN MY HOUSE!

I can’t even tell you how exhilarating and rejuvenating it is to see something beautiful when all you’ve been looking at is dust and debris. It made me see the end, and it was a GREAT moment in this process. I’m glad I didn’t see it delivered though, because apparently it fell on one of the delivery guys – it’s pretty much a beast.

Time for framing!!!!¬†With demo and planning (mostly) complete, we could move on to the construction phase. We did most of the work ourselves, with the except of the framing of the wall which would separate the Butler’s Pantry, and the support beam. By removing the former exterior wall that was currently in the kitchen, we had to add a support beam to hold the weight of the second and third floors. Our contractor for the exterior, Brown Remodeling Company, did this work for us.

This is the beam holding up the top two floors!






I removed all of the wallpaper, which took time, but is one of my FAVORITE things to do. I use a steamer. I’ve done chemicals before, but they aren’t my favorite.

I’m pretty sure someone would pay a killing for this patina. But I repaired the wall and painted it.

And lest you think that Doug didn’t have anything cool to play with, here he is, using a torch to get the plumbing in the Butler’s Pantry in the right place. I wanted to make creme brulee after. But, we didn’t have a kitchen. It’s always something.



This really is Veronica and Edgar’s house, too. They have been with us each step of the way, and have spent SO many hours helping, advising, keeping company, and making us laugh. Here they are, helping to re-build the laundry room wall, after we discovered that the original wall WASN’T CONNECTED TO THE FLOOR OR THE CEILING. I’m sorry for shouting, but that’s ridiculous.


If you come to help us, generally we end up having a delicious dinner afterwards at two of our favorite spots in Franklin : The Willard, or Richard’s Pizza Kitchen. We always have a good time, and being able to walk to both is a prime reason we love downtown Franklin.

A few more shots of the kitchen at this point :

The old chimney hole, filled in with concrete to level the floor.
Veronica keeps things SO MUCH CLEANER than any of the rest of us. She’s a gift.
Working on electrical. Keep in mind, there were no walls, and very little insulation, and this was winter. Hence the working in a fleece. I had a hard time with this since I have some circulation issues. But there was a room downstairs that we closed off that actually got TOO much heat. We called it our warming hut.
Lights! EEK!
Ready for insulation! The wiring is in!!!

So, coming up : insulation, paint, and floor tile! Be excited!

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