We have officially started the kitchen renovation and have added a slew of new DIY skills to our toolbox. Just a little reminder of where we started.

Here’s how Weekend 1 went down.

Wednesday, November 24

I’m on my own today. Wes isn’t lucky enough to have the day off so I give him my best Girl Scout’s Promise to get this show on the road. Wes believes me. I was very tempted to sit in my pajamas and watch Gilmore Girls all day but the excitement of a beautiful new kitchen kicked my bootie into overdrive and got me showered and dressed before 7:00 AM. I packed up all the items in the kitchen cabinets which was a little more difficult than I imagined since I we don’t have extra storage containers just lying around. So I unpacked containers in the attic so that I could pack them back up with kitchen stuff. The beauty of the packing exercise is that you realize how much junk you have and never use. I easily came across 20 things that I haven’t used in over a year. I see a yard sale in my future.

After emptying all the kitchen cabinets, I grabbed our trusty crowbar and started pulling out all the moulding in the kitchen. Then I remembered that I needed to find our utility knife (unsuccessful) so I can slice through the caulk first before pulling the little boogers out. Home Dept Trip #1. Return with a brand new utility knife and get started. Let me tell you, pulling out casing and moulding is no joke. Especially when the previous owner uses framing nails to attach the moulding. They also used roofing nails to attach the drywall to the studs. I can’t quite understand this. Doesn’t the box of nails/screws/fasteners tell you what they are best used for? Even I know this.

Distraction: After pulling out the casing and threshold around the doorway to the kitchen, I caught a glimpse of this…


I just had to find out what was under there. The idea that we may have hard wood floors underneath all that vinyl was eating away at me so I popped a squat and started ripping away. Well maybe not ripping away but making small tiny tears in an effort to eventually start ripping away. I just had to get it started, right?! Wrong. I was tearing and chipping away for what seemed like hours (probably more like 20 minutes). My tiny tears did reveal that we were dealing with MULTIPLE layers of vinyl. At this point, I had a total count of (4) sheet vinyls and (2) subfloors. Apparently demolition is highly over rated. The previous owners over the last 60 years decided to just put new flooring on top of the old, over and over and over again. So at this point I start mumbling rude comments about the previous owners and then I find…wait for it…hardwood floors underneath the vinyl. Shut Up!

Call from the husband/lunch time: I admit to getting distracted and that I haven’t quite finished removing all the moulding but I do share my latest discovery. Hardwoods! He is a little less excited since this means he may have to do all the plumbing and electrical work in the crawl space instead of taking advantage of the floor being removed and not having to endure the dreaded crawl space full of insects and nastiness. I can’t say I blame him.

Back to work: I ignore the flooring for now so that I can finish the moulding removal and feel like a task is complete and officially marked off the list. Bam! Done!

Now that I have officially completed my first construction task, I go back to the floor. This is eating away at me! Can we really return the wood flooring we purchased and keep the original hardwoods to the house! It’s got to be too good to be true!

And it was. Wes gets home from work and we really get down and dirty with the floor. We finally peel away a larger section and see what we are really working with. Our grand total comes to (5) sheet vinyls, (3) subfloors, (1) vinyl/linoleum tile, and antique heart pine hardwoods. Yes, I just said that. Antique heart pine hardwood planks. They are amazing or at least would have been amazing if one of the previous owners hadn’t stuck linoleum tile right on top of the beauties.

Ruined. My wood loving husband had a little bit of heartburn over this. We finally admit to ourselves that we can’t salvage the original hardwoods and that the circular saw is coming out. Yep, the only way to get through these (10) layers of flooring is to cut them out in chunks. And that is what we resolve to do…first thing in the morning. So we say good night to this.