Kitchen Demo (Part II) + A New Window


January 4, 2014 by stpaulhaus

There really wasn’t supposed to be a part II, but then we I decided we needed to add more work and misery to our lives and tear the place down to the studs.  (see part I here)



about 1/8th of the debris the walls made:


If you follow us on FB then you may have seen the video of Adrian knocking down one of the walls that was posted awhile back.  The walls actually came down pretty easily with a hammer and a crowbar, but it was a horrible dusty mess and now our entire house is covered in dust.

That definitely so wasn’t the plan, but whatever it ended up being the best option for us. The original plan was to keep all the walls intact until I got to thinking that I needed to have a larger window over the sink.

DSC_0617 we bought a new window about double the size–a 48in x 34in Jeld-Wen aluminum clad wood window from Menards for $240.


The small window just didn’t look right next to the other massive windows in the kitchen. It was definitely not original to the house so I didn’t feel bad replacing it.  We decided to go ahead and hire this one out–it’s winter and it would probably take us 5 times as long to do it ourselves.

Clayton from Verus Builders came highly recommended from others in the neighborhood and I was really impressed with his willingness to help (in sub-zero temps nonetheless) and he even gave us some extra advice on the remodel. If you are planning on having some work done on your house I would definitely recommend Verus Builders. You can check out their website here, or log on to FB and ‘like’ their page for future reference here.  Just look at some of the awesome stuff they have done:

porch bathstair2backsplash

Clayton actually suggested we tear out the whole north wall since most of it would need to be torn out anyway with the install of the new window. I’m glad we did tear it all out, because the cellulose insulation in the walls was spotty at best. There were even entire bays that had nothing (Idiots).


Completely unfilled above and below all the windows.



The walls in the kitchen were not in the greatest shape as far as cracks, gouges, and chipped paint anyway so we decided to just tear down the rest of the walls and start from scratch. In the long run I think it will be less work for a nicer looking wall.

We had actually been scheduled to have the floors redone a few days after I decided I needed to have this new window, so at the time I feverishly and desperately called Clayton to come out have a looksee at our window quickly before the floor guy came, and he said it would be a good idea to push the floor off until later otherwise there would be a risk of messing them up…something I failed to think through properly at the duh. So fast forward to basically the coldest day ever when this happened:

DSC_0885 DSC_0884 DSC_0883

DSC_0885 DSC_0887

I am not sure we would have hired out for a window installation if it wasn’t a stucco house. I have seen Tom Silva install quite a few windows in my day but never on a stucco house. I really don’t want to fuck it all up..i just keep imagining myself trying to saw through the stucco and then an enormous chunk flies off and there is a gaping hole into my house for all the feral cats to retreat from snow storms. I do enjoy the company of a good cat or two but that would be a bit much.

The window came unfinished on the interior so it needs to be painted.  I am thinking about taking a risk and painting the sashes black but I think it might be too trendy??


Source: DesignOCD


Source: Feldman Architecture


Source: Apartment Therapy

My rational is that it would go well with the oil rubbed bronze knobs and pulls.  I figure it is only paint and I could always repainted it if I don’t like it, right?

We didn’t have the funds to get a custom window done, so I am considering building some faux ‘mullions’ to match the 4 over 1 windows in the rest of the house.  Like these people did:


Source: Design Sponge

While Clayton was here taking care of the window situation, we had him frame out the wall for the vent hood over the cooktop as well.


We will have to cut the hole for the vent ourselves.  I am slightly nervous about this (Again, with the stucco and the feral cats and the mice and the rabies infested bats, etc.) but hopefully it won’t be too bad.

While we are at it, we are going to hire out for a bit of plumbing and electrical work that is above our skill level. We will end up doing about half of it ourselves, but I really do not care for anything involving the possibility of getting electrocuted or releasing copious amounts of sewer gases and water into our home.  The electrical should be done by the end of next week, and then we can start putting the walls back up. wooooooooooot.

This is the most hiring out we have ever done, but this is also the biggest project we have taken on in the history of ever so I am trying not to beat myself up about it. There is still plenty of crap that we will tackle ourselves including insulation, drywall, assembling and installing the cabinets, trim/molding, countertops, and appliances, a buttload of tiling, and more that I can’t think of right now.


I am in love with my new window.  It’s so amazing how much lighter and brighter the room looks and I can actually see my back yard now.  I just need to get that huge pile of lath cleared out and the back staircase torn down and I’ll have a fully unobstructed view 🙂


What do you think about our new window? Was the larger window a good idea?  What about all the hiring out?? Are we the worst DIYers ever or do you think it is reasonable to hire a few things out?  Any bets on how long it will take us to complete the kitchen?

7 thoughts on “Kitchen Demo (Part II) + A New Window

  1. […] Update: Check out Part II here […]

  2. Lory says:

    I’ve never seen black sashes – they look very sharp and I could see how they’d fit with the era you’re going for by looking at the ‘apartment therapy’ photo.

  3. Reuben says:

    I like white sashes better… Just my two cents. Looks like you’ve got some interesting plumbing venting going on there, and some super old wires, too. I think gutting the place was the right decision. Now I’m very curious to see what your new insulation strategy will be.

    • stpaulhaus says:

      Thanks for your opinion! I still haven’t made up my mind yet on those sashes.

      The knob and tube will all be replaced. There are only a few rooms in the house that still have knob and tube-one being the kitchen. The entire upstairs was updated when it was turned into a duplex. The outlets on the main floor were rewired from the basement but anything in the ceilings on the main floor has been untouched and will remain that way for the time being.

      We will be be insulating around the windows and joists areas with spray foam but the rest of the bays will get good old fashion fiberglass batts. I may go ahead and caulk all the seams before i put the FG in just because its cheap. We cant afford to spray foam the whole thing.

      Yes that sink drain is a bit odd. There is no vent on that wall so whomever put the sink there used an island style vent. The sink was originally on the wall to the right where it would have been vented but we didn’t figure that out until we tore open the walls. We have a plumber coming tomorrow to see if we can run a proper vent up and over to tie into the original vent. We have 2 plumbing vents i believe per what the inspector said. Things get a little crazy with a duplex and all the changes over the years. That island vent gets the job done but its definitely not ideal that’s for sure.

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