Electricity + A Window + A Door + All the Things


When we last left off with the kitchen, we had a pretty, minty pocket door. We were toying with the idea of removing a wing wall from the dining room leading into the kitchen*, and we were debating between three shades of white paint for the cabinets. Now, we’ve moved on to the hired work – but what started as an estimated one day job of electrical additions, pocket door installing and gas line moving has turned into a four day job, which, really, we sort of expected. This old house never stops throwing curve balls, so any time the smallest part of a wall has to come down, there will be surprises. And simply put, we’ve found a lot of surprises. Imagine us saying: uh, what’s this vent doing here? or wait, why was that outlet installed 1″ off the floor?

For the last several days, we’ve had a rotating crew of contractors in our home, and in typical fashion (or at least, as we’ve found it to be in this house), one small project turns into something much larger – because if we’re going to remove an eight foot strip of drywall, we might as well fix those furnace issues, right? That is, while the kitchen is torn up anyway?


Moving, adding and removing outlets has proven to be a job that has our kitchen looking a bit more torn up than we imagined, and considering that Scott and I volunteered ourselves to handle all the drywall repair (to cut down on overall contractor costs), we’re starting to feel a little, um, worried? It’ll be a larger to-do than we expected, and we’ll need to tape, mud and sand (mud again, sand again, mud again, sand again, repeat!) before our new cabinets can be installed. We might need to hire out some of the more extensive work as we race against the clock, but then again, we might surprise ourselves! So, challenge accepted?

As you saw in the original kitchen plans, the wet wall will extend 2′ to the left, and we’ll be installing a dishwasher, touchless faucet and disposal. Initially, we had outlets that were too high (and not enough of them), so below, you’ll see the makings of an updated kitchen – a switch for the disposal, additional outlets, and electrical for under cabinet lighting. What you can’t see inside those remaining cabinets are even more outlets for the dishwasher, faucet and disposal. The housings are in place, wires will be run, but! So many modern conveniences, yeah!


Across the room, we’ve nixed that window! Surprisingly, it hasn’t eliminated that much natural light from the room, since Chicago homes are notoriously close together. The only view it had was a wall of our neighbor’s siding (within arm’s reach), so, good riddance, window. When our current back door (below, on the right, which leads into our backyard) swings open, the amount of light is insane, but it will be another couple of weeks before our transom window and sidelights arrive. We. Can’t. Wait.


Moving in closer, do you see that yellow, crinkly supply line? That’s our new gas connection for the stove! Before all these photos were taken, we slid the stove into place to get a feel for the new layout, and OMG. So much space! We could have a dance party in our kitchen! The difference was amazing, and it made us realize that a sizable kitchen island could, actually work. (Well, not too big.)


The now-empty wall to the left of the furnace closet still has the old gas line (below, on the left), and unfortunately, we’ll need to cut into the ceiling below to properly and safely bury it. Because we have tenants currently living in the garden unit, that’ll have to wait for another day when we won’t disturb them, likely when they’re out of town.


And finally, we’re making pocket door progress! We’ll talk about that more later, but right now, do you see that soon-to-be outlet to the left of the door? It was once housed inside those closely-spaced studs just to the right, but because that would interfere with any trim we would use for the door (the horror), we had to move it to the left of those studs. And to do so? We had to run a whole lot of new conduit, cut open the ceiling, and as it goes, just generally create more chaos. Going back to the whole well-if-we’re-going-to-tear-up-the-wall-anyway mentality, it’s one of those small details that will be worth the effort. You know, once our pocket door is impeccably trimmed to the nines.


The good news with all the missing walls is that the contractors will patch in the larger pieces, so that can’t be too bad, right? (Tape, mud, sand. Mud. Sand. Mud some more. Sand some more.) Even as I type those words and loathe the upcoming task, I can’t help but get so excited for what’s to come! It’s all kitchen talk around this house, all the time. Or, more accurately, kitchen talk, dog canoodling. Kitchen talk, kitty canoodling.

*Sadly, we had to let go of eliminating the teeny wing wall. After poking countless holes and getting a good look at the structure, it’s tied a bit too closely to a load bearing support beam.

9 replies on “Electricity + A Window + A Door + All the Things”

  1. wow this is actually very interesting. I was trying to do something similar to what you are doing but these days cannot trust a single contractor out there…..or at least where i live you cant. i went with one who had some o fht eh highest ratings in my area and well it worked out good for the first little bit until the actual work came into play. his people never showed up and there was constantly half ass work all over my kitchen. At one point i ended up leaving the house because i had pretty much no kitchen, water was turned off and the gas lines were still being routed differently. Luckily i have a friend who is in the trades he came in and was able to piece together what was going on and finished it up for me for free but its just boils my blood that this guy could get away with my money for an unfinished job and to take him to court would probably cost more than the job itself…. so there ya have it my little rant but thanks for the info

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