Mid Century Kitchen Remodel Demolition

Kitchen Remodel DemolitionWeek #1 of our mid century modern kitchen remodel and I survived.  Protective paper was laid down on the bamboo floors, drywall was removed from two walls and the refrigerator was relocated to the garage. It is inconvenient to go out to the garage for groceries, however it beats the alternative.

Kitchen Remodel DemolitionIt is amazing how the removal of a wall or two opens up the space.  Now when you walk into the kitchen you have a clear view of the entire back of the house. Previously, the refrigerator and a 4 foot wide wall blocked the view. Once a new beam is added and the electrical is relocated the remaining studs you see to the left will be removed.

Kitchen Remodel DemolitionThe week didn’t go without a hitch.  The contractor discovered that the new support beam needed to go across the entire length of the kitchen.  Of course, we learned that the lumber store doesn’t keep this super beam in stock.  It will be 10 to 12 business days until work can resume.  And we all know how this is going to turn out. 10 to 12 days will turn out to be more like 15 days!  In the meantime, the electricians can rewire the kitchen, the cabinets can be removed and debris can be removed from the job site.

It is clear to me now that the contractor and person doing the actual demo work had not communicated as well as they should have.  I strongly suggest on a major remodel project, the owner, contractor and the major sub-contractors conduct a project kick off meeting before any work has started.  I didn’t think to schedule one, since our kitchen layout had been well documented for several weeks prior to the work beginning.

In addition to the project kick off meeting, there are several things you can do to keep things moving along smoothly.

Three tips to help you survive your kitchen remodel demolition

1. If at all possible, be present when your contractor and or sub contractors are in the house.  There are a million decision that have to be made at each step.  For example, the large recessed light fixture above the sink that I had planned can’t be centered because of a wood stud.  The option is to either install a small pendant light or have two recessed lights (one on each side of the wood stud). If you aren’t present, the decision might be made for you.  And it might be a decision you aren’t happy with.

2. Pay attention to lighting.  This is the time to carefully think about your general lighting, task lighting, accent lighting and table lamps.  Think about the place of each fixture and the switches that control them.  With an older home, you may want to add additional wall outlets and rearrange the switch locations.  Week #1 of your kitchen remodel demolition is a good time to order all your light fixtures.  Check out Remcraft Lighting for retro lighting or LBL for contemporary designs.

3. Document all your decisions and discussions with sub-contractors.  At the end of each work day, email your notes to the contractor.  This is a good way to keep track of the decisions and changes being made.  It also allows the contractor to forward those recaps to the appropriate sub-contractors.  Finally, as items are completed, you can check them off your list.

Next week, more kitchen remodel demolition pictures and tips for staying sane.

Traveling with lipstick is Veronica’s blog on travel, beauty and living life beautifully organized. Over the next month she will be writing about her kitchen remodel.  


  1. Jan says:

    Can’t wait to see the final results; I know, with you in charge, it will look amazing.

    • Veronica Mayo says:

      Jan, thanks. I have done my best to make sure the kitchen meets all our needs. Like most remodel projects of this size, it is going to take longer than we had planned.

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