Homefrugal living

Wiring, Boards, and Nails…OH MY!

Wiring, Boards, and Nails…OH MY!

Almost 3 months after beginning our kitchen renovation, we now have electrical wires run, insulation stuffed, and a ceiling!  Not only that, but the walls are taking form.  Drywall and plywood are going up this week.

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To back-peddle just a bit, once the sub-floor was put in, the tedious task of leveling the ceiling and walls began.  Remember, this is an old house and nothing was level.  *If you’d like to read our previous posts about how we started our total kitchen renovation, click here.

The outside wall was so loose, the guys could literally shake it…so needless to say, that had to be pulled in and secured using monster bolts.  Also, taking out the old window and putting in the new secured the wall a bit too.  Because we are moving our kitchen sink from an inside wall to an outside one under the window, we had to reframe the hole.  We chose a double-pained side sliding window. It slides really easily, which is great because we will have to reach over a huge porcelain sink.  Plus the glass pains are simple to remove for cleaning purposes.


Now, there’s always that question: “Which comes first?  The wiring or insulation?”  We asked several experts, looked online, debated back and forth….finally decided on wiring first.  It seems much easier to drill the holes into the joists before the pink stuff goes in.

We never knew all that went into wiring an old construction.  The man who has helped us with this project has been very careful and attentive to detail.  Things like location of switches, how many recessed lights, under cabinet lighting, ceiling fans, hard wires for the microwave and oven…all had to be considered in the plans from the beginning.  Talk about a maze!  Our daughter walked in one day while he was working and asked, “So, have you been shocked yet?”  🙂

Next it was time to put in the insulation.  Just so you know, the pink stuff comes in different widths and thicknesses.  We needed R11, which is a tad thinner because our wall framing wasn’t very thick, but on the flip side, the space between the 2×4’s was extra wide.  That meant we had to make sure we got 24 inch wide insulation.  What do you know?!  Our pastor had a couple of bundles leftover from one of his projects and it fit perfectly. ** Make sure when you are putting it up, that you put the paper side out, so that it touches the drywall or plywood…it acts as a moisture barrier.  In the event that you get insulation without paper, make sure you use it on an inside wall. (Or in our case, we tacked up a sheet of tar paper before we put up the drywall.)  We found that using scissors to cut the insulation worked great.  We measured a rectangular section, then cut the fiberglass stuff to fit.

Leveling the ceiling was a big challenge.  To give an idea of what we faced, in one corner it measured 92 inches from floor to ceiling…in the opposite corner it measured 95.5 inches.  Plus, in between, it rolled up and down like waves…  The Daddy had to put up 2×4’s and furring strips to “level” it.  Measure, mark, measure again, cut, measure once more, nail in!

We must add, during all this construction, we took a week long camping vacation.  Kinda ironic because we’ve been “camping” out on the front porch for 3 months, so “going camping” wasn’t that much different… 🙂 But just getting away from it for a short time was nice.  While we were gone, 2 tall gnomes and their supervisor came over and put up the drywall on the ceiling as well as one of the walls.  Try to picture a tall gnome…

Imagine our surprise when we came home!!

Because the wall joists are spaced so far apart, we chose to put plywood up where the cabinets will be going.  This will make it a lot easier to secure them.

Here’s a picture of the cabinets that are currently being held in our meat room…

In addition to all that, our flooring came!  This was also a gift given to us.  The dad of a good friend of ours does a lot wood working, so he had access to reclaimed hickory and oak flooring pieces.  It will have to be sanded down and finished, but it’s beautiful!  We’ve learned that when putting in hardwood flooring, it’s good to let it set in the house for a week, if possible, before installing it.  This lets the wood acclimate to the humidity and temperatures in your home so after you put it down it doesn’t pull/push against the nails.

The neat thing is, we’ve done sort of a trade for this.  Wood for Rocks...Yes, rocks.  He needed some huge rocks for a landscaping project and what do you know, we have tons of them literally ‘growing’ around the farm. [amazon_textlink asin=’B000W7JWUA’ text=’Settlers of Catan ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’besidethecreek-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’35535d0a-7dce-11e7-86a8-c52dd39a55c5′]anyone?

Another cool thing was, while talking with a fellow church member about our flooring, he mentioned he had a bundle of the same kind just sitting in his garage…another leftover…that he’d be glad to give us!

Also, within the past month we’ve ordered all new appliances!  When we started this  project we weren’t sure if we’d have enough in our budget to do this.  We planned on a dishwasher and microwave, but when we went to Lowes to purchase them, ALL their appliances were on sale!  Some of them were marked down $300.  Also at this time, one of our parents gave us a $800 gift towards a Sam’s trip or appliances…We chose a new refrigerator!  Lowes offers free delivery over $300, plus we could choose the date we wanted it delivered.  They aren’t coming until September 🙂

Our countertops are on order.  Since we got such a good deal on our cabinets, we went with butcher block from John Boos.com.


At this point we are well under our $10,000 budget.  We still need to buy paint, backsplash, under cabinet lighting, items to finish the flooring, and there will probably be other small hidden finishing items.  God continues to amaze us with His provision and strength-both physical and mental!  We have a brick that sits on our utility box right before you come in the door that serves as a reminder for each day.

We have this visual reminder hanging up for all who enter this adventure with us. It also serves as our family motto:

“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”  Psalm 127:1

Stay tuned for the finishing touches!!