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I can honestly say that this is the first week that I’ve felt the progress on our kitchen (besides just feeling it in my sore muscles.) And, it FEELS GOOD! No more road bumps like termites or asbestos.  I’m sure from this picture you are thinking, “What progress? When the heck is she going to put her kitchen back together?” Well, come on in and I’ll show you some of the forward movement that’s been made!


After discovering the extent of the termite damage, it was recommended that I call in a structural engineer to help form a plan to support that “unsupported” wall. The engineer decided that the best fix, and preventative measure, was to fur out the existing wall to put load onto the one solid rim joist. (Fur? As in fluffy animals and bunnies?) Not that type of fur, what this really meant was building a new wall and attach it the weak wall. He recommended turning 2×4″ boards sideways and nailing them to the existing wall.


This means that we are losing 1.5″ of space in our kitchen. Not a big deal, but I did have to move the pendant light junction box over the sink and make a few alterations to the location of the exhaust vent. But, that wasn’t a big deal because I had to move the exhaust up 12 inches to put it into the ceiling (it was previously routed through the soffit.)


You’d think moving a hole 12 inches would be an easy task, but it’s not! It involved running up and down ladders inside and outside the house, then maneuvering the long ventilation duct up into the ceiling rafters and fit it into the new hole. With a little hammering and wiggling, it was finally installed. It probably would have been easier if I had a second person helping…but onward I must go.


One of the positive things about furring out the wall was being able to add in a little niche and shelf over the range.


I framed out the niche using standard window framing techniques. I knew that I’d be installing the vent hood over the niche, so I used a big header over the niche.


The shelf is just deep enough for frequently used spices and a bottle or two of cooking oils.


We’ve had some crazy weather down here in North Carolina (sunny and in the 70’s one day and snowing the next), which led to the decision to add the new insulation on the exterior wall.  I replaced the old R-11 with R-15 which should hopefully help our energy savings a smidge.


The final (and in my opinion the biggest) improvement is on the ceiling. We have recessed lights. And, the holes where the soffits were are patched. I can’t believe how much lighter the room feels without those big gaping holes. And the recessed lights perfectly wash the room in light.


But, the process was also perfectly good at messing up the rest of the house.

Our home is seriously suffering from the construction work. This is the dust after just one week! I was so embarrassed by the condition of our home, that I had to pre-warn the mom of my son’s friend who came over for the first time for a play date. I’m sure she still thought we are complete slobs and will never let her son come play again.


There is a fine powder of white dust on EVERYTHING! Can you image how much is in the air? Thank goodness I use the highest quality air filters that are electrostatically charged. I definitely breathe a little easier knowing that a lot of the dust is being trapped by our Filtrete air filters.

Ordinarily, I change our air filters every 3 months. But, during the renovation, I’ve been changing them monthly to keep our heating system running efficiently (and us from choking on the drywall dust.)

Which is why I am excited to mention that I’ve teamed up with the most trusted brand for air health: Filtrete™. Not only do I stand behind the brand, but so does one of my heros:


Mike Holmes
(Does that mean I stand behind Mike Holmes? Because you know I’d love to! LOL.)

You might enjoy this commercial he did for Filtrete™.

Hey Mike, if you’re reading this…I have two crazy boys you can babysit ANYTIME! And I’ll send them over with their hammers, they can drive a nail like no other 6 & 8 year old you know. Better  yet, we’d be glad to help you on your next project for FREE! I think we’d make a great team…don’t you think?  😉

Sorry, I got a little sidetracked there. The muscles on that handyman does it to me every.single.time. Where were we? Oh right—air filters. Visit the to receive seasonal e-newsletters featuring special offers, filter change reminders, better home living tips and more.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend! See you next week.

PHGFancySignDisclosure: This is a sponsored post for Filtrete. I have the honor of being an ambassador for them and will be sharing more information from 3M Filtrete in future posts. I was given key messages to share, but all the words and thoughts are my own.  I have been compensated for my time and for this post. I continue to work with certain companies like Filtrete that I believe in, because of their quality and because I feel they have helpful messages for my readers. I will always disclose to you if you are reading a sponsored post.

You can read more about our kitchen disaster and renovation in these updates:

18 replies
  1. Lisa E
    Lisa E says:

    As soon as I saw the picture, I noticed the new studs on the wall. You’ve done a lot. Oh, and I love me some Mike Holmes. My hubby says he’s over kill. I say I’d love that over kill in my home. 😉 Jus’ sayin’………. Great pic by the way.

  2. Lisa Stalsworth
    Lisa Stalsworth says:

    Too bad you couldn’t have convinced Mike Holmes to come help you with your problem! Your kitchen issues seem just like the ones I see on his show.
    We had termite issues at our home in GA, but they were in the entryway. The discovery was made when we were replacing our front door in January. What was supposed to be a one day job turned into 3 days with our front door temporarily installed (translation – if someone wanted in, all they had to do was push the door down) and it was very cold!
    I’m impressed with the amount of time you have been living kitchen free, and I’m sure the mother of your son’s friend would be also. How are you surviving with the challenges of cooking?

  3. Lori Choman
    Lori Choman says:

    Love love love the niche over the stove! That’s wonderful and something I would LOVE to have in my kitchen! You are doing a wonderful job! I am so proud of you!

    But PLEASE answer the burning question….HOW are you cooking. We were only down a week without the kitchen but lived on take out, microwave, grilled food, and hot dogs (I HATE hot dogs). I can’t image how you are handling it being kitchen free for so long!

  4. calmtell
    calmtell says:

    you have done a lot while I finish one sanding paper! Scared feeling you will tear me off like one of them….
    “I see trees of green , red roses too, see them bloom….” I feel like cherish your blog like admiring a tiny drop of water surrounding you in a” vision drive” (^o^)/
    you definitely made such progress!

  5. maude
    maude says:

    I’m also wondering how you are cooking without a functioning kitchen. I went through this about 10 years ago, and not having my kitchen was a total pain. Incidentally, I can make a damn fine meal with only a pair of hotplates:)

  6. Sam
    Sam says:

    Your facebook link for filtrete needs a tweak. It doesn’t work because it loads the address facebook/filtrete instead of I just found your site through and am enjoying comparing your work to our very similar kitchen renovation that is 90% finished and on hold until we start our addition this summer. I learned from your site that I probably need to take out all the ceiling drywall to have the electrical for the new recessed lights inspected. doh!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Structural Engineer Plans and another Kitchen Update […]

  2. […] Structural Engineer Plans and another Kitchen Update […]

  3. […] Furing out the Wall, Ceiling Patch, and Clean Air […]

  4. […] thinking about the day that some future homeowner finds our little message . I also taped the structural engineer’s drawing into the wall should anyone open it up and wonder why the heck there is a second wall attached to […]

  5. […] Structural Engineer Plans and another Kitchen Update […]

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