How to Make a Small Kitchen Bigger Without a Costly Addition

Post war home design made for small, formal, closed in rooms. With our social lifestyle “Open Floor Plan” design is the style of choice. This type of change requires the removal of walls that are both bearing and nonbearing. In addition we are doubling the size of the window as well as shifting the doorway from the mud room into the kitchen. We are also reconfiguring the laundry to be a dual purpose room laundry/pantry. In order to accomplish the last two tasks we need to cut through cinderblock walls. 

Since this home was built in 1958 we needed to test all the being removed, the adjacent walls and ceiling, and trim for lead content. Luckily we found none, but proceeded with the project as if the test came up positive. So up went the Zipwall to contain the dust, the plaster was then removed from the framing lumber, the concrete was cut for the new doorway and window, then the whole area was HEPA vacuumed and washed.

Once the wall covering was removed we built a series of temporary walls, both on the main floor and basement levels to reinforce the ceiling joists while the bearing walls were removed. In order to provide the support strength to span the new opening that will not settle and crack the new walls we used LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) beams and    posts.  LVL lumber is an environmentally preferable product made of renewable biobased materials no added Urea Formaldehyde offering for sustainable, shrink/warp/split resistant lumber, that has low VOC properties. We installed a new pocket door in the laundry/pantry so that there would be no swinging door to get in the way. Two Andersen® 400 Series tilt-wash double-hung window were installed in place of the old inefficient double-hung window.