The biggest and most transformative part of the kitchen renovation was removing the chimney and installing a new window and door.
The back of our house hasn’t received much love since we moved in. The deck is decent, but not inspiring, and we don’t spend much time in our backyard because we’ve done very little to improve our garden. The original door and window are also sad. The door is original to the house but in rough shape thanks to its previous owner’s dogs and the window isn’t used because squirrels keep chewing through the screen. We give so little love to the back of our house that I don’t have any photos of it and had to take one after they started the work!
As part of our kitchen design, we’re flipping the door and window locations so the door will now be on the south side of the east wall. Although there’s already a window there, the new door location isn’t in the same place, so they essentially had to make a new opening.
Because we’re removing the chimney on the first floor, we require a steel lintel to be installed just above the windows and door. The lintel caused us quite a bit of drama, because as we were figuring out how to connect the future canopy to it, our contractor and engineer disagreed on my engineer’s drawings. The original design was to cantilever the canopy, but after seeing the condition of the house post-demo, my contractor wasn’t sure it would work. We decided to include posts for the canopy, but this change may have impacted the lintel size (it didn’t) and so we had to sort out our final design before we could order the steel. We lost 4 days of work as a result.
When the work finally began, we were excited to see progress. But progress didn’t come as fast as we’d hoped. The first step was to install the lintels above the new door and new window. Then, once the lintels were installed, they had to brick back up and make the final openings for the door and window. It seems like it would just take a couple of days, but it took 5 painstakingly long days. And the dust from cutting through the brick was probably worse than plaster dust!
We also had to choose what kind of window and door sill we wanted. We trekked all the way up to Vaughan to look at sills. They basically had one option, so it made the decision relatively easy. The only thing we had to pick was whether we wanted rock (ragged) edge or a smooth edge. We of course chose the smooth edge.
By the 7th day, and only 2 weeks after we originally planned, the contractor installed the new door and windows.
It seemed to take forever, but we’re really happy with the final result.