Kitchen Demo + A New Handy Tool

Kitchen Demo + A New Handy Tool - roomfortuesday.comLast week I announced the next BIG project we’re tackling and everyone was really excited to hear it’s the kitchen. I’m right there with you!! We didn’t waste any time and got started on demo right away. Things are already looking VERY different! Click through to see what the space looks like now and to read about our MVP tool for demo, that we’ve found super useful for demo-ing “gently”. As I mentioned in our intro video diary, this time around we wanted to be as neat & clean as possible, and salvage as much as we could. This has really been a different kind of demo experience for us since the cabinets and appliances went to new homes. I wanted to share our Dremel oscillating tool because it came in super handy. 

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Kitchen Demo + A New Handy Tool - roomfortuesday.comLet’s start with phase one of demo, pictured above. We removed the appliances, upper cabinets, and countertops. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to salvage the granite countertops and had to break them to get them out of the house in pieces, but everything else went as planned. The sideways ladder is a makeshift dog gate so the pups don’t trot into the construction zone. Haha! Next we took out the lower cabinets, loaded, and delivered them to their new home. All of that went super smooth and as expected.

Kitchen Demo + A New Handy Tool - roomfortuesday.comAfter renovating our guest bathroom, Emmett and I both agreed we should’ve demoed the room down to the studs and removed the textured ceiling and crooked walls all together instead of trying to fix them. Lesson learned! This time around, we knew we were going to start from scratch in the kitchen to save time in the long run. Emmett used the Dremel Multi-Max 50 to make precise cuts along the ceiling and walls. Once we knew where everything was located (plumbing & electrical), we were able to rapidly remove pieces of drywall and take the ceiling and walls out in large sections.

Kitchen Demo + A New Handy Tool - roomfortuesday.comAbove, you’ll see what the kitchen looked like during the next phase. We removed the walls, millwork, and existing hardwoods. The Dremel is really versatile because of all of the different attachments… if you’re a DIY kind of person or tackle home improvement projects often, this is a tool you need in your arsenal. We keep the attachments in the bag the tool came with, so nothing gets lost in between projects.

Kitchen Demo + A New Handy Tool - roomfortuesday.comOscillating is for those moments when you stop and think, “How the h*** am I going to do this?” It’s a problem solver and everyone should have it in their tool box! It comes with 30+ attachments for grinding, scraping, cutting, and sanding, etc… and we also got the two additional grout removal blades (MM500 & MM501) that should come in handy for future projects… remember- we still have a master bathroom, a powder room, a basement bathroom, AND a laundry room to tackle someday.

Kitchen Demo + A New Handy Tool - roomfortuesday.comBack to the demo process! Eventually, we’ll renovate the dining room and living room that connect to the kitchen, but I honestly have no idea when that will happen- it could be years. Rather than living with hacked up / half demoed rooms… in the meantime, it was important for us to preserve the connected spaces as best we could. This is where our Dremel came in really useful. Emmett used the laser level to cut perfectly straight lines through the crown moulding, casing, base, and drywall, keeping the dining room and living room in tact and looking neat from a cosmetic perspective. Once the kitchen is finished, I’ll give those areas a good clean and hopefully nobody will ever know what a disaster the kitchen was.

Kitchen Demo + A New Handy Tool - roomfortuesday.comOnce the walls, ceiling, flooring, and millwork were removed, this is what the space looked like… pretty crazy, right?

Kitchen Demo + A New Handy Tool - roomfortuesday.comPer usual, I create a lighting and plumbing design chart- specifying where I’d like each light fixture to live and where the plumbing fixtures should be installed (the faucet, pot filler, etc). Before diving into my electrical design plan, Emmett needed to remove some electrical boxes.

Kitchen Demo + A New Handy Tool - roomfortuesday.comHe gave the tool a quick, easy attachment change and cut out multiple boxes in about 5 minutes. I even asked to give it a try and to my surprise, it wasn’t difficult at all. I try to avoid this part of demo because insulation and my allergies aren’t friends, but now Emmett knows I’m capable of helping during this phase and I think I’m in trouble. Haha! I shouldn’t have acted so interested.

Kitchen Demo + A New Handy Tool - roomfortuesday.comThis is always my least favorite phase of renovating… I’m not very patient and waiting on plumbing, electrical, and new drywall is not one of my greater qualities. The house is always a mess and I basically try to avoid the construction zone altogether for the sake of my sanity. I will say, our saving grace for this kitchen reno, is our basement kitchenette. I could survive 10 kitchen renovations living like this… so I really can’t complain. Speaking of- would you be interested in seeing our temp kitchen setup in the basement?

Kitchen Demo + A New Handy Tool - roomfortuesday.comBelow, you’ll see what the kitchen currently looks like today. The plantation shutters have been removed and it looks messy, but SO much brighter. I’m happy with our progress and am trying to wait patiently until we get to the fun phase of rebuilding. Next up is plumbing. It’s a good thing we’re addressing the kitchen now because we’ve already found some mild leaking from our 90’s poly piping. It will all get replaced eventually.

Kitchen Demo + A New Handy Tool - roomfortuesday.comI realize if you’re not a “tool person” or into heavy DIY, this post might not be as appealing as a pretty, finished, styled space with a fun before & after… but I did want to share this realistic and necessary part of the project. It always gets better before it gets worse and if there is something to make this part go a little faster or easier, than in my mind- it’s certainly worth sharing!

Kitchen Demo + A New Handy Tool - roomfortuesday.comI wish we would’ve had this tool during demo for our previous kitchen renovation, because things would’ve went a lot faster. Emmett will also be using this to cut out plastic piping and rework the plumbing in the coming weeks.

On another note- if you don’t have the luxury of using a kitchenette or a separate kitchen during your renovation, check out my tips for surviving a live-in kitchen reno here. If you have any questions about the demo process, our Dremel (which is new to Lowe’s, but available in-store and online now) and how we use it, or any other kitchen renovation related questions, pop them in the comments below! I love hearing from you.

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  1. Wow! The visual relief of having the plantations shutters and that enormous ceiling light box-thing gone is amazing. I’m sure the dust in person isn’t great, but the pictures look remarkably clean for a demo site. What a boon to reno living to have a second kitchen! I remember having our kitchen out of commission for a week when we had the floors refinished…gads. What’s not to love about having a fridge in your living room?😒 As usual, the pace you guys set is admirable. Go, go Gibsons!💪🛠

    1. Totally agree… removing the heavy shutters and paint fluorescent light enclosure really opened things up! Removing the bulkhead was another big win- although we are going to have to re-route some plumbing (that was the reason for the bulkhead in the original kitchen). The dust is terrible as usual, but I’m just rolling with it and embracing the process. I can even explain how amazing having that basement kitchen has been. Having lived through two previous kitchen renos, the kitchenette is a dream come true!! Thanks for cheering us on Peggi :) Have a great day! xo

  2. Yes! A clean slate is in the works, very exciting. And you are so-double-extra-super-duper lucky to have a second cooking area during this. When we reno’d I went .THREE.MONTHS. without a kitchen – cooked in the laundry room (still 5 nights/week!) with a hot plate and a convection toaster oven. The lowest of the low was the night our laundry room sink faucet broke. Our contractor fixed it the next day and that was probably the only reno material that I told him to choose/I don’t care what it looks like/I need that sink to work now/please help me…….man, renovating is a crazy ride!

    1. It’s so exciting! We went about 4-5 months without our kitchen working during the last renovation and that is part of the reason we landed on this house… we knew it would be “easier” to renovate from a functional and emotional standpoint. Having the kitchenette in the basement has been a dream come true! You’re right though… renovating really is a crazy ride, but it’s always worth it in the end. I bet your kitchen and laundry room both look amazing.

  3. I’d love to see the lighting/plumbing design charts! It’d be nice to move some things around in our bathrooms and kitchen, but some guidance would help relieve the fear of DIYing that! Love how clean this reno is looking!