When we bought our Beach place in December of 2007, the kitchen and formal dining room were downstairs on the ground floor, while all the rest of the living area was on the second floor. This design made sense when all of the family's food was cooked by employees, and all the family had to do was show up for meals.
Even though we have Agripina living on the property, we would never consider having a live-in cook. We like the way we cook, and we like a certain amount of privacy. We figured that having someone around to cook each meal would be way too close.
The first thing we decided to do was move the kitchen upstairs. We have always thought that the upstairs kitchen made sense, but we have often stumbled over ourselves in the small space that we allotted for it. Rox, especially, wanted to take our number one guest bedroom, and convert it to a kitchen, while I was a little slow to be convinced that we needed to do it.
Here are a couple of shots of how the kitchen looked yesterday morning.
The first guest bedroom is behind the wall on the left, and here is Rox taking the ceremonial "first shovelful"...
The wall they are going to work on is 4 inch thick concrete block covered with plaster, and filled with concrete and re-bar...here is the first cut by Manuel...I had just bought that new concrete cutting blade on Sunday afternoon.
As soon as the power hit that blade, the kitchen and living room filled with choking, fine cement dust.
There is no easy way to dismantle a wall like that--if it is in living quarters--all they can do is bang, bang, bang, with chisel and sledge...
When I bought the saw blade, I also bought the guys ear plugs, safety goggles, face masks and gloves. They were a little slow to adopt all safety measures at first, but later used them all...
The debris was carried downstairs in buckets and carefully dumped in hidden crevasses of our rip rap boulders for added strength.
In addition to the main cut for the arch joining the living area, we had the guys make a smaller arch out of the old bedroom door opening...see door leaning against the wall to see how much taller and wider the cut had to be...
We feel good to have such hard working and talented men doing this job. Each guy is a general contractor in his own right, and vastly experienced in electrical and plumbing, in addition to being able to pull off a pretty good result on the first day of work! If you look closely at the pictures above, you will see that we are also using Alfredo, who was "Papa Noel" for the kids' Christmas Party...
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