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daniel2229 04-18-2008 02:52 PM

header removal in ketchen
My wife and I are giving some thought on removing our overhead soffits then replacing our cabinets with taller units.

I am wondering what my be lurking inside the soffits that would be extra work. For example, does anyone think that the exhaust from our stove could be running through there, or is the placement of exhaust ducks dictated by code to go along the floor joists to the outside? I measured the hole to the exhaust on the outside of our house, and it seems that it is between the second floor boards and the ceiling wallboard. It matches the same height as our bathroom exhaust.

I know there will be at least one set of wires in the soffit as we just had new can lighting installed. We had the electrician remove the light over the sink right next to the window and the wall and replaced it with several cans out more towards the countertop centers where most of the cooking prep is done.

How should I terminate that line? Is a journal box with a plate enough?


Square Eye 04-18-2008 04:58 PM

Strip the romex jacket back and cap each wire with a yellow wire nut. You can terminate the wire this way as long as you do it inside a junction box with a cover.
The vent? heh-heh... yeah, no code I know of says an exhaust vent has to run between joists but many contractors are courteous enough to think ahead and do these types of things ahead of time to avoid trouble down the road. No way to know what you really have until you open that bad boy up and look around in there :)

Just remember that you can knock these things out one at a time. Don't overwhelm yourself before you start. Open it up, look at what you have to deal with and start planning it out. Write down anything that could be a problem as soon as you find it and then tackle one item at a time. You're going to have a drywall repair to do at the corner of the soffit and the ceiling anyway, sounds to me like you may be better off planning to redirect the vent if necessary and don't worry about it.

inspectorD 04-19-2008 06:31 AM

Some pictures will help with solutions , but get in there to find out "what is where" first.
Having a recirculating fan instead of venting is not unheard of, if you really need that cabinet space. I have a recirculating fan at my stove which does not vent to the outside. We just open the French patio doors when there is a my boys burn the toast.:D
In some upscale homes we have installed a downdraft vent for the stove. They look and act fancy, however these to me are junk.

Have fun with the will be over soon.:)

daniel2229 04-19-2008 05:49 PM

Well, the bad news is that the vent above the stove is several inches lower than the bathroom vent, so my guess is that our builder placed the vent inside the header.

I guess we will try to order a recirculating filter for our SpaceSaver microwave, which we plan to reuse.

I guess we'll have to close off the hole with some plywood and caulk it well. I may leave the vent cover on the outside to avoid having to fiddle with the siding. I can do that this summer after the kitchen rehab is over.

Thanks, InspectorD, for the encouragement. It will be over soon. Then my wife will come up with a new project! She is already talking about replacing the carpet upstairs with engineered wood.

I still have at least 50% of my hair left!

daniel2229 05-06-2008 12:07 PM

Well, I took the plunge last night and started at 5 o'clock tearing down the header. Found a nightmare inside the header -- full of wires and one piece of plumbing. Photos to come.

I can handle the wiring as I have done lots of it over the years, but I am going to have a plumber come do the rest.

My wife remembers talking to the builder about header or no header. She said she remembers telling him that cabinets with no headers would probably collect more dust! Now she wishes she had gone for no header.

Well, no job is impossible, so I just need to tackle each wrinkle as it comes.

Finished the clean-up four hours later.

inspectorD 05-06-2008 04:20 PM

Welcome to my world.;)

Sounds like you have it under control, let us know if you need some moral support.:D :D

daniel2229 05-19-2008 11:19 AM

All plumbing and electrical have been rerouted and awaiting the drywall man. Looks good, all nice and tidy.

Cabinets ship this week.

daniel2229 05-28-2008 06:33 AM

Well, the drywall man stood us up, so the wife called him. He gave us a bunch of lame excuses, and she fired him. So, last night we were putting up the drywall ourselves.

Hopefully we will be able to match the stomping as well as the pros. The good news is we were able to get all the drywall up in a about three hours.

Funny thing -- yesterday after letting the first guy go, my wife called another drywaller. He assured her that he could do the job for the same quote sight unseen. Then he calls back to see how many sheets of drywall would be needed. The wife tells him two sheets will be needed. He says, "Oh, the first guy underbid the job at $400. He would have to charge at least $800 to do the job."

Well, we did the job for $27. Saved us a bundle!

inspectorD 05-28-2008 05:28 PM

See what you end up in the pocket for other stuff to do!!:)

Specialty contractors are terrible to homeowners. The jobs they get from you are usually only a drop in thier buckets, compared to builders and remodelers who are their bread and butter.
This is what gives us the bad names...:o
Sorry to hear about the hassle, but glad to know you did it yourself.:D

daniel2229 05-28-2008 06:29 PM

I put on the sticky kind of nylon mesh and mudded in the cracks really well. I was careful to push the joint compound away from me so as not to leave too big a reveal where it will be seen. ThenI feathered it best I could.

Tomorrow night I am getting ready to stomp the ceiling. I have read where you just add a little water to the joint compound to make it thin as soft serve ice cream. I also read where you can use a 3/4 roller and roll the compound onto the ceiling, then stomp it with the tool.

I just read tonight to soak the stomping tool in conditioner to soften the hairs. Do you think overnight will be long enough to get the correct amount of splay?

You guys are great -- you offer the right kind of encouragement without all the ridicule you get on some of the other computer forums that I haunt.

Thanks loads. So far I have not found any job that is too hard to do. Well, I did let a licensed plumber do the drain pipe that was in the header.

BTW, the new cabinets are to be delivered Saturday morning. Let the games begin!

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