Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wiring and Patching Drywall for the Kitchen Remodel

The demo on one-half of the kitchen was done yesterday. Today the plan was to get the wiring installed and the holes patched with drywall.

I had five outlet boxes to install - one for a switch to control the under-cabinet lighting and four for outlets (including the one mounted high on the wall for the over-the-stove microwave. There are a number of ways people go about getting the wiring to each of the new outlets.

I wanted a reasonably straight-forward way of getting the wiring from stud-bay to stud-bay that didn't include running wire all the way up into the attic or down through the basement. What I did was to make the cut-outs for the outlets and then cut out the drywall between them.

I could then drill holes through the studs for the wiring. All the wiring could then go through a single hole in the floor plate.

If I were just adding wiring for the outlets I might have just run the wiring through the floor, but I needed to add a switched outlet for the under-cabinet lighting and tie it into what used to be the power line for the range vent hood. Lots of back and forth, so it was easiest to make an opening to get the wiring through the walls.

Here's a tip which will save a bit of work when it comes time to finish the wiring at the panel. Mark the end of the wiring with a description that makes sense to you. The one shown here is pretty obvious. If you're running a bunch of lines at the same time this will really help when it comes to labeling the new breakers.

Fast forward a couple of hours and the drywall is all in place. I need to clean up the edges a little and then I can start mudding. The patching in where the soffit used to be will be somewhat easier than it looks, as only about 1/3 of the seams will be visible once the new cabinets are in place. The ones which will remain hidden will be taped & mudded, but I won't waste much time getting them perfect.

Jumping back to the "before" picture, removing the soffit does open up the kitchen a bit. This wasn't my big goal though. My goal was gaining storage. Consider that the entire area covered with the soffit (plus more) is now storage. The cost to tear out and patch the soffit was about $20 in material.