Sunday, November 25, 2012

Concrete Beam Repair

One wall in our kitchen is a concrete support wall so it was the only one we didn’t knock out all the plaster on. It was also the one most out of plumb; the room measures more than an inch wider at the ceiling than at the floor. There were some problems with the plaster surface over the concrete and we could feel some hollow gaps in between the 2 layers. That meant scraping the wall down, which lead to big chunks of the plaster falling off, all the way down to the rough concrete surface. Another repair not anticipated at the beginning of the renovation. 
Our contractor kept mentioning the steps we would be using to make the repair, but we were working on the other walls and when he left me on my own for a few days, I attempted the repair on my own. To fill those gaps back in bonding agent was needed to adhere the joint compound to the rough concrete. The concrete must first be clean & all loose particles removed. Then you coat the concrete with the bonding agent at full strength. Once it is tacky, but quickly before it dries, use an admix of bonding agent & joint compound and cover the raw concrete. You don’t try to fill the whole gap, but just cover the raw concrete. Once that dries then the next pass of joint compound will stick to the 1st coat.
Since the worst spots were at the corner joint, we needed to create a form on the underside of the beam to give a smooth edge to fill up to. My husband formed it up for me and I spread a very thick layer of compound across the wall and into those deep recesses. We had to let it dry for a day & a half before we removed the plywood form & even then, the underside of the mud was still damp and I even cut out a few big drips. Our contractor returned and decided to bring us a bag of durabond which is a dry mix of joint compound which is a bit more firm than the premixed stuff. Wish I had had it for the first layers; it was firmer & easier to work with. He had me add a few more layers of it to level out the corner as much as possible before adding the corner bead. Since the beam is solid, the plastic corner bead can’t be stapled into it, so I had to use the metal reinforced paper tape. Working again by myself, I smoothed on a layer of compound and climbed up ladders on each end of the beam to place the tape so that the bottom edge was level before I folded it under across the bottom side. There was of course a gap on the underside in the center that needed to be filled with joint compound too, but I’m pleased how well it came out. Now it just needs a few coats on each ace to smooth everything out nice & flat like the rest of the walls.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Inside Corners / Outside Corners

After putting up the new drywall in our kitchen, we had to form inside corners up three walls and between the 3 new walls & the ceiling. We also had to form outside corners on the window frame, the pass-thru and the hallway entrance. There was also an outside corner on the concrete beam above the brick wall, but that repair will be part of another post. 

some materials used
outside corners on window are in, inside corners on wall/ceiling need to be done, a gap at top of wall was pre-filled

The outside corners were the easier of the two. We used plastic corner beads that are stapled onto the dry and smoothed over with the joint compound. The toughest part of that was cutting and mitering the corners so that all the openings were square.

corner bead on window, sill needs work so top edge wasn't bedded
outside corner of pass-thru done
close up of pass-thru
outside corner on hallway entry
On the inside corners we used paper tape reinforced with metal strips. To install it you need to measure out a piece the proper length, spread out a layer of joint compound over each side of the corner (being sure not to put it on too thick, except in areas where the seams are really out of square). You then fold the tape down the center & place the tape into the corner keeping it as square & level as possible. Use the trowel to press it smoothly down into your layer of joint compound and then add another layer of joint compound over the top to bed it in securely. The toughest one of those joints was the 14’ long joint on the ceiling, there was a substantial amount of space (almost an inch) in the middle of the ceiling that needed to be filed in. Luckily my husband & I were able to work on that together and he devised way to project a line along the wall for us to follow to keep the tape level across the length of the wall. Once the joint is dry, and then comes the hard part of leveling out the dips in the walls and ceiling to meet your nice new sharp corners. It took quite a few passes on the ceiling to fill in that valley, especially a pain when having to go up & down the ladder so many times.
inside corners done

Happy Thanksgiving

Well here it is the biggest cooking day of the year and we still don't have our new kitchen. Our temporary facilities just don't cut it. So luckily my mom invited us up to her house for dinner, so we'll be "getting out of Dodge" for a few days. Hope everyone has a nice holiday & fills up on plenty of great food. 

Temporary kitchen, sink's out in the laundry room, fridge is just out of view, only have microwave & electric skillet to cook on

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bamboo Cabinets Ready for Assembly

The beautiful bamboo kitchen cabinets have finally arrived. They are now stacked up in two rooms in the house waiting for us to finish the walls & floor so we can assemble them and install them.


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