When we removed the old cabinets, we discovered that there were some funky things going on with the floor. So funky, in fact, that we decided we'd be better off redoing the entire floor.
In the above photo, you will notice several things:
a) Discoloration from old vinyl backing
b) Water damage from improperly sweat plumbing
c) Cuts in the floor along the cabinet edge, evidence that the floor has been patched
What you can't see is a slight rise in the middle of the floor right about where Justin is kneeling, which is the most worrisome of all. Initially we considered just living with it. But the more we looked at it, the more Justin was concerned that this "lip" might indicate a more severe issue. He also suspected that part of the floor had been shimmed to level it. And unfortunately, he was right on both counts.
|Justin removes flooring with a golf-club-sized pry bar|
There's no way to know what lies beneath the floor without tearing it up, so that's what we did. We started at the wall, working our way back with pry bars. We discovered that there were two different kinds of maple flooring, one that was probably original, and one stamped with the year 1994. So that confirms that the floor was patched relatively recently.
|Removal in progress, with an unused sledgehammer for dramatic effect|
Once the shims and tar paper were removed, we got a good look at where the floor joists attach to the original framing.
The floor joists in the former-porch section are just nailed to the old exterior without a proper outer plate. Because the joists were simply nailed through two layers of siding (cedar and tar shingle), they have begun to sag. This is the root of the problem. Unfortunately, properly supporting and securing the joists is no easy feat. But we are determined to make it happen!
|Justin removes scraps of tar shingle and other debris from the gap around the addition|
|In the gap, you can see the improperly-attached floor joists|
And this, folks, is what we have to work with. The exposed sub floor in the picture below will need to be removed down to the floor joists and replaced with plywood. We have already purchased the needed supplies at Home Depot and are prepared to get started. Stayed tuned for our next episode: sub-floor demolition derby!