Trying to decide whether or not to keep wall to mudroom or knock down
hedwigmud
November 13, 2012 in Design Dilemma
hi there, our electrician is telling us that it would be costly to move our switches from where they are and time consuming so I have to decide whether to just pay to do it and open up the mudroom and kitchen or should I just choose an entrance and build a wall or should I do a half wall with a column and do a little nook desk area in mudroom? need help!!! I will post pics soon.
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Dytecture
The half wall option would be a great comprise to save costs of moving switches, while providing some openness between the mud room and kitchen.


November 13, 2012 at 8:52am     
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hedwigmud
thank you that is where I think I am heading. I would really miss the light that the mudroom doors offer us if we put up a wall and left just a 39" opening. I love the example you gave me in the pic. thank you!
November 13, 2012 at 9:32am     
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hedwigmud
also, this will allow me to show off my recently renovated kitchen and force me to not have clutter around the countertops and island :)
November 13, 2012 at 9:33am     
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BeautifulRemodel.com
Hi hedwigmud,

Your electrician may still have to relocate the *wires* for the switches if you choose the half wall. Hopefully, you'll get lucky and the wires run right up the studs at the end of the wall, but many times the electrical is run on the other side of the stud bay. If that's the case, they may not be long enough to simply re-secure them close to the other side. If your electrician or GC cuts an access hole in that stud bay above the switches, you'll be able to see the wire path before committing to the change.

Steve
November 13, 2012 at 11:32am   
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hedwigmud
thanks so much steve for the help. very nice of you. I will photograph the area closer and post. I think the wires aren't long enough to go up and open wall completely which honestly i think may be ok b/c I am now thinking of doing a little nook area to hold my laptop or to sign important school papers etc. not sure? but with the opening and the door opening atleast I will have more light in kitchen from the mudroom doors and window.
November 13, 2012 at 2:10pm   
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hedwigmud
also, here is the view from the mudroom to the kitchen. i was thinking of putting a half wall on the right side and leaving the door opening where it currently exists on the left. it used to bug me that people stood directly in front of the fridge but now that I have the mudroom that will no longer be an issue.
November 13, 2012 at 3:07pm   
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BeautifulRemodel.com
Hi hedwigmud,

The additional photos help a lot. Is the attic space above the mudroom accessible (from an access hatch etc) If so, the electrician can add a junction box up there, (which wouldnt be visible from below) above where the wires currently enter the top plate of the wall. This will enable the switches to be relocated elsewhere in that area, as he can run new wires from the JB (We do this kind of thing frequently on remodels)

Also, is your ceiling height lower in the mudroom?

Steve
November 13, 2012 at 3:37pm   
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hedwigmud
great points thank you. how hard is it for the average homeowner to install a junction box and move the wires? i think our guy would charge us atleast 300-500 to do this since he'd have to relocate and add wire. I guess I am looking to see if I should just go ahead and pay and have the wall knocked down or should I not pay and create a little nook counter area in the mudroom like the first photo posted way up and put a slab of granite from the kitchen on it to tie the two rooms together?
November 13, 2012 at 4:20pm   
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BeautifulRemodel.com
Wow that is a lot for relocating switches! Unless there's something I'm not seeing here this would only take about an hour or so. Anyway, unless you know electrical well, its not *easy* for most homeowners. Its risky for one, and you'll need to correctly identify and transfer over each wire and switch. Not complicated by any means, but that is relative depending on skill level. Do you have experience doing this kind of work?

As for the open wall vs half wall etc, I'd say that would depend on how you use the space currently and the overall floorplan. Depending on the answer, either one could work well. At first glance it does seem as though it would be nice to open up the whole wall, as it would give you more room at the end of the island and in front of the fridge. And if people tend to hover around the doorway, they wouldn't block it if the whole was opened up.

Steve
November 13, 2012 at 4:29pm   
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hedwigmud
steve, thanks so much for your guidance. no we are hardly skilled to do so. my husband was so frustrated hooking up a ceiling hall light the other night that he screamed allowed and I have never heard him do that before. it literally was driving him crazy. so no I am not going to have us go it alone. I just sent the pic to our electrician and asked him his thouhgts. our house is currently a cape with front to back kitchen/dining and hallway and bathroom then the front to back living room. i am on the fence totally as you can probably tell. it would be nice to open it up for sure and maybe put a juction box in wall above and maybe hang a picture there or something. to answer your earlier questions, here's a pic of the ceiling. it's cathedral and my husband is 6'5" and can hang from the beam if he wants to. if I did the half opening I could have a counter there and sit out in the mudroom if my kids in the LR are loud watching a football game or something which is where my desk currently is. it would be nice to have access to a control center or nook with an ipad if I wanted to cook in the kitchen and not put computer stuff on the island. does that make sense? It's also hard for me to know how I currently use the space b/c we finally just finished the mudroom cubbies and so much that was in the kitchen /dining is now put away in a place so maybe i ought to live with it a little before deciding. another issue is that it isn't heated yet out in the mudroom but it is well insulated. that stove there is just a plug in my mother gave me to get thru the maine winter.
thanks again for helping us out.
heather
November 13, 2012 at 4:46pm   
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hedwigmud
maybe I could do something like this inside the mudroom on the right side of he room as you are facing the kitchen and use the granite as a countertop. this would be nice to have when you enter mudroom a place to rest keys etc. cell phones, etc.
November 13, 2012 at 4:59pm   
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BeautifulRemodel.com
Hi Heather,

Thanks for the update. A couple of things - The JB could be installed in the attic so you wouldn't have to worry about it being visible. Even if the attic is NOT accessible, the JB could be located in the ceiling and painted the same color.

Based on how you described how you use the space and that your family watches games etc, maybe a double pocket door, with glass or obscure glass wold work well? The opening could be around 4ft, which would feel very spacious when open, and require relatively little framing changes. (It looks like a non bearing wall based on the ceiling joist direction, a photo would help)

Steve
November 13, 2012 at 5:03pm   
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hedwigmud
here's the ceiling pic, we are going to do pickled whitewash tongue groove pine on ceiling.
November 13, 2012 at 5:04pm     
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BeautifulRemodel.com
Just saw your recent post - looks great. I can see benefits in this OR being able to close it off with the glass pocket doors for sound / heat reasons. It really comes down to personal preference :o)
November 13, 2012 at 5:04pm   
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hedwigmud
hi steve, just got off the phone with my electrician who said it would be him and one other guy having to lengthen those wires and reroute and snake them and that I can count on atleast 3 hours and he is 100/hr. he said it could even be more like 4-5 hrs. i don't think i want to spend 400-500 to knock down a wall so i think i may have to go with the idea of a counter top and opening and door opening. i love the idea of a pocket door or doublepocket doors but I bet they are probably more than the cost of knocking the wall down! i just will have to live a little with it for a while and then see. you are right, it's really preference. thanks again.
November 13, 2012 at 6:06pm   
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BeautifulRemodel.com
Hi Heather, I completely understand, and it sounds as though you have a few options all of which could work well. I hope you don't mind me saying this, but in the long term it would be wise to find another electrician, the one you have is expensive AND slow by the sounds of it. Not a good combo!

I wish you the best with your project, it would be nice to see photos when you're done!

Steve
November 13, 2012 at 8:29pm   
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hedwigmud
don't mind at all steve. thank you for telling me and helping me out. I really appreciate it. he is telling me that he just wants us to know the worst but i could be an easy scenario and he could get in there and do the job and be done within 2-3 hours but I am going to get another estimate before making the decision. one more question for you. if the cost wasn't an issue, and after seeing the pics, would you keep the opening and door opening or would you just knock the wall down?
November 14, 2012 at 5:11am   
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BeautifulRemodel.com
Hi Heather, sorry for the delay I've been on-site all day :) In answer to your question I honestly feel that either option could look great and function well. It all comes down to your personal functional needs imo. You've mentioned that the small peninsula could be helpful for you with a desk etc, but it also sounds as though there are times where the space being closed off could be beneficial. These kinds of questions and more would come up when I'm working with a client from scratch where I can see how all the rooms relate to each other and find out lots more about HOW you live. I hope this helps!

Steve
November 14, 2012 at 3:47pm   
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hedwigmud
yes it does help. too bad you aren't in maine. I'd hire you in a blink. thanks for trying to help me. I am thinking that opening it up would be sweet and that maybe we just ought to try and see what's behind the wall up above and see if I can't relocate the wires and buy some new and add a junction box. who knows? it changes daily. I will for sure post pics though once I have something worthwhile. thanks again for the response, it's really cool to have the opportunity to get opinions. especially from knowledgeable types like yourself. you have helped tons. thx.
November 14, 2012 at 6:08pm   
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BeautifulRemodel.com
Thank you so much heather, I really appreciate the kind words. I wish you the best with your project and look forward to seeing photos when you're done!

Steve
November 14, 2012 at 7:28pm   
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