dt516

take down wall? pass thru?

dt516
December 2, 2019

Hi! So we have this wall on the right side of our kitchen that has represents our dairy section in the same color as our blue island. It looks kind of like a Butler's pantry.

The wall is structural and has some plumbing on it so it is a bit of a job to move. But if it would make a dramatic difference we would do it.

The question is should we keep the wall or take it down. The other question is should we keep the blue glass cabinets on top and make a pass thru (which would be around 22" between countertop and upper blues). This way we can keep the design but open things up a bit.

On the other side we would have a penninsula with seating for maybe 4. There is also a dinette and family room on the other side of the wall.

Here are some pics of the wall, layout and cabinets.

Comments (53)

  • dt516

    woops. so the photo came out in a different direction than I thought.

    the wall is the short 6' 11" wall on the bottom.

    so it would be the wall with the big opening and that would be opened more. And yes, we were talking about an opening that would get rid of the backsplash.

  • salex

    Would you still have the upper cabinets, such that the "opening" is just between the base and upper cabinets? If yes, then I'd say leave it as is.

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  • greg_2015

    Okay. Now I understand where the wall is that you are considering taking down.


    But you still haven't made it clear where the cabinets are where you are considering the pass through.

  • greg_2015

    Or are we talking about the same section of wall?


    Is the question:

    Take the wall down or put those cabinets there and make a tiny pass through or leave the wall as is?

  • dt516

    ok. on that same 6' 11" wall would hang these blue cabinets uppers and lowers.

    we can open the wall and lose the uppers. they are nice so am trying to avoid losing these.

    we can open the wall and just open between uppers and lowers.

    we can keep as is.

  • greg_2015

    Forget about the tiny pass through. That isn't a really an option that you should consider.


    Have you laid out furniture in the room that you are opening into? That could be an easy way to figure out if you'd even want that wall gone.


    If it's still desirable, have you gotten a quote on how much it would be to move all the plumbing and electrical? And whatever beam you'd need to transfer the weight properly? That sticker shock might make this decision easy. The cast iron plumbing stack might be hard to relocate (the water supply lines and electrical lines are probably fairly easy to move).

  • dt516

    plumbing about $1000 and take down wall probably around the same. maybe with materials $2500-2700 or so I think.

  • dt516

    a secondary thought would be to open the 5' 5" wall to the left of these cabinets to open space more into family room

  • suezbell

    Really like the blue overhead cabinets. If you can repurpose that entire wall of cabinets, do.


    I generally think of a pass- thru as also being a see-thru window. I the opening of the pass thru is not eye level, it doesn't really visually open up the space and I'd be reluctant to rip out the wall to do that. You might consider keeping only the bottom cabinets and the wall with the plumbing -- and a countertop that overhangs the wall, then re-purpose the overhead cabinets ... even if they end up needing to go in the dining room as a "hutch" over a sideboard.

  • ldecor54

    I vote no to the pass thru.

  • dt516

    suezbell thanks.

    one thought we had was to use them on the other side of base cabinets and use the uppers as base. so the opposite side would be 36" height which we'd raise a bit to bar stool maybe and then those uppers would face into the eating area. not sure about having glass cabinets with seating overhang though.

    the glass cabinets work so well in that space on top of the wall which is the frustrating part. would be good if we could end up with a look like the below pic but ours are not double sided.

    in terms of eye level these would start at around 58" off the floor. I think eye level is a bit higher but when you step back and aren't standing directly in front of the cabinets perhaps you do get a line of sight through to the other side.

  • dt516

    seems that average eye level height is 57" which is where paintings are usually hung (this is based on my Google research). so if the counter is 36" off ground and then the uppers are 36" with maybe 1.5" of moulding ... this should bring the cabinets to 58.5" off the ground or roughly eye level.

    ceiling is 96"

  • weedmeister

    That wall has the water lines for the upstairs, and the drain stack. Moving that would be hard, unless you're going to move the upstairs bath.

  • dt516

    thanks. plumber says they can be moved

  • salex

    Whenever I have been in a house with cabinets at eye level over a pass-through, everyone was constantly stooping to see people on the other side better. I'd leave those beautiful cabinets and wall as is.

  • dt516

    salex. thanks for your thoughts.

  • greg_2015

    I think your price estimates are pretty low or are you DIYing most of this work?

    Is the floor below this unfinished basement with access to all of the plumbing/electrical?


    I'm assuming that if the plumbing stack gets moved that the plumber will be using PVC. Be aware that PVC is much louder than cast iron. When someone flushes the toilet upstairs, you'll hear it flowing down the wall in the kitchen.

    Maybe not a big deal, but it's something to consider.


    And there will be bulkheads above your new opening to route the plumbing over to a new vertical. Make sure you understand exactly what the end result will look like and don't make assumptions before you commit.


  • greg_2015

    Have you considered just removing part of the wall? If you leave the plumbing stack where it is, it would simplify a lot.



  • live_wire_oak

    Those estimates are WAY low. The result of that poor design decision would take more than that to fix too. Leave all of that alone.


    Measure twice, cut once. Design the plan, build the design. Design on the fly is highly ill advised.

  • dt516

    live wire oak - which poor design decision?

  • dt516

    Greg yes we've considered leaving the waste pipe and just moving the other plumbing. also considered just opening up to those first brown radiator pipes which add 2 feet to the opening. that means dropping one cabinet or having it open underneath just 1.

  • dt516

    crawl space underneath with 36" height and room to maneuver.

  • mackdolan

    Leave the wall alone. It improves nothing to remove it.

  • suezbell

    Could you rethink your pantry and move your oven so the upper and lower cabinets now against the wall you want to move can be kept together -- just on a different wall (now shown as the oven/pantry wall -- left vertical line -- on your drawing of the kitchen)?


    Then create a corner cabinet pantry (bottom left of kitchen plan) with the ovens (facing refrigerator) next to that. Then, move any plumbing and wiring in the wall you want to remove over behind the ovens and/or below countertop. Then remove only the top part of the wall that's left and create a peninsula bar.

  • dt516

    suezbell - thanks

    the problem with that is the staircase drops down in that bottom corner so we only have 70" or so of space along that back wall before the ceiling begins to slope. those blue cabinets measure 84" across with each one being 28" wide on top (3 uppers).

  • suezbell

    The stairs appear to be in an adjoining room. Do they affect the top cabinets along that wall? If so, have you considered changing that -- moving that wall forward all the way across the room and creating your pantry behind it, including what appears to be a closet in the right angle created by the stairs?

  • suezbell

    At first glance, I thought the wall you wanted to move is the niche wall in the bottom right side of the kitchen plan; however, while looking at the plan again to see the stairs and their impact on the kitchen and also looking at the pic of the cabinets you want to move again, I now the realize that pic appears to indicate an exterior wall at a right angle to the blue cabinets (w/window) and an interior door on the other side. So, now I'm confused. Where in your kitchen is the row of blue cabinets now that you want to move -- which line -- top horizontal? bottom horizontal? left vertical? right vertical?

  • mackdolan

    More important, where is the engineer’s report, and the permit taped to the window for this work? Collapsing your house is a quick way to say goodby to all of your equity.

  • dt516

    it is the wall labeled 6' 11 and 1/4

  • greg_2015

    suezbell,

    I believe the pictures of the cabinets are not in this house. These are just cabinets that the OP will be repurposing and adding to the house.

  • dt516

    that is correct greg

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH

    That's your dairy prep area, with DW and sink tying into the water pipes and waste pipe, so I'd leave the wall and plumbing as is. I really like your idea to open the wall to the left (5'5" wall), which would help divert traffic from the back door away from your work zones. Beautiful cabinets and counter!

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I dislike pass throughs aand see no good to come from one that is 22” from the counter you can ’t see out from it and so my vote is no BTW I too find the drawing confusing and I assume the dairty area is something to do with kosher cooking .so needs to be there .Also those estimates are pretty low for any of that work.

  • greg_2015

    Is the 5' 5 1/4" section a structural wall? Is there any plumbing or HVAC in that wall?

    That might be a potential section to open up.


    But a full floor plan would help so that we can see the purpose and flow of all of the rooms.

  • mackdolan

    The posted permit would be what would help here.

  • dt516

    Patricia thanks. dairy is kosher yes.

  • dt516

    the 5' 5 1/4 wall is a structural wall and does have a radiator beneath it. so we'd have to figure out what to do about heating.

  • dt516

    Another idea we had was to kill the space in front of the waste pipe around 30 inches or so and take down the 45" after the waste pipe and just move the radiator and hot/cold bathroom pipes. Then run a short 45" peninsula with seating for 2. Basically we would put those glass cabinets in front of the radiator wall and keep running them so they finish in front of the waste pipe. From there add another couple of cabinets to make the peninsula.


    The issue is we might have to lose the island unless we have a 26" wide island with just 36" aisle on both sides.


  • dt516

    this is the room on the other side of the wall

  • dt516

    sorry meant to say 57" peninsula

  • greg_2015

    Again, I'm having a hard time placing that last photo in your plan.

    The door on the left appears to be too small to be the door into the kitchen.

    What are we looking at?

  • dt516

    Greg - sorry should have clarified. there was a non structural pocket door there which we took out. thats the before pic.

  • dt516

    better pic wall we are talking about

  • dt516

    other option is to flip the glass cabinets over to the other side and take down the wall.

    something like this but wider

  • beesneeds

    So what did your structural engineer person say about messing with that structural wall?


  • dt516

    he will be coming to assess shortly. but others with similar model homes to ours have taken it out.

  • greg_2015

    A full floor plan is needed to see if anything should be done.


  • live_wire_oak

    This situation is full of danger for the homeowner. Even with a floor plan, it’s the local in person engineers, architects, kitchen designers, contractors, and most certainly the local building inspector that should be tackling this issue. It should have been tackled with the design professionals and engineer on the front end, then the permitting office. Before ripping the house apart.

  • dt516

    Any other comments here?

  • beesneeds

    What did the engineer say and have you gotten the building inspector approval?

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