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Updating By Removing Kitchen Soffits

Updating By Removing Kitchen Soffits

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September 7, 2007

When ready to update a kitchen, often the first thing to go is the soffits.  Removing kitchen soffits is not difficult, but there are some things you should take into consideration before you start ripping them out.  Soffits are what provide the connection between the cabinet and the ceiling, and often the cabinets are actually hung from the soffit.

Trends come and go in housing designs, and at one time kitchen soffits were common.  Though they are still used by contractors, they are not nearly as popular or common in houses anymore.  As a result, you tend find kitchen soffits in older homes.

When you are ready to update your house, removing kitchen soffits may be one of the steps you want to take.  It's not hard to do because they are normally made of wood and simply nailed to the ceiling.  You will typically find kitchen soffits made out of 2" x 4" lumber.  The soffit is then covered with drywall and painted, or is sheathed with plywood before being covered with drywall and painted.

Removing Kitchen Soffits

When removing kitchen soffits, the first thing to be wary of is the possibility there is something hidden underneath the soffit.  Soffit not only was used to hang cabinets and fill empty space, it was also used to cover up other construction.   The space under the soffit may be hiding wiring or plumbing for example.  You don't want to start breaking up the soffit and take a chance of damaging either.   One tip for removing kitchen soffits is to first break a few holes through the drywall and check the inside before proceeding.

If you do find wiring or plumbing inside the soffit, it will have to be moved unless you plan on replacing the soffit with newer material.  Of course, you'll also have to remove the cabinets hanging from the soffit.    Once the soffit is removed it's also probable the ceiling will have to be finished to match the rest of the room.  You might find the ceiling is not finished, because the soffit was framed before the ceiling finish was applied. 

Once you decide to remodel the kitchen and begin removing kitchen soffits, it's a great time to make some other decisions.  For example, removing kitchen soffits completely opens up the room and walls are no longer height restricted by soffits.  You can move the appliances including the tall units like double ovens and refrigerators.  It may be time to completely redo the cabinets or change the entire ceiling finish.  You can improve the flow of the space between the kitchen and the next room which is probably the dining room or informal eating area.

Removing kitchen soffits is just one of the steps taken when remodeling.  Removing the soffits is probably one of the easiest tasks in the whole project, though it may reveal additional work that needs to be done.

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