While PeterC was at work today I decided to get a start on the demolition. I took off the electrical covers and removed the casings from around the windows and door to the kitchen. For the most part the wood was in good shape but was cheap pine. Except the casing around the door to the kitchen. It looks like it was original to the house and was either maple or oak. Unfortunately it has been painted several times so I can only guess that the original colours used. Since it came off all in one piece I am thinking about stripping it and reusing it if possible.
The floor is poured concrete and all around the edges there is a layer of cracked concrete. We has assumed that it was simply cracked concrete with cheap floor leveller over the top. While ripping out the baseboards I discovered that the concrete in the centre of the room and the concrete under the walls of the mud room were not poured at the same time. In fact there is a 1 inch gap between the wall's concrete and the floor. Considering the fact that the concrete is cracked and flaking all the way around the outer edges we have to assume that we will find this gap all the way around.
When PeterC got home from work we went to Home Depot to look at ways to fill and patch this gap. We have decided to use Polyfill Cement Patch mixed with crushed gravel as a filler for the main gap. Once that is fully cured, about 24 hrs, we can use plain cement patch to bring the outer level even with the inner level. We purchased a small amount of patch and rock dust so we can try out our idea early Saturday. If it works we'll be in business.
It is the discovery I made while ripping out the baseboards that truly boggled my mind. It is the perfect example of really badly done do-it-yourself work. Whatever the previous handyman used to fill the gap was poured onto the centre floor and spread out to the walls, with the baseboards and drywall in place. So what I thought was simply badly cut and laid baseboard is actually 3 inch baseboard that has been covered up with concrete patch of some kind.
Needless to say this is going to be an interesting renovation. I'm almost afraid to see what, if anything, is behind the drywall. I suspect we will have to add wood between the studs just so we have someplace to nail to along the bottom. Of course, we still don't know what we have for studs or the distance between them. I poked a few holes in the wall under one of the windows and didn't find a single stud. If we have to we will add studs to the walls to make it more structurally sound and to give us anchor points for the drywall.