Precautions for Soffit Removal

The kitchen soffit is the “filled-in” section above the cabinets, going up to the ceiling. If you're planning to tear out a kitchen built between 1950 and 1980, there's a good chance you'll also be tearing out a soffit.

Brace yourself: this could get ugly.

One possibility — most likely if you have a two-story dwelling — is that you'll discover wiring running in the soffit. It turns out to be an easy place to route a wire compared to tearing out sheetrock.

A less likely scenario is that you'll find animals in there — probably dead. Rats, squirrels, birds, and more seem to be quite fond of kitchen soffits. You may find the remains of several generations. And this, in turn, means fleas.

They'll be very much alive, mind you.

I recommend that you wear long pants/shirtsleeves/gloves and have bug repellent on hand for the soffit tearout. Flea bites are a miserable affliction.