We are well practised in destruction. I remember a few years ago when Ryan first moved in he really wanted to redo our bedroom. It was tired looking and cold. He was getting ready for work one day and I asked him, "what would you say if when you get home the ceiling is gone?" He looked back at me maniacally, I could see the chaotic excitement.. 8 months later I said the same thing early on a Saturday morning about our dining room. It's always exciting doing demolition, maybe less so if its a newer house, but you're always wondering if you'll find some treasures.
When it came time to deal with our kitchen I was pretty prepared for the mess and the hard work of demolition. We arranged for our friend, BJ to spend the weekend to help (he also helped us bag the old attic insulation.. What a good friend), we lined up my parents to come as well as our friend Tim. We had a good team and got through it all pretty efficiently.
Before the winter we thought it'd be wise to take the water supply lines out of the old kitchen, just in case they froze and ended up leaking. We cut through the first (of 6) layer of floor and immediately cut through the line. Someone thought it was a good idea to run the water to the kitchen directly under the subfloor.. This led to a minor disaster as there was only the main water shutoff that would stop the leak. We traced the lines back as far as we could and found that the plumbing monster from the basement had invaded the upper levels of the house. The water lines to the kitchen started in the basement, went to the upstairs washroom, came down a wall, under the main level floor and went to the sink. omg..
We decided to investigate the upstairs bathroom. We took the pedestal sink off and cut the floor open (carefully).. This little demo really helped solidify the fact that the additions had to come off. The floor had decayed to the point that it had become compost. it was disgusting. I had fun removing the old cast iron tub with the full force of the sledgehammer. Demolition sure helps to ease one's frustration!
Our skills went to good use last month as we prepared for the house to come off. You may remember from my previous posts that we decided to lop off the additions of the house due to structural problems. Now it's all feeling pretty real :P
We salvaged what we could. It turns out our house was made almost entirely out of cedar. Many of the old studs and joists were usable for future projects, so we took the nails out and stacked them up in the basement.
We were told that the less weight the better when it comes to taking the pieces of the house away, so we chose to take down what we could. Ryan and Ryan (aka Red) spent 3 days on our old bedroom, taking the roof and walls down. My parents came and took the wood away to burn. Initially this was a little bit fun, until they got to the floor.. I won't get in to details, but they decided to stop it there..
We had a list of what to accomplish before the house came off.
In the rad pipe removal the boys discovered an old cistern. Naturally, Ryan had to investigate. We got out our makeshift spelunking gear in the form of a winch and some ratchet straps.. He got strapped in and descended.
It was only about 6 and a half feet deep, so I guess all that prep wasn't really necessary, but you cant be too safe. Ryan said it was cool, but all he found was an earthworm.
The boys got back to work and cut the house off.
Darren the excavator was very fun to watch. He gained an audience that day (he says he's used to it). A couple passers by came and admired his work as he delicately picked apart the house. The neighbours a couple houses down had their laundry hanging out, and they said it wasn't even a little dusty.
I waited for the big moment when the roof came down. I stood there ready with the camera to get a good video. Unfortunately I wasn't paying enough attention to my surroundings as my foot was directly in the line of fire of our dog's (Max) pee stream. I ran inside to clean my foot and shoe, and to swear a little, when I came back outside the dust was settling. A neighbour made sure to inform me that I had missed the big moment.
We're so glad to be moving forward with construction now. It'll be a long haul, but with proper scheduling, lots of help, and the use of our family's showers we think our marriage will survive. :P