Demo: It has to get Worse before it gets Better
THE RAVENNA HOUSE
My least favorite part of any renovation is demo. It's dirty, loud, and worst of all, the house always looks worse afterwards.
So when demo time came around on The Ravenna House, I did what any self-respecting lady in my position would do. I handed the sledge hammer, tyvek suits, P100-rated masks, and demolition saws to my husband and his dad and went home to get caught up on Season 2 of Scandal. In my defense, the hubby's family is really talented at demo. In gramma's own words, "it's your father in law's specialty". So I wasn't so much as ducking out as leaving the task to the experts. Plus someone had to watch the baby...
It took hubby and his dad about three weeks of nights and weekends to demo The Ravenna House. Luckily, we're not living in this house while we renovate it (a first for us) so they didn't have to worry about the dust all over the house. Here is what had to be removed:
- Carpets though out main floor (Bubba is the only one missing the cat pee smell!)
- Kitchen wall
- Kitchen cabinets, sink, and faucet (I know, I know...it was a real heartbreaker to lose these!)
- Galvanized pipe plumbing
- Knob and tube electrical
- Bathroom - saving this for later so that we have one working faucet in the house
- Basement furnace
- Basement black-lacquered room (an old dark room?)
- Washer and dryer
- Basement miscellaneous plywood and framing
I'm a big proponent of re-use so we saved anything that could be recycled or used elsewhere in the house. I found a scrap metal collector to haul away and recycle the furnace. We sold the old washer and dryer on Craigslist. And the black-lacquered room door (surprise surprise it was also painted black) was saved for the future bathroom door.
Here's the progression of the carpets. (With Bubba on hand, hubby got these removed in a couple hours!)
All in all hubby and his dad took just over 2 tons to the dump. That's 4,000 pounds, people! It took them three trips in our pickup, which was a real coup for Bubba because the dump is one of his favorite places on earth. Maybe it's the treats he gets at the gate. Maybe it's the smell. I'm not really sure...
We left the removal of the buried oil tank to a real expert, a tank removal contractor. They handled the fire department permit, hauling, and removal of the tank. I understand contamination from these old tanks is pretty common which requires some serious environmental mitigation (not to mention money), but luckily our contractor didn't find any leaked oil on our property. Major victory number one!
Any who, demo is now substantially done at The Ravenna House and what do you know...the house looks pretty bad!
This is now:
This was before:
You get the idea...demo sucks!
But as someone once said, it has to get worse before it gets better. Which means things are about to look up around here. So it's time that we got to the good stuff, my favorite stuff...the polish. This is the time in a project when I get to scour salvage shops and Home Depot and Rejuvenation sales for materials. I get to draw up plans on engineering paper and go to the City for permits. I get to score deals and make splurges! I get to buy, buy, buy... Hallelujah we've made it! And I can't wait to share my ideas with you but that will have to wait for another post.
Did you even make it this far or did I lose you at dump? Well here's a little treat for you who did:
What's that, you ask? Original hexagon tiles! I know!!! Hubby found them under the bathroom linoleum. Aren't they they most beautiful thing you've ever seen?! I nearly cried when he showed me! We won't uncover the rest of the floor until we demo the bathroom (crossing my fingers that the tiles are in good condition!).
Next week: How we scored (and paid for) The Ravenna House
Thanks for following my blog. I'd love to hear about your demo stories or the awesome things you've found in your old house!