Saturday, January 08, 2005

Demolition Derby

Fear of mixing alcohol and power tools prevented us from having the demolition derby on New Years Eve as promised. Or perhaps the alcohol just prevented it from coming up in our minds. In any case, today was the rescheduled date, and Scott and Sara helped us set to work on destroying the basement's original wood lathe and plaster ceiling.

Scott's first strike under the living room

This was harder than it first seemed. Not because of strenth required, but because:
a) it was overhead
b) all electrical was attached to this (we had to remove and reattach to joists)
c) decades and decades of FILTH

We were outfitted well with safety gear - gloves, goggles, masks all around - but it was no match for the decades of dirt collecting above. Shortly after the first swings the air was laden with a gray hue of plaster and dirt. Within an hour, all of our masks, originally white, appeared as if they were dipped in charcoal. Opening the windows and door and turning on a high powered blower had only a mediocre effect. There was nothing we could do but grin and bear it.

Lookit all that dust!

We ended up working hard from about noon until 5 and got 2/3 of the basement done. The other part is the tool room / utility area, and we need to wait to move stuff out before doing that area.

One thing we did discover to our delight was that the dumpster has a door that opens! Allowing us to just walk in and load it up. Yay! Lots of buckets were emptied there today.. it's probably 1/4 full already.

After the dust settled, we could see that the first floor wall that is under part of the master bedroom (thus carrying a lot of the weight) was resting on a floor joist over the main beam that had been CUT OUT. Not a little, but a lot. Some Prev.Owner had destroyed all but 2 inches of the 2x8 joist to add a heating duct in the wall above. Doh!
Only 2 inches of the 2x8 remain
No wonder the floors sag so much! We'll definitely be turning that wall vent into a floor vent and fixing that hole (more sistering).

After working, we all broke in the shower and tried to wash off the grime from every crevice. It was moderately sucessful. I still showered at the condo later though. :)

Thanks for your helps Scott and Sara!!