Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dust My Broom

Today ended up being a pretty productive Sunday with no injuries despite the book of OSHA violations that happened. The trough connecting the second story to the dumpster started the day lying sort of close to the dumpster. Though extremely well built lightness was really not part of the design. So in a DeLind manner It was a few hours of Dave vs. 300lbs of plywood. I would like to say that I beat it, almost single handedly without dropping it on myself or falling out a second story window. I will take this point to dust off my sholders both proverbably and of plaster residue. I think the morning could be summed up when I was hanging out a window holding onto a rope hooked through rafters with a slip knot around one end of the trough winching the whole system up with a highly technical and professional piece of galvanized pipe. This was the point one of the neighbors walking his dog stopped by and decided whether or not I wanted it (I clearly had the situation under controll) he was going lend a hand. So with that and a lot of manly swearing it got nailed in place providing a successful shute to a 22cy dumpster. From that point about 65 bags of plaster enjoyed their makeshift slide as well as the majority of the second floor's carpet, cabinets, lath (I know that I talk about "lath" in most postings, but words really don't illustrate how prevasive and pain in the ass the stuff is so everytime it gets, torn out, burned, or thrown away I feel accomoplished)... Doug made his way out around three in the afternood and we tackeled most of the remaining rooms. It seems doable at this point to have everything out before I leave the country. With that said, today was a day of progress and I am off to have a beer get ready for the next week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Week of 7/13-7/20

Let me start off by thanking all of my friends and family who came out to help when they could over the last week and a special thanks to Shawn who on his own free will is pulling 6-8 hour days. The past week hit some major milestones in the progress sense of the word though there is one major setback which needs to be worked through carefully. Victories include the 90% gutting of the upstairs including plumbing, electrical, ceilings, walls, and the bathroom. Very little remains except clear out of the rubble and detail work really as far as tearing things out is concerned. In the next few days there will probably be a construction dumpster added to the landscape to dispose of everything in one swoop (carpet, plaster, wood, old insulation, lath, as well as the people who I don't really like). It is a bit pricey, but I think that in order to not get bogged down that everything just needs to get dumped out.
The project is far, very far, from being over but the light at the end of the tunnel for stage one. Its about time too...I mean as much fun as it is ripping things apart I really do enjoy putting them back together more.
I decided that the addition of the house had ceilings that were too low for the space so they proceeded to get kicked out in order to be lofted. Once the space was opened up I notice the first major problem with the house structurally. After taking measurements and running some analysis on the trusses and how they are tied together I found they don't meet the criteria for a "stable" structure as is defined by current codes. It worries me a little since this is a major section of the house, so the first order of business after tear out is done is to double the truss thickness, add cross bracing between the trusses, put in various bracing in both directions . So the game is now figuring out how to put in support columns and cross bracing in such a way that provides an aesthetically pleasing space as well as a sound set of rooms while keeping the existing structure standing. I guess its a good think I know a pretty good and partially licensed civil engineer...

The story of the past week to match these will be posted tonight!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sorry for slacking in posting

Well the title is not a missnomer. I should have been posting for a few days now since there has been miles of progress made and a few marathon days put in as well as some new developments, but it will have to wait for tomorrow I am very tired and sadly have no pictures yet but in the next day or so should have a solid update.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Here is the weekend in recap!

The other weekend post was to waylay all my avid followers... I was really too tired to type anything of merit though. So brace yourself for here comes: the weekend in retrospect.
As mentioned previously Shawn and Hunter came to town to give me slightly more than a helping hand with gutting. Shawn and I started the day at about 9 in the morning after finishing a cup of coffee. By noon I had two car fulls of scrap wood carted to East Lansing for burning, furthermore we had the ceiling torn out as well as the walls. The excitement of the morning came when I had the brilliant idea of trying to pull the sink unit out without disconnecting the garbage disposal electrical (I thought the breaker was off in all fairness). Needless to say there was some sparking and in the end the breaker may have gone off on its own, but it takes more than a shorting circuit to stop the likes of us.
When Hunter showed up we had progressed to the last standing plaster walls on the first floor which were located in the living room. The first crowbar swing of any project is truly one to be remembered, though Hunter decided to take this to a slightly more intense level and accidentally jack his leg with it. We ended the day with cleanup, dinner, beer, and a bonfire of the torn out wood (which is the only way I have figured out how to work beer and socializing on a couch into a claim that I'm actually working on the house all night...)
So there is a real account of the weekend, everyone can stop holding their breath now. A few day break is in order now to get East Lansing cleaned and kept up with and the next round should probably start thursdayish.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Three's a charm

Well all the walls and two of the ceilings are down on the first floor, almost all the scrap is out ready to hit up the dump and progress seems to be happening. My friends/exroommates Shawn and Hunter came into town this weekend to give me a hand on the place. The kitchen didn't know what hit it and most of the living room probably either. Pictures to follow tomorrow and probably a longer post about the weekend.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hard work comes in twos

Today Doug and I put in about four hours tearing out walls and ceilings. It really is amazing how much can get accomplished when neither person wants to admit to the other that they just can't work anymore... but I mean that's not really my MO and certainly not Doug's. Tonight's post is going to be short because I am covered in filth, cellulose fire retardant, and plaster its also getting close to my bedtime since apparently I decided to finally grow up. But for all the extreme fans I do have here is a bullet list of accomplishments:
1. All the lath torn out of living room
2. Most of plaster torn out of kitchen
3. Some lath torn out of kitchen
4. Ceiling torn out of kitchen
5. Ceiling torn out of hallway
6. Rubble hauled away for $165
7. Cleaned wood moved to staging area (that one sounds pretty cool I guess you get something for working in the construction field)
8. Tore out lighting systems
9. I typed up a blog about it
and to end it all apparently Checkers (for all that don't know she is my orange cat) has been anxious to add her piece to this as well so I am going to let her and be a cat guy.
thank you checkers not really sure how she managed to get an omega off of a standard keyboard but more power to ya.
The picutes of the event will follow tomorrow as usual.

Pictures of all the wallpaper found so far and some of the damage done

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Father and son at it again!

Well today was a very fast paced day on the house. Doug came out and helped me with the plaster situation that was neglected previously. (He decided it was not as good of a floor covering as I did) Therefore most and when I say most I actually mean all 40 of the 45 gallon bags ended up being filled with wallpaper, horse hair, and of course plaster. There are many pictures to see of the event (including some almost not posed action shots) which detail the work and the 10+ types of wallpaper that have been found behind boards, new walls and of course other wallpaper. But I don't have the energy to post them tonight they should be about at some point tomorrow. Work continues and another room is taken back to studs so all in all after I guess only 8 working days its pretty good progress... I mean they say that building only takes three times as long as gutting... so I guess that means that there will be rooms that only take three days to bring back to par (sarcasm). Despite the plaster and sweat in my eyes right now it was a very productive day.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A day of spinning wheels (sort of)

Today ended up primarily a cleanup day of shoveling lath into triple ply bags. Though I realize the importance of the "cleanup" part of tearing out walls it just seems like a lot of work for not a lot of visible results. All in all after Amber and I had thoroughly turned our face masks gray and fogged our goggles there were about 25 trash bags of plaster hauled out ready to get picked up by a truck at some point or other. Though If anyone reading this knows of a secondary use for antique plaster please let me know! It is the only material from the house that I can't figure out a way around paying someone to take it away. All in all though Amber and I made a pretty good team since its impossible to bag and shovel at the same time. Though at the end we salvaged a couple of blinds, and knocked down the backside of another wall. So it was just a visually slow day but a much needed one to clear the floors from tripping hazards and such. Also there is a slight problem that I have yet to figure out. One of the neighbor boys apparently has a way to break in when im not there and is dumb enough to leave his soda jugs from the gas station on the floor... Other than that, Its back to a week of work on the place in the evenings and try to stay on schedule.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

And the walls came tumbling down...Well some of them anyway

Today started a bit early on the house, work was slow so I took a few hours off in the afternoon and got started working around three thirty in the afternoon. To my pleasant surprise Doug had come out during the day and taken a carload of rubble away. The first few hours were spent stripping plywood boards of finish nails and busting down trim, and various other pieces of scrap so they would be more manageable. During this process I seemed to have overlooked the fact that one of the boards being snapped by a kick still had some substantial nails in it and minor injury number 5 (or six I've lost count) claimed it win with a big nail in my left foot. It seems only fair though, here and there I guess the house is just getting back at me for damaging it.
The main event of the day was to get a dust mask and start tearing out the plaster and mortarboard. The pictures are to follow tomorrow since I can't upload them for some reason or another at this juncture. But long story short one of the living room walls, and two hallway walls are now simply studs. Though putting the place back together again is going to be much longer and I am no where near gutting it. To have a few pieces down to square one is a pretty good feeling at the end of the day.
Besides living like a wrecking ball today I managed to "Tom Sawyer" someone. The cabinets ripped out of the kitchen were going to cost me roughly 150-200 dollars to take to a dump plus I would have to move them. Instead a well placed craigslist ad has someone coming to pick them up and they are paying me 100 dollars to have that privilege.