Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Speaking of falling through the floor...

Reid's foot went through the floor on Monday when we cleaned out the 3rd floor of the back building. But the good news is: Reid is ok AND the 3rd floor is cleaned & cleared out!
We ripped the wood paneling off the walls and some of the old wallpaper came falling down too. Behind the old, rotten wallpaper were many creepy crawly bugs running around all over the walls. After getting a couple bug bites and feeling totally grossed out, this experience has effectively ruined the potential for wallpaper to ever be a viable design option in my home. We'll be sticking with low VOC paint :)

More of the phantom stair

Since we discovered the stairway to nowhere, we realized that the only thing holding up the floor covering the stair is one single 2x4. This seemed a little unsafe, even though it has probably been like that for decades, so we ripped up the floor covering the stair. Now, everyone will see that it's a potential hazard and hopefully won't fall through the floor. Here is a picture from the top of the stair.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Stairway to nowhere...

While putzing around in the storefront, we ended up busting a panel out of a door that was disguised as part of the wall...and found a staircase behind it!
The stair looks as though it used to lead from the storefront up into the living space via the addition that we're planning to take down. The stair was disguised as part of the wall and didn't come all the way to the floor, requiring whomever was using it to jump out of the stairwell into the storefront. We suspect one of the previous owners wanted a discreet means of connecting his store to his living space.

No more drop ceilings!

We finally eradicated the property of its drop ceilings! We ripped the last of them out of the back building and took all of the metal to the scrap yard.
To date, we have diverted over 2 tons of scrap metal from a landfill and made over $450 doing it!

Clearing out the back building

This past week, Reid and I cleared everything out of the 4th floor of the back building. This floor is small - a one room attic space with sloped ceilings - but was PACKED with trash, construction debris, feces, and glass jars (who knows why!)
The windows have been missing for a long time and constant exposure to the elements has rotted the wood floors under the windows. The solid parts of the floor have been layered with 4 styles of linoleum over the years and as we began pulling up the layers, we found some old newspapers from 1955.
It's interesting how much newpaper ads have changed...
The articles in the 1955 paper advertised brand new buicks the size of boats and dedicated entire pages to horse racing results!
It feels good to have one floor cleaned out with the windows sealed in plastic and plywood laid over the holes in the floor. Total, we filled 6 trash cans, 10 trash bags and 4 recycling bins (with all those glass jars!)
We can't forget to celebrate the victories, no matter how small! one floor done, 4 to go - who hoo!

We have water!

This past week, Reid worked with the water company to resupply water to the property! Now we have a rudimentary faucet connected to a garden hose. And that means we can now mix mortar to tuckpoint the bricks and turn 2 doorways into windows!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Patching and Exposing a Brick Wall

Today Reid started tearing out a chimney in order to get some bricks that he can then use to "patch" a doorway. The doorway exited to the 1890's addition of the structure, the part of the structure that is condemned and that we're planning to tear down. The doorway will become a window in what is to become the 2nd bedroom.

I attempted to expose the brick on the interior of the same wall that Reid is patching.

The joy of demolition is not just getting covered in filth, but also realizing that everything takes longer than we think it will :) It's a good thing we're having fun!