Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Appetite for Destruction

Clearly nothing happened at the house over the winter. But over the April Easter weekend, we installed a giant dumpster out front and Chris, his brother Kevin, and two nephews Jon and Josh met up to tear out the entire upstairs. We're talking layer upon layer of old drywall, plaster and lath, insulation, all bathroom fixtures, and those gross old laundry appliances as well.

Kevin was skeptical when he heard I'd ordered the 6' x 20' dumpster, which has 6'-high sides. Well, the only other option was the same dimensions, but only 4' high. I figured, better to have more room than you need than to run out of space. It turns out I was right. They filled that sucker well past the brim.

Since the dumpster was somehow not placed very close to the house (the guys had hoped to be able to throw stuff out of the upstairs windows to land in the dumpster), there ended up being a massive pile of debris on the grass. They found a neighbouring farmer with a tractor and paid him $100 cash to spend 20 minutes shovelling it into the dumpster. Chris says it was the best money they spent all weekend. The same farmer expressed an interest in the tired old sewing machine and possibly even the old organ, but never came back for it. Perhaps he will come claim them this summer?

Apparently it was messy, dirty, stinky, hard work. I'm not surprised. But I will say, believe it or not, that I was sorry I wasn't there. I think despite all the bitching and moaning about sore muscles and inhaled dust and god-knows-what, the guys had fun doing it. Apparently Kevin only fell through the ceiling from the attic once!? They stayed at the Grays' cottage in Stanley Bridge and worked at our house during the day. But enough blathering, I'll let the pictures tell the story:

Above: The Dumpster, placed nowhere near where we had hoped it would be. The guys unloading tools from Kevin's car.

Above: The house upstairs, in the state that Kevin had left it when he'd been there for a few days in March.

Above: Jon wields an ax and takes out the lath in one bedroom.

Above: The dust starts to really fly.

Above: The destruction, the mess.

Above: The rubble starts to build up.

Above: Josh tackles the bathroom.

Above: Tub not out...yet.

Above: The ceiling has come out, along with a lot of old pink insulation.

Above: The dumpster, still pretty empty.

Above: The pile of rubble that has come out of the upstairs windows so far.

Above: The wall is down between the two front bedrooms.

Above: What's left of the bathroom.

Above: One of our neighbours pitches in with his tractor.

The tractor accomplishes in 20 minutes (and an extra $100) what would have taken the guys hours to clean up.

Above: Ta da! All cleaned up - and amazingly full.

Above: One of the back bedrooms, all cleaned up.

Above: Looking through the wall from one bedroom to the other.

Above: The large front (master) bedroom, all cleaned up.

Above: Small front bedroom, straight through the bathroom on the right, and into the back bedroom in the background. You can see the footings of the closet that was in the foreground.

Above: The hallway, with a bedroom on the right.

Above: Done and getting ready to go.


  1. These are gorgeous pictures. Even at the demo phase you can imagine the spaces, and the light is so pretty. Your land has loads of potential, too. Can't wait to see the trees all in bloom.

  2. These pictures are wonderful and I love your writing. I'm looking forward to following your renos so that I can live vicariously!! What a great family project.

  3. Hey Jen,
    It looks amazing!! Kudos to Chris and his peeps for the hard work.
    When will you put in the drywall?
    Katie H

  4. Hey Jen!

    What a series of pictures, really does tell a story, doesn't it? And I totally understand why you would want to be there, I would as well :) And I agree, the potential of the space is truly incredible. Can't wait to watch the progress as the summer moves along!

    Love, Laura