site index

Picture of the Day
yesterday | today | tomorrow

October 19, 2010

subscribe   about

Two out of three little pigs agree: The apparent solidity of most
homes is an illusion. No big bad wolf needed. All it takes is 4 or 5
 dudes with some handtools (circular and reciprocating saws, some
pry bars, a variety of hammers from 16 oz. to 16 lb., socket and
 plumbing wrenches, and endnips) and the seemingly solid bastion of
 family security is reduced to rubble in days--and that's only if you do it
 with an eye towards salvage and recycling. Two guys could have done it
 in an hour--one to bash with an excavator, the other to hose the dust down.
 We were more careful. It's the demolition phase of a remodel with the               
           finished basement remaining intact. These old houses are harder to                   
take apart. The interior walls had a skeleton of lath over which plaster                    
was slathered, making for lots of lateral stability and a very solid skin.                      
It's dusty when it comes down but the wood is clean--fit for recycling,                         
perhaps into exciting engineered wood products or just pulped to                             
become next month's unwanted yellow pages. Either                               
 way, it's kind of difficult separating out the tangle, but                               
still pretty satisfying to have a hand in all phases                                    
of a project, even the hard and dirty bits: