Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We-Design-Day: Bringin' Down the House!

This past weekend was BUSY. My husband, son and I worked non-stop all day Saturday and Sunday preparing for the upcoming demolition…

Yes, you read that correctly. DEMOLITION! After months of dragging my feet, doing a little bit at a time, we dove in head first and tackled the hardest part of the project... Cleaning out my space!

My stuff is all packed away and in the back corner of the room we are demolishing. My husband is (very happily, maybe too happily) settling into his new office space. Houston, we have liftoff clearance, start the countdown!

The next things we need to look at is how to start our demolition project. I’m all about processes and safety. This likely comes from being married to a (former) computer programmer. He is all about process. He doesn’t like surprises and he wants a detailed flow-chart like map of what we are doing.

It’s a good thing he met me when I was young and still trainable!

Many people run head long into a demo project without a plan in mind… My sister lived without a kitchen for two or three years (and I still wouldn’t call what she has a kitchen). Her husband decided to take it all down. My brother in law is super at demolition. Many parts of their house have been demolished (as was his parents’ house) but few projects have been seen through to completion. My sister and her husband are like that – they go with the flow and enjoy their lives.

I’m about order and structure and controlled chaos. I plan, make lists, change my mind, make another list, plan some more and then start. I’ve also come to realize that I can get distracted easily… Did you know my original plan for the first We-Design-Day project (this project) had a 12 week schedule? As soon as I hit a roadblock, I started planning something else… The foyer project, for one… And last week, I came home with specifications for how I’d renovate the garage!

But the hardest part (for me) is out of the way and this Saturday morning, I’ll be assembling my tools and that wall will be coming down!

I’m a Safety Girl and I believe in the right tools for the job. Let’s walk through what we need to do before getting started.

Having taken a close and detailed look at the space, I know one of the walls coming down has no power or plumbing in it. The other wall has a light switch that we will be reusing. Don’t forget to look at your ceiling too – what is there for vents, lighting and other hazards? Since I’m working with a dropped (or T-Bar ceiling), I can pop the tiles out along the wall and take a look to see if there are any other things I should be aware of that I can’t see.

To do this job, I will likely need the following tools:

Gloves, masks, closed shoes
Pry bar, screw drivers, hammers
Supplemental Lighting (as we’ll be turning off the lighting to our basement and half of the main floor (our house is very oddly wired)
Drop cloths
Garbage bags

The first thing we'll do is run in the supplemental power and set up our temporary lights. Because we know our basement is creatively wired, we already know that in order to turn off the power in this area, takes all the basement lights, the living room and part of the master bedroom off line as well.

Once we get that in place, we'll switch the breaker for the area we are working in off. We'll test a couple outlets and the lights and then the fun begins!

After donning our safety gear, I'll start prying away the wood panelling. I'm hoping it comes off with ease. Once I get it all removed, I'll do the drywall inside the office.

When I have a clear view of the studs, they'll start coming down too. I need to see how they are attached before I take them out.

I'll confess I've never demolished anything before so a lot of this will be a learn as I go project... but we'll document and share the demo with you next week!

Until then, have a great week and thanks for popping by!

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