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Thursday, July 20, 2006


Yes, I was gone. I'm sorry. I'm a terrible blogger. But you'd much rather see pictures of the demolition than hear me beg for your forgiveness, right?


The first thing we did was to build a chute that would take the debris from the window to the dumpster. Don and I actually built this on Friday night, and then he and his dad took out the window and installed it when work began on Saturday morning. It's just plywood and two-by-fours, nothing special. We clamped a bit of leftover wood to the bottom of it to keep it from sliding into the dumpster. It wasn't perfect, but it was a great deal better than nothing -- even if we did keep having to send people outside to climb on top of the (extremely hot) dumpster and clear out the piles that kept massing up at the end of it.

Don's dad arrived bright and early. When Don first asked him to come and help, a few days before, we'd mentioned that we thought we'd start around ten, maybe eleven, you know, whenever people felt like showing up to help. My father-in-law gave his son a flat stare, and announced that
he'd be there at eight -- and he'd start working whether or not we were up and ready. So, eight it was. This photo was taken at about 8:30. Don's dad was instructing us on the best way to take things down, after demonstrating on the entire first wall while we were still eating our breakfast donuts. We learned a lot.

Once the walls were mostly down, we started in on the ceiling. By we I mean they. I didn't do much of anything once I stepped on the second nail. Here's Don and his dad taking down the ceiling in the old dining room. It was like father-son bonding! So cute.

We took it one room at a time. Once the dining room was done -- or at least done to a certain degree of doneness -- they started in on the office. Here, if you look carefully, you can see almost the whole family: Don's dad is in the corner, picking stuff up. Mr. Bob, Don's aunt's fiance, is on a ladder, hacking away at the ceiling. And Don's sister's boyfriend Devin is in the middle, shoveling up debri. Don and his sister were both around, too, although you can't see them in the picture (incidentally, Don's sister the varsity cheerleader took a great deal of delight in hammering holes in the walls, although she complained that she was, heaven forbid, sweating).

Having a big group of family come around to help with something like this was really a satisfying experience. This house is going to be (in theory) the sort of place where family gathers, so it was exciting to have family here to work on it. My mom was really disappointed that she couldn't come and help (although the notion of my mother wielding a sledgehammer mysteriously sent Don into paroxysms of laughter), and my dad keeps offering advice. Not to worry. We'll put them to work.


ben said...

family's great for demo, but I prefer to do the finish work myself - greater attention to detail. looks like fun!

Jamaila said...

Well, that depends on the family -- both of ours built the houses we grew up in, and my father-in-law has an extensive workshop, where he taught Don everything he knows.

But yes, for certain things, I'm just more comfortable doing it myself -- painting, for instance; I won't even let Don do it!

quietnightwing said...

Hey - I'm a pro with a sledgehammer. And you should see me doing demolition with a reciprocal saw!!!

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