24 February 2009


Two and a half years ago, I watched from the window as half a dozen men demolished a building with sledge hammers. It hadn't occurred to me until then that such a thing could be done by hand.

By the time I took this picture they had already removed quite a lot of the structure. The white lines cascading down behind the man in the purple shirt are dust-coated rebar--they had already broken all the cement off that part. Over the next few days they took the rest of the house down. I expected that they'd build something in it's place right away, but they didn't. At least, not before we left. When we left they hadn't even hauled the rubble away, and there was a mountain of it. Funny how much rubble can come from such a small building.

Well, as with buildings so with walls, a lesson I learned when I did a little demolition of my own last month. Here's what one wall of my bedroom used to look like:

On the right, the closet door. On the left, the bedroom door. The wall you're looking at there is load bearing, and the 22" x 7' space behind it? Dead useless. quite likely the most pointless closet ever. So I took all the trim off the door, removed it and it's framing, pried the baseboards off, removed an electrical outlet, rerouted the wiring for the upstairs, and then . . . then! The demolition! (over the course of a few days). I hung a closet rod and *presto*

we have a (messy) closet. Hanging the wire shelf/closet-rod combo was absolutely the hardest part of it all.

It isn't done yet (obviously). I'll hang trim around it eventually, and I'll also be building drawers to go along the bottom and a shelf at the level of the old door's header to make all that space up their useful for more storage. Yeah. It's a work in progress.

Oh, and here's some of my rubble.

I've got four of these, and they're full. How did such a small amount of wall generate four huge (heavy) boxes of debris?


joe said...

kd and i can take that rubble home to our dumpster, if you are ready to get rid of it. :)

Matthew said...

The closet is much more useful.