Demo, the Remix

My original game plan was to demo everything down to the studs.  Someone suggested that I could drywall over the plaster on the ceilings in the process of the first demo, so I altered course and left the ceiling in the dining room, majority of living room, 1st floor hall and one of the bedrooms (future office).  On the inside walls I left the lathe from approximately 30″ and up.

Well turns out that was not a good move.  The HVAC company, who has started running ducts, needed access to more joist in the non-demoed ceilings and walls.  With the high 40s/low 50s temps of last week I completed all the demo.  Cameron and his brother-in-law brought the muscle.  Fresh from my dumpster lesson I tried Whitton Containers this time.  Still not a great experience, but at least I didn’t get over charged.  I was supposed to have a Wednesday morning delivery.  It showed about 2pm (the other company did the same thing), but they knocked $50 off the price (unlike the other company).  I think they all have a racquet to get over.  Whitton told me they only had a 15 yard available, but it allowed up to 12 tons.  Well I hoped that would be enough space, but I knew weight would not be an issue.  I took a different route to the house on Thursday and low and behold I stumbled across a lot jammed packed with Whitton dumpsters.  Many larger than the 15-yard that was my “only option”.  I went from a 40 yard with low weight allowance to a 15 yard with a high weight allowance.  Something is wrong with that picture.

My dad urged me to remove all lathe and just add it back to the vertical studs were needed for the walls with doors or windows.  I took his suggestion in most areas.  No video or action shots.  Just photos of the finished product.  The other advantage to removing everything is the access I gained to even more of the knob and tubs I need to clear out.  Amazing to see how that house was wired and even more amazing that it never burned down.

I’m so ready to start rebuilding.


Today I Do Floors

Temps in the high 40s and holiday shut down for most of my clients means this is a good week to work at my house.  Per my dads suggestion I have decided to remove more of the lathe and add the furring strips where needed directly to the vertical studs.  I decided to focus on the upstairs as I’d really like to get that area completed (as far as what I can do) and drywall ready.  Part of that is laying flooring in the new linen closet.  I’m daunted by that task, so for the last two days I decided to repair the floors in the master bedroom area.  That area is part of the quote I received from my floor guy.  There was a whole left from the 20171106_133211.jpgremoval of the radiator and in between two boards there was a huge gap from where one board had a good chunk missing.  I forgot to take before pictures, but this one allows you to see the gap (see bottom, towards left of pic).


Now a normal person who has never patched a wood floor would probably start in the linen closet, which for the most part will be seldom seen and behind a closed-door.  I’m not normal.  I decided to start with a repair that is in the middle of a room and in full sight at all times.  No worries, I have been armed with an abundance of Rehab Addict episodes where @NicoleCurtisRehabAddict repairs hardwood floors in far worse shape than mine and several viewings of YouTube video from This Old House “How to Patch Strip Flooring“.  If I must say so myself, I didn’t do too bad.

I am still daunted by the linen closet and I’m going to get a quote from my flooring guy for him to do it (that wasn’t part of his original quote as at the time there was no plan for a linen closet in that area and I had hoped the floor would have been continued behind the wall that was removed).  I weigh time and money in most things I do.  It took me about 6 hours to patch that small section of floor.  My favorite quote in describing my skill set when people ask me to do projects for them is “I’m not proficient, so I’m not efficient”.  It may be worth saving my time and paying the expert.  I’m glad I tried it and at least know that in a pinch I can again.  I can’t wait to get the water on so I can mop these floors to get an even better sense of what they will look like.  My friend Joan shared some pics of a business in OTR that took epoxy resin and filled imperfections in their flooring.  Even with the patch there are a few areas upstairs I will need to do that and definitely some areas in kitchen.

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You don’t know, what you don’t know. BUT once you know don’t repeat mistakes.

Weeks after Demo Days I received two additional invoices (actually receipts because they kept my credit card on file and charged it) from Budget Dumpster for overage on my dumpsters.  The first weighed in at over 9 tons, so they charged me an additional $257.50 for being over the 5 ton limit.  The second dumpster was over 12 tons, so they charged me an additional $359.50.  In essence by using this rip-off dumpster BROKER company I paid for three dumpsters.

Here is why I say rip-off.  On their website, when I typed in my zip code, it states that a 40 yard construction dumpster has a weight limit of 20000 lbs.  At the time I did not do the math to realize that equates to 10 tons.  When I spoke to the person I was told the dumpster had a 5 ton limit and this was placed on my receipt.  I made it clear to the person that I was doing demo at a house, removing plaster and lathe.  They did not make it clear to me that they were only a broker and never told me that the actual company delivering the dumpster was limited to 5 tons even though their website states 10 tons.  I had no idea the weight involved with demoing, so had no reason to question the 5 ton limit  Actually I did, but their suggestion was increasing from a 30 to 40 yard dumpster, the largest and most expensive.  I hoped one would be enough.  We completely filled two of them.

As for the company that actually delivered the dumpster, Best Hauling, I called them directly and told them the project and they immediately said they don’t handle that weight limit and referred me to another company.  What is interesting to me is they had no problem picking up the overweight dumpsters, so it makes me wonder if they are part of the bait and switch scheme of Budget Dumpster.  If 5 tons was truly their limit after they picked up the first dumpster they should/could have said it surpassed the weight limit and not provided a second.

I’ve filed a dispute with my credit card company after speaking with Budget Dumpster’s billing department, which refused to void the charges.  They claim they have audio recordings of my being told of the limit (I don’t dispute that) and that it was also on my receipt.

Based on my dad’s suggestion I have decided to remove the ceilings I left in place in three of the rooms, so more demo in my future.  What won’t be in my future is Budget Dumpster and I hope this posting saves anyone else that may come across this company as they broker country-wide. @budget.dumpster, @budgetdumpster, #budgetdumpterRIPOFF!!!

To Keep the Door or Leave the Stairway Exposed, that is the question????

20171119_143938Today, while my framing tutorial from my dad was still fresh on my mind, I set out to build the frame for the new door I purchased to increase the opening leading up to the master suite.  As I mentioned in the Doors, Doors, Doors post, I’ve hit my head several times coming down the stairs, so I was excited when I found this 30″ wide door at Building Valu that would give me additional head room.

However, after I removed the lathe and existing frame from above the current door opening I am having serious second thoughts about having a door at all.  By losing the door I gain about 20″ in additional height.  I will also gain about 3″ in additional width if I remove the existing frame sides.

Since starting my blog I have had over 2,000 hits and I have 27 followers, so I’m going to ask for opinions.  Should I have a door to close off the master suite or should I leave it open.  Sorry, I never took a picture to show the opening with the door.  The best picture to see the opening with the lathe is the Open Concept post (look on the left side of pic).  Without the door those steps, once refinished, would be worth showing off and the natural light from the window at the top of the stairs would cascade down.  Plus I gain wall space.  I’d probably never have the door closed.  One thought to have it is to filter out noise from house guest.  At my age any house guest I’d have wouldn’t make excessive noise.  Privacy isn’t an issue because you can’t see into the master suite from the bottom of the steps.  Sooooo, unless I can be given some serious arguments for keeping it, I think the answer is………leave the stairway exposed.


I’ve Been Framed

From Saturday, November 25 – Thursday, November 30 my dad and I set out to get all the framing done at my house.  People ask me all the time how did I learn to do the DIY stuff I do?  Well most of it I learned from watching my dad.  Working with my dad is usually not a fun experience.  He lacks patience, does not always give concise and clear direction/instructions, and a question is almost always viewed as “questioning”, which is a cardinal sin.  However, years ago I heard God gave us two eyes, two ears, and one mouth for a reason.  Although it is difficult to always keep my mouth shut I watch and listen to what he does and from that I’ve developed some pretty great DIY skills.  As with my deck project from several years ago, my Dad’s skills and knowledge saved me $1000’s in contractor fees and for that I’m grateful.  I will still need to finish the back wall of the linen closet (floor must be laid first) and I laid the sub floor in the first floor bath the day after he left, but credit for my ability to do so clearly lies with him.


My old house gave my dad fits.  Current wall studs are spaced inconsistently, floor joist aren’t level or sag, but he was bound and determined that his walls and floors would be plum and straight and by golly they are.  Thankfully everyday we were joined by at least one member of my demolition crew (Cameron, John, Jermaine, Greg and/or newcomer Anthony).  Hopefully they learned a few things during their time with him.  Unfortunately I don’t have any pics showing Cameron, Jermaine, and Anthony sistering the floor joist in the basement, but thank you Jonathon Scott and @PropertyBrothers.  Originally we were going to remove all the compromised joist (which were true 2 bys) and replace them with double, modern, 2x10s, but Drew had similar problems at his Honeymoon house and Jonathan sistered his. My dad said that was a much easier fix.  The original joists were seriously bowed, but the sistered beams are perfectly leveled to each other thanks to his diligence.20171201_120047

While they were struggling to jack the joist in place (we channeled our inner @ChipGaines using a car jack) I worked upstairs in my master suite removing the pine floor from the “wet area” of the bathroom and laying sub floor.  I’ll be able to use that pine flooring to patch other areas in the house (also like Chip Gaines from the shotgun house), including completing the flooring in the new linen closet.


The most fun for me was getting to use my new framing nailer and Jobmax tool.  I don’t know if it was because I tensed up preparing for the kick back after pulling the trigger, but I am more sore in the shoulders from working on framing than I was doing the demo swinging a crowbar.  Here are more pics of the latest milestone.