Demo Days

The pee pot has been resurrected.

The rot on the front porch and wall of 2nd bedroom left no doubt as to my need take the house down to the studs, despite the previous owner passing his plumbing and electrical rough-in by cutting channels in the plaster.  Most of what he installed Iā€™m not using, so my first task after closing was removing the framing and HVAC ducts he had placed on the first floor.  Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, but not a full 3pc bathroom located off a kitchen you cut in half to accommodate said bathroom.  Tearing all the framing out took the better part of a weekend, but I was able to do it by myself and man what a difference it made to the space.  This is going to be one gorgeous kitchen.

After exposing brick in my house I was curious to find out what was behind the plaster of the living room fireplace. Gorgeous condition and unlike at my house the plaster gave way with ease. I had the entire fireplace freed in about an hour. My guess is this house had a pot belly stove for heat when originally built as the square hole you see held a round pipe that had been filled with concrete. The inside of the fireplace has been bricked shut, so it will not be functioning, at least not with my money. I’ve got plans to close the opening that will leave my mark. I’ll also need to complete the row at the top as the ceiling drywall won’t completely cover the gap.

A neighbor who purchased and restored the house at the corner of Sidney and Stock, referred me to two brothers that he used for demo projects he had. I gave them a shot and they cleared the drywall, insulation, and nails from the 3rd floor in less than 3 hours. Everything was bagged and on the first floor when I returned. Unfortunately their quality of work ended with that project. I gave them two more shots and now have deleted them from my phone.

My cousin Greg and his wife Roneisha

Thankfully my cousin Greg and his wife Roneisha made themselves available. They demoed over half of the second floor by themselves giving me a few hours several weekday mornings. We made three trips to Rumpke with a rental 15′ U-Haul truck. At that point it was time to get a large dumpster. Based on my house I felt a 30-yard would get everything left, but I could only find a 20-yard. I had Greg and the brothers from the 3rd floor project lined up to work on a Saturday and the brothers didn’t show up (that was the final straw). In a panic I called Greg’s brother, Cameron, hoping he either had his schedule free or would be willing to change it and more importantly could round up some of his friends at the last minute. Anyone that followed my house restoration posts knows Cameron. He was highly instrumental in working with me and my father during the first year of that project.

Cameron came through BIG TIME. I wish I had pictures, but these men had every room, but the living room down to the studs and the dumpster filled in 6 hours. I was right about the size dumpster. A 30-yard would have taken it all, but it worked out for the best because as they worked inside, I worked to see how far the rot on the porch went. It went far. I was able to get the front and side railings off and what I uncovered made my flesh crawl; carpenter ants and termites. The ants scurried like roaches in light with each piece of vinyl and asphalt siding I removed. I pulled a section of wood about a foot long that had hundreds of termites. I’ve actually never seen live termites before. Thankfully all of the insect infested material went in the dumpster. If you look to the far right corner of house in this picture what you see next to the window is the plaster and lathe from the living room, not house sheathing. If they had removed that area you could enter the house from that corner.

Now if you’re thinking, oh man she must be so disappointed and upset finding all that rot. That reality sunk in later, but on that day I was ecstatic over finding the original porch post. Once again, channeling one of my favorite DIY show host, @NicoleCurtis, “Why in the world would anyone cover that up!” The post on the left was destroyed with insect and water rot. So much so I had to attach a 2×4 to it to make sure it continued to support the porch roof. The one on the right would have been in pristine condition if not for the section someone cut out of it to create a flat surface to attach the asphalt and subsequent vinyl siding. Inez (remember that’s what I’ve named the house) revealed to me some of the beauty that had once been. I know where brackets on the porch once were. I know half post were once attached to the house. I know three post use to go across the front and that she had picket railings. All these things will be returned, so officially this is no longer a first flip, it’s my second restoration, that I hope I’ll be able to turn a profit on.