With our demolitionpermit hanging in the window, we were ready to start the dirtiest, butarguably most gratifying phase of the project: Demolition. With a crewof four, we predicted demolition to be complete within ten days.Ambitious? Slightly, but that was our plan.
On dayone, before the first dumpster rolled in, we knocked the majority ofthe lathe and plaster off the walls and ceilings in two of the frontrooms on the first floor. For those unfamiliar with lathe and plasterwalls, they consist of thin strips of wood (nailed to framing on wallsand ceilings), coated with a finishing layer of plaster. In thiscountry, lathe and plaster was used on interior walls and ceilingsuntil the late 1950’s, when drywall began to replace it. Removinglathe and plaster is a dirty, dusty, and laborious chore, wherebreathing and eye protection are mandatory.
By themiddle of day four, we had removed the lathe and plaster from all thewalls and ceilings on both floors, filling four industrial-sizeddumpsters. Four Brothers uses Environmental Alternatives, Inc. (EAI)for all waste disposal needs. EAI recycles all demolition debris inaccordance with the goals set forth by the U.S. Green BuildingCouncil’s LEED Rating System. (To learn more about EAI visit: https://www.eairolloff.com/index.html.)
Next togo were the remaining appliances and accessories from the kitchens andbathrooms, followed closely by the old plumbing pipes, electricalwiring and interior framing throughout the house. The obsoletefurnaces, boilers, and water heaters landed in the dumpster next; allof which was light work compared to the lathe and plaster.
There spite was short lived however, since we moved next to the thicksetbathroom floors and brick chimneys. As anyone who has remodeled akitchen or bathroom in an older home is probably aware, thickset mortarwas once used when laying tile. A thick (4-8 inch) bed of mortar waspoured between floor joists or on some kind of subfloor, in which theceramic tile was set. There is no pretty way to remove a thicksetfloor – after wielding a jackhammer and chipping bar for a day, onegains a new appreciation for the thin-set mortar which is now used.Similarly, elbow grease, cushioned gloves and a sledge hammer are thestandard prescription for dismantling a chimney.
Once the heavy lifting was done, we removed the remaining subfloor on thebottom floor (upstairs heart-pine floor is staying to be re-finished),after which we cut out the rotten and termite infested floor joists.
And then we were finished. After nine long days, nine full dumpsters, 18coolers of water, and 10 bags of ice, demolition was done and our crewwas exhausted.