Demolition Continued

It has been a month of life events (and thus, regrettably, no posts)!   After 10 days on the market and some hectic negotiations (three offers!), our house in Richmond was under contract, and the permanent transition to country life smacked Rachel in the face.  We got a great offer on the house, but the offer came with a May 1 closing date, conveniently two days into her final examination period, and nine days before graduation.  No biggie.  All she had to do was pack our worldly possessions in the spare time that remained after final exam studies, finishing work on the journal, and enjoying the company of the great friends she has made at law school these past three years.  She’s a trooper!  Two weeks ago Dad and I pulled up with a farm trailer and loaded 75% of our furniture, leaving our house in a sad state of disarray and chaos.  Do we still have Pyrex dishes for baking dinner?  Nope, they are packed.  How about microwave-safe dishware to heat leftovers?  They are in the box with the Pyrex.  Luckily a couple of bottles of wine were around when we needed them.

With graduation looming, the chore list has really taken a backseat to other important tasks…like actually graduating.  And then, Rachel’s bar review books arrived.  What. A. Month.

Despite all of the happenings, we have managed to find five spare hours to forge ahead on the demolition of the Slave/Little House.  For those of you coming up to speed, this building will hopefully be our temporary home come fall, and will shelter us as we embark on our extensive renovation/addition project at Edge Hill.  After ripping off the roof last month,


we turned to the next step in the Little House’s demolition process:  gutting the interior space.  We started with:



IMG_0010(notice the holes in the floor of this second-story room)



So I started by ripping down the lathe and plaster ceiling on the first floor (Steve and Gina had been responsible for doing this on the second floor).  I have new respect for them, as I soon learned that this process was basically a dirt shower, and understood why Steve unexpectedly sent us some advanced eyewear last week(!)


No, we are not headed to AVATAR in 3D.  These goggles have foam seals that press against your face and seal out almost all dust.  Designed for professional spray paint applications, they were a godsend for this job.  Well equipped, we commenced.  Notice the ceiling before:


and after:


After the first floor plaster ceiling was down, we went back upstairs.   A lot of debris had accumulated on the second story floor after we ripped off the roof and while the masons worked on the brick, and this had to be removed before we could pull up the flooring.  We shoveled it down through the conveniently pre-existing holes in floor (see the light shining through the ceiling in the picture above? ).


Once the debris was removed, we moved to the floor boards.  Here, Rachel is inspecting our method of attack (I bet she will love this one).


After a number of discussions, we settled on our approach of standing on the floor and ripping it out backwards.  This was no small consideration, as our other option was to try to stand on the ground floor and hammer the floorboard up from underneath.  The advantage of that option was standing on terra firma.  The disadvantage was that we both lacked the upper body strength of “Ahhhhnold”, and we were basically standing underneath the falling floor beams once they were loosed.  Ironically, safety drove us back upstairs, where our disadvantage was that most of the underlying support was in a state of decomposition.  We tread carefully (Christine, stop reading here, OSHA ain’t got nothing on us). We prised up each floorboard while trying not to vault ourselves out into the void, and surprisingly made pretty quick progress!



Now we just have to do it all over again for the other upstairs room, and then shovel all of the debris out of the building.  What’s everyone doing next weekend?  :)  Yeah right.  Next weekend is Foxfield Races.  We have our priorities, and as the former owners of Edge Hill dabbled in horse breeding, we like to think they would approve.