Saturday, December 8, 2012

Week Two of Demo and Yard Clean up

It is official, we are now the owners! Yay!!

Although we went and signed papers and previous owners even gave us the keys to the house on the 26th of November the closing was not really final till this Tuesday December 4th.  So last week as we were waiting for the final word that the closing was final we were only able to work on cleaning up the yard.  It is so nice to have things a little cleaner.  However, now that we officially own the house we really have to focus on a few critical things so construction can start on time.

# 1 The cottonwood tree
This tree is HUGE, rotting and falling apart and it is within a foot of where the new foundation will be poured for the addition.  So, it has to go.
(above) View of cotton wood tree from back porch
  We hired someone to come and take the big rotting cottonwood tree out.

(above) View of cottonwood tree from back yard.

(above) Starting to cut the tree down!

 I am so glad we hired this done!  It was a huge project.  The guy who did it came out several nights in a row after he was done with his normal work day job.  It was at least a day and a half of sawing with a very big chain saw and the tree was rotting because it was filled with bees!  There were hives all throughout the tree and it was a HUGE tree.  Below is a picture of some hives that were inside just one of the big branches.  You can see the inside of the log is covered with bees!  Luckily these were not killer bees and the man cutting the tree down only got stung once.  After the entire tree was cut a nearby neighbor, who knows a lot about bees, came over to see the bees and said we were lucky because probably 95% of the bees in this neighborhood are killer bees.   If these were killer bees they would have definitely attacked us when we cut the tree down.  Yikes!! 

No more tree.  Just a lot of branches and lumber... and a bunch of bees.  I hope we can get rid of the bees.

#2 The vines on the freight train...

Another big dreaded chore but one that needed to be addressed very soon is the vines on freight carThese vines were growing on every corner and along the bottom of the freight car.  Attached to the outside of the train was 6 foot tall wire fencing.  It was screwed up all along the freight car so that the vines could grow up to the top and perhaps had done so for maybe 30 years.  So, when we first started cutting the vines down they were super thick.  Some had fallen down, most likely because they were so heavy, but in many places they grew all the way to the top.  Last weekend Ben and Devon spent most of the day just clearing the top of the freight car from vines.  Hopefully this week we can find a company to move this thing and for a reasonable price in a timely manner.  Although it is a great structure for storage, the freight train is not the most sightly of structures and it takes up a ton of room on the side yard.  I want it out of my yard really badBut if it is going to be moved it needs to be moved soon.  Once the foundation for the addition is pored it is there for good.   This coming week we have a company scheduled to come out and give us a quote but first of all the vines have to be cleared so they can see what they are dealing with and give us a quote. 

(above) This is what the freight car looked like before..

(above) We have done a bit of cleaning so today the train did not look as bad as it did originally but clearing all that vine was a HUGE chore!!

First thing this morning I went and recruited two of our nephews Ethan and Bo.  Devon, Ethan and Bo are work horses!  This job was overwhelming and those boys gave it their all till it was done.  While I was picking up Ethan and Bo, Ben and Devon tried to tackle the project alone.  I was gone for an hour they only got maybe 10% cleared.  Those two looked a little defeated.   
Finally we figured out the best method for removing the vine and the process went much quicker!

We had a little fun too..

Two hours later..

#3 Demo!! Taking walls down inside the house.

Here is the before and after

We are making quite a few changes inside the house along with a 1300 sq foot addition.  The current master bedroom and master bathroom is going to be converted to a front room.  The master bedroom bathroom window will soon be taken out and cut larger because it will become the entryway to a long hall that leads to all 5 bedrooms.  The house currently has 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and a half bath over by the kitchen.   Earlier this week a neighbor came over and we got to work on removing the master closet.  Above is what the closet wall looked like before.

Here is the after!

Today when the nephews were here they were dying to take out the rest of the walls in the master bedroom and bath... In fact, we told them once all the vines were cleared on the freight car they could go to town on the walls.   Boy that got them working even harder on those vines.  Once we got inside  I cant believe how much they got done!!  Just take a look.  A few times I heard them say things like, "This is a dream come true, I have always wanted to destroy a house"  "This is so fun, can we come back tomorrow!"  Below is the before.  The white door to the right is the front door to the house.
After ...

 The process....

 Here is the shower wall in the master bathroom before the boys got to work on it...

 What it looks like now...

Below- View from where the old master closet used to be..

On the list for next week.. 

1. Finish removing the master bathroom
2. Cut down heavy metal gate and fence that attaches to the house on the North side yard so the site where the new addition is going will be cleared and ready for construction.
3. Remove all the tree branches and stumps from old cotton wood tree that was cut down.
4.  ... A ton more of things I cannot think of right now.

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