It Started Small but Snowballed

What started as the removal of a few pesky cedar trees to improve views and access has snowballed into a full blown landscape project.

Below shows the beginning, Patty cut down these trees with her new Milwaukee battery powered pole saw, which is wonderful by the way. She is going to use the trunks of these trees to build a raised bed garden.

After we removed the trees we said hey, we need to grind these stumps out…and since we will need to rent a stump grinder, we might as well clear out some more of these trees and brush and open it up. Took me almost 15 trips with the tractor and grapple to get all of the trunks removed and disposed of.

After cutting the trees down, disposing of the brush and grinding out the stumps I was left with one monster oak tree stump that was just too big to grind. Figured I could use the tractor, dig out around it, breaking roots and eventually I could pull it out. Well, no deal, dug at least three feet down and that thing would NOT budge. Project isn’t complete until I can get that stump out of there and then re-grade the area in preparation for seeding a ground cover.

Chimney Demolition Done

Finished taking both chimneys down to the floor level and patched the roof. It was quite a bit bigger task than I had envisioned, but I’m sure glad its done. The house looks strange now…

Now to figure out how to best remove that load bearing wall…

Chimney Demolition Weekend

The big task this weekend with the ongoing Gray House refurb project was to remove the chimney on the right side and patch the roof hole. Started on Friday with the above-roof portion, this took me until it was pretty much dark. I was rushing at the end to beat a pending rainstorm.

On Saturday me and my super-model wife rigged up a block and tackle to a roof joist and proceeded to deconstruct the chimney inside the house until it was roughly waist high. Was drenched in sweat by the time this was over. The back and shoulders will be sore tonight. See the progress and results below.

Gray House Interior Demolition Phase 1

Completed the first phase of the interior demolition. About 4,000 pounds of waste was taken to the local dump. Two non-load bearing walls were removed and I managed to repurpose many of the 2x4s to build saw horses for later phases of the renovation. Now that all of the walls and roof beams have been exposed things appear to be in pretty good shape, better than I expected actually. There were two roof leaks which have since been patched. Pretty happy so far. Next phase is the removal of the chimneys…

Gray House Demo Begins

Spent the last half of the day starting the demolition of the gray house interior. Never done a project like this but I’m very interested to give it a try. The plan is to remove all of the wallboard (walls and ceiling) and see what shape the structure is in and how/if we can remove the various walls and open the inside. Ultimately we want to make it a guest house with all of the modern conveniences. Below is a before and a few afters. The structure so far appears to be in good shape. Lots of wasp and hornet nests in the walls, so good time to do it since they are dormant.

There is no insulation in the walls nor ceiling, the place had to be incredibly cold in the winter.

Nothing Better Than Winter Fire pit

Invigorating to be out in the crisp weather after being cooped up inside due to the foot surgery. Nothing like enjoying a cigar and watching a winter sunset with the lovely wife.