The Alfie who could

Yesterday morning I decided to get a bunch of errands  done due to the copious amounts of liquid falling out of the sky.

I had to drop by BCIT and pick up the container I had brought my EPS/XPS submerged samples in,  take some materials and tools back to Home Depot, take in some paper for shredding, pickup a rolling magnet for picking nails off the ground, repair a trailer tire that had a slow leak because I have not previously had a rolling magnet for picking nails off the ground :-(, pickup a 500 ft roll of braided cable that will be used to suspend my tarp and also hopefully devise a way to easily lift the ICF block into place, and finally pick up a weight lifting belt for my back because I actually picked up the 500ft spool of braided cable :-(.

I had a really bad back a few years back with herniated and perforated discs.  Spent 6 months in bed before 4 months of very limited activity.  It had been doing quite well over the last few years but started acting up just before I started taking the house down.  Lifting very heavy objects, like sacks of concrete, seem to cause the most grief.  The demolition has actually seemed to help it which I am sure has a lot to do with the rather dramatic weight loss.

I have been wearing a back brace for some activities but have wanted a more rigid weight belt for the times I need to lift heavier objects.  It was quickly apparent that lifting the spool yesterday was not a good thing to do without a back support.  I did ask for a dolly but the supplier did not have one. So on the way home I finally got the weight belt and wore it all afternoon to try to help repair the damage.  I also took a stint on my inverter table before deciding to take the rest of the afternoon off and just rest with my knees over a bolster.  This all seemed to do the trick as I had minimal pain today.  This back issue has been the single largest stress for the upcoming build as I just do not know how I am going to do.  In general the small amount of pain I typically do feel is enough to be a reminder that I MUST lift properly with my knees bent and if I need to pry something, I need to do it with my torso centred to the object.

Today was a very productive day in contrast to yesterday. I was on site by 9 AM and started preparing for the day’s onslaught.  Gail arrived at 9:45 and Eric at 10 AM.  We setup a good team with Eric processing the wood by removing all of the nails, Gail was the runner taking all of the loose 2×4’s to Eric for processing and the green and garbage waste to the trailer for the next run.  I generally processed the pile of lumber separating the components into individual sticks.  The verdict is in, the dismantle with the tractor actually resulted in less damage to the wood than by taking it apart by hand.  If only I had not tried this earlier in the process.  One really neat thing was being able to use the tractor to strip the 2×4’s off the ship-lap.  It was fast, easy, and resulted in pretty much no damage to the ship-lap.

Large stack of lumber to process

Large stack of lumber to process

By 3:50 we were all done

By 3:50 we were all done

Eric headed off just before 3 to beat the traffic and Gail and I finished processing the rest of the south annex tear down pile just before 4 PM.  Gail then headed off for her afternoon walk with Ron and I decided to start pulling up the sub floor with the tractor.  I never intended to keep any of the sub-floor.  The 2×4 sleepers were typically showing signs of heavy decay and   I did not expect the plywood to separate easily from the ship-lap.  Well I was wrong, the plywood peeled off quite nicely (nice enough that someone will probably take it).  I was even able to pull a fair amount (50%) of the ship-lap off without significant damage. It was also very quick and within an hour I had stripped about half of the floor area down to the concrete.

By 5:15 most of the sub-floor is gone

By 5:15 most of the sub-floor is gone

For the concrete slab I had planned to rent a breaker attachment for the excavator but there was a loose piece of concrete between two strip footings that I knew I could pry out with Alfie.  One I got the first piece out, I was able to grab a few more of these smaller chunks.  I then attacked the main slab which is 4″ at the very minimum with many areas even thicker.  To my total astonishment, little Alfie chewed through the slab with relative ease. Yes it was at the extreme end of his strength, but each large chunk would break off without a lot of effort.  I was able to break up and stack about 400 sq ft in about 20 minutes.  I had worked my way to the foundation and I was sure poor Alfie would not be able to break through (about 16″ wide by about the same high), but as soon as I was able to get the bucket below and pry up, I saw movement and in the end was able to lift out 6ft long chunks of foundation.  This is awesome and will same the cost of renting a breaker for this task (I will still rent one for the excavation to assist in breaking through the hard pan).

By 6 a large portion of the slab is gone

By 6 a large portion of the slab is gone

Tomorrow I will finish removing the sub-floor and slab from the parts of the house that are already down and if I have time will also trip the final  hardwood floor from the bedroom (it has survived so far even though there has been a couple of floods in the room when the tarps have not been positioned properly).

Sunday I have agreed to a day off to go for lunch at my in-laws.  I will be great-full for the rest I am sure.

Next week should see the north annex come down and be processed, the removal of the remaining sub floor and slab, the stacking of the long lumber on top of the shipping container, the construction of a long work bench and saw station, and the general preparation for the excavation.

Lets see if we can keep on track.

Thanks for the visit.

 

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