Deconstruction has started!

Today was the first day of the deconstruction process – Yeah!

In roughly three hours*, I was able to remove most of the kitchen cabinets and counters including kitchen sink.  I was going to try to save the wall cabinets, but due to how they were built and the size of fasteners holding them into the walls, this was not possible – the wood just kept on splitting.

* This represents 12 times the length of time needed to demolish a small bungalow like ours with a tractor and is roughly equal to the time to demolish a house and truck the waste off site.

I have to say, it felt bitter sweet tearing what has been my kitchen for the last 16 years of my life, to bits.  I realized that while many people of torn apart a house, very few have torn apart THEIR house.  On one hand, I have always hated that kitchen, the homemade cabinets have always been ‘rough’ and no spit and polish could ever make this turd shine. But it is still my ‘home’ and it just feels wrong to rip it apart.

Figure 1: Before

Figure 1: Before

Figure 2: After

Figure 2: After

There was a bit of a surprise when I took one of the sill and returns away from one of the windows.  The lower edge was filled with mould.  When you look at the mechanics of it, it really was not a shock.  The aluminum window frames were always condensing and this moisture just flowed behind the return for decades and caused some mild grief.   Glad it was not worse, this was a south wall, so I am a bit nervous to look at the North window that did not benefit from solar drying.

Figure 1: Black Border I always though was disintegrating window putty actually turned out to be mouldy wood

Figure 3: Black Border I always though was disintegrating window putty and aluminum frame actually turned out to the only indicator of a more significant problem below.

Figure 4: Heavy AL frame has been condensing for years with the moisture travelling behind the surround.

Figure 4: Heavy AL frame has been condensing for years with the moisture travelling behind the surround.

The window situation was made worse by the fact that the builder had used Arborite counter-top as a ‘shim’ between the original window ledge and the new built-in surround.  The just trapped the moisture within the sandwich.  Was wa amazing was that there really was not a clear indication of this problem from the surface.

The home made cabinets did have some neat features built-in including a bread dough rolling board and a pantry drawer with a tin liner AND a lid that slid into place when closed.  These were built in an era when builders thought about the use of the spaces and ensured that they would meet the occupant needs.

Figure : It was many years of living in the house before we found this rolling in board

Figure 5: It was many years of living in the house before we found this rolling board

Figure : Tin Lined drawer with lid that slid into place when drawer was closed.

Figure 6: Tin Lined drawer with lid that slid into place when drawer was closed.

I also had some good news from the engineer – they have continues checking my plans against Part C of the Guide and have not found any problems and were starting to mark up the drawings I drafted last week.  So i looks like we are on track to finally put this stage behind me late this week or early next.

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