Thursday, February 3, 2022

Demo Days at the Split Level

Everyone loves a good demo day!!  We ended up with demo weeks, thanks to some interesting twists and turns.  

Vermiculite - grainy mineral used for insulation
It started easily enough, tearing out some walls and filling dumpsters.  But when I stopped by to check on progress, I found a nasty surprise.  Vermiculite.  Ugh!  A potential asbestos problem is not what we need, especially since the asbestos remediation team finished up in the basement last week!

What is vermiculite? It's a grainy mineral that was typically poured into walls.  We find it occasionally and the bad news is 70% of the vermiculite sold in the US was mined in Libby, Montana - and the mine contained a couple of deposits of asbestos.  Now back in the day, nobody thought mixing a little asbestos in with vermiculite would be a problem, so they mixed it all together.  Of course now we know better.  So we had to stop work while we looked into it.

This vermiculite was in the ceiling - between two layers of fiberglass.  We learned that to have it properly remediated would be $5,000-6,000.  Yikes - a nasty budget hit!!!  So we decided to put everything on hold while we had the vermiculite tested.  Was ours from the mine with the asbestos?  We wanted to find out. 

And for once we got good news - we didn't need to remediate, the vermiculite that we have could just be disposed of in a conventional way.  Hooray!!!

Demo is messy!! 

So the gang from Anything Goes got back to work, ripping out lots of walls (oh, and thanks to Magnolia Landscapes assisting Anything Goes, we had 3 women on this demo crew - that's a first!!).  

But of course the biggest job was removing the giant chimney and fireplace.  I know some of you loved that fireplace, but it blocks our open floor plan and bedrooms on the top floor.  It had to go!  See how open the space is at the top of the stairs now?
Fireplace removal in the living room/kitchen

It was a big task and took over a day with a focused crew.  But what a difference!  Now all 3 floors feel so much bigger and more open!  We took it out from the roof all the way to the basement!

With demo complete, I'm sure you're curious about what other surprises we found.  There were a couple, as usual!  

First, there was no insulation in the walls.  Nada, zip, zilch.  This always surprises me in Maine.  You would think sometime in the 70's or 80's, when oil prices skyrocketed, someone would have had insulation blown in.  But in this house, that wasn't the case.

Second, we had some serious water damage in a couple of places.  It's crazy how much water can damage wood.  This window sill is completely destroyed and we will need to eliminate this window completely.  It's too low to the ground and every time it rains (or gets snow build up), the wood gets soaked again. 


This used to be a window sill...... now it's spongy! 
And there was obviously a bathtub leak, that will need the sill and a couple of joists repaired to fix the damage.

But all in all, this wasn't so bad. In fact, we're pretty surprised how few issues we found - it almost feels like there's another shoe that's going to drop with another surprise.....  Am I overthinking this?

For now, we're just going to stand back and admire how great it looks - even at this stage in the project.  Doesn't the living area look bigger??!!!  

Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...