Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Renovate Brooklyn- Day 2! Game On!

Today is the day we begin chopping down walls. John has his (creatively named) handy Saws-All locked and loaded, has actually found an old and slightly smelly tool belt that he's wearing with a great deal of pleasure, and we're both equipped with gloves and face masks.

The plan is to tackle the hallway wall today-- it shouldn't be too difficult to bring down because it is not even a real wall-- it only extends 8'0" feet up toward our 11 foot high ceilings, and almost feels like someone used craft glue to stick it up. The temptation might be to take a flying karate jumping-kick right through the wall, but we've decided to err on the side of caution and use the Saws-All to begin.

A photo of the hallway: pre-flying-karate-kick...

I know it doesn't look that terrible, but that's only because we are so tremendously design savvy. Over the last few years, we've done everything we could to improve the state of our apartment. We painted the grotty vinyl tile floors with bright white deck paint, painted all of the walls a soothing very pale yellow, and we swapped out all of the apartment's flimsy, hollow-core doors and replaced them with the lovely antique french doors you see here.

All of this did a world of good, bringing loads of light into the center rooms of the apartment, but still didn't justify keeping the guest room as it was, where it was.

(Prior to installing the glass-paned doors, my older brother Richard liked to say that sleeping in our guest room was like returning to the womb: dark, airless, and very quiet.) No more we say! Bring on the light! Bring on the space! "Tear Down This Wall!"

Many hours later... 
And so we began: John used the Saws-All to cut into the drywall near where it had been attached to the adjacent wall, and we started in disassembling the wall. We removed the french door and door moldings, as well as the floor molding so we had easy access to all of the seams. Within minutes it became apparent that something similar to the flying-karate kick was actually going to be the best way to approach this project...the brute force of a couple of hammers! After using the Saws-All to make the initial incisions into each portion of the wall (front side/backside/left of door/right of door), we ended up using the claw-end of our claw hammers to literally pull the drywall panels off of the metal stud frame. Then a couple zips of the electric screw driver and we had disassembled the metal framework.

Okay, this description makes it sound a little tidier and faster than it actually was, but I think it's uncouth to include detailed descriptions of our profanity in these postings...



Nonetheless, a few hours later the wall was gone, and in its place-- huge black garbage bags full of rubble, a couple of huge panels of drywall, and many sharp fragments of the metal studs from inside the wall. It was clear that the trash disposal could end up being the hardest, most expensive part of this project considering how many walls we're planning to chop down, but at least the wall is gone, right? 

Day Two: 
Walls Down: 1
Complaints from Neighbors: 0
Unbelievably Heavy Bags of Garbage in our Kitchen: 8

See you tomorrow night! 

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