Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Infiltrate. Destroy. Rebuild.

A couple of months ago we scammed invited a couple of great friends to Bevier for a weekend of Manor renovations. There was a pretty high chance of snow that weekend so we were a little reluctant to make the 2 hour trip. Luckily, our friends are extremely crazy generous because they didn't hesitate to tell us to keep the plan the same and load up! The good news is that it didn't snow "much". The bad news is that it was Antarctica cold. So, we layered up, grabbed some hot chocolate (and maybe a little bit of Fireball) and got to work! Jeremy & TJ's job was soffit #4. It's the smallest of all the soffits but it has two corners pretty close together so that was a bit of a challenge.

This was right above the "porthole" window above the staircase that I talked about in an earlier post. I haven't forgot about it...that mystery will be solved this year, I hope.

This side of the house seems to be in much better shape than the south side which was a relief. It was also nice to not worry about re-building the "over window thingy" from scratch. Just a little bit of scraping, caulk and paint and it will be as good as new.

This was the guys first trip up in the lift. It was so cold that it took the lift forever to get them up there. The lift apparently moves like I do in the cold, ha! I can relate little lift...I can relate.

The rest of the crew, which consisted of my dad, sister, my friend Sarah & myself, were in charge of demolition of "The Bad Room". Let me tell you a little bit about "The Bad Room" and how it received such a moniker. On the back side of the house on both the north & south side, there were two rooms that were later built on...I would say probably in the 1970's. It is my guess that when Marie LaSalle had the boarding home there she needed more room to run her operation. One of the rooms had a hospital bed in it and the other had laundry hook ups. After Marie passed away and the house became severely neglected, these two rooms did not fare well and became completely rotten. This was almost a deal breaker for me (not really) when we originally took a tour of the house. I was walking through the formal dining room and opened this door expecting to see just another room but instead, I saw this horrific sight.

Geeeeez! Is this a room or a portal to Chernobyl!?!

Until that weekend I've kept that room securely locked up and would only open it if I absolutely HAD to. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. Anytime someone would go through the house with me, I would get asked, "What's in there?". I would promptly say, "Nothing...that's the bad room".

You can imagine my excitement to finally be rid of this room but it did not go down as easily as the room on the south side. It was bigger and although it looked like you could push it over, it was secured to the house well. When looking at a room like this you kind of ask yourself "Where in the heck do I start?!". There is no good answer to this just get your pry bar, hammer & sledgehammer (my favorite!) and start tearing it apart.

This is Sarah. She's 6' tall & VERY good at demo!

There is something extremely empowering & therapeutic about taking out structures with a was definitely my favorite activity of the weekend!

My sister got in on the fun & took out most of the roof in about an hour which completely shocked me! She's an elementary teacher so I think she was getting some frustrations out of her own.

She also fell through the floor but luckily landed on duct work that carried heat to the room. LOL! Sorry Kerri...but it was really funny!

Since demo is more fun than soffits, the guys took a little break from the roof and helped out.

Here's a window and a doorway we uncovered. Mega bonus!

When it was time to shove the hospital bed out the window (which btw, was no easy weighed a ton!) my dad looked at me and said "How many old people do you think rang that dinner bell?".

"'s not a dinner bell". I'm still not sure if he believed me or not.

The guys ended up finishing the soffit which I did not get a picture of because my phone died and since we were on the verge of hypothermia we were ready to get home. We also got most of the room demo'd but my dad, Jeremy & I finished the job when we were home for Christmas. It was a pretty scary but exciting thing to see that room crash down. Jeremy basically cut all of the support beams across the roof. Each time he would make a cut it would crack and move down a little more. I have coined the name "The Danger Squad" when it comes to my dad & Jeremy with my dad being the eternal president of this club. Safety is a's just not always the first factor when it comes to him. I'm pretty sure I heard my dad tell Jeremy that if the roof fell to just ride it out and not jump off the ladder. "Did I really just hear that?".

So here it is! No more bad room!



It's pretty neat to see the back of the house without those rooms & know that this is how the house originally looked. I'm sure there were porches or something here but not rooms. As far as what we're going to do with this area...I'm definitely seeing a wrap around deck! Pardon me while I live in Photoshop land for a moment. *angelic choir*

The plan now is to clean up the mess that we've created from all the demo and to tackle the never ending brush problem while it's dorment.

And then this Spring....the first thing on the list is THE LAST SOFFIT!

I will be popping a big bottle of champagne when that project is officially done! :)