Monday, August 3, 2009

Let the destruction begin!

After purchasing this wreck in September 1998 the work began. Dave had returned to Houston to continue earning while I started the demolition, lining up plumbers, and rebuilding. Narragansett, RI, is beautiful in September but I saw it only through safety glasses and a massive hepa filter mask. The first of our eight huge dumpsters arrived with a very loud thunk.

Most of the first dumpster was filled with trash, broken furniture, and all manner of abandoned things found tucked away in the basement and garage. That was the easy dumpster.
A few walls were destined to be removed to make way for much needed bathrooms. Taking down horsehair plaster is not a difficult job. In fact, it can be down right fun. Moving all of that plaster from the third floor to the dumpster? not so fun. And so the "Debris Slide" was invented.

The "slide" was a huge tarp that I secured to 2x4s that were lifted by rope to the third floor windows. The bottom of the tarp was weighted down inside of the dumpster. My plan was to toss everything out of the windows and have it gracefully float to its final resting place. Plaster with angel wings so to speak.

Reality check: when you toss heavy plaster down a slide it tends to catch in a pouch outside the dumpster. You then get a great treat because you can pretend it is a giant pinata as you poke the mess from underneath with a broom to try and flip it into the dumpster. If you poke just so you can wind up with all the plaster on your head. If you add a plank to get the plaster farther out on the tarp it works much better. Eventually I learned how to secure the tarp so the junk actually slid the way I hoped. Just a few tips if you ever try this job. First lower the tarp to the ground at the end of every work day so a drunken tenant doesn't try to slide down it. At the very least, take in the plank lest someone try to walk it. Second, don't plan on working if a Nor'easter is starting to blow in from the North Atlantic. Third, be prepared to be the talk of the town.