With the garage addition, demolition was rather limited. The real demo for the project was Dave breaching the foundation wall. This was messy work, as all demo should be, but it was not extensive. But not to fear, the first floor renovation provided an excellent opportunity to vent frustration through demolition. For a reminder of the master plan for the downstairs – wander over to this post.
First things first, the downstairs had to be cleared out. A vicious purge was held. Things given away willy nilly. Three crockpots is sufficient, having four is just heading into largess. Baby toys Evan has out grown. Currently used items were shifted upstairs. Dining room? A wonderful office. Toys creatively stashed in the living room and Alex’s room. But even then, it wasn’t enough. A storage unit was rented and the extra odds and ends that didn’t fit into the new garage or house were mothballed for storage.
After that, demo fun began. To no one’s surprise, quite the graveyard of mice were discovered. The poor things would run along in the ceiling joists then make their way down into the cavities and get trapped. Mice are not welcome in the house, but they are not wished a long and inhumane death.
The shortcuts and questionable decisions during the initial construction were discovered. The even more questionable decisions made by the previous owner during the installation of the illegal rental apartment were exposed. It was a longer than expected process, but the critical step to making things better.
“What we lack in quality of materials we will make up for in nails” was the theme of the original builder. Shitty materials? Use 75 million nails to hold it together?
It is a mountain build in the early 90s! Use whatever is on the truck so we don’t have to run down to the building supply yard in Boulder.
There were building codes in the early 90s. Either no one checked this build or some palms were seriously greased.
The house is not built according to the plans submitted to the town.
The steel beam to allow for a clear span garage was an after thought. Evidence: there was no pocket for it to sit in within the foundation wall (best practice) and the 3 2 x 6s were barely sitting above the footer.
Front wall had no vapor barrier and clear cracks and the fiberglass insulation had strips of dust where wind had been blowing in.
The original builder failed to seal around the windows properly allowing mice easy access into the house.
Two 15 amp electrical circuits for the entire first floor. No wonder singed wires were found.
Tiled around bathroom vanity.
There is more that has been blocked out with margaritas. At some point it will be remembered and shared.
After a grueling 6 months of construction the new garage, a well earned 6 week break was enjoyed before embarking on Phase 2 of the massive house remodel. Phase 2 involves completely overhauling the downstairs of the house.
Converting the garage over to a new kitchen/dining area.
Moving the guest/playroom to the back side of the house creating an open space floor plan (or as close as it will get in this house)
Expanding the full bath to allow for a barrier less (roll in shower). The full bath won’t be completely ADA compliant, but too much space needed to be taken out of the living room to accomplish that designation.
Sneaking a half bath in under the stairs.
Replacing the 25 year old furnace rated for elevations of less than 2500 feet (hello 8500 feet) with a boiler and radiant heat system.
Replacing the water heater with a new side arm.
Replacing the 25 year old windows.
Replacing the garage door with sliding glass doors and panels.
Fixing any surprises/deficiencies from original construction/past remodels.
True to all construction projects, the plans have been modified between “finalization” and demo day.
Barrier free shower has been widened to 6’6″ (removing storage shelves) and deepened to 42″
Island has been shrunk to 6’6 to allow for a wider walkway.
Bar/coffee station has become an extension of west kitchen counter top (left hand side).
Triple sliding door has been replaced with a double slider with two fixed outside panes.
With winter somewhat behind us, we started our garage project. Summer seemed like it was in full swing when we began our dig, but a cold snap showed up a few days later. We kept on chugging through – summer is short in the mountains. (For the big picture of this renovation click here)
The first couple of days of excavation were promising. There was more top soil than we expected. Fingers were crossed that this would keep up. We had local sources who wanted the fill coming out of our job site (saving lots of money not trucking the fill down the canyon). Over the next few days we hit rock. Nothing the backhoe couldn’t handle, but the going slowed down. Then we hit the hard rock. Our excavator had to bring in his rock breaker, things really slowed down, and costs went up. But the hole got dug.
Check out the time-lapse videos below for some digging fun. We didn’t get every day, but you get the idea.
Initial Estimate (time, fill to be removed): 4 days, 250 cubic yards of fill
Final Estimate (time, fill removed): 11 days, 450 cubic yards/658 tons of fill