Monday, 16 July 2012

Demolition day

We spent most of Friday and Saturday helping to demolish our friends' 1969 wooden chalet bungalow, which is going to be replaced with a modern eco house.  It was fascinating and fun!

Colin's idea was that the cedar siding planks would be good for cladding our summerhouse project, which we are just getting started on (started as in collecting the building materials).  Unfortunately, the cedar was too fragile to successful remove the planks, as the tongue and groove snapped off most of them, plus there were loads of obstructions, like drainpipes, to remove first.  So instead we stripped all the cedar shingles from the gable ends and these will become the summerhouse cladding.  We think there may be enough to clad a small two-mat tea house as well :-)

Friday afternoon we mostly worked on reclaiming as much as we could from the interior.  Although the house is built to a low standard of insulation (by modern standards), the workmanship and materials used on the inside were excellent quality.  The internal woodwork was as good as any Japanese house I've seen, a rare standard for the UK. The living room had parana pine strip panelling right round, so we removed all of that - the inside of the summerhouse will be panelled with it - you can see it through the window in the photo below.  Unfortunately some sections had a lot of sun bleaching where there had been bookcases, so we will paint the pine, giving the summerhouse a more Scandinavian look.

We salvaged a lot of other materials - door and window architrave, kitchen cabinet handles, mahogany drawers from fitted furniture (perfect for storing fabric), the dark greenish grey stone from the fireplace and hearth, aluminium recessed curtain tracks, quarry tiles from the back doorstep (the front doorstep above was built a bit more solidly), stainless steel panels from the kitchen, sheet copper from the roofs of the oriel windows, blockboard shelves and cupboard doors.  It's nice to know that these materials will be recycled and have a new life in another - much smaller! - building.

By 1p.m. on Saturday, it was demolition time, and we had ringside seats as Colin flattened the house with a JCB.  It reminded me of seeing Japanese demolition crews at work.  We smashed through the end gables after stripping off the shingle cladding, exposing the loft and making the start of the JCB work a bit easier. I didn't take my camera on Saturday, as it would have been just one more item to keep track of, as well as the tools (crowbar, hammers etc.) but Sue photographed the whole demolition sequence.  When I get some photos from her, I'll add them to the blog, maybe when I blog the summerhouse build.

No comments: