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Demolition Diaries: Finishing an Old House Salvage

By Living Vintage on Dec 19, 2013

We finished our old house salvage project that I told you about a few weeks ago, and I wanted to share some photos with you.

When we arrived to start the project, we started removing doors and uncovering windows to shed light on the interior.

removed tin that was covering the windows

We removed trash, hay, old filthy wallpaper and linoleum, and displaced a few mice in the process.

removal of old linoleum

we removed hay and the tin covering the windows

the old place started looking a lot better after a little cleanup

removing tin, hay and wallpaper - Living Vintage

1x12s on original exterior wall that became an interior wall when the house was added ontobeautiful 1x12s

The old place looked a heck of a lot better when the initial cleanup was done and the place was more well lit.

removing the tin from the windows did wonders for lighting the interior

Next the guys concentrated on removing tin from all four sides of the house.

the back of the house

removing the tin from the outside walls

lots of old tin salvaged

For the first time in no telling how long, beautiful 1 x 12′s were exposed to the light of day.

all tin removed from back and sides of house

all tin removed

This curious warning sign was also uncovered when the tin was removed.

As I said before, this old house was apparently used as a party spot for high school students, so maybe there was a make-out session going on?

warning sign discovered on back of house under tin

These are the same type of boards that are throughout our home.

beautiful 1x12s exposed when the tin came off

detail shot of 1x12s

Next, John started stripping the metal from the front porch. It needed to come down first.

John skinning the porch roof

That didn’t take long.

porch roof skinned and ready to come down

After the metal was removed, the guys used a rope and John’s truck to pull the porch down. Just a little tug did the trick.

Going . . .

all set to pull down the porch roof

Going . . .

we removed the roof using rope and John's truck


didn't take much effort to pull the porch down

After the porch was down, we sorted through the pile of wood and kept what was good and took the rest to the burn pile.

most of the porch wood was taken directly to the burn pile

most of the porch wood simply wasn't salvageable

The roof was taken down next. We kept all of the tin, but the roof rafters were in poor shape.

After the roof was gone, the old ceiling boards came down. Many boards were in great shape and therefore, re-useable.

roof gone and removing the ceiling boards

Unfortunately, a lot of it was too eaten up by termites to save.

In fact, we found a whole bunch of termite damage in this house.

lots of termite damage

A lot of wood rejection was going on, and we had a sizeable burn pile by day 3.

a sizeable burn pile by day 3

I cannot begin to tell you how nasty, dirty, and filthy it is to remove ceilings out of old houses … so I’ll let a few photos tell the tale.

I had forgotten about the filth

the filth and the beauty

removing ceilings is always a very dirty business

Fortunately it was worth it as it usually is. We salvaged some beautiful white and blue/gray tongue and groove boards. This photo really does not do justice to their loveliness.

beautiful white and blue gray boards

old tongue in groove boards

I think they’d be so pretty installed like this idea I pinned some time ago.

Next to come down was the brick fireplace. It was leaning substantially and looked too precarious to continue working around.

we knew we'd have to take the fireplace down before we did much else

Just one brick would have done some bodily damage.

old fireplace stack

It’s a good thing we did. It crumbled so easily that John got most of it down while Mark and I treated ourselves to a hot lunch.

And, yes, we were only gone for about an hour.

the fireplace came down in about an hour

And, yes, I did bring home some of the old brick!

The next work day, we removed the long leaf pine floors. Rain was coming, and we didn’t want them to warp after getting soaked.

removing heart of pine floors

Taking them up revealed gorgeous, old floor joists. Most were in perfect shape, which surprised us all, given the amount of termite damage we found elsewhere.

beautiful floor joists

One thing we did determine towards the beginning of the project was one side of the house was an add-on to the original structure.

Mark and John had removed all of the siding from those three walls and they toppled that part of house. That day was miserably damp and cold, and it had just started sprinkling when this photo was shot.

our most miserable day at the jobsite

Needless to say, that was a short work day. The old place looked pretty forlorn when we left that day.

floors up

The next work day, Mark shot this photo of a nail covered in frost.

a frozen nail

Fortunately, the day after that was sunny, so all it melted pretty quickly.

After the wood in the addition was pried apart, assessed, and de-nailed, the guys concentrated on removing the 1 x 12′s, floor joists, and beams in the older part of the house.

Some of the old beams were hand sawn and we estimate them to be at least 200 years old. They have the most unbelievable, tight grain and weigh a ton. I couldn’t lift even the short ones, and Mark had to roll the longer 15′ ones out of the trailer. They’re that heavy.

closeup of a hand hewn beam

the rough hewn beams are 200 years old

some of the hand hewn beams we salvaged

I had taken a day off to take care of blogging stuff, and this is what awaited me one morning when Mark and I arrived at the jobsite: two large piles of floor joists and wall studs to de-nail.

two huge piles of reclaimed wood to de-nail

I got my workout that day, for sure.

I could see the end of our project in sight so that put a spring in my step.

the house is almost gone

Mark and John were concentrating on removing the rest of the floor joists and beams and doing cleanup.

two days before we finished

The last day, we finished cleaning up and de-nailed the rest of the wood that was salvageable. This was what the place looked like when we were finally done.

Just a large burn pile and a pile of bricks remained.

dirt, a pile of brick and unsalvageable wood is all that remains

a large burn pile and a pile of brick is all that's left

All told, it took us just TWELVE days to take down this old place, from start to finish. Not as quickly as we had hoped, but still, not too bad. Kim signature

The post We Finished Our Old House Salvage Project in Crockett appeared first on Living Vintage.


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