Monday, March 11, 2013

Demo Round 2 and Attic Clean out

Amazing progress made this weekend with what seemed like a skeleton crew.

After leaving work on Thursday, I picked up my sister in law Cindy and brought her back to Winchester with me. Friday morning, after dropping off my car and having a little breakfast, Cindy and I threw on our gloves and got to work pulling out box after box from the attic and began sorting the keeper items from the trash.

After a couple hours of work, we headed out to inspect the dumpster. Last Wednesday, we had about 13 inches of snow. On Tuesday night, I covered the dumpster with a massive tarp and tie down straps. For the most part, it worked, but the weight of the snow and the melt pulled the tarp into the dumpster. Before we could dump trash, we cleaned out the dumpster. I straddled side of the can while Cindy went inside. Between the two of us, we dipped and scooped the snow out of the dumpster, and didn't spill a drop.

Cindy 'dumpster diving' to remove snow and ice.

The dumpster covered in snow.

After the snow removal, we trashed what we could, took a break for lunch, and went back to work. Everything was sorted into one of several piles: pure trash, burnable trash, potential keep/donate/yard sale, keep for one of two stepfamilies, keep for other Eckley family members.

At the end of the day, not much of our body wasn't aching, but we made great progress.

Before the attic dig out - to the left of the stairs.

Before the attic dig out - center.

Before the attic dig out - to the right of the stairs.

Day one completion - all unearthed antique furniture to the left.

Day one completion - the view straight ahead.

Day one completion - great progress on the right side.

On day one, we found some interesting family finds. I was happy to find one treasure for Cindy, a craft she had made for her mom. So cool! Here are a few other cool things.

Cherry pitter - part of the Eckley family heirlooms.

Who knows which Eckley this belonged to, but it was hilarious.

Grandpa Vikingstad's old planer.

Ghon wanted to buy a metal detector, and fortunately, our friend Steve lent him one on Saturday. Kevin came over as well, and gave Ghon a hand with removing the floor boards to expose more of the supporting foundation. While Cindy and I worked the attic again, while Ghon and Kevin found a great groove raising the floor boards, sawing the nails, and removing the boards. Ghon didn't find any buried treasures in the house, but had fun trying. At the end of the day, we decided that we should insert a time capsule in the floor for the next crazy family member that digs up the floor in 100 years.

The view down into the living room. Ghon is searching for buried treasure. Early Saturday afternoon, he and our friend Kevin finished pulling all the floor boards up.

Searching for treasure. Thanks, Steve for lending us the metal detector.

Digging for treasure and the rock foundation wall.

No treasure was found, but these are two of three skulls found in living room pit.

Saturday night, after walking in the house and immediately showering, we headed to the local firehouse for a spaghetti dinner, chilled at the house with our friend Tim and some homemade apple pie and slept!

Sunday morning, Cindy and I had to move three pieces of furniture and trash a few curtain rods before calling the attic COMPLETE! Ghon and Tim started doing demo work in the kitchen and dining room until Cindy had to head back to Rockville. After she packed up her take homes, I headed back to the storage room to tackle the last room of "stuff " to pack. We also had a stone mason visit us in the afternoon to give us some ideas and prices for opening the main fireplace and making room for an insert. Ghon, Tim, and Myron headed up to the hill and found a good number of rocks to use to face the fireplace.

The fireplace wall. Ghon and I are debating leaving the logs exposed or recovering with drywall.

You can see the stonework from part of the original hearth. This week, the stone mason will be back to start removing the brink, mortar and years of grime stuffed in the fireplace so we can later put in an insert.

The front dining room wall. It's hard to see in this picture, but to the right of the window is where a second door was located.  Ghon thinks for the most part, the room is in great shape and won't need many repairs.

We (well, Ghon and Tim) tore the ceiling out to expose the joists. We wanted to know if we needed to do more joist support work, and so far, it looks like a no.

Exposing the kitchen as well. At one point, as expected, there was plaster on the walls. The slats held the plaster to the walls - and there is still some in between.

Removed some cabinets and the drywall behind.

View of the kitchen from the other side of the room.

And the big unveiling...the finished attic!

The finished attic - left side is all furniture.

The finished attic - center. Look how big it actually is!

The finished attic - to the right. The chimney is in the background. The only items left on the floor are  huge mirrors.

My attic savior, Cindy, just before we finished.

That's me, sitting in the stairwell, right before we moved the final pieces.

Here is a video of the before and after attic clean-up - to get the full 360 degree effect.
Stink bug colony inside a book!

The finished, cleaned out storage room.

Another view of the cleaned out storage room.
Anyone need a light?
My to-do list from demo weekend #1. We haven't been able to install new joists - the lumber isn't in. Removing electric from the dining room isn't imperative and we kinda need the outlets to power the living room. We can't frame in the walls until the joists are in. So....success!!!

The dumpster is being picked up tomorrow. There is very little drywall left to remove in the house, and the upstairs rooms have paneling we can remove and burn, but not anytime real soon. We are almost done with demolition. All of the carpet is gone. I can't wait to start rebuilding.


  1. That wooden finger: when your own two are just not enough. Haha.

    You’ve cleared up a lot, and the attic does seem spacious. Any particular plans to convert it into something besides a more-organized storage space?

    Ling Mancil

  2. I have the same question as Ling. Are you planning on putting something else in there besides it being a storage space? A little more tidying up and your attic is as good as new. I hope that you use it for other purpose 'cause the attic space might not be utilized well, if it's for storage only.

  3. Hi Ling & Chantay-
    The attic is a tricky spot - at 5'6" I can only stand up straight in one spot near the stairs, then down the center where the roof peaks. I've considered making it an office space, but there is no air conditioning and it would not be good for PCs. My husband is also a photographer, and has some plans for a few photo shoots up there. Otherwise - organized storage.

  4. A studio sounds like a good idea. But you should consider putting a bit of attic ventilation in there, not only for when you guys are using it, but also to keep the stuff up there moisture-free and avoid mold and other growth from thriving.