One area where you can save a bundle of money is by doing your own demolition. And who doesn’t like to tear things apart? We have definitely done our share of demo. As a matter of fact, when we bought our house, we tore it down to the studs from the outside (because we wanted to leave the interior wood walls intact). We tore off a couple of rooms in the process, because they were built completely wrong. This picture shows you what kind of a mess we were dealing with!
But, we had to start somewhere! We got out our sledge hammers and crowbars and went to work. We totally demolished one section of the house that was beyond repair, then added a new section in its place so that we could re-roof the entire house to prevent further deterioration of the inside. Here I am getting ready to knock down the porch…
I figured that this would be a pretty daunting task, but when I swung at the first porch post with all my might, it went flying across the yard! There weren’t even nails holding the posts to the porch (I assume they had long since rusted away!). After the last swing, the porch came tumbling down, and my youngest (at the time) yelled, “Do it again, Daddy!”
After the porch came down, we started tearing off layers…first, the aluminum siding, which revealed 105 lap siding.
Then, tearing off the 105 siding revealed the old board & batten siding…
And finally, after we removed the board & batten siding, we could see the studs!
Now, it may not look like much to you, but it looked beautiful to us! We were finally done with the hard part! Tearing off all of the ugly so we could start putting back some pretty! Most people thought we were crazy. As a matter of fact, the view above of the bare studs is what our midwife saw the first time she came to visit us! We were so thrilled about our “new” house, but I’m sure she thought we were nuts!
When you look at these pictures, you might think that nothing that we tore off was salvageable, but au contraire! We drove the nails out of piles of studs and re-used them later. My father-in-law used many of the boards from the board & batten siding to line the inside of a cabin he was building (the truth is, they don’t make wood like that anymore…thick, sturdy 1″ x 12″ boards). We saved and re-used all that we could. Now, that’s Green Building! An excellent resource for re-using old construction materials is the book, Unbuilding: Salvaging the Architectural Treasures of Unwanted Houses. It is full of great ideas AND lots of great pictures! And you’ll learn the fine art of demolition with a velvet crowbar (not literally, but figuratively).
So don’t forget…even when doing demolition……waste not, want not.