A couple of weeks ago, April, Thomas, Ali and I worked on deconstructing a house in town a few miles from Dancing Rabbit. It was pretty grueling work, but I think it was worth the effort. We walked away with a goodly stack of dimensional lumber and some other miscellaneous materials.
We started on top of the roof, ripping through at least four or five layers of asphalt shingles (yuck!) and one layer of cedar shingles. A couple of garden forks did an amazing job of tearing through the asphalt – pry bars were tedious in comparison. It took much effort. Once we had the shingles removed, we tore off the stupendously nail-y purlins and got to the (true) 2×4 oak rafters – burly stuff. We also snatched up the 2×6 floor joists, also oak.
We could have gone further and dismantled the walls for the framing members, but we were happy with what we got, even though it’s sad to see good materials go to waste. (The owner’s plan for this house is to basically have it pushed over, burned, and the remains buried in the ground. That’s the norm around these parts.)
Deconstructing houses is a fantastic way to acquire building materials. It’s time-consuming and oftentimes very difficult work, but it feels great to save perfectly usable materials from simply getting burned up or tossed away. Much of what we acquired will probably find its way into the kitchen.