More House Deconstruction Adventures

by ziggy on April 6, 2011 -- 2 comments -- Follow


I spent about four days over the past two weeks with a crew of other Dancing Rabbit and Red Earth folks working to deconstruct an old house in a nearby town. This was the most complete deconstruction experience I’ve had thus far — it was a great opportunity to start from scratch in pulling apart a house, piece by piece, revealing the innards, and scratching my head the whole time about the incredibly questionable and pretty damn ugly building decisions in this particular building. The thing sure was hideous with thoughtless additions and ugly materials, but we still got a good amount of wood and other useful materials out of it.

We focused our efforts on dismantling the floors, saving the pine subfloor and cutting out floor joists, and removing the interior walls and ceiling lathe and insulation to get to ceiling joists, some of the bigger lumber in the house.


There’s a lot of nasty stuff along the way, and we chose a downstairs room to toss all of the stuff we didn’t want, to save space and organize the deconstruction site better. It’s pictured above. Note the floor and ceiling joists have been removed at this point.


One of the more interesting finds in the house were these hand hewn floor joists, beefy 3×8 pine beams that are extremely heavy and durable, and have adze marks across the faces of the wood. Really neat.

We walked away with a lot of stuff: piles of 2x4s, 2x6s, 2x8s, some 2x10s, 300 square feet of pine flooring, metal roofing, sheets of plywood, and more… I’d say it was worth the effort. It’s a hell of a lot of work, but it’s nice the save good building materials from being pushed under or burned, which is what usually happens around here with old homes. Plus, buying all of that stuff is expensive, and our only cost was our time and energy. Not bad.

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  • awesome! i want to be on the demo team when i get out there in a week or so… or do whatever little stuff i can until i learn enough to join in. hopefully there will be more things to deconstruct this year!

  • catastrophegirl

    yay for reuse!

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