Tear 'em Up - Remodel One Month In
We are Just over 5 weeks into this thing. There was a shocking lack of activity between Xmas and New Years, then again, everybody deserves some time off during the holidays. I just need to chill out a little.
I spent New Years Eve day until dark limbing the pistache tree in the back yard. It's gotta go. We have replaced that tree every 20 years or so but since we are going to extend the deck the length of the house it is now in the way. Clever fellow that I am, I got rid of my father's anemic chain saw. And though it would be nice to have a nice new Stihl chainsaw, I have my old one in Missouri. I went old school. Bought a $13 bow saw and went at it. There was a safety factor too. I'm up in a tree on a wet day with no one around... I like having both arms & all my fingers.
There are huge esthetic benefits when cutting down a tree with a hand saw. Not only is it a free workout, it's quiet. All afternoon I was pushing and pulling the saw, taking the limbs down one at a time... Making sure I don't rip off a gutter of shatter a window from pure foolishness. I was also listening to the birds sing. A few yards over a couple of song birds were having a territory dispute. The blue jay stopped by a few times to figure out what I was doing and shake his head in wonderment about the foolish things those humans do. Even though I ended up filthy and a little tired. It was a really pleasant afternoon. Cutting trees in Missouri with the chainsaw is a whole lot more efficient. It isn't nearly as pleasant and at the end of the day you feel like you have worked at a job. The satisfaction come more from having the evidence of a pile of fire wood than from having spent a pleasant afternoon... Over a few days I was able to take the tree down to about 8 feet or so and then the limbs were over 14" wide... too big for the bow saw. So one morning I rented a chain saw for a couple of hours and took it the rest of the way to ground level.
The house was built in 1954 so one of the things we wanted to have done is have the house rewired, bring in a 200 amp service and have all of the outlets properly grounded. Jeff Webb of Webb Electric was one of the first guys in. While the demo guys were tearing things out, he was installing the 200 amp panel and running a working circuit into the house so the contractors will have power while he is under the house running new circuits to all of the rooms.
It was interesting to see the steps they took to put a big opening between the kitchen & living room. In this house that is a load-bearing wall, so after stripping it down to the studs, they put in a couple of braces that will carry the weight of the roof structure once the section of wall is removed.