A one-day smashing-the-walls party.
They had invited their friends for an allday party, but the situation at David and Carole Jones' home in Altadena, California, last fall looked anything but entertaining. Gypsum dust saturated the air, torn sheets of gypsum board hung from ceiling joists, 2-by-4 studs stood exposed. Swinging hammers and wielding pry bars, the owners and their friends had little time to socialize.
But this was, indeed, a party: a remodeling demolition bash. In less than a day, this crew of six to eight people, including the project architect, completely gutted three rooms in the 1940s ranch-style house. Tearing out walls, ceilings, cabinets, shelving, molding, plumbing, and light fixtures, they made the house ready for carpenters, electricians, and other subcontractors to begin work the next week remodeling the kitchen and master bathroom. The volunteer efforts saved nearly $1,000 in professional construction costs.
Planning their "demo' bash
The Joneses planned well for their demolition party. Working with Los Angeles architect Steve Ball, who had drawn up the remodeling plans, they figured out which walls would come down and which would remain. They fashioned a temporary kitchen in another room and found storage space for household items as well as materials salvaged during demolition.
To prevent dust from spreading, they blocked off some passages with taped-on plastic sheets and covered furniture with more plastic. They also rented three dumpsters to haul away debris.
The night before work began, they assembled tools, goggles, and gloves, bought paper dust masks, and borrowed as many hard hats as they could find. They asked their friends to wear sturdy boots and bring extra tools, and made sure their first-aid kit was complete. They also prepared drinks and lunch for the next day.
In the morning, after turning off the electricity and covering floor vents, Ball and the Joneses explained blueprints to the assembled crew and plotted a room-by-room strategy for the day. At times, they had to control the group's inevitable zeal: more than once, they saved from destruction a cabinet, a piece of molding, or a needed wall. They doubtlessly prevented an accident, too, with some cool words of advice on going slower. To keep the site as safe as possible, debris was removed as fast as it was torn off.
For several reasons, it proved important to have the architect on hand: between swings of the sledge hammer, he confirmed his judgments about bearing walls and other structural elements and explained to the crew what would replace the parts they were tearing out. He also answered questions about the house's revealed structural history, an unexpected bonus for the owners.
After "demo' day, Carole Jones oversaw construction, purchased materials, dealt with inspectors, and did much of the finish painting.
Photo: Pre-demolition planning: crew gathers around original kitchen counter to go over remodeling blueprints with architect, who's holding plans at left
Photo: With cautious zeal, homeowner David Jones aims sledge hammer at soon-to-be doorway
Photo: Toasting completion of remodeled kitchen, friends gathered four months later for a different kind of party
Photo: Pry bars were spared (though muscle wasn't) on some cabinets and countertops to be salvaged for reuse in other rooms
Photo: Two hours into it, the crew had removed counters, cabinets, and started on walls; the ceiling came next
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|Title Annotation:||kitchen remodeling|
|Date:||Mar 1, 1984|
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