Tuesday, May 29, 2012

From a Basement on the Hill: Demolition, Day 1

Today I began working on making my basement studio better, starting with tearing down the ceiling, like so:
Before beginning the demolition, I covered all unmovable objects and doorways with plastic to keep as much dust as possible out of the rest of the house.
I even encased our laundry area in plastic, so we can have a clean place to wash clothes for at least a bit longer. (This reminds me of the scenes in E.T. where the scientists cover the house in plastic to create a sterile lab environment. I'm not sure anyone would learn much from our laundry though.) I used two layers of plastic to create a flap-like entry into the laundry area. In this picture, look for the L-shaped line of tape on the right of the plastic sheet: that's the door. I did this for the stairs up to the kitchen too. It's a trick I learned from my time working in museums.
By the time I quit working today, I had pulled down most of the old drywall ceiling in the front room of the basement (roughly a 20'x15' room). What I've learned: this is fairly easy, though very dirty, work. Some kind of dust mask and eye protection are absolutely necessary (despite the videos of fools doing demo work on Youtube). A head covering would be a wise addition to one's work attire as well. You need to have a couple different sizes of pry bars and a good solid hammer to work with. I have filled up 7 large contractor trash bags with old drywall so far.
Bonus find: Washington Post from September 22, 1960. It was too crumpled and dry to read much, but I did learn that a site in Virginia was chosen for a Nixon rally, and a used 1955 Buick was not hard to come by. Makes me wonder more about former denizens of the Ear.

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