Saturday, March 27, 2010


There is still a little drywall to bring down, but it's about done! Of course, there are about 1.5 million nails still in the walls and ceilings, but the really difficult demo is close to completion!
By the way, about 1' of the dumpster is leaves and limbs (packed down), the other 1 1/2' is drywall!

Jeffrey N Dickson

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Remember the Sabbath

I tried to, anyway.  Karen, even though she was tired and has a cold, was insistent upon going upstairs to destroy more drywall.  I insisted she not work on it, but to instead use today as a day to rest up.  She finally relented.  
HOWEVER, as she was talking to Inga about some plans on what exactly to do up there, a light bulb lit up in my head.  I headed out to Home Depot.  My plan was to make a ramp to get the drywall and other trash from upstairs to the dumpster without having to lower buckets down, as that was time consuming.  I came up with it as I was wondering around looking at the various options.  Metal roofing material was too expensive, so I moved to OSB.  a 4X8 sheet was just over $7.00, and if ripped would make 2 - 2X8 sheets (yes, I can do math!).  Well, I need about 14 - 16 feet of ramp, so...8 feet plus 8 feet = 16 feet...hmmmm. Add in 2 - 2X4X16's, and we have a ramp!  So, the result is what you see here.  DId it help? You bet it did!  I knocked out more trash today in just a couple hours than I did the previous 2 days!  Oh, and Karen saw me starting to work, and came up to work.  She knocked down a BUNCH more drywall while I got it out of there and into the dumpster.
We still don't have an exact plan on what we want to do, but at least with everything removed we can get a better look at the layout and figure it out.  I plan on having a carpenter come out this week to look at possibly putting in a dormer to allow more room for a bathroom, but we are dubious about whether that will work.  
Well, that is all for tonight.  Karen and I are both thoroughly exhausted.  We could both use really good back massages!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Worky worky

Whew!  Karen is working me to death!  We got a late start today, due to the fact that we both slept in pretty late, ate a late breakfast, and then Keltan decided he needed to take a nap.  Normally he sleeps about an hour or so, but today he decided to sleep 2 and a half hours!  Good for him, but it delayed us getting started. 
We got upstairs and started tearing our more drywall.  We got just about everything down, save for a little more than 1 wall in one room, and the small bathroom.  Big mess up there right now, but at least we're getting the drywall down.  
I have never seen this before, but the drywall is seemingly glued down at the seams.  This makes for a really tough time of taking it down, and really slows the progress.  Another thing I have never seen, and can't figure out exactly why it was done, is that there are 2 areas of one room where there was cardboard nailed to the 1X8 under the drywall.  One was an old Coca Cola box that was from the days of WW2, and had a stamp on it that asked people to help win the war.  Interesting, but no idea why it was there.  Anyway, it isn't now.
We are both worn out, but we hope to get up there for a few more hours tomorrow and get the rest of the drywall off the walls.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Got my dumpster delivered today. Started filling it up!

Jeffrey N Dickson

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Old wiring

If anyone ever wonders if they should have an old house rewired, look at what is lurking behind your walls.

Jeffrey N Dickson


Well, yesterday I had called IESI about a dumpster rental, and was told the smallest I could get would be a 20 yard and that was way to big and expensive.  Today, I got a call from IESI. The representative told me they do have smaller ones available, a 10 yard.  Then he told me he was sent an email from the Terrell Mayor, Mr. Hal Richards.  Therefore, I now have a solution to my dumpster rental problem.  
I called this afternoon, and the dumpster is being delivered Friday!  Let the demo proceed!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

And so it begins (again)

Remember my emails chronicling my house remodel? Ah - those were the good ole days, weren't they? Vacation time spent beating down walls, crawling under the house in the mud and the muck to put in new pipes, and trying to line up drain lines with the beams under the house (which, of course, were never where I wanted them to be). The wife fussing about a wall being a couple inches off from where she wanted it, and the near-fights we had trying to determine the best way to do something that satisfied her need for a perfect bathroom and my need for the job to get done and have a functioning place to shower and sit upon our throne to contemplate why we embarked upon this journey - ah yes, great memories indeed.

Well, welcome to my new level of Hell. I would say I moved up, but that is only in floor level. Actually, I guess I have moved up - up to a higher level of difficulty and pain. Yes, I am taking on our second level! So, here's the scoop:
Karen came down for the weekend. Well, we went to Aunt Doris' birthday party on Saturday - a fun time -, came home and slept very late Sunday morning - but then the "fun" began. See, I was doing pretty good about being all gung-ho about fixing up this house, then came Dad's heart attack and subsequent early exit. As a result, all my motivation to work on this blasted house went bye-bye, and I had pretty much quit, save for the necessities, such as putting in the furnace up front. Karen decided that I needed to get re-motivated, and proceeded to bug me until I gave in and started doing some things around the house Sunday.

I decided that the project that is bearing down on me the absolute worst is the upstairs. It is an absolute disaster. I had ripped up 95% of the floors in order to have clear access for the new wiring by Carlos the Electrician (not to mention the floors were installed poorly and kept breaking). The drywall is old, brittle, crumbling, and the nails are backing out. The bathroom consists of a toilet and a sick crammed together with another sink in a vanity, which was right on the verge of useless. It had to be remodeled, but the thought of it has been weighing me down like nobody could believe.

The work has begun! Karen worked on getting everything out of closets up there and putting it in tubs. When I got home from work Monday, I took the tubs down and put them in the carport (to be moved to the garage soon). Step 1 complete (except for some heavy items which I will get help with this weekend).

Today (Tuesday), I grabbed my nailbar, claw hammer, and 2 pound shorty sledge hammer and commenced to tearing down the drywall. At first it was going quite smooth, as it was on an interior wall, and I was thinking "oh yeah - this won't be too difficult", but then I got to the exterior walls! It was about the time that Karen, who had finished working in the yard) came up to help destroy some drywall and swung the sledge hammer against an exterior wall that I remembered the exterior walls are backed by 1X8 boards! This is still a manageable situation, but the going gets much slower. We worked for a while, maybe an hour and a half, and got about half the room done. I removed a very built-in bookcase and the molding for the window. There is now a huge pile of rubble in the middle of the room.

Speaking of rubble - I thought it would be a great idea to rent a dumpster to simply toss all the debris in, then have it hauled off. I called U-Rent-It, but they don't rent dumpsters. So, I called Home Depot. They can't rent dumpsters inside city limits in Terrell. I called IESI, who handles the garbage pick up in Terrell. That is when I found out that they cannot rent anything smaller than a 20 yard roll-off dumpsters, and the minimum cost would be no less than $500 for even a couple days! If you are unfamiliar with the size of a 20 yard dumpster, imagine cutting the top off a school bus, ripping the seats out, and throwing debris in it. That is a 20 yard. Now, obviously, I will not be getting rid of that much drywall. So, I get to buy a couple boxes of the contractor trash bags and let the garbage guys pick up dozens of heavy bags full of drywall chunks. Oh well.

So, check back here often. I will make an attempt to post how this mostrocity is going.


PS:  as soon as I get Picasa and Blogspot to cooperate, I will have a slideshow on here of all the progress that is made.  For now, to see pictures, visit and click on the folder "Jeff's House of Pain."