Inch by inch, and row by row

Our story so far: We closed the real estate deal on an old Methodist church, and embarked on weeks of interior demolition to turn it into our house.

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Near the end of demolition, progress was being measured inch by inch. Tyler pulled up the carpeting in the main sanctuary, cut it into four big hunks, and it was all we—Tyler, the hired man St. Johnny and I—could do to haul/drag each dusty, unwieldy piece to the dumpster. Then, what we were left with was about five thousand carpet staples stretching out to infinity across the floor’s horizon, each one securing a piece of carpet padding to the Douglas fir hardwood flooring.

staples before and after

I spent hours pulling staples, and carefully feeling the floor with my fingertips to make sure I got all of them. It wouldn’t do to have any staples or nails in the flooring when we were ready to sand and restore the hardwood to glory.

About six weeks into the project, we’d cleared the second floor. Gone were closets under the eaves, the walls, a sweeping swath of the choir loft ceiling and the carpeting. We were down to the studs as they say in the business. The only thing left was a gas heat stove in the corner, which could not be removed until after the plumber went to work and disconnected the gas line.

Second Floor Before and After

I longed to sweep (and I never longed to clean anything as more than one roommate can attest), but Tyler put me to work on other tasks; he didn’t want any more dust in the air and he knew there were weeks of dust ahead of us. Still, the area that would someday soon be a bathroom, a bedroom and my office looked great. Finally, we’d uncovered the blank slate for which we were looking.

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Tomorrow: Chapter 12 opens with an ode to public utilities. Read about it here.

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