man with a van

IMG_3957a few weeks ago, the latest instructions handed down from my mudroom project manager (dad) were to pick out a 5′ sliding glass door — yay! — and to break up and dispose of two 70 square foot slabs of concrete hemming the mudroom in on either side. cue stomach ulcer.

i started down the path — booking a bin there, dump that; investigating the tool rental situation, figuring out which weekend(s) we could sacrifice to do the job — before resorting to crying on my bathroom floor* and googling “concrete demolition toronto.” between the bin rental, disposal, and tool rental, i figured the job would cost us around $500 and maybe my will to live. so when a guy from just junk showed up on my doorstep and said they could do everything for $500 and haul away some extra refuse for us (ummm… those bricks from last summer), my cries* of anguish turned into ones of joy and relief.

not actually crying. i hardly ever cry. but i’m not above lying on the cool tile in the fetal position and moaning.

this was a few tuesdays ago. later that night pierre and i decided to make sure that the slabs were, in fact, all of the concrete. the city doesn’t accept concrete at the dump, so if there was more concrete, we’d have to go through a third party (again) or do the whole jackhammer / bin / stomach ulcer thing. we cut a hole in the floor with our saws-all and discovered that, of course, a terrible person had poured a concrete slab all the way across.

i called just junk back the following morning and queried as to how much it would cost for them to demo all the concrete and, hey, how about just take the whole mudroom down and away for us? they said $2,000 and i said sold. these guys are the absolute best. you book an appointment, they show up to look at your job, give you a price on the spot, and if that sounds good to you, they take care of it right then and there. that totally suits me because i’m a little crazy like that. when i get something in mind, i can’t rest until it’s taken care of. so me saying, “yep, that sounds good” and the response being, “i’ll get the sledgehammer” is pretty much my ideal. so that’s how we found ourselves with a date for the demo — and today was demo day!

aside: my ideal situation (see above) is also a dangerous one. pierre went to work today and i stayed home with my dad, the other person who sees a dumpster and can’t help but throw everything into it, to supervise the demo. i told him to throw “everything at the side of the house” in the truck and he did, no questions asked. i’m glad i specified “not the garden hose” because i’m pretty sure that would have gone in the truck if i hadn’t articulated that caveat.

IMG_3949IMG_3952two guys showed up right at nine to get to work. they’d gotten about half of the structure down by lunch — the mudroom may have been shoddily built (every piece of scrap wood went into its construction), but it was also solidly built somehow. we are so glad we hired these guys to do the work because punching that roof out was not as fun as it looks!

IMG_3951IMG_3954turns out the mudroom has existed a long time; we found two other layers of shingles on the exterior, underneath the brown siding. there was also a surprising amount of insulation! most of it not too mouldy (a lot of ventilation), though lots of the wood was super rotted.

IMG_3953one very cool thing — see all that mint green? that’s recycled aluminum. the reverse sides have all different logos on them (recycled pop cans), some so old that we’ve never even heard of the brands. i’m not sharing any photos because i saved a few sheets and have a whole different project idea, to be revealed at a later date! but i just wanted to point out that our mudroom was literally a tin shack.

IMG_3955IMG_3956after lunch, two more men showed up with a jackhammer. the fact that it took four men plus my dad and i a full day, and four giant trucks of debris, reinforces it was the right idea to call in the pros. we definitely couldn’t have done this ourselves (and had enough energy to keep working all week).  IMG_3958we made a lot of good progress today, but we still have a ton of work to do before we can rebuild. it’s going to be a busy, dusty couple of weeks, but great to get our big project out of the way before it’s officially summer.

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