With the behemoth out of the corner, the bulk of the demolition was done. I still had to take down the cabinets, but I decided to go through the junk in the garage first to clear out some space. I should have done this a week or two ago when I piled it all up in one spot, because now I was effectively undoing all that work. Oh well.
I sorted everything into three piles: my stuff, my wife’s stuff, and garbage. The garbage piled turned out to be the biggest of the bunch. We apparently tend to be really bad about throwing away the cardboard boxes and packing material that our wonderful tools and appliances and whatnot all come with. There is a lot of junk here. We can either spend the next three months or so having it slowly taken away in our single garbage dumpster, put it all on the curb on garbage day and get billed for the excess, or haul it to the solid waste facility and pay something like $12 for disposal. I’m still pondering that one.
Hrmph. That chore wasn’t very fun, so let’s get back to ripping stuff out!!!
My next task was to take down three cabinets left by a previous owner. These cabinets are metal, and were simply screwed right to the wall studs. They are fairly light, so I was hoping to be able to support the cabinet with one hand while removing the screws with the other. Yeah right, huh? It started out just fine, when there were plenty of excess screws. Once I neared the end and there were only two screws left, the cabinet started moving. I quickly realized there was no way in the world I could (safely) do this by myself without rigging up some kind of support system. So, I called for an air strike.
My wife eventually came out to the garage (she had been helping her mom with Facebook over the phone). With two extra hands, the first cabinet came out nice and easy. The second cabinet, not so much. This one was twice as tall as the first, and I still had an old entertainment center against that wall. Between that entertainment center and the ladder, my wife was unable to get underneath the cabinet to support it while the screws came out. Here is where my creativity started kicking in.
Remembering the huge pile of lumber recently reclaimed from dismantling the work bench, I went over and grabbed a couple of full length 2×4’s. With the cabinet doors open, I put one end of the 2×4’s under the cabinet ceiling and the other on the concrete floor. It was a loose fit at first, but as soon as enough screws were removed and the cabinet started drooping, those 2×4’s wedged it up against the wall. My wife kept a hand on the cabinet for lateral stability, but the boards did the heavy lifting—easily surpassing expectations. Once the screws were removed, we each grabbed one end of the cabinet. I pulled out the boards, one at a time, and let them fall to the floor (crash!!) since I could only have one hand free. With the boards out and the cabinet free, we were able to set it aside and move on to the final cabinet.
This was another tall cabinet. There was no entertainment center this time, but there was a wall (this one was in the corner) and an old washer/dryer stacker unit. We really need to get rid of that thing. Anyway, with space even more confined than before, we decided to move the laundry machines. Thankfully, the feet still had non-marring furniture pads on the bottom, so the whole thing slid over with minimal effort. Repeating the trick with the 2×4’s made the final cabinet come down nice and easy.
Demolition is done, yay! Now I am faced with the not-so-enviable task of cleaning the walls and ceiling. It is amazing how different the drywall looks behind the old bench. Most of the garage is practically brown, but where it was covered up it is almost white. A good stain-blocking primer is going to be necessary here, I think. As much as I would like to do the entire garage at the same time, that isn’t going to be feasible. My first focus will be the “main” wall at the back of the garage. Once that is done I can build some new shelves and start finding homes for stuff. That should make the rest of the garage a lot easier to access without tripping over everything, though of course it’s going to feel a bit like starting all over again.
-- "How can I be lost if I've got nowhere to go?"