Tearing it all down! Bones and all.

A new weekend dawns, so does the need for more destruction. Since the HOA told us to tear down our front overhang, we started immediately. It sat in skeletal, semi-demolished form since last weekend, when I had taken the roof off. Rather than wait for the afternoon heat, I got going in the morning, right after breakfast, while it was cool.
The old bones, and a munchkin.
Out of a concern for breaking the framing parts of the overhang that need to stay, I decided to isolate them by cutting them off close, leaving the lumber weight on the outboard frame. The first thought was to use a circular saw, but the framing was so full of nails, staples, and junk, I figured it would ruin the blade. Instead, I loaded a new Diablo "Demo-Demon" Carbide-Tipped Blade in the Reciprocating Saw.

Locked and loaded
I've used bimetal blades that would cut metal before, but not carbide tipped like this red devil. This bad boy blade chewed through the 2 x 4's  like butter. It ripped through everything so smoothly, I could use the saw one handed while holding the board with the other. The blade tore through lumber with just the weight of the saw. They were all cut in about 5 minutes. The urchins stayed inside, watching cartoons, during this part. I needed to watch my own head and not worry about beaning a kid with a nail encrusted board.

Sliced like butta'
I thought about cutting them again, close to the outer frame, but it only took a quick lift and jerk; they tore out of the clips holding them in a shower of flying splinters and nails. A quick couple cuts to the outer frame took it down as well.

The saw blade was not big enough to cut the support that was still standing. I considered using a chain and the truck or maybe <gasp> a non-powered, hand saw to take it down. In a fit of goofiness, I kicked the thing.

I haven't thrown a martial-arts move, of any sort, in over 13 years. But, true to form, when I actually executed a near perfect shuffle sidekick, there was no one around with a camera. When my size 12 Red Wing work boot connected with that beam it sheared off and flew, landing in a cloud of dust. First kick too! BAD-ASS STILL HAS THE MOVES!!! Of course, the whole street was empty. No witnesses to the unarmed, Chuck Norris style carnage I had visited upon the mighty slab of lumber.

I strutted over to inspect my fallen victim. Ahhh,....Crap.

The dang thing was simply eviscerated with termite damage. I was even able to reach in a pull a chunk from the hole and crush it to powder, bare-handed. A five year old could have kicked that thing down,... barefoot. Heck, I could have sneezed that thing over. An especially charming realization is that it was the primary support for the entire structure, and I'd been tromping around up there last weekend, like an idiot. I'm lucky I didn't kill myself in a tumbling roof collapse. At least there was no evidence of live termites.

Demo is always so fast. 10 minutes and I was done with the major structure.

Who turned on the lights?
Now onto the detail stuff, I had to be careful not to harm the structure needed to attach the new facia boards. I tried the big demolition jaw on the Stanley Fubar, but it was too much. It gripped the board well, but when I twisted the tool to pull the board off, I could see and hear that the framing I was trying to save was going to be damaged. Switching to the demo hammer on the Fubar and banging away, while prying left-handed with a Wonderbar Pry Bar did the trick. Patience paid off. Soon, boards were flying to the ground again.
Stop! Hammer time!
Gracie came out to lay down some carnage as well. She kept her head out of the way this time.

Klein! Hammer time!
Another problem, what to do with a concrete, with a square hole, right where Sweetie wants to plant some flowers? 
...but can you put a round peg in a square hole?
Of course, it was time to bring out SLUF, (Short, fat, ugly "feller"). It’s a full sized sledge, customized with its handle cut off at 17″. It was given to me by a foul-mouthed middle-eastern gentleman with muscled forearms the size of gallon paint cans. He drove electrical grounding rods with it, like they were thumbtacks. Sorry folks, I can't give you a source link for this, you gotta make your own (or find your own foul-mouthed, middle eastern gentleman to make one for you).

S.L.U.F., the not-so-gentle persuader
I pounded the stuffing out of that concrete. Of course, contrary to all the other half-assed construction our predecessors did, they built the heck out of this particular detail. It wasn't just run of the mill Sackrete in the post hole, they'd loaded it with a heavy aggregate mix, full of crushed gravel, and very resistant to a quickly tired knucklehead pounding away on his hands and knees in the sun with a heavy one-handed hammer.

I wore myself out with that stupid, stumpy sledge-hammer.

Sitting there in the hole, resting after all that hammering with concrete shards pinging of my face, I noticed something, that wiped that stupid smirk off my face...

The hole was crawling with what I'm fairly sure are termites. We'll have to have the place treated. Dang it; that's probably not cheap.  No termite tubes, the little beasts were using the support beam as an elevator.
The secret passage.

Food for five years, a thousand gallons of gas, air filtration, water filtration, Geiger counter. Bomb shelter! Underground... God damn monsters.
 - Burt Gummer, Hard Core Survivalist (Tremors)

The whole area got a good soaking with the hose and a healthy dose of Demon WP through the pump sprayer. The entire exterior of the house got sprayed as well. I had learned about Demon when we were in Texas. It's a murderer. Hopefully, it will keep their migration down, now that I've taken their source of crunch and munchies away, with a spectacular, un-witnessed side-kick.

It's hot and the demo is done. Next, new facia and drip edge has to be installed to finish this project up.

What do you think? The house look too plain now?

UPDATE!! I'm honored to have this story chosen to be featured an Bob Vila's website as part of the "Bob Vila Nation" of contributors from the blogging community. Please check it out and give me a vote by the hammer image.


  1. What are your plans next with the entrance? The crevasse formed by the roof joint seems like the perfect douse-your-guest/smallest child in a torrential waterfall during a good rainstorm. Any ideas for directing rain-water away?

    1. That's a good one Dani I think we're going to watch and learn for a bit. I thought I might install a gutter, but it may not be worth it. We get only about 8" of rainfall per year, and most of that is in a few weeks of monsoon season around July-Sept. I suppose we can enter through the garage if there's a rare torrent.