We had a lift at the house to help dismantle the chimneys. I love these machines. When Jenny and I had a ranch, we had some good toys and I miss them. Serious hydraulic fun. Here is my all time favorite toy which filled me with a biblical lust. What I wouldn't give for just a few hours alone with it. Anyway, I love lifts.
We went by the house and nobody was there so I tried to find the keys to the lift without Jenny catching on to what I was up to. I tried to locate the visor to see if I could flip it up and the keys would fall out or maybe a glove box I could rifle through. That proven method worked when I was younger and needed to use my father's vehicle. The lift didn't have a visor or glove box so I was stumped. If I could have started it up, we would have had P-A-R-T-Y time on Going. I could have driven it up and down the street offering to do "projects" with our new neighbors. I know some of you would have had something that you needed to be lifted higher. We could have made that happen together. Tim must have taken the keys with him. Maybe he's getting to know me a little through this process.
He'll eventually let his guard down during the project. One small slip up and we'll take one of his toys out for a spin.
As I mentioned earlier, we are in a 120 day waiting period with no modifications allowed to the house, but our city planner, Breah Pike-Salas, said we could go for it anyway and take the chimneys down. Thanks Breah!
It took 2 days to bring down both the the chimneys. One went through the center of the house through 3 floors and the basement. The other went through the 2nd floor, main floor and basement. It made a big difference inside. You can see from the image below where the chimney went through the 3rd floor, blocking the window. It feels more open in the house now. We tried to save as many bricks as we could to use somewhere in the landscaping.
The fence along the west side of the house was removed and a temporary fence was put in. There are grapevines along this fence that I asked the workers to save. Hopefully the vines will survive this rough treatment.
While we were at it, we took the white panels off the rock wall because there was room in the dumpster. Those panels were an eyesore. Although, it's still an eyesore with the panels off. I'd love to wave a wand and make the place look better but this will require patience and alcohol.
The rock wall is coming down.
We've been on the fence about it but it's become clear that the wall has to go. It's going to be too expensive to modify and repair. We are going to make changes to the landscaping and the openings in the fence are not well suited to our plans. We think the wall makes the place look a bit like a compound. We'll put a fence back up but it will be something friendlier and more inclusive.
We are going to try to build a planter at the corner of the property with an integrated bench and re-use the best rocks from the wall. I know some of you reading this will be sad it's going and some of you will raise your glasses in a toast to it's imminent destruction.. It had that effect on people.
Even though we are at a stand-still regarding construction work until mid-July, there is still much to do. Between now and then we'll have the rock wall removed and carried away, level the dirt, haul some contaminated soil away and go through the design process.
We have a land survey happening next week and our architect is delivering drawings in about three weeks. We'll share the drawings with everyone.
In the mean time, here are updated as-builts with exterior elevations.