View Full Version : Deconstruction Advice Needed (With Pictures)


Nova
04-01-2009, 12:33 PM
I have finally stopped procrastinating and decided that this is the year I pursue what I have wanted in the worst way for about 10 years now. The stars have aligned, so to speak, and between being forced to used my accumulated holidays, the Canadian government offering the home renovation tax credit, and having saved enough over winter to start on the project......now is the time.

I intend for all aspects of this project to have minimal "professional" help required (aside from the cement), to keep the project low budget and basically get as much out of my dollar as I can. That said, I have a lot of knowledgeable, skilled, experienced family and friends at my disposal. But the experience tends to be geared more towards the construction aspects. And as with a lot of builds, before we construct, we must destruct.

A typical garage wouldn't even phase me. Heck, I'd even tackle it myself. This situation isn't quite that simple. What must come down is a tall "barnish" type building that is about 90 years old, and it is the roof removal that I need input on. If I knew of somebody local who had a picker (or crane) that I could borrow it would really make the project easy. Unfortunately, if I were to go that route I would be calling somebody in from out of town and probably be stuck paying between $150-200 an hour or more, likely with a minimum of 2 hours travel time. Not the way I want the project to start.

So I've posted pictures to show what I am up against. I am thinking my best bet may be to tear the shingles off, start on the inside at the top and disassemble it board by board. But as always, any advice or reccomendations would be appreciated as I really want to get it down on the cheap, but still in a safe and efficient way.

mrb
04-01-2009, 12:41 PM
if its not all rotted, youve probably got a few bucks worth of reclaimed lumber there...

rickairmedic
04-01-2009, 12:41 PM
Nova I would check around the area to see if there are any companies in the area that deal with reclaimed wood such as old barns like yours . You just might find one willing to come in and take down the old structure simply for the wood itself thus you wouldnt have to lift a finger to get the old building down and they might even give you a little money for the priveledge of taking the old barn off your hands :D.

Rick

MXtras
04-01-2009, 12:47 PM
Ricks idea is great and I would definately look into it.

Otherwise - that thing is not all that big - seems like taking it down board by board would only take 4 drunk buddies a few hours...

Scott

///Mflossin
04-01-2009, 12:49 PM
Nova I would check around the area to see if there are any companies in the area that deal with reclaimed wood such as old barns like yours . You just might find one willing to come in and take down the old structure simply for the wood itself thus you wouldnt have to lift a finger to get the old building down and they might even give you a little money for the priveledge of taking the old barn off your hands :D.

Rick

Agreed...there are poeple waiting for your call. :beer:

tdkkart
04-01-2009, 12:56 PM
Got any Amish colonies around??
Around here they will come disassemble buildings for the lumber.
There also a few Amish construction crews that will do a fine job of erecting most any building you want. A couple of the pole barns outfits hire them to do their building packages. You won't find a better assembled pole building anywhere.

rickairmedic
04-01-2009, 01:04 PM
I will add if Nimrod was any closer he might come take it down for you just for the extra lumber for his awesome shop :D.

Rick

autoist
04-01-2009, 01:10 PM
NOOOOOoooooooo!!! Don't tear that beautiful thing down!!!

Use it as the main 'room' of your garage & add around it, keeping the barn theme. Tin roof, building painted barn red & a huge gasoline sign in the peak.....loft area is a great gameroom/ hangout/parts storage/woodworking area.

Rip off the little additions so you can add 2 large lean-to's on either side (high enough for a lift in one), relocate that huge side door to the end facing your drive & have something akin to Nimrod's.

Don't destruct!

Reconstruct!

Nova
04-01-2009, 01:39 PM
NOOOOOoooooooo!!! Don't tear that beautiful thing down!!!

Use it as the main 'room' of your garage & add around it, keeping the barn theme. Tin roof, building painted barn red & a huge gasoline sign in the peak.....loft area is a great gameroom/ hangout/parts storage/woodworking area.

Rip off the little additions so you can add 2 large lean-to's on either side (high enough for a lift in one), relocate that huge side door to the end facing your drive & have something akin to Nimrod's.

Don't destruct!

Reconstruct!


Sorry man, but no amount of convincing will bring me around to change my mind. I've had a couple of family members beg and plead with me to do exactly what you mentioned. The problem is, first and foremost, that type of structure does not appeal to me at all. If I was on an acreage I would keep it just because room wouldn't be an issue. But I don't think it would look appropriate in a city, and could hamper resale if the time ever comes.

Piper
04-01-2009, 01:54 PM
as another Canuck I hear you regarding the "won't change my mind". Very nice building, just not right for where you are. I would seriously talk to people who may be interested in the building though as you mightn't have to do anything other than watch them remove it. In Ontario where I am there are lots of companies that do this ranging from free (and they keep the wood) to they pay you. Do some searching. Definitely don't destroy it.

Piper

twostory
04-01-2009, 01:58 PM
If you can not get someone to do it for free (just for the wood), then rent an Trailer Mounted Boom/Hoist. They cost $180 a day, but you could rent it on Saturday morning & return on Monday morning. This would be a one day rental, as Sunday is free.

I have used these, very safe. Just go up and chain saw the roof away in small section, or use a sawzall.

paddyboy
04-01-2009, 08:03 PM
I would offer it up for free to be moved or dismantled. Place an ad in the local papers and on Kijiji online.
Check with a local building moving company as well, sometimes they will come get buildings to stock their sales lot to resell.
If you can get rid of it without doing anything at all, that would be the best way.

A building of that style shouldn't be hard to unload for free.

Stuart in MN
04-01-2009, 08:05 PM
If it were mine I'd keep it - I think it's beautiful. But, if you're set on getting rid of it and starting over fresh, I'd put an ad in the paper to see if someone wants to come take it off your hands rather than just tearing it down.

dreamingmuscle
04-01-2009, 08:21 PM
I was going to say keep it also. But after taking a better look, It's not all that large, needs a ton of work. Selling the wood would most likely pay for a nice part of your new building. Advertise it, make some money, and don't lift a finger taking it down.

Glen
________
volcano digital (http://www.vaporshop.com/volcano-vaporizer.html)

hodag
04-01-2009, 08:30 PM
I guess youve had plenty of people telling you to keep it or to find someone who wants the wood to come take it apart. So I will tell you something different.

Heres how I did mine (not quite as high or steep as yours though). Climb on roof with worm-drive Skil-saw and a big-ass prybar. Cut shingles, tarpaper and sheathing into manageable pieces (in my case, about 4'x4'). Pry them up off of the trusses and throw (or let gravity do the work) them to the ground.

I did a 6/12 pitch roof on my old 24x24 garage this way, by myself, in about 5 hours.

Hodag

35mastr
04-01-2009, 08:37 PM
In the type of weather that you are in.Most likley the wood has alot of dry rot.

It looks like it has been exposed to the weather for some time.

I would rent a dumpster and a good size backhoe and just start pulling it apart with it.

It would be down in an hour or so.You could use the tractor to cleanup the debris and level out or start digging your footings and be done with it.

autoclassicnut
04-01-2009, 08:58 PM
If you do tear it down or have someone else do it... Remember this. If they get hurt on your property,in most places, you'll be responsible. Protect yourself from a lawsuit, I know it sounds crazy but there are a-holes out there waiting for an opportunity to sue.:pimpflash

IHI
04-01-2009, 09:12 PM
In the type of weather that you are in.Most likley the wood has alot of dry rot.

It looks like it has been exposed to the weather for some time.

I would rent a dumpster and a good size backhoe and just start pulling it apart with it.

It would be down in an hour or so.You could use the tractor to cleanup the debris and level out or start digging your footings and be done with it.

EXACTLY, glad you said it, saved me the typing:lol_hitti $200 for a backhoe/excavator vs how many thousands/tens of thousand getting injuried, killed, etc...trying to save a buck, happens all the time.

FWIW, your going to need mega dumpsters for that beast. we tear down/remove many old garage every year, typical garages 24x24 will eat up 1.5 30yrd dumpsters even when using the machinery to crush/compat it down since you cant stack it higher than the rim of the dumpster. We typically use a skidder with a demo/grapple bucket along with a dirt bucket for final clean up...taint no way i'd put my crew or a sub crew on that thing for hand disassembly..far too much liability when i can just rent a machine to make quick work of it. 1 day-DONE

JCQuick
04-01-2009, 09:17 PM
If you do tear it down or have someone else do it... Remember this. If they get hurt on your property,in most places, you'll be responsible. Protect yourself from a lawsuit, I know it sounds crazy but there are a-holes out there waiting for an opportunity to sue.:pimpflash

very good point

tfi racing
04-01-2009, 09:18 PM
I don't know what your urgency may be,but the local fire department may be able to burn it down for you as a training exercise.You still have to shovel up and transport the remains,but an option to consider.

e-tek
04-01-2009, 09:24 PM
In SK, we see those things being moved some. Why not put a few adds in Papers/Kajiji/Western Producer and see if someone will buy it - or move it, or tear it down for the wood?

KELLHAMMER
04-02-2009, 11:09 AM
If you tear it down take lots of pictures before hand and post them here. Another unique building lost to the wrecking ball.

Boyd Who
04-02-2009, 11:34 AM
Damn, I would kill to have something like that as a workshop. It would suit our place perfectly. Unfortunately I don't have the $$ to move something like that. I hate seeing cool old buildings demolished unless they're too far gone to restore. :(

cashishift
04-02-2009, 02:57 PM
I'd get out the pry bar and hammer and go to town. you could easily get that taken apart yourself in a weekend with a few buddies and a case of Labatt's or Moosehead :)

There people who do crafts that would be drooling if they were able to get their hands on all that naturally weathered wood.

that's another avenue to explore.

does your town have a local craigslist?

KMR Construction
04-02-2009, 03:05 PM
Get a bunch of guys, put the dumpster right next to the building. Sawzall between each roof rafter. smash the roof planks off and let'er rip. couple guys cutting couple cleaning up. A chain saw makes things go quick

billspit
04-02-2009, 03:21 PM
Fire Dept ain't going to burn something that close to other buildings. Once I saw how small it is, I have some doubt you will find someone to take it down for salvage, but maybe. You could erect scaffolding inside and take it down from within once you get the shingles off. I like the idea of using a boom on a trailer and doing it from outside.

Nova
04-02-2009, 03:37 PM
Thanks for all the input so far. I will try and respond to most of what has been said:

- My first thought was much the same as most have mentioned regarding having it removed for free. There is only one elderly local guy who is apparently off and on as far as needing more lumber. I am presently unsure what his situation is right now, but it is something we plan on looking into. I will also do some more research on local forums and see if anybody knows of businesses that might take it off my hands.

- I'm not sure how good the wood is. I am going to guess that 25% of it would be a write off. I've been told that occasionally the wood in these old buildings can be of reasonable value today. If the idea of having somebody come in and take it doesn't work out, I was thinking of offering it to my Grandma's boyfriend who is a semi-retired carpenter. I intend on consulting with him regarding the wood's value soon. I have also thought of seeing if the local highschool would have interest in any of it for their industrial arts program. I will bet the best wood is the stuff on the roof, from a distance it appears to be full length (22' or so) and made up of mostly 10or12x2". A closer look is needed.

- The front end loader idea is something that is also being looked into. I have a pretty good connection on that end of things, and these guys will also be the ones who will be clearing the lot, prepping for and supplying the cement.

- I was hoping I would get to talk to the local building inspector today or tomorrow but he is out of town until the weekend. He is also the fire cheif, but I doubt the fire department will be interested in using it for practice as the neighbor's garage is less than 4' away. At any rate, I guess I will have to hold off on talking to him until my next trip home. I will make sure I am more than prepared when we get a chance to meet, as I am going to have to quiz him on as much as possible right off the bat, particularly regarding what type of limitations I am going to have when building the new structure. I am currently undecided, so I am going to hold off on picking a 100% desired route until we can talk. I will probably get working on putting some of my ideas on paper so he can look at the yard layout and possible (locations and garage sizes). Hopefully that will put me ahead of the game when it comes time to build.

- I will be taking as many pictures as I can along the way. It is unfortunate that it has to go. There is no doubt that it is a very unique structure. If the size was adequate for somebody, fixing it up would be a great idea. Adding onto it would likely be a huge mess as it is built far too close to the property line by todays standards, and I'm sure any additions would have to comply with the new regulations. In that case, I think the additions would probably make the barn look somewhat odd and probably take away from it's current unique appearance.

- My father currently lives with me, and has been pestering me to sell the house to him, in which case the barn would probably be restored. I thought long and hard about it, and came very close to going through with it. Selling would put me between a rock and a hard place. First, housing locally has skyrocketed due to a lot of industry moving in, and it is set to get worse as there is rumor that there is going to be a potash mine built 15 minutes away. I bought this place for next to nothing when housing was dirt cheap, but in the end it is still falls into the lower 1/3 of the market. Essentially there will not be an ideal house availible to me at a price that would justify selling this house. My other thought was to purchase and relocate to Alberta, where I have been renting and spent 90% of my time the last 2.5 years. But there it is the opposite story, as the industry decline means the housing market is going to drop. The last 5 years people have slowly increased the housing cost to the point where it is now a joke. There are currently a lot of overpriced houses on the market because people can't afford to take a loss, and the market is getting saturated with high end housing that was built solely for the purpose of turning a profit. I figure it is going to take 1-2 years for the market to come back to reality, and I can't wait that long. My ultimate goal is to have a adequate house with a decent size work shop where I can restore my 69 GMC and keep my other toys, maybe find a project Nova along the way, and do it all debt free while I am still young (23) and making good money. The house more than suits my needs, and the garage is likely going to be as big as the city will allow. Starting over would likely put me into debt, and that is something I am not fond of.

voetsek
04-02-2009, 04:11 PM
After looking at the pictures above, reading the commentary, and having done a few myself I might suggest the following if you are going to do this yourself:

If you have access to a rental center, get a small trackhoe for several hours. This will make the job much easier and safer. Barring that use a ladder on the outside and work from the middle out (with the ladder or hoe).

Using a reciprocating saw or a junky circular saw (shingles really crap up a circular saw with the asphalt) and a ladder leaning on the roof, cut out from the center to one of the two edges by section from the top of the roof down to the top plate of the vertical wall on both sides, preferably in manageable pieces allowing them to fall into the building . With a hoe, the bucket will do this in a few minutes. Doing this from on top of the roof will keep everyone out of the way of falling debris. If you are handling the cut pieces, after cutting them out it is easiest to dispose of them as they are cut out and not let them pile up.

What no one mentioned is that you have a building in close proximity to one side of the back endwall and a hanging wire next to the other endwall.

To keep these from being harmed, work outwards until you reach the last rafter set (or two depending on how steady you feel), then rope off the endwall and either pull it down with a little help or put tension on it so it falls down into the building and not outwards. A hoe will accomplish this by putting the bucket out at full extension and sweeping it inwards.

Repeat process from the center to the opposite endwall.

Once debris is clean from the roof section, continue to remove the rest of the walls from the ground. Normally you could work the roof from the inside, but both the gambrel structure and the lack of secure flooring to work off of would suggest working from the outside for safety.

Voila! One building gone.

Oh, yeah, I wouldn't suggest burning it either, It wouldn't be good for either the building located next door or the wire on the other side.

Have fun! The actual teardown process won't take but a few hours and a few saw blades, the cleaning up however...

If you have a nice reciprocating saw, that's the way to go, you'll junk up an expensive bar and come chain with the shingles and nails.

-Richard