We managed to hire the brick saw from Kennards for the day and had a lot of success with it. It cost under $200 to hire and did a brilliant job at not only slicing through the bricks but leaving a minimal amount of brick dust as it had a vacuum attached. Once the cuts were made my husband continued to remove brick by brick again, while I continued laying some of the bricks removed from the walls to the pavement on the side of the house.
We both then tackled removing one of the old bathroom walls to reveal the other side. It was difficult as the previous builders had used cement rather than mortar between bricks, so it required a lot more effort to break down. There was also chicken wire to tackle which must of been used for the cement render. It has been pretty amazing to stand back and see how large the opening is and the potential size of our family room/kitchen and it will become more evident when we knock the other walls down.
There were a few weekend breaks that we had due to our son’s 8th birthday and other family events, but when we finally had a free weekend, we made plans to remove the old bath tub, vanity and shaving cabinet. With old houses you never know what’s lurking behind, hidden by walls or floors, so it was a surprise when we found a pile of rubble used as the retaining wall for the bath tub. When we finally removed all the rubbish under the tub we hit the concrete slab.
My husband proceeded to use the jack hammer and broke up the slab, which itself was not poured very well. Under all that concrete we found more dirt and rubble, so what has been holding the floor up in the old bathroom is a mound of approx 3.5 cubic metres of dirt and a concrete slab on top. It’s an interesting find, but a realised hassle as we now have to try to excavate the dirt out in order to build footings.
The same issue lies under the larger slab that needs removing, which is where the old laundry was. This is now a huge challenge for us to now try and remove all this dirt, approx 8 cubic metres in total, without a machine. We have been contacting various excavation services to give us a hand, but I am anxious about using a tradies considering all our past experiences. Also the cost is naturally going to be in the thousands as it requires manual labouring and man power to shift this dirt out of the house and to the tip.
While we wait on quotes, in the mean time we organised a rubbish removalist to come and pick up our rubbish left from removing the walls. We thought we would spend the extra money and save us from another weekend of shifting demolition rubbish to another 4 tonne skip. It happened very quickly, all done in a day. We hired Fast Eddy’s removalists to do the job and got a competitive price and spent $200 more than if we hired a skip. I don’t think it’s something we would do often, but it certainly was nice to see the rubbish gone in a day. It has meant that we have been able to arrange for the delivery of top soil and turf for the weekend. I’m excited to know that we will have grass in the backyard this weekend.
We will continue to wait on quotes and hopefully settle on one to get the dirt out of the subfloor, this means we’ll be able to start on digging the 5 extra pier pads and look at joining the old joists to the new.