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Handyman: Handy women?

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momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

March 30, 2005
1:42 AM

Post #1371879

Any women out there who've torn down a building? I have a dilapidated porch that needs to come down, I just recieved an estimate from a demolition team...$1500.00 ------ Ouch! that hurt. I'm wondering if I can do it myself? Crow bar in hand.
This porch is moldy,wet (or used to be wet...rain seems to be nil in Iowa this winter/spring). I'm guessing I would start on the outside and hope and pray nothing falls on me. I do have homeowners insurance if something would happen to injure me. DH is unable to help, I make too much money to recieve any help from the city (you have to be dirt poor, 2 people on $12,000 per year) Yet on my income and DH's disability we wont be able to come up with that kind of money any time soon.

As soon as the porch is gone I'm going to be able to have some nice 'outdoor living spaces' ----- and I have many great idea's thanks to all of you guy's who use Daves garden. AND --- I'll finally be able to paint the outside of our home.

Is it mans work? Or can a lil' lady like me handle it?Any 'handy women' idea's from you would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Jill

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 30, 2005
2:39 AM

Post #1371959

Start on the top or if it is really bad shape, hook a long chain around something to pull it down some then tear it apart. Biggest hazard, old nails, they like to poke you or jump into the bottom of your foot.
Maybe some of us guys could help when we come down for RU. I'll be in town early Friday morning.
Bernie
momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

March 30, 2005
3:18 AM

Post #1372021

I think the chain idea sounds good, I'm not sure about the roof, it leaked, thus causing all the damage and DH said it was built too poorly to pour money into it, I would'nt want to risk standing on it. Maybe one of my Childrens friends could help out, we'll see. I keep hoping a wind would blow it down - LOL! Thanks for the advice Bernie, I'll let you know what transpires. Jill

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


March 30, 2005
1:12 PM

Post #1372562

Jill, if you are a member of a local church, perhaps their youth group could come help? (I know ours does stuff like this for our members who can't do for themselves.)

Invest in good boots and good gloves, and get your tetanus shot updated before you begin. Crowbar and a manageable-weight sledgehammer are the most important tools you'll need (many sledgehammers are way too heavy for the average woman to swing with any precision, so "test drive" a few before you buy, rent or borrow.

Also check into how you are going to dispose of the porch once it's down:
If any of the lumber is salvageable, do you have a place you can stack it and protect it from sun and rain?

If you plan to burn the scraps, do you need a burn permit?

If you plan to haul it off, do you have a pickup that can be used for trips to the dump, and is there a charge for each trip? And do you have a strong back to help you load and offload it? (When we remodeled this house, I helped DH and DS haul off the excess wood, drywall, old flooring and paneling. But it would have been nearly impossible for me to single-handedly load the truck and then offload it at the recycling/waste center.)
momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

March 30, 2005
9:37 PM

Post #1373428

Terry thanks for all of your sugesstions,we need to find a new church family --- all though that is an excellant idea. I think I can haul my self with our old 'cable guy' pick up ( I work for the local cable company & we were privilidged enough to be able to by an old un-used by the cable co pick-up) , and my children (all though no-one is jumping at it) have said they'll help with labor, so I'm sure I'll get it done one way or another ... I really just wanted to see if anyone thought that I'm crazy for wanting to tackle it my-self. And getting a tetnus...excelent idea too ---- I would not have thought of it. Hopefully at some point this summer I'll be able to show pics to you and Bernie of a lovely outdoor living space where my dilapidated porch used to be! Underneath this ugly enclosed porch is a cement patio, cant wait to see it! Take care - Thanks again, Jill
anastatia
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 1, 2005
2:58 AM

Post #1376375

talk to darius.
Dravencat
Edgewater, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 1, 2005
11:58 PM

Post #1378105

Everyone here has given you great advise, it would be something I would takle wholeheartedly. Leather gloves-yes, good boots- yes, and be fast on your feet just in case.
momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 2, 2005
12:04 AM

Post #1378113

yes I will, especially the tetnus. Thank you. Jill

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2005
4:58 AM

Post #1380499

Yeah, woman power works! I'd say go for it and take Bernie's suggestion of starting at the top, or at least separate the roof from the house before tearing it off with a chain...
momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 3, 2005
12:13 PM

Post #1380671

Thanks Darius, I'll be working on it as well as hopefully uncovering a hardwood floor in the living room this spring/summer, but the icky porch is 1st on my list ---- I guess I'll try putting the guilt trip on my kids , that might get em' moving - LOL!
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 5, 2005
3:24 PM

Post #1385296

Yes we are woman hear us roar! All of these are good advice.
Was the porch added on, or part of the original structure?
It would help if you had one young man with a reciporcating saw go upon roof and saw through the screws, nails, and lumber that attach the porch to the house, then pull the structure down via the chain method. I also want you to wear safety glasses and keep a power saw handy for making little ones out of big ones. A supportive back brace never hurts either.
Please keep us posted and good luck.
Sidney
momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 5, 2005
9:46 PM

Post #1386039

I started ripping at the bottom section of this monster, I found out that I dont have enough strength to get to the big thick supporting lumber. I will definetly need to enlist some help. I think I need to get the kids together for a pizza night out dinner and have them commit to 2 or three days this spring to give Mom a hand, then if we can knock out the simple stuff maybe a 'tear down' from an expert would'nt be do expensive. Its a "WIP" ... work in progress! it was an add-on Sidney, a very poor one at that , I'm glad I listened to DH when he said it was'nt worth fixing. When we 1st moved in we had plans to make it a 2nd Bedroom, then he fell ill (so to speak) long story. Befor that he made great money, we would have never bought this house if we would have seen the future. But were here now, gotta make the best of it, and I like this little house, its cosy. Thanks for the support! Jill
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 5, 2005
10:46 PM

Post #1386142

You bet Jill, we never know what life will bring us. Keep us posted.
2 teenage boys tore down a caved in garage across the alley in just a few hours and took it all to the front and stack it. Sidney
nicksgrammy
barrington, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 8, 2005
9:42 PM

Post #1391841

i haven't torn down a building but i did run an american plan resort in wisconsin. when i wasn't cooking and/or cleaning i sometimes guided fishermen(and women of course). oh, did i forget to mention that i have also done commercial roofing all over the country? hehehe

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 19, 2005
2:26 AM

Post #1411984

Update?
momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 19, 2005
3:24 AM

Post #1412130

Nothing exciting Darius, I just started ripping at the bottom just to see whats underneath, the supporting lumber will need cut, its huge, My daughter's fiance' is a close friend of a man who 'claims' he's done this sort of thing, they were supposed to come look at it but I have'nt heard yet. I can always hope the wind will blow it down,LOL! Well have to do something this summer, just waiting for the right people and $ and equipment.
budgielover
Pinellas Park, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 20, 2005
12:48 AM

Post #1413900

You can do it yourself. I am revamping an old aviary into a shade/green house that a friend and I built some years ago. It is 8x16ft with rotting shingle roof and plywood sides. I have removed most of the plywood sides and am currently removing the roof and will be replacing it with clear fiberglass panels and will probably put shade cloth over all or part of the roof afterwards. I'm also finishing up remodeling a room in the house where I had to remove drywall down to the studs and open up an archway to the original square opening. So far, I have the new drywall up and the walls replastered.
Next is the new trim work and flooring (wood laminate for economic purposes). As a mature single mom, I have had to learn to do it myself as there is never much money left over to pay the pros. I actually really enjoy the work and the sense of accomplishment it doing it too.
Needless to say, my TV channel rarely changes from HGTV!
Jan...
Frankay
Northport, ME
(Zone 5b)

April 20, 2005
1:27 AM

Post #1413978

When you have the4X4 ready to yank it down don't forget the advice from Sidney to cut it away from the house on the roof first. Don't rip off something you later wish had stayed. Clean-up is longer than demolition. Re-building what you want, the way you want , is so rewarding. Best of luck in your endeavors. Frank
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 20, 2005
2:17 AM

Post #1414087

Budgie. We'll talk Jill into this yet.
Sidney
momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 20, 2005
10:01 AM

Post #1414600

Ok,Ok, Maybe if I do rip off the sides of this monster then Mother nature will take over on the roof? It would definetly be a plus, I dont think the kids are all that willing to help Mom (where did I go wrong?) , and maybe someone would be interested in all the window's to use in a make shift green house or something. Ok , the weekend is near I'll do some more ripping!
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 20, 2005
12:45 PM

Post #1414745

Jill, have you offered-up the windows on freecycle? With a note they need to be removed, you might get help with some of the demo, and get the right one and the whole thing will be gone.
momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 21, 2005
2:32 AM

Post #1416482

I thought about doing that, but they are cheapies, however there are 8 of them, I'm guessing they are around 48" by 48" or around that size, I'll measure them this weekend and give it a shot! I'll have to measure from the outside, I'm sure the floor is unsafe to stand on and I'm afraid of the mold within this icky porch, it would be so great to have it gone, then we could open up the sliding glass doors again. Its not been open for over a year.Thanks, Jill
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 21, 2005
12:24 PM

Post #1417006

Now that is seriously BAD.
In Jacksonville we have "Builders that care". I called them about the ladies Garage across the alley, but they wouldn't touch it because it wasn't attached to the house. You might get help of that kind in Des Moines. I'd come help, if I could afford to. I love to tear things apart.
Of course I have 27 yrs experience in knowing when to high tail it out of the way.
momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 21, 2005
10:38 PM

Post #1418234

Sugarweed, I think the previous homeowners did their own remoldling, things in this house have needed lots of help, when we moved in we had enough $ to completley gut the old bath (it was nearly as bad as the porch), then we had plans to add a master Bedroom next to the kitchen where the icky porch is and thats when DH had a 3rd back surgery that really kicked his behind, we both wish he had'nt agreed to it because he walked all over Cabo San Lucas with me the year before that fateful surgery. Anyhoo ---- we make do, it just takes us longer to repair or change things around here. I dont want to get a loan, I'd like to be able to retire someday and not have a boat load of bills! LOL! Thanks for the encouragement! Jill
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 21, 2005
10:53 PM

Post #1418257

That's why I say if help is there get it. You haven't spent your lives on the dole, so see if DM has a "builders care" group.
momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 22, 2005
12:36 AM

Post #1418484

yes, I just recieved some info from an Iowa.gov type of thing, we'll see about getting some help, I'll do as much as i can myself though.
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 22, 2005
4:50 AM

Post #1419035

That's great.
BriarRose74
Moon Twp, PA
(Zone 6a)

April 23, 2005
3:30 AM

Post #1421323

One note of caution. Please check this out with your insurance agent before counting on the homeowner's insurance to cover you in case of trouble. When I got my insurance, my agent explained that homeowner's insurance did not cover anyone that lived there, only others. Be careful. I know you can do it! ~ Suzi :)
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 25, 2005
1:44 AM

Post #1425162

I have re-read your last post and since they are accessing your situation let them do all they can, then you will still have plenty of things todo to get it like you want it to enjoy.
And the insurance is another factor.
Sidney
Dogzilla
Tallahassee, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 28, 2005
7:05 PM

Post #1434110

Note: I did not read any other posts here, just dropped straight down to my response...

As a 35-year-old, never-married, have-no-brothers, female, I've learned that there is no such thing as a man's job. And in my family... the married women tend to get a lot more done a lot sooner than their husbands and being single, I have no idea what's up with that. I can only guess that we're not terribly patient. . . I cannot stand waiting around for someone else to decide they have time to help me out. I'll be old and gray and wrinkly by then, so I just give up and get started. So far, I haven't started anything I couldn't finish myself and my pride in my handywoman abilities increases every time I successfully complete another project (or hare-brained scheme, in my case -- I'm sort of like the petite female equivalent of Wile E. Coyote with my ACME rockets and brilliant ideas and such -- see my backyard shower for an example).

I say, start at the top and work your way down and what could possibly go wrong? You're not constructing a new porch... how hard could it be to demolish one? Actually, sounds like fun to me! (I'm assuming you have medical insurance of some sort in the event you smash your own foot with a sledgehammer, or step on a nail and need a tetanus or something.)
momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 28, 2005
10:57 PM

Post #1434497

Dogzilla, thanks for the encouragement! I will get started on the porch monster again soon, and yes, I have good medical unsurance and homeowners insurance in case someine else is hurt at my home. I dont think the Gov thing will work out, with my DH's medical/ ect. that piled up while wating for the tiny monthly SSI Disability (however I'm entirely grateful for them!) we messed up our perfect credit, it's on the mend though so in a few years I'll check with the Gov again. Mean time...it's me and my women strength against the porch Monster! :) , and gardening is my saving grace! Jill
caitlinsgarden
McGregor, IA
(Zone 4b)

April 30, 2005
12:09 PM

Post #1437587

Forgive me if I am in the wrong place - this should maybe be a separate thread? Anyways, I am trying to salvage the roof of a fallen down old shed - right where it lays, and use it for a cold frame type of thingy by cutting out part of the south side and adding plastic doors-windows. I heard someone mention a reciprocating saw and cutting thru nails etc...This is a saw that cuts thru nails? That would solve my problem, maybe...By the way, I am in Iowa, too, momof2 - Northeast Iowa. We have a dairy farm, and lots of garden space - ditto for weeds...caitlin

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 30, 2005
3:29 PM

Post #1437899

Yes, reciprocating saws will cut through nails, given good quality blades. However, their vibrations are TOUGH on a body, more so for women who have less upper body muscle than most men.

IF you elect to get one, get the top of the line Milwaukee Super Sawzall ot the one with orbital action. You can probably rent one.

WEAR GOGGLES!
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 30, 2005
8:31 PM

Post #1438598

Absolutely! Great advise.
sidney
nicksgrammy
barrington, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 16, 2005
10:31 AM

Post #1473290

darius, keep in mind that milwaukee saws all has been recently bought out by ryobi. from what i've been told, the quality of the milwaukee saws all may not be the same as before.
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 16, 2005
12:42 PM

Post #1473451

Buy-up old ones NOW!
Lord please let us not loose any quality in our tools.
I'm doing 3 rooms of WP removal this afternoon.
Will let ya'll know how it's coming at noon.
sidney

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

May 16, 2005
2:51 PM

Post #1473676

nicksgrammy, thanks for the heads-up on Milwaukee! I need a new recip. saw as mine is about shot. I'll start looking for a good used one. : )
slgrowers
N. Mississippi, MS
(Zone 8a)

June 14, 2005
3:54 PM

Post #1546749

be careful yanking on that thing with a chain if its attached to your house. Kids are out of school now. Good summer job for a couple of neighborhood football players I think.
momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

June 15, 2005
12:29 AM

Post #1547889

yep, we've looked the situation over and DH would like someone bonded, I know I can help though, its still up in the air, but when it gets done this women is gonna do some celebrating! Once its done I'll be able to get the house painted and create a patio and plant plant plant!

This message was edited Jun 14, 2005 7:30 PM

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