Our two-year old niece probably summed it up the best. She walked through the still standing front half of the house without too much concern but when she got to the back part, which was now a wasteland of bricks, timber and dirt, she looked around for a few minutes, turned around to her Mum and simply said ‘all gone’.
It sure is. We started on the 26th September, once we finally packed everything up and put it in storage, by pulling down the back timber and weather board part of the house. Nearly 75 years of dirt and detritus came down with the ceilings in that thing and every day Greg would end up black, with the dirtiest moustache you have ever seen.
Getting the timber down was easy. We thought it was going to be but the timber frames were surprisingly tenacious as the end with the whole frame for the kitchen on a 60° angle until the final nail was clawed out of the base. Each individual timber came out of the frame just fine though. It is most satisfying to give a piece of timber a good thwack and watch it fly across the yard.
Then came the floor boards and tiles and roof timbers.
Then the man with the big trucks showed up – now it was really on for one and all. There was quite the audience watching the excavator pull the house down wall by wall – a precision job given the heritage listed, 100-year old building next door.
Over the next few days the excavator did an amazing job, separating the red clay bricks and stacking them up the back, extracting scrap metal for recycling and taking about 120m³ of building waste (bricks, concrete and tiles) off site. How are you at reverse parallel parking? Driving around tight corners? Squeezing past parked cars? Well the drivers of the 20m³ trucks were absolutely amazing, negotiating our extremely narrow street with, well if not ease, at least precision! No scrapped cars, no dinged power poles and only a minor scrap on the kerb!
By the end of all this we had a clear, sloping site with just our outback brick dunny, exposed to the world outside for the first time, taking pride of place. An amazing effort and all of this happened in just over a week!