o today we crossed into some new and uncharted
territory. We started tearing out the second floor in the sanctuary.
It's a tiny job by the standards of any contractor worth his salt, and probably only a medium-sized job to us, the (dumb) people who sandblasted the interior of their house (while living in it). It's not dirty work, it's not exceptionally taxing, and we got about half of the sub-flooring pounded up and de-nailed in about 6 hours. But the thing is, mentally, this is huge
. We've been talking about "when we tear the floor out" almost as long as we've been married.
We're feeling like we might get through it without permanent physical damage or any visits by emergency services, and that's pretty respectable, if I do say so.
The sub-flooring (the flat stuff you stand on) is 3/4" tongue & groove OSB (Orient Strand Board - I think) in 4x8ft sheets. It's quite heavy and has about 16-18 nails holding it in place on the wooden supports, which are called I-Joists, or engineered I-Beams, because they're like steel I-Beams, but made of wood.
Anyhow, our concern was that in addition to being nailed down, the sub-flooring would be glued to these beams, as is standard practice. If they were glued, this would have become a very
unpleasant job with little hope of doing more than tearing out a piece at a time. Glue and OSB tend to work a little too well together.
Anyhow, I stand on a ladder downstairs and throw a 15lb sledgehammer up at a high velocity to pound on the OSB from below, which pushes the board up and loosens the nails. Sally crawls around on the floor above, and looks for the raised nail heads, and strikes with a catspaw nail remover. When all the nails are out she pulls the board up and slides it over to the corner, were we'll inevitably have to figure out where to store them until we can reuse them. But the crucial bit there is that indeed, we can reuse them.
So tomorrow we continue uplifting work on the floor. Then we'll try to take down the joists and keep them in good enough shape to re-sell them on Craigslist.