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and the walls came {tumbling} down

By Friday, May 2, 2014 ,

Once upon a time, I thought that buying our own house with our own backyard would mean CHICKENS.  Those fluffy birds, who would roam free and give us deeply orangey yolked eggs.  But PIGEONS.  Sure we could have converted the monstrosity of the bird house/shed/aviary into an approximation of a chicken coop.  But… BIRD POOP.  And the shed that was meant to house {how many??} racing pigeons took up much of our small backyard.

After scrubbing bird poop off the walls inside the house {yes, someone thought keeping the birds inside was a good idea} I was well over the thought of having our own birds.  Sure, the romantic notion of home grown, fresh eggs still makes me a little starry eyed but for now those eggs will have to come for someone else's birds.

Over a few days, with help from our buddy Jeff and his handy hand wench, we took down the shed piece by piece.  First the front tray, which was covered in pieces of shells and saturated in bird droppings, was removed.  We stripped the tar paper and removed the front walls.  We were worried about taking careful steps so the whole thing didn't come crashing down on our heads.  But, we needn't have worried - that THING was one sturdy building.

First, after cutting the front third off from the rest, we cut part way through the studs.  Then wrapped the cable of the wench around a couple studs and secured the wenching part to the cross beams of the partially removed deck.  {Yeah, the deck was rotted and had to go too!}  But a few clicks of the wench later, instead of the bird shed crumpling down the deck was several inches in the air and the shed hadn't budged.  So, we cut through all the studs all the way still expecting that it would come down easy.  Each retry, after more cutting and readjustment of the wench I pressed record on the camera to video tape the crash.  There were many clips of nothing, I have to say.

Eventually that first section came down and joined the pile of debris growing in the driveway.  The remaining sections were not as resilient and came down with a bit more ease.  Just a bit.  Maybe it had a little bit to do with the learning curve for Sawzall dismantling of bird sheds?

The next step was getting the accumulated debris out of the yard.  The woman at the sanitation department suggested at 20 cubic yard dumpster for household projects.  She said the 30 cubic yard box was for big construction jobs.  But we chose the bigger box and it was BIG.  They delivered it on a huge truck and I was quite impressed with how BIG it was.  And then, we proceeded to fill it all the way up.  Besides the bird shed pieces and the rotted deck, we had a house's worth of rat chewed/poop/pee covered duct work to add to the dumpster, glass shower doors that didn't do much to block the water from the shower, and various items of garbage left by the previous owners.  We moved just under 3 tons of stuff!  Good thing Lukas is an expert packer - we got it all to fit.

Next up?  More backyard cleanup, building a garden, and rehabbing the garage so that it can actually be used {for storage and a workshop}.  Really, the list is never ending and my goal this weekend and for the rest of my life… filling that green waste bin.

Other little bits of my life...


  1. What a big job! You two are probably huge favorites in your neighborhood right now!

  2. What a project! We have a chicken coop that we want to tear down. I've been told it's dangerous though due to the chemicals in the chicken poop. Glad you guys wore masks.

    Isn't it funny how once you check one thing off your to-do list you add 4 more! I'm so glad you commented on my blog. I have enjoyed reading your posts as well.