Truth be told, we spend a lot of time at Woodside just kinda winging it. Remove a two-story porch? Never done it, but let’s hook this tool up to a tree and start pulling. Install sill plates around the new foundation? Seems easy enough. Take down four-story chimneys that are infested with brown recluse spiders? Sign us up!
As I do with most things, I asked Brendon if he actually knew how to remove chimneys and/or if he had ever done it before. He gave me his signature “Eh” with a shrug, which for Brendon translates to “Not really, but I’m going to call my dad and/or watch some YouTube videos to figure it out.”
Removing the chimneys wasn’t part of the original renovation plan, but since they failed when we lowered the house, we had no choice other than to take them out. There is one on each end of the house & they run the entire height from the basement through the roof. Never fear, we will be rebuilding them, and I have this crazy idea to try and make the one on the west end double-sided (so the fireplace is exposed in both the living room and the enclosed porch), but we’ll have to see if the historical folks can get on board with that first.
I wasn’t there for the beginning of the removal process, but our good friend who was described it to me like this: Brendon & his dad climbed up on the scaffolding through the hole in the roof, and our friend stood far enough away to dial 911 “in case something went wrong.” You know, standard operating procedure when trying something new. I showed up a short time later, after I was told to make sure & call someone inside the house when I got there so that they would stop throwing bricks from roof level to the ground. Lesson of the day: Don’t show up at Woodside unannounced.
The removal process is slow to begin with, and made slower by the threat of a brown recluse bite that will rot your flesh. We’re keeping any full bricks that are in good shape with the hope that our masons can reuse them & the rest get tossed into a brick graveyard on the side of the house. Even I joined in the fun – there’s something satisfying about throwing broken bricks out the side of your farmhouse, and it’s pretty easy to figure out how to do that without watching a YouTube video.