Category Archives: Demolition

Death of the Blog

Part I: Prologue I started this blog a little over five years ago with the intention of writing about life and home renovation in Point St. Charles. It was to be a diversion from the unrelenting labour of single-handed demolition and, … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Construction, Demolition, Foundation, Renovation | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Fall Offcuts

Once again I’ve been outed as a member of the advance guard in the barbarian invasion of Point St. Charles. What follows are quotations from Facebook responses to my last blog entry: He is not the only one that has bought … Continue reading

Posted in Construction, Crime, Demolition, Point Housing, Renovation, Trades and Tradesmen | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rail Yard Runaround

Soon after we moved to Point St. Charles, divorce proceedings that had been in the works for years came to an end, leaving us in a precarious financial situation. We didn’t know whether to keep the house and renovate it … Continue reading

Posted in Demolition, Life Otherwise, Renovation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to Demolish a Staircase without Dying

When we first looked at this house two years ago, Patricia immediately saw how much floor area was devoted to a tight little staircase that twisted its way from the second floor down to a postage-stamp size landing and porch … Continue reading

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Summer Salad

A while back, I heard an angry mother on a radio phone-in show declare that there was no way she would allow her kids to be transferred from a defunct English school in a nearby district to one in the … Continue reading

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Sex, Shelter, Art, Intoxication, and Death

It’s hard to imagine a 120-year-old house that isn’t hoarding a few secrets and surprises behind its walls, under its floors, and above its ceilings. Secretiveness and guilt make people hide things but there’s also the simple fact of loss. A ring slips … Continue reading

Posted in Demolition, Design, Discovery, Renovation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

“T”

When you apply for a renovation permit from l’arrondissement du Sud-Ouest, or the Southwest Borough of Montreal, the document you eventually receive and  must  then post in your window displays a big, green “T.” If you’re thinking in English, no handy signification … Continue reading

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Santa Stymied

Taking the chimney down wasn’t really on my Christmas to-do list. Patricia’s logic was unassailable, though. If the chimney were taken down on the first and second floors, what was left of it in the basement could save us money. … Continue reading

Posted in Demolition, Design, Renovation, Tools | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Thirty Feet of Brick

However far you must go for bricks, Whatever they cost a—piece or a pound, Buy me enough for a full-length chimney, And build the chimney clear from the ground. Robert Frost, “The Kitchen Chimney” The masons who worked for the builder … Continue reading

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Hitting the Wall

Marathon runners and endurance athletes who reach what feels like an absolute physical limit have to force themselves to continue until the limit disappears. Psychology overcomes physiology, and their steps become light again. Do-it-yourself renovation doesn’t work like that. Here, … Continue reading

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