Monday, February 21, 2011

Squirrel Morgue and Mudroom Removal

The weather this week was spectacular – it got up into the 60s and 70s. Because it was so nice, we worked outside every evening after work. We only had about an hour or so each night before it got dark but we were pretty tired at that point and wouldn’t have been able to accomplish much more.

We continued the work on the area at the front of the house. One of our neighbors referred to it as the “jungle” and we think that is a pretty accurate description. The next door neighbors (on the other side of the jungle) are so happy that it’ll be clear soon. Because of the size of the debris piles we have, we are thinking of hiring a company to remove most of it (otherwise it would be many, many trips to the compost/mulch area at the dump).

Our front yard is going to be so much bigger when it’s all finally removed – Chris will have to spend an extra 5 minutes when he cuts the grass!

Chris’ parents came down to help us over the long weekend. They helped us bundle up a lot of the branches we removed from the front yard – we ended up with about 15 big bundles. In spring, we’ll be able to put these out on the same day as the recycling and they’ll cart them away to the dump to use as mulch or compost.

Before his parents arrived, we started work on demolition of the little mudroom on the side of the house. This has been an eyesore for a very long time. Anyone coming into the neighborhood has to see it when they’re at the stop sign.

I started by removing the windows and doors. Then I removed the shingles, tarpaper, and flashing from the roof while Chris worked on removing the upper portion of the walls.

The next part to go was the ceiling. We ripped that off and found a surprise. Someone had insulated the ceiling (we still have no idea why) and the squirrels apparently thought this was a very wonderful location for a nest. We found five squirrel mummies/skeletons. We think that someone poisoned them. It was rather sad and disgusting!

The bottom half of the mudroom was cinder block so after lunch Chris and his dad finished demolition with sledge hammers. Now all we have is a concrete pad and a lot of debris to throw away!

We will have to wait for warmer weather to clean the bricks – it’s going to get cold here again this week. We also still have to move the ugly fence on this side of the house but we have a lot of debris to clean up first – it’ll be another spring project. Here are the before and after pictures:

On Sunday, we went to the Maryland Luxury Home Show. We spoke to a few contractors that we might consider hiring for some small jobs. One nice thing about the luxury home show is that there was so much food and drink to sample. I definitely had my fill of dip, meat, and wine!

Chris’ parents left this afternoon to try to miss the winter weather headed our way. We had off for President’s Day and have been working on some small projects. I’m sure I’ll write more about them next week – hopefully we’ll get a lot of work finished!

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