Mary’s Big Challenging Remodel – Part 6

Once upon a time, in the year 1972 A.D., a genius of a man mixed up a batch of goo in his garage. “Finally, I’ve got it!” Mark exclaimed as he ran to the black, rotary dial phone, connected to the wall by a thick, black cloth-covered cord.

“Herb, we’ve got our formula. This glue is stronger than a gorilla, man. Find me a construction site where we can test it, then we’re off to market. We’re going to make a killing on this stuff!”

In no time flat, Herb found a construction site in Orange County, Calif., where the workers were ready to install parquet and vinyl flooring in a new, custom home. Perfect! The builder, S & S Homes, was more than willing to give ‘er a go, and report back if this adhesive was as magical as promised.

“We promise that if you use our glue,” Mark and Herb boasted, “A hundred years from now it will still be holding stronger than anything that has ever been known to mankind. It’s made to attach anything to concrete … forever! Bwahahahaha.”

And they were right. A mere 40 years later, in the year 2012, that parquet and vinyl flooring refused to budge under the power of a fairly hefty chisel powered by very large and extremely noisy air compressor (pictured earlier in the demolition phase).

So, we, uh, I mean the homeowners, upgraded to a big monster of a floor-scraping machine with a wide blade on the front (seen here sitting on the marble entryway which is not at all part of the construction site and I tell you this only because I know someone is about to ask).

What a joke. This thing was like child’s play on the parquet and vinyl floor installed to last forever. So back it went to the rental yard … in favor of the mother of all power blades, the Makita Air Hammer.

Still not a simple task, but after 15 hours of constant hammering and earth-moving vibration … every last inch of parquet and vinyl was separated from the concrete slab, one 1″ x 4″ piece of hardwood at a time; one 6-inch strip of vinyl at a time.

But not without some collateral damage. The nuts holding on the bolts holding on the blade kept vibrating loose. Then one of them decided this was way too taxing and just broke off. This amazing glue broke the jack hammer!

And that darned glue was so strong, it pulled up hunks of concrete with the wood still attached.

In the end, the flooring was reduced to a mountain of rubble, loaded up into ten 55-gallon construction grade plastic bags and hauled to the dump, I mean “Transfer Station.”

“Away with you!” the homeowners exclaimed as they drove away, exhausted but victorious.

After the long ordeal, our homeowners can only imagine that this house was indeed the proving ground for ultra, extreme, heavy-duty Gorilla Glue and are happy to report that it holds up to its name.

And with that … the demolition was declared to be complete. Done. Finished.

What’s more, all of the rough plumbing is finished. The electrical is roughed in. Both electrician and plumber have given the go ahead to start closing up this joint. And we know what that means:

New walls! New ceiling!

Fourteen, beautiful, fresh, unspoiled 4’x8′ sheets of 1/2-inch drywall—poised and ready to be foisted to their standing positions to become new ceiling and walls.

And that, boys and girls, is the meaning of sweat equity.

Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1


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  • Clearly sweat equity…and no doubt some sore muscles to boot! Nope, not looking forward to getting started on ours but our tiles were put down almost 16 years ago after a pipe break, directly onto concrete and hopefully not with “Gorilla Glue”. You’re now at the exciting part of seeing it start to come together. Whoo hooo.