Men and Machines

Big houses require big plans, and apparently, big machinery!  Say hello to Rusty’s new toy, the telehandler:


Once the roof comes off, the walls will be cut into paneled sections and this handy dandy piece of equipment will get them to the ground.  I’m sure that it has many other uses, I just hope that it does not need tires any time in the near future!



Taking it all apart…thoughtfully. It’s an important part of the master plan.

A lot of thought has to go into the process of dismantling a house when you are planning to use as much of the original as is possible.  With a tight timeline (3.5 months total for two buildings) to get the buildings down and “stored” offsite, you have to think about every single effort you undertake so that you don’t have to expend any extra time or movement since there is none of either to spare.

Dumpsters fill quickly, muscles tire quickly and your head spins at the thought of what you have undertaken.  “Did I bite off too much” was uttered on day two, but has not been said since.  Two weeks in, much progress has been made.  Here are some photos to prove it!

One room left to clear in the upstairs, the bathroom.  It is going to take a jack hammer since it is 2-4″ of concrete on wire  mesh as a base for ceramic tile.  No amount of sledge swinging even made a dent.  So far, a few major “what were they thinking” discoveries have been made.  One 2×6 had 8 nails attaching it to another board, while a 6×6 support beam was being held up by one 2×4.  Molding was attached with 4″ long nails, and the knob and tube wiring ran through the floors. The bright spot has been that there is so little insulation in the house that there is not as much of a mess that there could be.

This will be a week off, as work duties call.  That also gives a week to regain the mental and physical strength needed to go forward!

Thanks for following, and positive thoughts appreciated!


A Dream Comes True

For all the years since we met (that’s 30), Rusty has had a dream of saving old buildings.  Whether they are large, small or in-between, there is always a purpose that can be served by thinking restoration rather than demolition.

This blog will serve to document the dismantling and restoration of a wonderful, pre-Civil War home located in Middleburgh, NY…all 3,500 square feet of it…as well as the carriage barn of equal size.  These buildings have survived multiple floods, and were scheduled to be demolished for a business development.  Rusty’s plan will save both, and will serve to breath new life into them.

Since he’s relocated to the community where he grew up (Capital District) to do the actual work, I’ll be delivering the details of this evolving dream from our home (Western New York).  We hope that you will join us and follow along with his progress.  If you’re in the Middleburgh area, stop by and bring your hammer!

Until Next Time,


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