October 13, 2009
We'd heard it all before. We'd been warned by friends, seasoned renovators—even by Tom Silva himself: The most dangerous words you can hear from your contractor while renovating your house are, "We really oughta..." or "We might as well..."
We tried to take this to heart, especially since there's not a lot of leeway in our budget for major add-ons, especially after some of the surprise "extras" we incurred early on in the process.
But the garage? From the beginning, this was a sticking point for us. Were we really going to end a project of this magnitude, including straightening the driveway, without somehow addressing the garage problem? Our leaky, rusty, rickety, mildewed garage didn't seem to be in keeping with the new structure that would be going up a few feet away. As construction progressed, the problem became more and more obvious.
So the garage has to go. However, the other day, Tom came up with an innovative "solution" to demolishing it. Why not just back up the dump truck into the garage, raise the back, and drive it away? All I can say is, folks, don't try this at home...
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How about some more details on this because I can see this dump truck plan working well at all. For starters, dump trucks lift at an angle so I would expect the garage to simply slide down on the slab. Then, if for some reason the garage stayed on the truck, it surely wouldn't be safe to drive that way.
That was quite interesting and innovative solution by Tom.
I am so happy that the garage is going....it also needs to be moved off the addition toward the street...but it doesn't look like there is room as I think that this is a corner lot??
We just closed two weeks ago on a very similar 1920 Dutch colonial in Montgomery County, MD. We have similar needs and desire to renovate and don’t know where to start…or just wait. Of course as a new home owner of an old Dutch colonial, I was very excited to read that This Old House was doing a feature on a sister house. But when I saw your picture and realized that it was people I actually know, I was blown away!!! Good luck with the renovation. I can’t wait to pick up some tips from your experience.
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I have to say the idea, in theory, sounds like a good one. However, if a contractor does give you the "we might as well" line, it is always a good idea to get them to verbalize the plan of execution prior. Sometimes talking out the plan reveals its extreme shortcomings and prevents it from being executed.
The only downside to this thinking: you don't get great pictures like the one above.