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No, I didn't give up and knock the whole thing down!
My remodel plan has settled on a complete replacement of one side of the interior. Think: 500 sq. ft. where every wall will be removed ane the subfloor replaced. This area covers the dining room, the kitchen, the bathroom, and one bedroom.
In short, the dining room will become slightly larger, the kitchen quite a bit smaller, the bathroom quite a bit larger, and the bedroom reduced to a laundry / mechanical / mudroom with access to the back yard.
I've been stripping drywall piecemeal, and that has proven completely inadequate. Were I living alone, perhaps I could continue to muddle along. Alas, I am also fostering several cats for the local shelter, which limits how many holes I can have in the house. So, I hired a contractor to rip it all out and replace the subfloor yesterday.
Murphy was right. After a surprisingly cool summer (so far), yesterday the usual August heat and humidity returned full force. A fine day to be without air conditioning! I corralled the cats into the two remaining bedrooms, and provided them with some air conditioning. By 8:30 we were all at work, and thoroughly sweat-soaked. So much so, I could barely walk by the end of the day, because of a bad heat rash. My jeans were still soaked this morning!
Crew was a foreman, 3 helpers, and a flooring guy. The walls came out pretty quickly. Getting up the severely rotted subfloor took some time. I think we blew it on the "sequence of operations."
We did the demo starting near the door and working in. Unfortunately, this was also how they did the floor demo. It was a natural mistake - the worst of the rot and damage was near the door - but the result was that everyone had to stumble over the joists all day. Since flooring nails were not removed / hammered flat right away, the footing was trecherous.
I had special-ordered material for the subfloor. Somehow I had miscalculated and was a piece short. So, we had to improvise in what might prove to be the most critical area. Oops.
Along with the interior demo, I had them reomve a wall at the end of the carport. This wall - added by pervious owners- had simply been done wrong. This resulted in a lot of water entering the house, causing a lot of the rot we had to deal with. Likewise, the base of the wood wall was too close to the ground, so it got wet and had extensive rot as well. How termites were avoided I'll never know.
This wall did have quite a few was nests. Only "mud daubers' or 'paper' wasps, their presence did worry the crew. Two guys somehow got stung. One guy suggested splashing some gas on the nests - causing my mouth to far outrace my brain, as I replied "that's my effin house, you moron!' Trust me when I say I do not usually talk that way.
By days' end, we had completely filled the large trash trailer.
With everything open, were there any surprises? Not too many.
The rot had not compromised the strength of three joists, but had chewed up the tops enough that the floor guy felt it necessary to add blocking to keep the floor flat.
One joist had been deeply notched, top and bottom, by the plumber. This joist had the remaining strength of a 2x3. Located right under the bathtub, that plumber ought to have been shot. Since the joists on either side had been reinforced, and I'm relocating the tub, I let this error remain. OK, I was tired, I'm not a carpenter .... but, with hindsight, I should have cut that joist and made headers to the adjacent joists.
The floor guy used a nail gun. No screws, no glue at all.
I had wanted the crawl space cleared of all debris. While a serious effort was made, there is still far more trash down there than I like. I'll just have to go for a crawl some day.
I'll have this space open for some time. I'll seal and paint the subfloor, making it into a large 'print,' where I'll mark the locations of the new walls and appliances. Then it will be time to call in the framer and then the plumber.