“Where do you get all this stuff?”

We have a list of  frequently asked questions conspicuously posted at the front counter of the store for all inquirers to see. At the top of the list is this “Where do you get all this stuff?” The official answer is as follows;

We travel to….Europe, Quebec, the US and UK. Every day we buy from people who call us or walk in our door. We attend auctions and yearly shows. We do deconstructions and strip-outs. We also accept donations from people who want to divert items from landfills and who wish to support our industry.

Inconspicuously placed in the middle of this brief yet informative paragraph is the term ‘strip out’. Such a simple phrase so easy to say and with out a hint of anything sinister. Alas, I write this as a warning to all who read this. There is a lot more to this simple little phrase.

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On the left is a home on Rednersville Road just east of Carrying Place, Ontario. On the right is a neat stack of 1 x 6 tongue and groove red pine flooring that we salvaged from the home. The End……or is it? What I failed to mention was that this lumber was ‘stripped out’. Let me show you what this really means.

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The strip out took place over Tuesday the 16th and Wednesday the 17th of July. This coincided with extreme heat alerts from Environment Canada. And the lumber we were after was at the very top of this mini mansion. Up in the attic underneath R38 insulation (roughly 12” thick). A perfect storm of itchy fibreglass and suffocating heat.

 

We pushed the insulation to one half of the room to get at the wood. This is normally a fairly straight forward job. However, it proved to be difficult with the air temperature being on par with one of the seven circles of hell. However, complaints aside, we got the flooring up. Now we could push the insulation to the other side of the room to begin the extraction of the other half of the flooring.

From the 1000 square feet about half could be saved and most of it 14ft lengths. We were unable to take theses down the stairs. We opted for the direct approach. With a chainsaw we cut a hole in the floor of the attic directly over the top of the stairs. From here we could slide each length down past the second floor straight to the bottom. We stacked, sorted and condensed our pile of 150 boards down to 75 good pieces. We then de-nailed, re-stacked, loaded onto it the truck and unloaded it at the store. Some may ask why bother?  Well our hope is that this 100+ year-old flooring, destined for landfill, now has a new future.

"Where do you get all this stuff?" "Where do you get all this stuff?" photo (6) "Where do you get all this stuff?"

 

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