Disclaimer: From a Before and After standpoint, this is going to suck. Because it’s more of a Before and Middle, and truthfully, the before looks so much better.
You’re going to look at the Before and After and tell me that clearly I do not know how to play this game.
The True After (as it will henceforth be known) is going to take us a few more weeks. But the middle is pretty worthwhile, so we’re going to stop here and visit a spell.
Our house came with a hot tub.
This sounds fun. And decadent. And like we must have been the local entertainment hot-spot, what with the hot tub and the cooking and the lemon-drops on the patio and all.
Grass. Greener. Waaaaay over there somewhere.
At first, we too thought we would be the fun, decadent entertainment hot-spot serving lemon-drops on the patio.
Because when you’re envisioning that, you never also envision two jobs, three kids, two cats, a 2000 square foot house to remodel and keep clean and the tremendous amount of sleep you need in order to deal with all those things.
So we ended up using the hot-tub very little.
To make matters even better, the hot-tub is ugly (the shade of red that picnic tables are painted), it’s huge (500 gallons), has no lights in it (which messes up the ambience somewhat) and takes up 1/3 of the real estate on the back patio.
Every time I drained and filled it, I had California water conservation guilt. And because it was so large, it was difficult to keep the chemical levels right without going crazy with chlorine (which is not the most effective aroma-therapy when you are trying to relax.)
So, after four years, we decided that we were not getting enough hot-tub enjoyment out of this 80’s holdover behemoth, so we decided to rip it out.
I did mention that the thing hold 500 gallons, right?
In keeping with my not-so-great-track record of before pictures, here’s one that sort of shows the hot-tub.
Trust me, it’s the size of Nebraska.
Here’s a shot right after we started:
On the other side of the hot tub is more deck like you see in the first photo. Ripping out just the hot tub would leave these two uneven decks, so we decided to rip out the far deck also.
Because we’re committed to the drama of this endeavor, if not the aesthetics.
Note, please, that the hot tub has a custom built surround and that said surround is attached to the deck on either side. I want you to notice it because we noticed it over, and over, and over, and over again.
This was what greeted us when we tore the front panels off.
Getting the hot tub (which is not actually attached to anything, mind you) out took: one hand saw, one reciprocating saw, three crow-bars (one that’s five feet long), three mallets, the jack from a ’96 Toyota Camry, 5 sturdy humans, a doctoral consultation from the MIT school of applied engineering and a guest appearance by Tinkerbell.
I may have been lying about Tinkerbell.
This is what we did to the hot-tub:
After getting the first half out, we were so tired that we seriously considered letting the other half stay put and just calling it “contemporary bench seating.”
But we persevered:
Taking out the deck took longer than taking out the hot-tub, because the people who constructed the deck not only wanted to improve the functionality of the house, they also wanted to secure it against tornadoes or meteors.
We pulled out about eleventy-thousand 4 inch nails.
And now…we have
- Exposed concrete
- Exposed unpainted siding
- Exposed dry rot
- Exposed plumbing
- Exposed wiring
- Exposed tacky concrete steps.
And a great big space where we didn’t used to have one.
Yay for the last one!
And we also have a very full dumpster.